Today (18 January) is Frankie Knuckles‘ birthday, and while The Godfather of House Music is no longer with us, he left behind a legacy few could hope to emulate – without Frankie, after all, we might never have had ‘house’ music.
While his stint at Chicago’s Warehouse nightclub in the late 70s to early 80s helped forge his reputation as a top selector, the South Bronx-born Knuckles (real name Francis Nicholls) was equally adept in the studio, with seminal tracks such as Baby Wants To Ride, Your Love, Tears and The Whistle Song in his impressive portfolio.
For the purposes of this article, however, we’re going to focus on his remix work, which kicked off in the early 80s with his reworking of the classic Let No Man Put Asunder by First Choice, and continued right up until his death in 2014.
In fact, it was his work on that 1983 Salsoul cut – which also featured Shep Pettibone manning the controls on the flipside – that helped to launch his production career.
‘By the time I had done the remix to ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ for First Choice, things had turned around,” he told Defected’s Simon Dunmore in 2011.
“At that point, I was also working at a record store where I met then I met Jamie [Principle], who came into the record store and asked me if I would consider producing him. I had never produced anything other than the remix for First Choice, but I took his trust in my ability and took a leap of faith.”
To mark Frankie Knuckles’ birthday, 909originals has compiled a playlist of some of his best remixes from the 1980s, from his upbeat re-imaginings of A Guy Called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray and Electribe 101’s Talking With Myself, to his lush instrumental rework of Adeva’s Beautiful Love. Enjoy!