Saturday, August 18, 2012
I've got love on my mind..
Held down by the most basic of disco basslines, this little number from 1979 comes courtesy of Marilyn McLeod, sister of the late Alice Coltrane, grandmother of Flying Lotus (who records for the über-hip Stones Throw and Warp labels), and also more importantly, one of Motown's most prolific staff songwriters of the 1970s. Alongside Pam Sawyer (with whom she also co-wrote this song), she had written classics like Diana Ross' "Love Hangover," and High Inergy's "You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle of Turning Me On) " (said to be originally intended for Ross). Outside of Motown, McLeod would also co-write one of Anita Baker's hits, "Same Ole Love" from her breakthrough "Rapture" (1986, Elektra) album, just to name a few.
Listen: (I Don't Wanna Dance Tonight) I Got Love On My Mind (1979, Fantasy)
Listen: (I Don't Wanna Dance Tonight) I Got Love On My Mind (Instrumental) (1979, Fantasy)
Produced by McLeod, Sawyer and Mel Bolton (also a Motown alumni and frequent collaborator), this song seems to recall elements of both of those earlier Diana Ross and High Inergy songs, (albeit with some added late disco tempo and thrust), with its sexy string-laden groove and tender vocal touch. Combining that unstoppable bassline, a delicate string arrangement and Marilyn's engaging, unaffected vocal style; this is possibly one of the most danceable songs about not wanting to dance that had ever been released. Call it a bit of before-the-bedroom boogie, if you will.
On a disco related tip; around this time, McLeod and Sawyer would contribute heavily to co-writer/producer Mel Bolton's group Flakes, who are probably best known for their disco singles "Miss Fine Lover" and "Sugar Frosted Lover" from 1979 and 1980, respectively. Both Bolton and McLeod would produce both of the Flakes albums, the last of which was released on the Salsoul label in 1981.
Despite McLeod being one of the more high profile Motown staff writers of the 70s, this single would remain one of McLeod's few releases under her own name. Among those few releases though was a notable 1978 promo album, borne out of a Motown campaign aimed at promoting some of their staff songwriters, for which McLeod and Sawyer were the first to be chosen, entitled "Pure Magic: The Songs of Pam Sawyer and Marilyn McLeod" with McLeod providing vocals on the bulk of the record. In a Billboard article promoting the Pure Magic release, it was mentioned that McLeod would be doing more recording of her own for Motown, under the name Supercloud, which apparently never materialized. More recently however, McLeod has been getting some attention for her work again, having released an album of her own in 2010, and with one of her earliest efforts at Motown - "A Heart is a House" with The Nu Page (a group which also included Mel Bolton) getting some positive notices via the recently released compilation "Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love: Motown's MoWest Story 1971-1973" released last year on noted reissue label Light In The Attic, chronicling some of the long-forgotten singles from Motown's short-lived west coast imprint.
This particular song has also been gaining some notice on its own, too; with the vocal version having been included on one of the most recent installments of Harmless' Disco Discharge series, on their "American Hot" compilation (released this past March). In 2010, primo disco editor/producer Jacques Renault also got his hands on it, releasing a crafty edit/mashup entitled "Marilyn's Gold," combining this song's instrumental track with a break which (i believe) comes from First Choice's "The Player."
While on the subject, given the similar song titles, one can't help but draw a possible connection to one of Natalie Cole's greatest hits of the 70's, "I've Got Love On My Mind." Two very different songs to be sure, but both close enough in both title and essential feeling, that even if this wasn't inspired by it, it sure makes a nice disco response to it (at least in my mind, anyway).. Whatever the case is, if you're not going out and don't wanna get lost in a crowd, here's one way to enjoy some disco love tonight..
VA - DISCO DISCHARGE: AMERICAN HOT (2 CD)
PREVIOUS RELATED ENTRIES:
DISCO DISCHARGE AND OTHER RECENT/UPCOMING DISCO RELEASES & REISSUES (FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2009)
COME PUT OUT THE FIRE.. (TUESDAY JULY 24, 2007)
DISCO DELIVERY #6: FIRST CHOICE - THE PLAYER (1984, PHILLY GROOVE/BELL) (FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2006)
DISCOGS: MARILYN MCLEOD - (I DON'T WANNA DANCE TONIGHT) I GOT LOVE ON MY MIND 12"
DISCOGS: VARIOUS - DISCO DISCHARGE: AMERICAN HOT (2 CD)
DISCOGS: PAM SAWYER
DISCOGS: MEL BOLTON
GOOGLE BOOKS: BILLBOARD MAGAZINE (SEPTEMBER 2, 1978) - JOBETE WRITERS SING ON LPS (BY JEAN WILLIAMS)
MOTOWN 50 PODCAST - THE ANATOMY OF A HIT: LOVE HANGOVER (PART 1)
PHOENIX NEW TIMES: MARILYN MCLEOD OF THE NU PAGE ON MOTOWN, MOWEST, ALICE COLTRANE AND FLYING LOTUS (BY JASON WOODBURY) (TUESDAY JULY 19, 2011)
JAZZ CORNER: MARILYN MCLEOD: A HIT MOTOWN SONGWRITER WITH A COLTRANE CONNECTION
JAZZ CORNER: NEW CD FROM MARILYN MCLEOD, AN ARTIST WITH A MOTOWN LEGACY AND COLTRANE CONNECTION
CATEGORIES: SIDE DELIVERIES, NUDISCO