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Ghost Canyon

Title - Private Waters In The Great ... / You Shoulda ...
Artist - Kid Creole and the Coconuts

For those not in the know, Kid Creole and the Coconuts is an American musical group created and led by August Darnell.

Its music incorporates a variety of styles and influences, in particular a mix of disco and Latin American, South American, Caribbean, Trinidadian, and Calloway styles and conceptually inspired by the big band era.

The Coconuts are a trio of female backing vocalists/dancers whose line-up has changed throughout the years, but one thing's for sure: August Darnell still knows how to sing all these songs pitch perfectly even today, at 67 years-old.

Kid Creole And The Coconuts enjoyed huge single and album success with their third album Tropical Gangsters in 1982 with three Top 10 singles, "Im A Wonderful Thing, Baby" (#4), "Stool Pigeon" (#7), and "Annie, Im Not Your Daddy" peaking at #2. Out now via Cherry Red Records (UK), we get a wonderful 2CD package of his 1990 and 1991 albums, Private Waters In The Great Divide / You Shoulda Told Me You Were ....

Indeed, this new double pack collection (taken from their Columbia Records days) has been re-mastered using the original master tapes and sounds even better today than it did back then, trust me.

The first CD is Private Waters in the Great Divide and was the seventh studio album released by Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Released in 1990, it includes the singles "The Sex of It" and "I Love Girls".

1. "I Love Girls"
2. "(No More) Casual Sex"
3. "The Sex of It"
4. "Cory's Song"
5. "Dr. Paradise"
6. "Takin' a Holiday"
7. "Lambada"
8. "Funky Audrey and the Coconut Rag"
9. "When Lucy Does the Boomerang"
10. "He's Takin' the Rap"
11. "Pardon My Appearance"
12. "Laughing with Our Backs Against the Wall"
13. "My Love"

Bonus Tracks:
14. "I Love Girls" (Single Edit)
15. "Ode to a Coloured Man"
16. "I Love Girls" (12" Mix)
17. "I Love Girls" (Femme Fatale Mix)
18. "The Sex of It" (Extended Remix Version)
19. "The Sex of It" (House Version)

This album has more bang for its buck here, as the CD features the 13 original album tracks of plus now adds an incredible six related bonus tracks. All sourced from 7 and 12 singles derived from the 1990 release, this is quite easily one of the best, and most expansive Kid Creole remasters that I've come across thus far.

Stand out tracks here for me are, obviously, the lead single from it, 'The Sex of It'. Written by Prince, and actually co-produced by August Darnell and David Z (from Paisley Park), the single has Prince's stamp all over it (even the way the vocals are sung).

In fact, it was a Top 30 hit in April 1990 and to this day I can still feel the pulsating synth beat and clicking fingers that made up its back beat.

Which can only mean that, for me, if nobody else, the two stand out bonus tracks are both "The Sex Of It" (House Version) remixed by Justin Strauss and "The Sex Of It" (Extended Remix Version). Oh, ok, go on then, and I'll add in the sensuous beauty "I Love Girls" (Femme Fatale Mix), remixed by Richie Jones.

It's back up partner here is You Shoulda Told Me You Were ... and was, of course, their eighth studio album. Released in 1991, it houses the only single released from it at that time, "(She's A) Party Girl".

1. "It's Automatic"
2. "Baby Doc"
3. "My Soul Intention"
4. "Oh Marie"
5. "Consequently"
6. "Your Move!"
7. "(She's a) Party Girl"
8. "Something Incomplete"
9. "Madison Avenue"
10. "How Can I Forget You? (The Benedektion)"

Sadly, this second CD only features the original ten tracks from the 1991 album, all remastered, but no previously-hidden gems. Oh well, you can't have everything, given that we were spoiled by what we discovered on the other disc in the set, I guess.

A great album, nonetheless, my personal stand outs are the upbeat and fun "My Soul Intention" and the tropical sway of "Consequently." In what was obviously a bad deal for Kid Creole over at Columbia Records for these two years/albums, he at least tried to bring some of his Tropical Gangsters '80s vibe to these songs.

Sure it didn't work out quite the way he had wanted it to (no chart success for the single and such), but he plugged on regardless, never one to let his fans down, always believing he was creating the best of himself at any given musical time.

The 20 page full color booklet features a split image of the two front covers and an expanded design of the original artwork for each album.

There are also some rather fascinating extensive personal sleeve notes written by August Darnell AKA Kid Creole and a UK discography featuring some of the Coconuts unique front cover images.

2CD Purchase Link