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Imagination – Night Dubbing

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Post in an occasional series of reviews of top Remix Albums from the 80s and 90s

Formed in 1981 as a trio consisting of Leee John (yes, that really is 3x E’s) on vocals and keyboards, Ashley Ingram on guitar and bass, and Errol Kennedy on drums, they began as a wanna-be boogie band that wanted to ride on the success of bands like the Isley Brothers, being a UK based band. They quickly got signed by top producers Jolley and Swain (they had met as cameramen on the popular 70s family puppet show – The Muppets).

Having released 2 successful albums and multiple hit singles in the UK the band struck out for America… and made it big there. 

Whilst out doing promotion in the ‘states, they performed on Soul Train and at the (in)famous Studio 54 in New York. A young Larry Levan  happened to see their Soul Train appearance and was entranced by seeing successful, young black men performing at such a high level. His interest in electronic music, and soul led to him contacting the band to request working with them.

Initially Larry (with his sidekick Frankie Knuckles) remixed a track called “Changes”. This was done in a “house” style, long before the term was really associated with that type of music. The band were so impressed that they decided they wanted to produce a whole album in this exciting new style. Given that production on their third album was slow, due to promotional duties in America, they asked their normal producers Jolley and Swain to remake/remodel 4 tracks from each of their first two albums to make a while stop-gap album. This was duly done with the help of engineer Richard Langyel).

Principally using a Fairlight CMI sounds were stretched, squeezed, minimized, reverbed and expanded to create a wholly danceable piece, which could become a whole set for a DJ, strung out at just over 45 minutes.

Top 50 12 Inches of the 80s What's it all about?

Inspired by all the lists you see on FaceBook saying “Post your favourite albums, but don’t say anything about them…” I thought, hell I’m gonna say a bit about them and why they’re special. As a general rule I have chosen particular extended vinyl versions of the tracks for various reasons, amongst them they extend the length I can listen to them, and they often add extra ambience to the Radio Friendly 7″ version.

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