Frankie Knuckles 1955-2014 | Frankie Knuckles Productions
April 2, 2014

To complement the previous post, here is the second playlist from those guys over at the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA). This time however its a collection of some of Frankies fantastic original productions and remixes. Its a fantastic collection of some of the best known productions including collaborations with Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Chaka Khan and much much more. Enjoy!

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Frankie Knuckles 1955-2014 | Warehouse Top 50
April 2, 2014

As you might imagine, the tributes have been comming in hard and fast since the news was formally announced.  The following playlist was put together by the geniuses over at Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) and its a stellar snapshot into those old Philly and gospel sounds that shaped what the Warehouse and in turn Frankie’s reputation. Taken directly from the tracklist Frankie listed in the seminal book “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” , its an awesome collection of tracks. So give the history a listen and have some fun fun. Learn the words, sing along. This is music for dancing!

Frankie Knuckles 1955 – 2014
April 1, 2014

I found out last night that Frankie Knuckles had died aged 59 and I cannot overstate how gutted I was. Frankie Knuckles wasnt just a DJ or Producer, he was one of a very small cadre of people responsible for creating the sound that has played in my head and heart for as long as I can remember. Sounds a bit spiritual I know but its hard to explain that music to me has always been about the kickdrum, the high hat and piano or soulful vocal hook. Sure my tastes have mellowed over the years but at the very beginning of my own personal musical journey, it was House music and specifically the Soulful House sound synonymous with ChiTown/NYC that I loved. Imagine me. locked onto as a young 8 year old lad, the John Peel radio show on a Sunday night, taping the imports that he played during the show. House music is probably the first thing I would say that defined me as my own person with my own taste. The first thing I found on my own.

Frankie Knuckles was responsible for the music at the Warehouse in Chicago, often credited with the origin of the name “House”, a shortened version of “The Warehouse” music that was in such demand in early 80’s Chicago record stores. The history of House Music is littered with DJ’s and producers held in high almost godlike reverence but almost all agree that Frankie was deserving of his title as the “Godfather of house”. A guy who took the records available to him after the death of commercial disco, rolled in a drum machine in the booth thanks to Derrick May and helped pioneer a sound that has dominated global music for over thirty years. Sure it was going to happen sooner or later but this soon, man I wanted to see Frankie just one more time…

So today the web has been rammed full of tributes to Knuckles, Twitter exploded last night with tributes, Facebook has been busting at the seams with friends all posting their favourite Frankie Knuckles cuts. He has a legacy that transcends his death for as long as there is a Kick Drum, a snare, a highhat played over a soulful vocal and an uplifting piano riff, therein lies some of Frankies DNA, a fingerprint that will outlive all of us left here reflecting upon his body of work.

Thank you for the music Frankie.

Michael Jackson – Rock With You (Frankie Knuckles Favourite Club Mix) [1995]
November 29, 2012

For the record, I pretty much adore Michael Jackon’s first 3 Albums, Off The Wall being my favourite by a long way with Bad and then Thriller. Dont care about the eccentricities, accusations or any of that shit, the music stands bigger than the man.

Now, I have no idea what Frankie Knuckles was smoking when he wrote the intro to this remix since it deviates so far from the original disco/funk classic it hard to believe its even related to the original. But this is the intro I think every artist wishes his tracks remix would have. Its a full force emotional buildup of biblical proportions with a piano riff so inspired it just steamrolls the listener into submission. Soon as the drop comes, your back in Frankie Knuckles familiar housey territory and its a pretty happy bouncer for the remaining 5 mins but you’ll find yourself constantly yearning for that intro.

On a side note, after MJ passed away, a guy with the online handle of Technics2000 did a kind of tribute mix featuring tracks from his entire back catalogue in their best remix format. Its an amazing mix that I strongly recommend you go grab and give the guy some love. Its been on constant repeat this week on my 14 hr days and im yet to get bored! There’s lots of links online, just run a search for “Technics2000 Michael Jackson”

First Choice – Let No Man Put Asunder (Full Mix) [1983]
May 2, 2010

Time to pay our respects to one of the most sampled accapella’s of all time. First Choices Salsoul helmed late Disco classic has appeared in countless tracks ranging from classic acid themes, through early house, hardcore, rave, happy hardcore, vocal trance, techno trance, psytrance, drum n bass, jungle, you name it, its used a part of this vocal. Not all that surprising though, the harmony is a classic, the vocals are powerful enough without going overboard and dominating the track – likely why its been used so often!

From Discogs
A ‘must-have’ in any DJ case and a ‘must-be’ on every ‘all time Disco list’, “Let No Man Put Asunder” was much more than a feminist anthem or underground Disco hit, as it represented a standard for a whole generation.

The acappella of this timeless Disco classic is arguably among the most sampled ever in the history of the Dance Music, just like was the music from Kraftwerk or The J.B.’s.

Shep Pettibone’s version for “Let No Man Put Asunder” on A side became an instant classic; the single also had a version by the Warehouse resident DJ Frankie Knuckles on the opposite side. The acappella and the fact that both versions were made by heros of the quality music scene from that time made this the most special release of this classic.

Strange as it may seem, the credits for this tune point the production date on 1977, but this single in particular with its versions and acappella was only released years later, in 1983. This was therefore the first pressing with the quintessential acappella by the diva Rochelle Fleming, a true relic.