Sunday, August 24, 2014
Beat Street (soundtrack) volume 2
A few months back I gave a review of the first volume of music from the movie Beat Street (click here for that review). Today, we are back with volume two of music from the motion picture that hit record stores in September of 1984. This one spent nine weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 137. It also climbed to number 47 on the US Billboard R&B chart.
Side one starts with “Son of Beat Street” by Jazzy Jay, the South Carolina DJ who went on to become co-founder of Def Jam Recordings with Rick Rubin. The track is backed by a solid beat with plenty of scratches and samples.
Next is “Give Me All” by Juicy, the brother-sister stage act for Jerry and Katreese Barnes. This mid-tempo tune is a smooth R&B dance groove.
“Nothin’s Gonna Come Easy” by Tina B, a street-kid turned singer/songwriter who first worked with Afrika Bambaataa, follows. This song is an evolution on the disco sound of the late 70’s, keeping the backing string arrangements but toning them down a bit.
The Treacherous Three (Kool Moe Dee, L.A. Sunshine and DJ Easy Lee) closes out the first half with “Santa’s Rap”, one of the early hip-hop holiday tracks.
Side two opens with “It’s Alright By Me”, a beautiful and bold ballad by Jenny Burton.
Rockers Revenge (a studio group consisting of Frank Zarr, Bashiri Johnson and John “Jellybean” Benitez) is up next with “Battle Cry”. The drum track on this track is booming; it really gets the blood pumping.
Ralph Rolle rolls up next, under the name of Phony Four MC’s, with “Wappin’ (Bubblehead)”. This lightweight rap has an ethnic influence to it with both reggae and Hispanic elements.
Things close out with La La and “Into the Night”. This dance track sounds very familiar to me; I suspect I may have heard this one playing out at the dance clubs I frequented during my college days.
It turns out that the re-mastered CD featuring both albums is out of print. As with volume one of Beat Street, I had to again search each of these tracks out on YouTube in order to do this review.