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Salsoul Records 1974-1985

Related: record label - New York music - disco - Vince Montana Jr - MFSB - Larry Levan - Love Is The Message - Walter Gibbons

Typical Salsoul twelve inch sleeve


Salsoul Records is a New York based record label that from 1974 to 1985, released about 300 disco twelve inch records and a string of albums. They put out the first commercial twelve inch, Double Exposure's Ten Percent (1976), an early remix by Walter Gibbons.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salsoul_Records


New York's Salsoul Records was created and financed by three brothers who had already independently established their mark in the business via their expertise in the Latin-American music market. Joe, Ken and Stan Cayre have a world-wide reputation for running a tight ship, so it seemed inconceivable that they would gamble on traditional music business areas like artist development, national distribution, promotion etc. etc. In all, we're talking too expensive, too risky and a probable loser IN THEORY.

But somewhere along the line legendary Afro-Filipino musician Joe Bataan must've zapped the Cayre brothers with his sizzling version of Gil Scott-Heron's dancefloor anthem "The Bottle". Plus, being a red hot muso, he was probably bubbling over with enthusiasm over his description of a new sound - a natural fusion of South America's historic rythms, infectious feel and hot temper - Salsa, together with North Amerca's most unique legacy and consistent export - Soul. Salsa and Soul - Salsoul. Geddit! Anyway "The Bottle" hit big, Salsoul was born and the rest is dance music history. -- Ian Dewhirst, 1993, sleeve notes to Mastercuts Salsoul compilation.

Roots and Influences

10 Selected Twelve Inches

Salsoul released the first commercially available twelve inch record, followed by some 300 more twelve inches and LPs. A tremendous output, many of which are among the very best disco releases.

Top Ten Salsoul/Gold Mind Twelves
  1. Inner Life 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' (1981) Larry Levan mix
  2. Double Exposure - Ten Percent (1976) Walter Gibbons mix
  3. Logg - I Know You Will (1981) Larry Levan mix
  4. First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder (1983) Frankie Knuckles mix
  5. Skyy - First Time Around (1979) Larry Levan mix
  6. Loleatta Holloway - Hit And Run (1977) Walter Gibbons mix
  7. Jocelyn Brown - Make It Last Forever (1979) Larry Levan mix
  8. Cognac - How High (1980) Larry Levan mix
  9. Sparkle - Handsome Man (1979) Larry Levan mix
  10. Loleatta Holloway - Catch Me On the Rebound (1978) Walter Gibbons mix

Specific releases to hunt down are Jocelyn Brown's 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', a true classic with an incredible keyboard work-out and Walter Gibbons's mix of 'Hit And Run'. Also exceptional - and all but forgotten - is 'Bumblebee Rap' a favourite of Todd Terry .Towards the mid eighties, Shep Pettibone was commissioned to revive the old Gold Mind Rochelle Fleming and Loleatta Holloway tracks. These have been sampled in both Frankie Knuckles and Steve 'Silk' Hurley early house recordings. [the bassline of 'Jack Your Body' was 'Let No Man Put Asunder'].

A Profile

Let's take a trip back to 1974 when the Cayre Brothers -Joe, Ken and Stanley- established distributors of Latin/Salsa music were in the midst of re-organizing their company Cayre Industries. One of the things they wanted to do was tap into the American music market. "The time is right for us to cross over beyond the specialized ethnic bag we have been in" said Joe Cayre, President "without, of course, forgetting our roots, and expose some of our already existing talents as well as create new product for the broader music orientated audience and the general record buying public." [...]

Labels like Salsoul, West End and Prelude succesfully survived the disco backlash.

Instant Funk

Instant Funk were a 1970s disco band, best known for their disco classic "I've Got My Mind Made Up C'Mon".

Instant Funk came out of New Jersey consisting of Raymond Earl, Scotty Miller and guitarist Kim Miller. The group was then called The Music Machine and they were very successful as a backup band for The Manhattans, Bunny Sigler and also the TNJs. Throughout their careers, Instant Funk would be the backup band for tons of stars, including Lou Rawls, Loleatta Holloway, The O'Jays, MFSB, Curtis Mayfield and Evelyn Champagne King (they are the backing band on the classic disco hit "Shame").

The group relocated to Philadelphia in 1976 to release its first album "Get Down With the Philly Jump" as they started to formulate their own sound. The group followed this album up with a release for former MFSB guitarist Norman Harris' new label Gold Mind, with front man Bunny Sigler entitled "Let Me Party With You".

The Gold Mind label folded, and Instant Funk's new cut "I've Got My Mind Made Up" was transferred to the Salsoul label, which pushed the record heavily to all of the disco clubs. The remix of this song by club DJ Larry Levan quickly became the talk of Manhattan.

This first album on Salsoul, entitled "Instant Funk", was a huge hit and it featured funky dance groove after funky dance groove. Instant Funk had quickly become stars in the world of dance music. "I've Got My Mind Made Up" hit number three on the R&B charts and number 20 on the pop charts. But more importantly, it was a dance floor anthem for the spring of 1979, being played in clubs everywhere. The album Instant Funk went gold and was a number one R&B album. When Salsoul folded, the band stayed together to tour. They disbanded and Bunny Sigler went on to perform as part of the Trammps. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_Funk [Mar 2005]

Vince Montana Jr

Medio 1997 till medio 1998, was the height of my fondness for Vince's production work and vibe playing. His extreme tackiness and smooth style are very loveable. His work for the Philly and Salsoul labels are a must hear for any serious disco fan. His fantasy work on 'Close Encounters' is really quite over the top, you have got to hear it, and his 'Heavy Vibes' track is a garage classic. 1997 saw the collaboration of Vince and Roy Ayers on the seminal MAW Nuyorican soul release. [...]

Frankie Knuckles

First Choice Title: 'Let No Man Put Asunder' [.... it's not over...over.... ], flip the record over and listen to the Frankie Knuckles mix. Surprised?

First Choice

Philadelphia based female vocal group. Norman Harris produced their uptempo cuts with that classic Salsoul/Gold Mind feel. Shep Pettibone later remixed 'Let No Man Put Asunder ' [it's not over...over] and 'Dr. Love', with great dancefloor acclaim. Rochelle Fleming continued to pursue her music career during the nineties. For the Larry Levan spotters: 'Double Cross (Gold Mind, 1979) (Larry Levan mixed this on SA8533). And finally for the Tee Scott spotters: Gg 502 Gold Mind First Choice Love Thang 1979 12" (this is Tee Scott's first ever mix) [...]

Jocelyn Brown

"Jocelyn Brown and Christine Wiltshire were the two greatest living vocalists to me. Christine had been in Luther Vandross' original group on Cotillion, and she introduced me to Jocelyn. All through my life, Jocelyn has been like a charm for me. Jocelyn had the strength and gospel background, and Christine had the refinement and precision to make for some really slick backgrounds. Together, with whatever third person they brought to the party, it was a gas. [...]

Larry Levan

Apart from remixing a dozen or more Salsoul tracks, he also did a compilation of his Salsoul mixes: Larry Levan album on Salsoul It can be viewed as the first whole album concept where the DJ/(re)mixer got top billing over the original artist. It was orginally released as a two 12" promo-pack, and it was mixed by Levan in December 1978. Furthermore, Larry remixed the classic 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', which features an incredible synth work-out.

Walter Gibbons

  • Walter Gibbons In the mid-'70s, the originator of the commercial 12-inch single began mixing dubby beats and adding effects to early disco singles for the Salsoul and Gold Mind labels.

    Loleatta Holloway

    The diva, hear her sing [not]
  • Loleatta Holloway "Do you want me to come downstairs with rollers in my hair?", "Love Sensation (it's such a good vibration, it's such a sweeeeet sensation)", "I'm gonna dis you right now!"

    Shep Pettibone

  • Shep Pettibone Shep did the mixing during the final days of Salsoul. Highlights include "Seconds", "Love Sensation", "Let No Man Put Asunder"

    Rochelle Fleming

  • Rochelle Fleming SG-397* First Choice 'Let No Man Put Asunder' (sampled extensively - "it's not over, between you and me" ; "honey let me tell you something.... I got somethin' for your mind, your body, and your soul.")

    Patrick Adams

    After giving Prelude a hot start with 'Keep On Jumpin' and 'Push Push In The Bush', Patrick Adams works for Salsoul around 1981 for two Inner Life projects, a collaboration with Loleatta Holloway and Christmas Jollies II with Jocelyn Brown. Hi-lite track of this period is "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." [...]

    Tee Scott

  • Tee Scott Tee Scott's first ever time in the studio was with First Choice's 'Love Thang' remix on the Gold Mind label

    Earl Young

  • Earl Young Check his great four on the floor drum style!

    Tom Moulton

  • Tom Moulton

    Other Salsoul Aritsts

  • Joe Bataan
  • Candido (Louis Small)
  • Larry Washington (percussion) RIP

    Salsoul Orchestra

    The Salsoul label was primarily an outlet for the smooth, orchestral disco of producer/arranger/composer/vibraphonist Vincent Montana, Jr. , and when The Salsoul Orchestra weren't backing up other artists (including Charo) they recorded on their own. Montana got his start doing sessions for Philly soul producers, and he adapted that lush style to disco, adding Latin motifs and textures. When he's on, he's terrific, but unfortunately most of the time he's not on, either cranking out perfunctory disco-by-numbers or reaching beyond his subgenre and falling on his face. Jahsonic's Meta Soul site contains a lot of useful information on the Orchestra and Montana's other work - Wilson & Alroy [...]
  • Randy Muller (Skyy, Brass Constructions)
  • Leroy Burgess
  • Edwin Birdsong
  • Manny Oquendo
  • Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental NuevaYorquino

    Salsoul Studio Acts



    1. Classic Salsoul Mastercuts, vol 1 [Amazon US]
      Quality sleeve notes with liner notes by Ian Dewhirst.
      1. Ten Percent [Original Walter Gibbons 12" Mix] - Double Exposure 2. Beat Goes on and On [Original Jim Burgess 12" Mix] 3. Love Sensation 4. Let No Man Put Assunder - First Choice 5. Heartbreaker - LeRoy Burgess 6. Dreaming - Loleatta Holloway 7. I Got My Mind Made Up - Instant Funk 8. Nice and Nasty - The Salsoul Orchestra 9. Runaway - Loleatta Holloway 10. Jingo 11. You're Just the Right Size - The Salsoul Orchestra 12. Bottle - Joe Bataan
    2. Classic Salsoul Mastercuts, vol 2 [Amazon US]
      1. Dr. Love [Original Tom Moulton 12" Mix] - First Choice 2. My Love Is Free [Edited Original Tom Moulton 12" Mix] - Double Exposure 3. Ain't No Mountain High Enough [Original Larry Levan 12" Mix] - Inner Life 4. This Will Be a Night to Remember [Original Tom Moulton 12" Mix] - Eddie Holman 5. Just as Long as I Got You [Original Tom Moulton 12" Mix] - Love Committee 6. Helplessly [Original Tom Moulton 12" Mix] - Moment of Truth 7. Spring Rain [Original Tom Moulton 12" Mix] - Silvetti 8. Moment of My Life [Edited Original Shep Pettibone 12" Mix] - Inner Life 9. Hit and Run [Original Walter Gibbons 12" Mix] - Loleatta Holloway 10. Ooh, I Love It (Love Break) [Original Shep Pettibone 12" Remix] - The Salsoul Orchestra 11. Dancin' and Prancin' [Original 12" Mix] - Candido


    1. Orginal Salsoul Classics[Amazon US] no liner notes
      1. The Bottle - Joe Bataan 2. Dr. Love - First Choice 3. Hit And Run - Loleatta Holloway 4. My Love Is Free - Double Exposure 5. Love Thang - First Choice 6. I Got My Mind Made Up - Instant Funk 7. Runaway - The Salsoul Orchestra 8. Checking You Out - Aurra 9. Moment Of My Life - Inner Life 10. Just As Long As I Got You - Love Committee Disc: 2 1. Ten Percent 2. Love Sensation 3. Let No Man Put Asunder 4. Call Me 5. Dreamin 6. Ooh I Love It (Love Break) 7. The Beat Goes On 8. Ain't No Mountain High Enough 9. This Will Be A Night To Remember 10. Magic Bird Of Fire
    2. The Salsoul Classics 2, Vols. 3 &4 [Amazon US] no liner notes
      1. Tangerine - The Salsoul Orchestra 2. Moonboots 3. Funtown USA - Rafael Cameron 4. Let Me Party With You (Party-Party-Party) - Bunny Sigler 5. No Stoppin' That Rockin' - Instant Funk 6. War Dance 7. Double Crossed - First Choice 8. Law and Order - Love Committee 9. I Love New York - Metropolis Disc: 2 1. Spring Rain - Bebu Silvetti 2. Rio de Janeiro - Gary Criss 3. Rapper Dapper Snapper - Edwin Birdsong 4. Let's Celebrate - Skyy 5. Catch Me on the Rebound - Loleatta Holloway 6. Greatest Show on Earth - Barbara Ingram 7. Newsy Neighbors - Double Exposure 8. Jingo - Candido 9. Dancing into the Stars - Logg 10. Mellow Lovin' - Judy Cheeks
    3. Original Salsoul Classics: The 20th Anniversary [Amazon US] no liner notes
      1. Bottle - Joe Bataan 2. Dr. Love - First Choice 3. Hit and Run - Loleatta Holloway 4. My Love Is Free - Double Exposure 5. Love Thang - First Choice 6. I Got My Mind Made Up - Instant Funk 7. Runaway - The Salsoul Orchestra 8. Checking You Out - Aurra 9. Moment of My Life - Inner Life 10. Just as Long as I Got You - Love Committee Disc: 2 1. Ten Percent - Double Exposure 2. Love Sensation - Loleatta Holloway 3. Let No Man Put Asunder - First Choice 4. Call Me - Skyy 5. Dreamin' - Loleatta Holloway 6. Ooh I Love It (Love Break) - The Salsoul Orchestra 7. Beat Goes On - Ripple 8. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Inner Life 9. This Will Be a Night to Remember - Eddie Holman 10. Magic Bird of Fire - The Salsoul Orchestra
    4. Salsoul Orchestra - Christmas Jollies [Amazon US]
      1. Little Drummer Boy 2. Christmas Medley: Joy to the World/Deck the Halls/O Come All Ye Faithfu 3. New Year's Medley 4. Sleigh Ride 5. There's Someone Who's Knocking 6. Christmas Time 7. Merry Christmas All 8. Silent Night - Michael Aharon 9. New Year's-Americana Suite
      Great for the holidays, I personally prefer volume 2 because of one track, Jocelyn Brown wailing: 'You're all, you're all I want for Christmas']

    Larry Levan: Greatest Salsoul Mixes (2004) - Various Artists

    Larry Levan: Greatest Salsoul Mixes - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Track Listings
    Disc: 1
    1. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Jocelyn Brown 2. How High - The Salsoul Orchestra 3. By the Way You Dance - Bunny Sigler 4. Handsome Man - Sparkle 5. Double Cross - First Choice 6. Greatest Performance of My Life - Loleatta Holloway 7. Crying - Instant Funk 8. When I Come Home - Aurra 9. I Know You Will - Logg
    Disc: 2
    1. I Got My Mind Made Up - Instant Funk 2. First Time Around - Skyy 3. It's Just Begun - The Jimmy Castor Bunch 4. Everybody - Instant Funk 5. Summertime Lovin' - Steve Arrington 6. Skyzoo - Skyy 7. Slap Slap Lickedy Lap - Instant Funk 8. High - Skyy 9. Bodyshine - Instant Funk 10. Make It Last Forever - Jocelyn Brown

    Album Description
    All mixed up by Larry Levan, featuring Instant Funk, Loleatta Holloway, Jocelyn Brown, Aurra, Jimmy Castor Bunch, Skyy, Inner Life and more. 19 tracks packaged in double gatefold digipak. Salsoul. 2003.

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