Transcribing vinyl takes a lot of time and effort. If I can find a recording I like on a streaming service, I usually don’t bother. But sometimes, the versions of the song I want to listen to exist only on the 12″ single. In other cases, such as in this wonderful piece of hip-hop history by The World’s Famous Supreme Team, the recording that’s available on Spotify and Amazon Music is nothing short of a disaster. Whoever mastered it and encoded it completely destroyed it. They loudened it, crushed all of its dynamic range, and turned it into an unlistenable, splattery mess. It’s such a shame because this is the only recording many people will ever have access to. Go ahead and give it a listen and then compare it to this recording of the vinyl 12″ single that was competently mastered at Sterling Sound in 1984. It makes all the time and effort worth it.
Katy Perry recently released her single “Smile.” If you’re old enough to remember June 1999, the riff in Perry’s song may sound familiar. That’s when Naughty By Nature released their single “Jamboree.” Yes, it appears Perry sampled her riff from Naughty By Nature. It turns out, however, that this is a sample of a sample. Naughty By Nature got their sample from Benny Golson’s “I’m Always Dancin’ To The Music,” an absolutely fantastic disco track from 1978. Enjoy this one and see if you can keep from cuttin’ a rug. I’ll bet you can’t. This one is gold!
You’ll notice that there are no iTunes of Spotify links for this one. That’s because this record doesn’t seem to exist in streaming format. So I took my vinyl 12″ single and carefully recorded it. I’ve recently posted a tutorial on how to do this. Please enjoy this beautiful hip-hop classic from 1981! (Both vocal and instrumental versions are included!)
When I was a little boy, I had a Sears “Denim” record player. Can you think of a reason not to make a record player or of denim? I can’t. One of my favorite records was a Ray Charles compilation. There were three songs on “Side C” that a four-year-old DJCJ particularly liked. They were tracks 2, 3, and 4. “Unchain My Heart,” “Hit The Road Jack,” and “One Mint Julep.” I played those tracks so many times that the cheap plastic needle on this record player trashed the vinyl.
Can you see how tracks 2, 3, and 4 are actually a different color? They still play, but they do not sound good. As an adult, my favorite of these tracks is “One Mint Julep.” Ray Charles’ version is a cover of The Clover’s original 1952 version. Quincy Jones did the orchestral arrangement for Ray Charles’ version. It’s fun listening to a beautifully re-mastered recording. At 2:44 you can actually hear Ray’s foot tapping. It’s one of my favorite songs ever and I hope you enjoy it too.