THROWBACK THURSDAY: Soul II Soul – Jazzie’s Groove [April 1989]

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the release of one of the most influential dance/hip hop/jazz/funk/soul… you name it… albums of the 1980s, Soul II Soul’s Club Classics Vol. One

Including the singles Keep on Movin‘ and Back to Life (However Do You Want Me), the album presented an exotic mix of genres in the same mode as De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, which was released just weeks earlier.

Combining the energy of the sound systems organised by founding member Jazzie B in the early 80s with the vocal stylings of Doreen Waddell (RIP) and Caron Wheeler and the intricate production of Nellee Hooper, the album was a breakthrough smash around the world, encapsulating the melting pot that was popular music at the tail end of the 1980s.

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’ve selected the album’s closer, and the track that sets out the Soul II Soul manifesto – Jazzie’s Groove.

As Jazzie B told Billboard in a recent interview, both the album and the final track sought to capture the positive ambience permeating through music at the time.

We were really into The Jungle Brothers and Tribe and De La Soul, the whole Native Tongue Family,” he explained. ”Those were acts with whom we were all really familiar and pretty up to date with.

“Their whole message of unity and Afrocentricity that was happening in New York hip-hop at the time, there was an inseparable link to what we were dealing with in London, which if you take a snapshot of the entire United Kingdom is really not a good representation of Great Britain. With London being so innovative and creative, the energy and the vibe I would hear from KRS-One and Rakim would erupt over when I was creating something like ‘Jazzie’s Groove.'”

And it still sounds fresh after three decades. 🙂

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