Is It All Over My Face (7")Loose Joints
ARTHUR RUSSELL’S SEMINAL DISCO CUT "IS IT ALL OVER MY FACE" AVAILABLE COMMERCIALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME ON 45.
When the mainstream turned its back on disco in the early '80s, it allowed dance music to once again choose its own path. As an artist, Arthur Russell routinely chose the paths less travelled. The original male vocal mix, true to Russell's vision, is an organic piece that recreated the atmosphere of David Mancuso's Loft.
The story goes that the recording sessions occurred during a full moon, and included individuals that would often party at the Loft. An exercise in creating a vibe, the male version of the song reflect the complexity of Russell's arrangements, and a maximalist wall of sound that would become a signature component in his dance productions.
Although the record received some critical acclaim, it wasn't initially a commercial success. That came a little later when a famed DJ remixed the song without permission. According to some, Larry Levan snuck into the West End offices to "borrow" the multi-tracks to make an edit for himself to play at the Paradise Garage. (Also owned by West End's Mel Cheren.) After getting positive feedback at the club, Larry decided to properly remix it with the aid of Francois K, who opted not to be credited because of his contract with Prelude.
Larry Levan's remix, now known as the "female vocal mix", although more structured, is pretty out there. Melvina Woods, a dancer from the Loft, slurs and misses notes as if here own loose joints were dusted, but the animalistic groove is so undeniable in-the-pocket that the track got local radio play, and remains a cult classic in constant club rotation to this day. Of the two versions, Levan's mix is the one that went on to influence early Chicago house DJs, who over the years have sampled the track's distinct drumbeat countless times.