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Journey into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story
     

Journey into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story

by Larry Levan
 
One look at Journey into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story will incite skepticism from many longtime disco collectors. How can the Warner-distributed Rhino justify a title so definitive when the compilation is so heavily weighted toward Warner-distributed material? (Levan did happen to remix and play a lot of Warner-distributed singles.) Why are

Overview

One look at Journey into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story will incite skepticism from many longtime disco collectors. How can the Warner-distributed Rhino justify a title so definitive when the compilation is so heavily weighted toward Warner-distributed material? (Levan did happen to remix and play a lot of Warner-distributed singles.) Why are Patrice Rushen's "Haven't You Heard," Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime," and Phreek's "Weekend" -- three Warner-distributed tracks played by Levan -- included instead of non-Warner tracks that were both remixed and played by Levan, such as Central Line's "Walking into Sunshine," Padlock's "Seventh Heaven," and Class Action's "Weekend"? (Rhino probably opted to save some money on licensing.) Why are so many of these songs appearing on CD for the umpteenth time? (Because they've never been concentrated quite like this, and some of the preceding compilations take some effort to track down.) Potential bellyaching aside, Journey into Paradise is another excellent way of commemorating the late Larry Levan, the Paradise Garage DJ, remixer, and occasional producer who exacted an immeasurable impact upon disco's underground culture and many of the singles that would eventually bubble up to the top of the disco and club charts. The project was handled with great care, from the colorful packaging to the extensive and insightful liner notes penned by the very plugged-in Adam Goldstone. These two discs complement the anthologies that focus on Levan's remix work for Salsoul and West End, though there is some overlap: Taana Gardner's "Heartbeat" (one of the sexiest, sweetest, slowest post-disco singles) and Inner Life's version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (a towering, sprawling, life-affirming anthem) are too crucial to be left off, as they also exemplify Levan's creativity as a remixer. If you were to compare Levan's work to the original mixes of these tracks, you'd really get the full effect of his instincts and mastery. His mixes of Janice McClain's "Smack Dab in the Middle," Dee Dee Bridgewater's "Bad for Me," and David Joseph's especially radical "You Can't Hide (Your Love from Me)" have also appeared on CD before, but they have a very long way to go to threaten "I Will Survive" as the most-compiled disco single. Not nearly enough people have heard them, and odds are good that some clubbing vets haven't reconnected with them in years. The addition of tracks that Levan merely spun only enhance the set, because they're all dynamite -- they include Chaka Khan's "Clouds," Sister Sledge's "Lost in Music," Trussel's "Love Injection," and Change's "Paradise" (which could also be titled "The Glare of Love"). Issues or no issues, this is one of the finest compilations of late-'70s and early-'80s dance music, and it is no mere coincidence that Levan is inextricably linked to everything on it.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/11/2006
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227334123
catalogNumber:
73341
Rank:
41203

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Larry Levan   Primary Artist,DJ
Paolo Gianolio   Conductor
Malavasi   Conductor
David Romani   Conductor
Janice McClain   Track Performer

Technical Credits

David Byrne   Composer
Jerry Harrison   Composer
Patrice Rushen   Arranger,Composer,Producer
George Duke   Producer
Sheree Brown   Composer
Bernard Edwards   Composer,Producer
Nile Rodgers   Producer,Remixing
Patrick Adams   Arranger,Producer
Reggie Andrews   Producer
Nick Ashford   Composer
Ron Banks   Composer,Producer
Leroy Burgess   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Greg Carmichael   Producer
Charles Veal   Composer
Vince Clarke   Composer,Producer
Michael DeBenedictus   Composer,Producer
Sly Dunbar   Producer
Brian Eno   Composer,Producer
R. Bernard Fowler   Composer
Chris Frantz   Composer
Paolo Gianolio   Arranger,Producer
Tony Green   Composer
Isaac Hayes   Producer
Raymond Johnson   Composer
François Kevorkian   Remixing
Stewart Levine   Producer
Godwin Logie   Producer
Malavasi   Producer
Arif Mardin   Arranger,Producer
Daniel Miller   Producer
Alison Moyet   Composer
Jacques Fred Petrus   Producer
Eric Radcliffe   Producer
Sylvia Robinson   Producer
David Romani   Arranger,Composer
Robbie Shakespeare   Producer
Jocelyn Shaw   Vocal Conductor
Valerie Simpson   Composer
Steven Stanley   Producer
Deborah Thomas   Composer
Darryl Thompson   Composer
Ron Tyson   Composer
Fred Wesley   Producer
Tina Weymouth   Composer
Albert Williams   Composer
Cecil Womack   Composer
Linda Womack   Composer
Larry Levan   Composer,Producer
Charles Mims   Composer,Producer
Hannon B. Lane   Composer
Reggie Collins   Discographical Annotation
Johnny de Mairo   Executive Producer
Tanya Willoughby   Vocal Conductor
James Calloway   Composer
Adam Goldstone   Song Notes
Nate Edmonds   Composer,Producer
R. Tyson   Producer
Dennis Menace Weeden   Arranger
Brodie Williams   Composer,Producer
Kenton Nix   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Thom Page   Composer,Producer
Milt Tennant   Composer,Producer
Allen Richardson   Producer
Brenda Reynolds   Composer
Robin Hurley   Executive Producer
Masaki Koike   Art Direction
Mel Marcelo   Art Direction,Illustrations
Billy Jones   Producer
William Duckett   Composer
Ronald Smith   Composer

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