Baby Wants To Ride / Your Love (7")

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By the time the Jungle Brothers rapped about it in 1988, House Music had been bumping in NYC Clubs for years. Even though the genre would go on to become a global phenomenon, House music had humble beginnings in predominantly gay and black clubs in Chicago. Musically, House Music was inspired by the eclectic dance records played by DJs Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy at Clubs like “The Warehouse” and “Muzik Box”. With a growing club scene, labels like Trax Records and DJ International played a major role in the development of the genre. Founded in 1984, Trax was an important outlet for house music in its early days, releasing many classics including "No Way Back" by Adonis, Larry Heard's "Can You Feel It," and the first so-called house anthem in 1986, "Move Your Body" by Marshall Jefferson. This latter tune gave a massive boost to house music, extending recognition of the genre outside of Chicago.

The Story behind the making of these recordings, is quite peculiar. “Your Love” was written Jamie Principle, young Chicago Native with a strict religious family who grew up listening to the likes of pop, gospel, classic and RnB. A talented musician, Principle could play the clarinet and keyboards as well as drums for his local church. His first major relationship with a lady named Lisa Harris inspired him to write ‘Your Love’ and experiment with home recordings. Although his Demo tape was turned down by every New York label that received it, his tape somehow spread like wildfire throughout the clubs of Chicago. Jamie himself never became aware of its popularity due to his strict upbringing and parental ban from nightclubs. Because of its local popularity, the first commercial release of “Your Love” was produced by Mark "Hot Rod" Trollan and pressed as a 12" single on Persona Records in 1986. The final - and ultimately definitive - version was released the next year on Trax Records produced by Frankie Knuckles.

The pair recorded a number of hits together —including "Waiting on My Angel," "Baby Wants to Ride," and "Bad Boy". The songs recorded by Principle and Knuckles summed up the lifestyle and feelings found inside the clubs at the time: “romantic possibility, escape, a little bit of danger, a lot of abandon, racial and sexual diversity, and even political liberation. Principle was particularly interested in
the latter, with lyrics about the Reagan agenda and queer rights. Ronnie wants to ride me, because he thinks he's king/ But its hard to ride baby when you living in a fascist dream, he sings in "Baby Wants to Ride, referring to the 40th American president's hyper-conservative administration." These songs are—in the ways in which they hypnotically summon you away from the straight world and into the free and naughty space of the nightclub—rallying cries, and have been the  soundtracks to countless young people's first experiences of self-actualization on the dance floor. They confirm, in sound and spirit, all that is essential about nightlife, and make dancing a downright political action. Though a misunderstanding in the latter part of the 1980s over how the songs were listed commercially—some of the vinyl releases, including "Your Love," were credited only to Knuckles and not to Principle—led to a dissolution of their collaboration.”

- Alex Frank (Thump)


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