One of the best voices in dance music history passed away on 21 March 2011. She struck gold and fame after signing to a subsidiary of Salsoul records and went on to be deliver seminal Salsoul tracks “Catch Me On the Rebound” “Runaway” “Dreamin” “Hit & Run”. Sampled heavily by everyone from Marky Mark to Moby, her trademark diva vocals graced many a dancefloor tune. I’ve had some major moments with Loleatta namely:
The late Dan Hartman created this incredible song and in 1979 I recall being underaged and often visiting the seedy underground club Backstage in Auckland where I first heard this. After a big Friday night, waking up in some strange bed somewhere , I headed to a record store and bought the Epic records 7″ vinyl of Relight My Fire only to find the extended 6+minute version on the b-side. I was well impressed to get a club version on a 7″. I still have it – but now revel in the beauty that is the full 12 minute version. The other tune I specifically remember from those nights was Amii Stewart”The Letter”. There was an updated version of Relight My Fire released in 1994 called Keep The Fire Burnin’ which was a respectable 90s dance track with some solid remixes from Frankie Knuckles and Todd Terry.
This is another of my favourites from Loleatta. Originally produced by Norman Harris, and later remixed in 1993 by Steve Silk Hurley in his immitable house style. Read about this track and download Jason in Paris’ extension mix over on his blog. Jason has some seriously good taste in 90s dance and has tracked down some rare gems and re-edited/re-touched into some extended monsters. Some years ago a friend was parting with a huge pile of vinyl and amongst it was the original Salsoul 12″ with original mixes on one side and the Hurley mixes on the other. That’s now in the lock up on the other side of the planet, so I was delighted to find Jason’s edit in great quality.
Rest in peace Loleatta. While diva vocals have fallen somewhat from favour and fashion, we’re unlikely to have such an influential voice for some time.