Christynette

The UK's First Lady of Urban Soul.

Ne-Yo

Unreleased from 2001, Ne-Yo as "Shaffer".

Mya's Liberation

Mya's doomed fourth album.

Girl Power!

Unreleased R'n'B/UK Garage from 2001.

Local Virginia R'n'B on Demo Tape!

From collector's favorites to new unheard of heat, there is no shortage of great music to be found in Virginia.

Friday, December 19, 2014

MQ3: Everyday (Remixes) (Promo CDM) (Noo Trybe/Virgin, 1997)

Ultra rare Rodney Jerkins production by late 90s R&B group MQ3 featuring remixes by Rockwilder and Snoop's DJ Battle Cat. I don't know much about the group but this was their one and only release. Another promo featuring different remixes by Rodney Jerkins also exists though they are not as good as the remixes featured here...

Everyday(Reggie & Roc Remix Radio Version) ft. Redman 4:17
Everyday(Reggie & Roc Remix Instrumental) 4:58
Everyday(DJ Battle Cat Remix Radio Version) ft. Crooked I 3:38
Everyday(DJ Battle Cat Remix Instrumental) 3:47
Everyday(LP Version) 3:29

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Changing Faces: Keep It Right There (CDM) (Big Beat/Atlantic, 1994)

The 1994 single by Changing Faces and the only track on their debut to be produced by Donald Earle DeGrate, Jr. (AKA Devante Swing) of Jodeci fame... Swing, along with Salaam Remi, also produced remixes for this one that are a lot sexier than the original. As good, if not better, than the duo's stuff with R. Kelly...

Keep It Right There (Original Mix) 4:01
Keep It Right There (Devante Swing Remix) 3:26
Keep It Right There (Salaam Remix) 4:05
Keep It Right There (Devante Swing Remix Instrumental) 3:26
Movin' On (Original Mix) 3:28

*NOT an instrumental. On my CD at least, a duplicate of track 2.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sista: Brand New (Digipak CDM) (Swing Mob/Elektra, 1994)

Ultra rare first and only single from Missy Elliott's former band Sista and an early (if not first) production from Timbaland in conjunction with Devante Swing, formally of Jodeci fame. This was the one and only single the band ever produced and their debut LP 4 All The Sistas Around Da World was shortly to be shelved due to lack of interest (bear in mind this was WAY before Timbaland blew up as a producer.) The CD single is a collector's item on its own but it is the remixes by Timbaland and fellow Jodeci member Mr. Dalvin (Donald DeGrate) that really set it off. Both are noticeably different to the original score.

The lead vocals are by Elliott, who also provides additional rap verses for the two remixes as well.

Brand New 4:28
Sista Bounce 2:26
Brand New (Mr. Dalvin's Ferrari Mix) 4:03
Brand New (Timbaland's Beemer Mix) 4:35

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Eboni Foster: Everything You Do (Remixes) (Promo VLS) (MCA, 1998)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Shiro: Good Love (Promo VLS) (Noo Trybe Records, 1998)

The second and last of two singles by Shiro on Soulshock & Karlin's Soul Power label from the mid 90s. The song is not to be confused with Good Lovin' from her 1995 Scotti Bros album Can We Talk. This song was the first single to be taken from her second album Life Goes On which unfortunately never saw the light of day.

1. Club Mix (Clean)
2. Instrumental
3. Dirty Club Mix
4. Radio Version (w/o rap)

Shiro: I Like (Promo VLS) (Noo Trybe Records, 1997)

Original LP version of Shiro's 1997 song from the Caught Up soundtrack and exclusive to promo 12" only. Remixes by Soulshock & Karlin and Clark Kent were posted here.

1. Club Mix
2. LP Version
3. Instrumental
4. TV Mix

Shades: Tell Me Your Name (Remixes) (Promo VLS) (Motown, 1996)

Super-rare mixes of Boston R&B quartet Shades' debut single Tell Me (I'll Be Around) by The Characters and DJ Clark Kent and exclusive to promo vinyl only (and if you don't own a record player, CD as well if you've got $250 to spare.) The group were active in the mid 90s and released two singles and one album together before they were lost in the hype of other artists at the time. The vinyl usually goes for about $50 by itself but I fortunately found mine for about the price of a new standard mp3 album on Amazon. The original song sampled Bernard Wright's 1985 song Who Do You Love? but these remix versions sample Brick's 1970s song Fun and Hey DJ by World's Famous Supreme Team (also used by a certain bigger star at the time...) The Characters remix features an appearance by rapper Akinyele and also uses interpolations from his own song Put It In Your Mouth (which as it happens also used the same Brick sample.) The Characters remix later appeared as a b-side to a follow-up single Serenade (which in my opinion is just as rare) but the Clark Kent version can only be found here...

A1 Character Remix Edit
A2 Clark Kent Version
A3 Characters Remix Edit (No Rap)
B1 Character Remix Radio Fade
B2 Characters Instrumental
B3 Clark Kent Instrumental

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Shiro feat. Sonja Blade: I Like (Remixes) (Promo VLS) (Noo Trybe Records, 1998)

Rare promotional 12" featuring remixes of the Caught Up (1996) soundtrack cut I Like by LA-based singer Shiro, who was previously known for being the singer on A Lighter Shade of Brown's 1991 single On A Sunday Afternoon. The original version, produced by Danish production team Soulshock & Karlin, featured verses by MC Lyte but these remix versions feature Clark Kent protegee Sonja Blade instead (though Lyte can still be heard briefly at the beginning of the Clark Kent remix.) The "Soul Power" remix features different production and vocals altogether whereas Kent's remix utilizes a slightly pitched-up version of the original vocal track. Released to promo 12" only via Virgin/EMI's hip hop division Noo Trybe Records in 1998...

A1 Soul Power Remix Extended Version
A2 Soul Power Instrumental
B1 DJ Clark Kent Remix Extended Version
B2 DJ Clark Kent TV Mix

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Terri & Monica: Sexuality (If You Take Your Love (Promo VLS) (Epic, 1996)

More throwback Timbaland and Missy Elliott on the remix to Terri & Monica's Sexuality (If You Take Your Love) from 1996 and only available on this 12". The song was the only single to be released from their shelved sophomore album Suga. Also features the Charles "The Mixologist" Rhone/video remix.

1. (Remix)
2. (Remix Instrumental)
3. (Timbaland Street Remix) (Featuring Missy Elliott)
4. (Timbaland Instrumental)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Allure: Enjoy Yourself (Remixes) (Promo VLS) (MCA, 2001)

Promo-only remixes of Allure's first single to be taken from their sophomore album Sunny Days featuring

Friday, November 14, 2014

Allure: All Cried Out (JP CDM) (Crave/Sony Records, 1997)

Blige and Carey come together for a final last time on the remix to Allure's debut single Head Over Heals, which is featured here along with a previously unreleased track Take Me Away. Though Carey's mark was way more noticeable on the original more poppy version, it is the remix version featured here and written and arranged by Mary J. Blige that, in my opinion, is far, far superior. Featuring alternate lyrics and production, it combines Carey's style of singing with Blige's smooth harmonies to the maximum. The previously unreleased track Take Me Away is also very smooth and can only be found here. As with most of the group's debut album, both were produced by Poke & Tone of the Trackmasters...

1. All Cried Out (featuring 112)
2. All Cried Out (featuring 112) (Dub Final)
3. No Question (featuring LL Cool J)
4. Take Me Away
5. Head Over Heels (Remix featuring Tone and AZ)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Allure: All Cried Out (The Remixes) (CDM) (Crave, 1997)

Second single from Carey's short-lived girl group Allure and their biggest hit to date. As with Head Over Heals it had her personal touch all over it and was co-produced with Walter Afanasieff, the man behind some of her most schmaltzy ballads during the 90s.The original version featured band 112 but the remixed version(s) on this CD do not. Also includes a previously unreleased Trackmasters production Everytime I Think Of You. Very old-skool sounding, it also served as a bonus track on the Japanese release of their album...

1. Dance Remix
2. Extended Club Remix
3. Dub Remix
4. A Cappella Remix
5. Everytime I Think Of You

Allure: Allure (Crave, 1997)

What do you get if you cross Mary J. Blige with Mariah Carey? This amazing, rather slept on quartet from 1997... They were the first and most notable act to be signed to the latter's now-defunct vanity label in the mid 90s and at a time when Mottola's choke hold on her was at its strongest they pretty much embodied everything she wanted to be as an artist herself rather than the ballgown crooner image he preferred. Blige's role was as a songwriter on 2 tracks You're Gonna Love Me and When You Need Someone while MC's contributions include Head Over

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Eternal: What'cha Gonna Do (White Label VLS) (EMI, 1999)

Scarce white label featuring an unreleased remix of Eternal's 1999 God-fearing song What'cha Gonna Do by Stevie J. Jordan (best known for his work as a producer for Sean 'Diddy' Combs' Bad Boy label in the 90s.)  Jordan produced most of the band's self-titled album in 1999, which was supposed to put the band in the same league as Destiny's Child but bombed in the charts. The unreleased mix features new vocals and alternate slower production. Definitely better than the original version but still not up there with some of their more earlier stuff...

A1 Beatmasters Mix*
B1 Stevie J Mix
B2 Stevie J Instrumental

*same as LP version

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Total: Smile (Promo VLS) (Bad Boy Entertainment, 2001)

Rare bootleg 12" dressed as an official Bad Boy promo and featuring urban mixes of Total's 1998 song "I Don't Wanna Smile" (stylized here as "Smile") and 112's song "Your Letter." Each side of the record includes an uncredited hip hop remix, a hip hop instrumental and a mellow R&B mix. I don't know for absolute certain that it is unofficial but the labels and catalog# do not match any known Bad Boy releases. Rare old skool stuff nevertheless.

"Smile"
A1 Hip Hop 200 Mix
A2 Instrumenal
A3 Midnight Mix
"Your Letter"
B1 Hip Hop 2000 Mix
B2 Instrumental
B3 Midnight Mix


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Total: No One Else (Remix) (CDM) (Bad Boy Entertainment, 1996)

More good stuff from Combs' Bad Boy camp circa 90s and back when he was stylizing himself as "Puff Daddy..." The second single from Total's debut LP featuring the excellent R&B remix by Chucky Thompson and Comb's "Puff Daddy" remix featuring raps from three female rap heavyweights at the time: Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown and So So Def's Da Brat.

They don't do 'em like they used to...

1. Puff Daddy Remix
2. R&B Remix
3. R&B Remix (Instrumental)
4. Puff Daddy Remix (Instrumental)

Total: Sittin' Home (CDM) (Bad Boy Entertainment, 1999)

CD Maxi-Single of Total's 1999 song Sittin' Home featuring the main remix with Shyne and an added bonus of Trippin' (Remix) featuring DMX. The remix to Sittin' Home (restyled as Sittin' Home (Waiting For You) loosely samples the guitar riff from Michigan & Smiley's 1981 song Diseases. Trippin' (Remix) samples LL Cool J's 4,3,2,1 and features a newly sung vocal arrangement. Not as sexy as the original but classic Bad Boy before the era of Dainty Kaine and other vapid skirts like them... 

1. Sittin' Home (Album Version)
2. Sittin' Home (Waiting For You) (Remix) (Feat. Shyne)
3. Trippin' Remix (Feat. DMX)
4. Sittin' Home (Instrumental)
5. Sittin' Home (Waiting For You) (Remix) (Instrumental)

Total: Do You Think About Us & When Boy Meets Girl (Remixes) (CDM) (Bad Boy Entertainment, 1996)

Back when Bad Boy was good... another one of Combs' signature acts during the 90s along with The Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans. This set in particular features some great early remixes by both Jermaine's So So Def team and Hex Hector. The So So Def mix in particular sounds very similar to stuff rival group Xscape was churning out at the same time, the background harmonies especially... 

1. Do You Think About Us (So So Def Remix)
2. Do You Think About Us (Album Version)
3. Do You Think About Us (So So Def Instrumental)
4. When Boy Meets Girl (Album Version)
5. When Boy Meets Girl (Instrumental)
6. When Boy Meets Girl (Hex hector's Traditional House Mix)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kelis: Milkshake (Remix) (Promo VLS) (Star Trak Entertainment, 2003)

Official remix to Rogers' 2003 hit featuring alternate production, new spoken verses and raps from Pharrell Williams and former Clipse member Pusha T. In the US, it never appeared on any other format other than promotional 12" vinyl but in Europe, it was later featured as the B-side to a follow-up single Trick Me. Classic Neptunes before they went their separate ways...

A1 Radio Mix
A2 Instrumental
B1 Club Mix
B2 Acappella

Monday, September 15, 2014

Alicia Keys: Who's That Girl (Promo CDM) (Columbia, 1998)

 
Early Alicia Keys recording for Columbia Records originally featured on the 1998 compendium Young Soul Power IIShe allegedly left the label after a dispute about direction and consequently signed with J Records instead. The promotional CD single came housed in a unique tri-fold slipcase along with three other discs featuring tracks by other artists (R&B group Blaque, JoJo Robinson and Cassie (not Cassie Ventura.) To this date Who's That Girl has never been featured on any Alicia Keys album. It was produced by Keys and longtime collaborator Kerry "Krucial"  Brothers Jr. 

Alicia Keys - Who's That Girl (4SK41585)
1. Radio Edit
2. Instrumental
3. Callout Hook #1
4. Callout Hook #2

Friday, September 12, 2014

Alicia Keys: How Come You Don't Call Me (Neptunes Remix) (Promo VLS) (J Records, 2001)

The main remix to Keys' 2001 song by The Neptunes and featuring a more upbeat production and newly sung vocals. Teenybopper vomit bag Justin Timberlake (then also working with the duo on his debut LP), provides backing vocals and a short refrain at the end.

A1 How Come You Don't Call Me (Main Mix)
B1 How Come You Don't Call Me (Instrumental)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Destiny's Child: Bug A Boo (Urban Remixes) (Columbia, 1999)

Scarce promo-only urban remixes of DC's fifth single and issued to the UK market only in 1999. Track A1 is a funky R&B remix whereas track B1 sounds like a crossover between R&B and UK Garage. Not a patch on the Refugee Camp remix but it is interesting to hear the original vocal over different R&B beats...

A1 Lindslee Mix
B1 Olabean's Bugged Out Mix
B2 Lindslee Instrumental Mix

Monday, September 1, 2014

Brandy: What About Us (Remixes) (White Label VLS) (The Killah Kuts, 2001)

Unreleased remixes of Norwood's 2001 song featuring Nas and Steve 'Silk' Hurley.  While the Nas remix is largely unimpressive (it is basically just the LP version with a rap added), it was Hurley's 'Old Skool Remix' that prompted me to buy this set. His house remix was released on a double 12" promo set of dance remixes (see HERE) but for whatever reason, this particular down-tempo remix (which samples Rick James 1978 song Mary Jane) never saw the light of day.

I believe these two remixes were released on a promo CD acetate but it is almost near-impossible to find. In all actuality, this 12" is probably just as rare and unless you know what you're looking for, there are no credits on the records. Anyways, another forgotten gem fromPersnickety...

A1 Brandy - What About Us (Remix) (w/ Nas)
A2 Brandy - What About Us (Steve 'Silk' Hurley Old Skool Remix)
B1 Sharissa - Any Other Night (Clean Remix)
B2 Sharissa - Any Other Night (Dirty Remix)
B3 Sharissa - Any Other Night (Instrumental)
B4 Sharissa - Any Other Night (Acappella)

Brandy: What About Us (Dance Mixes) (Double Promo VLS) (Atlantic, 2001)

 
 
This was Norwood's lead single from her third album Full Moon and was released in 2001.This double 12"