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DJ Supply

Title - 35th Anniversary Collection [4CD]
Artist - Jaki Graham

For those unaware, after making her singing debut and winning with a clear victory at the schoolís Christmas talent contest with Michael Jacksonís Ben, it was only a matter of time before Jaki would sign her first record deal.

Following stints with One Night Affair at the age of 17, the SRO Band and then Ferrari, it was when Jaki recorded a session for the jazz funk group, Medium Wave, that she was spotted by a talent scout and signed with EMI in 1983.

It took EMI to channel her image and style into the correct direction, to form the soul seductress she is today. Her single entitled Whatís the Name of Your Game? gave Jaki her first TV appearance on the childrenís TV program Crackerjack. Heaven Knows became the title track of her debut album.

Could it Be Iím Falling In Love? marked a significant collaboration in Jakiís career, and is a song that remains a timeless 80ís classic. Reaching No.5 in the British charts in March í85, her second and last hit duet entitled Mated again received wide critical acclaim.

When Jaki had the opportunity to take center stage, there were no holds barred. Her powerful voice, positive energy and radiance were injected in every one of her performances and Round and Around became Jakiís first successful solo hit reaching No.9 in June í85.

Jakiís hits have remained fresh, uncomplicated and modern. Set Me Free remains an ageless pop classic after rocketing to No.7 in the British charts in May í86, an anthem of that era.

Breaking Away followed and offered her first location shoot abroad, charting at a respectable No.14 in August Ď86. Step Right Up brought Jaki back to her trademark high energy, up tempo pop hits and gave her yet another Top 20 hit in November Ď86.

In the same year, Michael McDonald came into Jakiís life looking for a female singer to accompany him on the track On My Own for his UK Tour. Michael, who has worked with some of the most influential names in showbiz, personally chose Jaki over a stream of UK female vocalists.

After hearing her voice, he was quoted as saying that Jaki was Ďone of the best singers Britain has ever producedí. A deep friendship and mutual respect grew between the two artists and to this day, Jaki continues to be a special guest on the UK legs of Michaelís tours.

Towards the end of the 80ís, sales and figures provided by Billboard magazine had established Jaki as Britainís most successful black female artist ever. Not surprisingly, Jakiís success was not limited to the shores of the United Kingdom.

People of every culture and language from every corner of the globe loved her natural vocal perfection. The distinct, powerful delivery, coupled with her warm and compassionate ease seemed to melt the barriers of language, color and creed.

Denmark, Germany, Japan, Australia, South Africa Ė places she had only ever dreamed of visiting Ė loved her and her fan base grew worldwide.

Her third album with EMI, From Now On was produced in 1987, coinciding with Jaki achieving a Guinness World Record for being the first black British female solo artist to have 6 consecutive Top 10 / 20 hits, unheard of by a black British female at that time.

The just-released Jaki Graham: 35th Anniversary Collection is a wondrous 4CD Box-Set (via Cherry Red Records, UK) celebrating the 35th anniversary of Jaki Grahamís aforementioned albums Heaven Knows and Breaking Away (released in 1985/86).

Furthermore, this is the first widely available reissue of the Heaven Knows album since 1986. Featuring the most comprehensive collection of Jakiís EMI albums plus loads of related bonus tracks including 12Ē mixes, remixes of the singles and B-sides from the period, this is truly the ultimate collection for all Jakiís fans around the world.

Heaven Knows contains two UK Top 20 singles - Could It Be Iím Falling In Love, a duet with David Grant that peaked at #5 and Round And Around that reached #9.

Breaking Away enjoyed extensive chart success across Europe and produced four UK Top 20 singles, Mated, again duetting with David Grant and peaking at #20, Set Me Free #7, Breaking Away #16 and Step Right Up #15.

CD 1: Heaven Knows (1985)
1. ROUND AND AROUND
2. HEAVEN KNOWS (FEELS SO GOOD)
3. COULD IT BE IíM FALLING IN LOVE (Duet with David Grant)
4. I FELL FOR YOU
5. HOLD ON
6. THE FACTS OF LOVE
7. YOUíRE MINE
8. LOVING YOU (Duet with Derek Bramble)
9. WHATíS THE NAME OF YOUR GAME
10. STAY THE WAY YOU ARE
11. ONCE MORE WITH FEELING (7Ē VERSION) [Bonus Track]*
12. COULD IT BE IíM FALLING IN LOVE (7Ē VERSION) (Duet with David Grant) [Bonus Track]*
13. HEAVEN KNOWS (FEELS SO GOOD) (7Ē VERSION) [Bonus Track]*
14. VICTIM OF EMOTION [Bonus Track]*
15. WHOíS MAKING UP YOUR MIND [Bonus Track]*
16. ONCE MORE WITH FEELING (US REMIX 7Ē) [Bonus Track]*
17. WHATíS THE NAME OF YOUR GAME (US REMIX 7Ē) [Bonus Track]*

CD 1 features the Heaven Knows album plus bonus tracks including UK single versions of Heaven Knows (Feels So Good), Once More With Feeling and her duet, Could It Be Iím Falling In Love with Linx frontman David Grant, plus the US remixes of Once More With Feeling and Whatís The Name Of Your Game.

For my money, this album somehow hits the mark where others do not of the era. The synths are effervescent, the hooks are great, there is a lot of cool jazziness and the overall energy is palpable throughout.

Opening on the gently rambunctious synth-pop Round and Around and then the lushness of the title track, next up is the smooth R&B groove of the lovely duet with David Grant Could It Be Iím Falling In Love, the ballad I Fell For You, the mid-tempo Hold On and then we get more synth-pop in the shape of The Facts of Life.

Next up is the fast paced rhythms of Youíre Mine and the beautiful ballad with Derek Bramble, Loving You, and they are backed by the poppy Whatís the Name of Your Game, the finger-snapping Stay the Way You Are, with the bonus tracks amounting to a fair few 7Ē mixes, with the fast-pacing of Once More With The Feeling and the punchy Victim of Emotion thrown in for good measure.

At the very least, it has aged way better than Janet Jackson and her massive Control album or, in truth, whatever Whitney Houston was putting out at the time.

CD 2: Bonus Tracks + Extended Versions
1. WHATíS THE NAME OF YOUR GAME (EXTENDED VERSION)*
2. HEAVEN KNOWS (FEELS SO GOOD) (12Ē VERSION)
3. ONCE MORE WITH FEELING (EXTENDED VERSION)*
4. COULD IT BE IíM FALLING IN LOVE (EXTENDED VERSION) (Duet with David Grant)
5. ROUND AND AROUND (EXTENDED VERSION)*
6. ROUND AND AROUND (REVOLUTIONARY REMIX)*
7. HEAVEN KNOWS (FEELS SO GOOD) (AFTER HOURS MIX)*
8. ONCE MORE WITH FEELING (US REMIX 12Ē)*
9. THE FACTS OF LOVE (INSTRUMENTAL)*
10. FREEZE YOU OUT (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)*
11. GREATEST SMILE (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)*

CD 2 features 12 tracks of extended versions plus remixes including the hard to find Revolutionary Mix of Round And Around and US remixes of Once More With Feeling and Whatís The Name Of Your Game.

Also included are Freeze You Out and Greatest Smile, both previously unreleased tracks sourced from the tape archives.

CD 3: Breaking Away (1986)
1. SET ME FREE
2. BREAKING AWAY
3. STILL IN LOVE
4. LOVE UNDER MOONLIGHT
5. LETíS GET BLUE (Duet with Derek Bramble)
6. STOP THE WORLD
7. LUV 2 MUCH
8. THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE
9. THE CLOSEST ONE (Duet with Derek Bramble)
10. STEP RIGHT UP
11. MATED (Duet with David Grant)
12. LOVE ME TONIGHT
13. BREAKING AWAY (SINGLE VERSION) [Bonus Track]
14. STEP RIGHT UP (SINGLE VERSION) [Bonus Track]
15. MATED (EXTENDED VERSION) (Duet with David Grant) [Bonus Track]
16. SET ME FREE (EXTENDED VERSION) [Bonus Track]

CD 3 features Jakiís 1986 album Breaking Away plus 4 bonus tracks including single versions of Breaking Away and Step Right Up and extended versions of Set Me Free and Mated.

This is a great sophomore album by Jaki, one that features production by Derek Bramble which sounds similar to Stock Aitken Watermanís more soulful style of the time (the style they gave to Princess, Mel & Kim, Haywoode and Oíchi Brown, amongst others).

For me the best two songs are the singles that open the album, the fast-synth-pop of Set Me Free and the, at first, aching balladry then swift pop sense of Breaking Away, but subsequent tracks such as the lushly orchestrated Still In Love, the gentle Caribbean sway of Love Under Moonlight, the duet pairing with Derek Bramble of both Letís Get Blue and the upbeat funk of The Closest One (let alone her brilliant duet with David Grant on Mated) being stand outs too.

In truth, it is an excellent album to listen to, even now, but it is just oh-so great to see the en masse of bonus mixes and extras now collected here on the fourth disc too (some appearing for the very first time).

CD 4: Bonus Tracks
1 SET ME FREE (DANCE TILL YA DROP MIX)*
2 SET ME FREE (SPECIAL EXTENDED MARK BERRY MIX)*
3 BREAKING AWAY (EXTENDED VERSION)*
4 BREAKING AWAY (SAX VERSION)*
5 BREAKING AWAY (SPECIAL DUB ďMULTI BAND DELAYEDĒ RE-MIX)*
6 LOVE ME TONIGHT (EXTENDED VERSION)*
7 STEP RIGHT UP (PURE DANCE MIX)*
8 STEP RIGHT UP (DUB MIX)*
9 THE MEGA MIX (SET ME FREE, THE CLOSEST ONE, STEP RIGHT UP)*
10 STILL IN LOVE (LIGHTS DOWN (LOWER MIX)
11 LUV 2 MUCH (TOO MUCH 12Ē)
12 STILL IN DUB*

* denotes appearing on CD for the first time

CD 4 includes various mixes and remixes from the Breaking Away period including two mixes of Set Me Free, three of Breaking Away, two of Step Right Up and Still In Love along with a three track Mega Mix featuring Set Me Free, The Closest One and Step Right Up.

The collection comes in a box with each CD in individual wallets featuring related Jaki Graham sleeve images from the period, with a 20 page booklet including sleeve notes and a UK Discography.

Official 4CD Purchase Link

www.jakigraham.com

www.cherryred.co.uk





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