03 Feb

Mercy, Mercy – What Are We Gonna Do About It





When all is said and done it's pretty obvious that I'm an Essex soul boy at heart. Growing up where i did most of my friends listened to Boogie and Soul, alongside hip hop and other types of music of course, but certainly the one major crossing point of all our musical tastes was a love of the  80's soul and boogie scene. We were lucky in some ways, all the new music was breaking through, yet the old soul music was still prevalent in the local clubs and still going strong. So we got hip hop, proto-house music alongside Boogie, funk and Soul on any regular Saturday night out. There is worse stuff to listen to that's for sure and it was a great musical education.

One track that was always a huge favourite of mine was "What Are We Gonna Do About It?" by the UK's Mercy, Mercy. A cracking UK dance track with gentle synths, one hell of a bass line and the main vocals provided by the legendary Colin Young, formerly of The Foundations.

The track is pretty standard in structure and sound, but Youngs lead vocals and the Harmony of the backing vocals really pluck at my heart strings for some reason and, along with the rhythm guitar, remind me of another track I love dearly "Breakwaters – Say you love me girl" – which i believe is also a favourite of Fourbearsjr as well. Oddly enough Youngs produced it alongside Luke Tunney, who if I'm right also played on the "Through the Looking Glass" album by Siouxsie and the Banshees but i can't be sure.

All in all it shows why in the 80's with groups like Mercy Mercy (even though Colin was American) and Loose Ends the UK Soul scene was able to hold it's head proudly up alongside anything coming from America.

It's a fantastic slice of 80s boogie soul, and i return to it time and time again, because I honestly when they say "they don't make them like that anymore", they are talking about tracks like this….It's available on a few compilations and is a very worthwhile purchase if you can track it down.


Playlist Friday 3rd Ferbuary 2012

Been listening to a lot of recent/new music of late but today I just felt like dipping in my crates a bit and listening to some stuff i consider classics.

As it's been cold i decided to get myself warmed up with some seriously sunny soul and funk, so i started it off with the superb Mercy, Mercy track featured above. Wasn't really in the mood for taking my hands out of my pockets so let shuffle do it's thing and it came up trumps with the magnificent Fela Kuti's – Suffering and Smiling, fantastic. From there I crossed the Atlantic to crash land in Philadelphia courtesy of the Fantastic Johhny C's – waiting for the rain.

The Fela Kuti track had put me in the mood though, so i skipped back to africa with Shot Diaoura's – djelimday tounkara, then skipped
to brazil and Ray Barretto's cracking cover of Stevie Wonders – Past time paradise.

For some reason I have not been able to get the Blaktroniks track out of my head and something tugged me in so i quickly listened to Ugly, and then let shuffle take me to Real 2 Reals – Can you treat me like she does. Which neatly brought me to Floating points and his real 2 Reel sampling "Love me like this" – always like the dubby Nononsense version best, and i managed to slow my walk so i caught every last bar.

All things considered, today was a pretty good day.

Mercy, Mercy –    What Are We Gonna Do About It?, Fela Kuti – Suffering and Smiling, Fantastic Johnny C – waitin for the rain, Shot Diaoura – djelimday tounkara, Ray Barretto – Past time Paradise, Blacktoniks – it can get Ugly, Real 2 Reel – Can you treat me like she does?, Floating Points – love me like this (Nonsense Dub)

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