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Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent (1986)

May 29, 2016 Leave a comment

As a professional economist, I have always been a huge admirer of Gary Becker who won a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on the economics of discrimination and the economics of the family. The application of the neo-classical utility maximising framework to inform our understanding of the inter-relationships between decisions regarding marriage and partnerships, fertility and labour supply opened the eyes of many people to the potential explanatory power of economics.

Now, of course, we all know that real human beings are not fully informed, rational beings, carefully weighing up the short, medium and long term consequences of their choices on their own utility (“desiccated calculating machines” as Nye Bevan might have described them).  Nonetheless, Becker’s insights have added rigour to the way in which we try and understand the choices that people make.

In my own life, the decision of my (now) wife and I to finally get married after 31 years of (trial) cohabitation was significantly driven by the need to make sure that she fully inherited my pension …. (who said romance is dead?)

 This same, hard, cold, logic also underpins the lyric of this soul/funk/house classic from 1986. Using a ruthless logic that would have had Gary Becker “welling up”, Gwen Guthrie sets out the case for his Treatise on the Family in just 6 minutes ….  A few snippets:

No romance without finance

Boy, nothin’ in life is free
That’s why I’m askin’ you what can you do for me
I’ve got responsibilities
So I’m lookin’ for a man whose got money in his hands

‘Cause nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
You got to have somethin’ if you wanna be with me
Oh, life is too serious, love’s too mysterious
A fly girl like me needs security

‘Cause ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the rent
You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me

Boy, you’re silky ways are sweet
But you’re only wastin’ time if your pockets are empty
I’ve got lots of love to give
But I will have to avoid you if you’re unemployed

The 12″ club mix for your delectation ….

A Thousand Points of Night – Read My Lips (1992)

August 13, 2015 Leave a comment

No one could ever accuse this blog of being behind the times!

An excoriating critique of US social and economic policy … put that in your pipe and smoke it, err, President Bush (the first one)!

Deficits, unemployment, Vietnam, etc?

I believe in the President and I believe in the Presidency

The extended 12″ mix followed by the 7″ version …. perfect deep house!

Caribou – I Can’t Do Without You (2014)

January 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Around this time of the new year, I finally catch up with all the stuff released in the previous year.

I religiously scour the “best of” lists from The Wire Magazine, Mojo, Uncut, Record Collector, Pitchfork, Metacritic, etc, and, after a bit of judicious checking via the good offices of Spotify Premium, I purchase a dozen or so CDs that warrant inclusion on the bestmusicofalltime.

Now, for the romantics who follow this blog (good evening sir!), this might sound a little cold and calculating; but it is the only method I find to be effective in sorting out the wheat from the chaff given the constraints on my budget and time (and I am a professional economist so this sort of optimisation technique is deeply ingrained!) To be fair, it is a tad cold and calculating – apologies!

Anyway, it took seconds to decide that Caribou’s 2014 album “Our Love” qualifies as a stone cold classic and this, for me, is the standout track.

To be honest, I find the album to be a slightly dissatisfying affair. At one level, every single track of leftfield deep house (new genre alert!) is a winner but, for some reason, it feels as if each track starts midway through its actual duration and then ends somewhat prematurely. While this may always leave the listener “always wanting more”, it means that you never have the 9 minute piece in which your soul can be immersed and dissolved.

“I Can’t Do Without You” is a prime example. The album version frustrates with its brevity. Fortunately, an extended mix is available from iTunes and, happily, it deals with any frustration …The former and then the latter.

 

Martin Zeyss – Next To You (Maya Jane Coles Remix) (2011)

January 28, 2012 1 comment

Since discovering Beatport at the tail end of last year (check here), I’ve been getting back up to speed with the wonderful world of Deep House.

Originating in the classic Trax/DJ International world of Chicago in the late 1980s (with Marshall Jefferson and Larry Heard as the godfathers) , there are now a bewildering number of releases every week.

To be frank, the technology has made it too simple for incompetent purveyors of formulaic nonsense to release their noodlings. In the world of t’internet, trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff is ever harder.

Beatport is a great help in identifying the good stuff and here is a classic example. Martin Zeyss is the latest in a long line of classic German producers and Maya Jane Coles is one of the hottest remixers of current times. A killer tune.

Minnie Riperton – Inside My Love (Thomas Sonora Edit) (2011)

January 7, 2012 1 comment

Just reposted Marshall Jefferson’s “Time Marches On” from 1987 as one of the founding documents of “deep house” and one of the greatest records of all time – check here for conclusive proof.

Deep House remains one of the loves of my life and this track retains the affection.

A sublime deep house remix/edit of the Minnie Riperton classic from her “Adventures in Paradise” LP of 1975. The original is a wonderful record but this remix just soars.

Ms Riperton is best known for her wonderful “Lovin’ You” single; less well known is that she died of breast cancer aged 31 in 1979.

Prepare to wallow in genius …. and dance.

Sleazy D – I’ve Lost Control (1986)

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday night.

Head back 25 years to 1986 and to one of the crowning glories of the Chicago House era.

Almost everything on Trax Records or DJ International Records is worth tracking down but this is a real stand out.

More than 10 minutes of intense, relentless mayhem by Marshall Jefferson in his very rare guise of Sleazy D. No real tune, the simplest drum machine, a mechanik vocal – a record that should never end.

I’m not sure it is possible to play this record too loud. Go on, have a go.

The Source and Candi Staton – You Got The Love (Eren’s Bootleg Mix) (1991)

May 18, 2011 6 comments

Attentive followers of this blog will have been waiting on tenterhooks for this post following the big build up I gave it on the last one (see here)

The original version of this track came out in 1986 and was a pretty straightforward disco release.

House genius is achieved by taking Candi Staton’s vocals and fusing them onto Frankie Knuckles/Jamie Principle’s wonderful “Your Love” single from 1986/87.

It’s the “Eren’s Bootleg Mix” which takes a couple of good tracks into the stratosphere …

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