Our 7 Favourite Tracks on Salsoul Records

Few labels have equalled the contribution to disco’s heritage of Salsoul Records. Founded in New York City in 1974, Salsoul released about 300 singles and left a significant mark on disco music’s heritage.

The sibling founders of Salsoul previously ran a ladies’ lingerie factory in Florida. However, here are seven amazing tracks on Salsoul Records which have had more longevity than a pair of knickers.

The tracks

First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder

I did overdubs on it, and the drums and the bass were really in your face Shep Pettibone

This track, released in 1977, debuted on First Choice’s album Delusions. The most famous version is Shep Pettibone’s 8-minute mix. Some even say this track may have given birth to house music itself. And with a breakdown in the middle that was sampled everywhere, it’s easy to see why!

It’s not over, between you and me…

View release on Discogs →

Double Exposure - Ten Per Cent

Ten percent of something….can be 100 percent of nothing at all

Released in 1976, this was the first ever commercially-available 12-inch single in the United States, effectively kickstarting the 12-inch vinyl revolution. Those infectious vocal harmonies! This is just fine, feel-good disco.

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Salsoul Orchestra - Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)

The Salsoul Orchestra was Salsoul’s in-house orchestra; the equivalent of Philadelphia International’s MFSB. In fact, the orchestra consisted of many members from MFSB itself, who moved to Salsoul. They played on recordings for the label’s artists, but they also released works of their own, including this 1982 track, which was actually a rework of a previous song.

As detailed in the book Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, Shep Pettibone took some elements from Salsoul Orchestra’s 1975 track Chicago Bus Stop, and reworked them into this track. It’s clear that rap was also emerging at the time, given the appearance of the spoken vocals on this track too.

The song made an unexpected appearance in the courts in 2013 when VMG, the rights owners of Love Break, sued Madonna unsuccessfully for unauthorised sampling of the track in Vogue.

Plaintiff’s expert opines that the Horn Hit in Vogue could only have been sampled from Love Break. Proceedings from VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Madonna Louise Ciccone, 2013

But Madonna won:

we agree with the district court that, as a matter of law, a general audience would not recognize the brief snippet in Vogue as originating from Love Break

Go Madonna.

According to the book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, the song was also sampled by Danny Krivit for his bootleg mix of Love Is The Message by MFSB in 1987.

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Bataan - The Bottle (La Botella)

This was Salsoul Records’s very first release, back in 1974. It’s a Latin-tinged cover of Gil Scott-Heron’s song of the same name.

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Inner Life - Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

This 1981 post-disco record needs very little introduction! But I’m going to write one anyway.

Featuring the unmistakeable vocals of Jocelyn Brown, this is a heavily reworked version of Martin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s 1967 song, but with sweeping strings and a much faster tempo. The classic remix you want to look out for is this 10 minute version, by Larry Levan.

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Loleatta Holloway - Hit And Run

You can’t hit and run, gotta be number one

This was released in 1977, right in disco’s prime era. Mixed by Walter Gibbons, the ‘Special DJ version’ goes for 11 minutes.

Holloway’s screams of pleasure are the infamous part of this track. It was later sampled by Milk & Sugar (M&S) for their track Salsoul Nugget, and then again more recently by Cratebug & Jamie 3:26 on Hit It N Quit It (2011) – a stripped-back house version which puts the screams centre stage over a hypnotic groove.

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Love Committee - Just As Long As I Got You

This Philly soul group was originally formed in the sixties.

The deep breakdown from 4:44 takes you to a different place, with building strings and brass providing tension that edges nearer and nearer. Mixed by Walter Gibbons.

View release on Discogs →

Salsoul lives on, forever

I hope you enjoyed this rundown of some of our favourite tracks on Salsoul Records. This legendary record label was responsible for so much good music!

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