Few other labels have contributed so much to disco’s heritage than Salsoul Records. Founded in New York City in 1974, Salsoul released about 300 singles and left a significant mark on our disco heritage!

The sibling founders of Salsoul previously ran a ladies’ lingerie factory in Florida. However here are seven amazing tracks on Salsoul Records which are far more interesting than lingerie.

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…

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

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

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.

According to 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 anyway. Featuring the unmistakeable vocals of Jocelyn Brown, this is a heavily reworked version of Martin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s 1967 song of the same name, with sweeping strings and a fast beat. The classic remix 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

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

Holloway’s screams of pleasure are the infamous part in this track. It was later sampled by Milk & Sugar for their track Salsoul Nugget, and more recently by Cratebug & Jamie 3:26 on Hit It N Quit It in 2011, in a stripped-back house version that 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 me to a different place, with edgy strings and brass providing tension that edges nearer and nearer. Mixed by Walter Gibbons.

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