Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dee and Soul

Body and Soul were a short-lived duo signed to Delicious Vinyl at the tail-end of the 80's. They only put out this one single - and appeared on the West coast anti-gang collaboration record "We're All In the Same Gang" - before folding. The dedications on the back cover claim "we'll get you on our album," but it never came; and Dee (the one on the right) went on to host Pump It Up: a cool, little hip-hop video show that aired weekends at 1am on Fox. You probably remember her best for getting assaulted by Dr. Dre in 1991... as Tim Dog immortalized it in song, "Yo Dre, beatin' on Dee from Pump It Up? Step to the Dog and get fucked up!"

And I can see why the album didn't come... they weren't exactly mind-expanding lyricists... but they did manage to put together a pretty worthwhile, underrated single. It earned a spot in a lot of our collections already for the picture cover alone, but it's actually worth taking out of that cover and spinning, too.

"Dance To the Drummer's Beat" is produced by Delicious Vinyl's regular in-house producers Matt Dike and Michael Ross. But the question of who the producers were here is kinda besides the point, because the music is all performed by Trouble Funk (who were surely a much bigger draw than the record's headliners). So, you've got a great live go-go band covering a classic disco tune, and two female MCs who come with a lot of fun interplay and energy, sounding like an early Salt-N-Pepa. If this song doesn't = good times, I don't know what does.

And after that, you'd probably assume the B-side will be a limp noodle of a disappointment, right? But actually it manages to come pretty close to the A-side. And that's even more surprising, given that it's produced by Def Jef (sorry, Jef). But he manages to include a lot of.... dare I say "def?" traditional, old school samples, high energy horns and some nice scratching. Body and Soul are as lively as ever, and it all comes together for an enjoyable, classically inspired (in terms of hip-hop, not Beethoven, etc) winner. It plays it about as safe as you possibly can, with its familiar collage of tried-and-true sounds, but hey, whatever works, right?

So, yeah. instrumentals for both songs are also included, and there's nothing remotely rare about this; so you can pick it up nice and cheap next time you're ordering anything from just about anyplace. And though their album never came out, Delicious Vinyl did include two other songs they recorded - "We Can Do This" and "Ya Gets None," both produced by Def Jef - on a couple compilations of the day. So if you're feeling really inspired, you can track those down, too. Me, I stopped at the 12" with the cute picture cover. ;)

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