Title - Remixes & Rarities [2CD]
Artist - Matt Bianco
For those unaware, Remixes & Rarities celebrates the expansive sound of Matt Bianco, featuring a selection of recordings from across their first four studio albums: ‘Who’s Side Are You On?’ (1984), ‘Matt Bianco’ (1986), ‘Indigo’ (1988), and ‘Samba In Your Casa’ (1990).
Containing remixes of the band’s many singles including the highly sought after Steve Anderson remix of ‘Half A Minute’, never released commercially until now, also among the rarities is a previously unreleased version of ‘You’re The Rhythm’ featuring the spectacularly soulful Kym Mazelle, the First Lady Of House Music, on lead vocals, and the original version of ‘Blame It On That Girl’.
Matt Bianco are a British band that were formed in 1983 and who are mainly known for their success in the mid-1980s and with their jazz, Latin-flavored music.
The group’s name suggests that Matt Bianco is a person, often assumed to be an alias for the main member and front man Mark Reilly, but according to the group, however, Matt is in fact a made up spy, a secret agent; we loved spy TV themes and film scores.
Disc One: For A Night Out
1. GET OUT OF YOUR LAZY BED (EXTENDED VERSION)
2. HALF A MINUTE (EXTENDED VERSION)
3. MORE THAN I CAN BEAR (REMIX)
4. YEH YEH (DANCE MIX)
5. DANCING IN THE STREET (DANCE MIX)
6. SMOOTH (EXTRA SMOOTH)
7. DON’T BLAME IT ON THAT GIRL (RARE GROOVE SAX VERSION)
8. GOOD TIMES (NEW LONG VERSION)
9. NERVOUS (RE-RECORDED VERSION)
10. R&B (VOCAL DUB MIX)
11. WAP BAM BOOGIE (LATIN REMIX EDIT)
12. YOU’RE THE RHYTHM (HARDING/CURNOW REMIX)
Opening on the drum and synth-tastic, upbeat and metallically-charged GET OUT OF YOUR LAZY BED (EXTENDED VERSION) and then the rich samba-inflected hipsway of HALF A MINUTE (EXTENDED VERSION), they back that up with the richly harmonic MORE THAN I CAN BEAR (REMIX), the uber funky YEH YEH (DANCE MIX), the melodic grooves of DANCING IN THE STREET (DANCE MIX) and the aptly-named SMOOTH (EXTRA SMOOTH).
Next up we get the drum-led beats and saxophone-embedded DON’T BLAME IT ON THAT GIRL (RARE GROOVE SAX VERSION) and the chunky funk thrusts of GOOD TIMES (NEW LONG VERSION) and they are in turn followed by the synth-laden rhythms (akin to Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract) on NERVOUS (RE-RECORDED VERSION), the rapped R&B (VOCAL DUB MIX), the hyper-atmospheric WAP BAM BOOGIE (LATIN REMIX EDIT), the disc coming to a close on the evocative YOU’RE THE RHYTHM (HARDING/CURNOW REMIX).
Disc Two: For A Night In
1. WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES
2. MACUMBA (RUMBA MIX) [Matt Bianco featuring Chulito]
3. SAMBA IN YOUR CASA (CAHASSA MIX)
4. YOU’RE THE RHYTHM (ALTERNATE VERSION) [Matt Bianco featuring Kym Mazelle]
5. NERVOUS (7” REMIX INSTRUMENTAL)
6. R&B (PERCAPELLA)
7. HALF A MINUTE (THE QUICA FRENZY)
8. DON’T BLAME IT ON THAT GIRL (ORIGINAL MIX)
9. SLIDE (ORIGINAL MIX)
10. INDIGO (ORIGINAL MIX)
11. R&B (ORIGINAL MIX)
12. MORE THAN I CAN BEAR (RE-RECORDED VERSION)
The seismic dancefloor hipsway of their Doobie Brothers cover of WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES kicks the second disc off in fine style and is followed by the stunningly different-to-their-norm MACUMBA (RUMBA MIX) [Matt Bianco featuring Chulito], the jaunty synth work and drum track of SAMBA IN YOUR CASA (CAHASSA MIX), the melodically ’90s rap-R&B of YOU’RE THE RHYTHM (ALTERNATE VERSION) [Matt Bianco featuring Kym Mazelle], and then comes the piano-introduced NERVOUS (7” REMIX INSTRUMENTAL) and the vibrant R&B (PERCAPELLA).
Along next is one of my own personal favorites from this quite wonderfully upbeat and joyous new collection, the wholly atmospheric HALF A MINUTE (THE QUICA FRENZY) which is turn followed by the swirling rhythm and beats of DON’T BLAME IT ON THAT GIRL (ORIGINAL MIX), the cinematic, dancefloor glide step of SLIDE (ORIGINAL MIX), the funky INDIGO (ORIGINAL MIX), another foot-tapping version of R&B (ORIGINAL MIX), the second disc coming to a close on the almost choir-like, at first, mid-tempo lushness of MORE THAN I CAN BEAR (RE-RECORDED VERSION).
An essential companion piece to the deluxe editions of ‘Who’s Side Are You On’, ‘Matt Bianco’, and ‘Indigo’, each of which have been released on the Cherry Pop label and have sold extremely well and now comes with a 20-page booklet containing comprehensive credits and a fully illustrated discography.
Remastered from the original master tapes stored in the Warner archives. Also available: ‘Whose Side Are You On?’ (Deluxe Edition) ‘Matt Bianco’ (Deluxe Edition) ‘Indigo’ (Deluxe Edition).
Official 2CD Purchase Link