Looking back at my own contributions in January 2007, I can see myself growing a lot more in confidence in terms of my writing and I also started to feature songs that were outside my comfort zone of the 80s indie, jingly-jangly stuff. Like this……
…..is taking steps to reach your heart.
Yesterday’s title for the Edwyn Collins posting (it was headed ‘Put The Needle Into Your Groove’) was lifted from a great hip-hop record released back in 1989, which itself is the subject of today’s posting.
Three schoolfriends from Long Island, New York formed De La Soul n the middle of the 1980s. At a time when gangster-rap was in vogue, De La Soul were something totally different. Relying very heavily on samples as well as lyrics that talked of life and love rather than life and violent death, they very quickly became radio favourites on both sides of the Atlantic.
Their debut album, Three Feet High & Rising, (its title being a playful pun on a Johnny Cash song) sold by the bucket load and spawned a handful of hit singles. But the group got mired in a number of legal battles in the wake of their success – the idea of sampling was relatively new and lawyers were crawling out of the woodwork demanding royalties for their clients.
A thoroughly disillusioned De La Soul changed direction for their second album in 1991 – De La Soul Is Dead – with less reliance on samples and lyrics that were socially aware of circumstances without ever advocating the use of violence. It was critically acclaimed, but radio stations didn’t play the singles, and the album didn’t sell anything like as well.
And that was indeed the story of the 90s for the group – constant critical acclaim but ever-decreasing sales. But against all odds, De La Soul kept on recording throughout that decade and into the 21st Century, and were often quoted by many new rap acts as having been a huge influence on their development.
In 2005 they made another appearance in the UK charts thanks to their fantastic vocal contribution to Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz.
Someone who has reviewed the release of a Greatest Hits package back in 2003 has said De La Soul are hip-hop’s Prince, widely praised for things they did years ago, with their new work subjected to unfairly slanted comparisons with their debut. I think that’s pretty accurate.
And here in all its 12″ glory, is one of the fantastic singles from the debut album
mp3 : De La Soul – Eye Know
The full title of the a-side is Eye Know (The Know It All Mix). And here’s the other two tracks on the b-side not originally featured on the original posting:-
mp3 : De La Soul – Eye Know (The Kiss Mix)
mp3 : De La Soul – The Mack Daddy On The Left