Over 15 years ago, after a stint producing successful pop hits, childhood friends Ricky Morrison and Fran Sidoli, colloquially know as legendary UK team M&S productions decided it was time take Odyssey’s advice and go right ‘back to their roots’. They wanted to produce a record that showcased some of the classic grooves that they and so many of their peers loved – they were looking for that elusive golden sample, a nugget you might say.
The initial spark of inspiration came from NYC stalwart Victor Simonelli’s 1993 production ‘The Sound of One’. Featuring a loop from the instrumental part of Double Exposure’s ‘Everyman’. After a four hour session in the studio listening to the loop over and over again on their Akai MPC3000 the pair decided to leave the project to rest while they both took their respective vacations. Too late though, the bug had bitten and over the next two weeks the duo spoke four or five times daily on the phone, planning where they could take the track to get the finished sound they wanted.
Once back in Blighty and the studio they hit upon and decided to use the late Jimmy Williams’ vocal hook, also from ‘Everyman’. The sample that has rocked a thousand dance floors had been born; ‘if u wanna that the road would be paved all smooth and nice’. The creative floodgates were now open. Loleatta Holloway’s eight octave voice was added with a sample from another Salsoul Philly classic ‘Hit and Run’ and the finished track was ready in just one day.
Much to their surprise and disappointment the first record company who listened to the record had very little interest. Undeterred and with such strong belief in the track, it was decided that they themselves would take the risk and press an initial batch of white label copies that would be sent to 50 of their DJ friends. Not a bad idea when your friends include artists such as Frankie Knuckles, David Morales and Little Louis Vega, but to mention a few.
This proved to be exactly the springboard needed to launch the track, Salsoul Nugget got an incredible reception from some of the most influential names in dance music. Ricky recalls that the late great Knuckles played the track three times during his set at Mass in Brixton, the last time being the final record of the night.
And the rest? Well that as they say is history, the track was signed to FFRR in the UK, Atlantic Records in the US and Sony across the channel in France and sold over 90,000 copies in the first day alone, proving that sometimes, just sometimes all that glistens is indeed gold.
You can Catch a Salsoul groove with Ricky Morrison of M&S productions at A Night in Paradise on Sunday 27th of November 2016 at Ministry of Sound. A non-profit event celebrating all things Paradise Garage and the clubs, DJs and sounds it and it’s helmsman Larry Levan have since, and continue to inspire.
More tickets and info on this here: http://bit.ly/2e3LAv8