Saturday, 17 July 2021

Sylvia - Sweet Stuff


Sylvia's Sweet Stuff (1974) must have been a final tune at closing time of many a disco back in the day. The last chance to pair off and as we like to say in Australia "Pull a root!" If I was a DJ in a club today I reckon this would still be my closing tune. 

The production on this (pun intended) is sweet stuff. It's sonically delectable. As seductive as its lyrics. That bass with those drums along with the keys and strings are right on the money, making the magic music! Then Sylvia Robinson's sultry vocals are the soul candy on the top of the cake. 

"I’m not trying to be fresh
Please understand where I’m coming from
But I like what I see
And hope you like me
Mother Nature will do the rest"

She's not trying to be fresh. She just can't help being a human woman being with all the natural desires, impulses and mating rituals that that entails.

"I’ve got a crib with a water bed
And a bottle of wine on ice
So what do you say we go over to my pad
Bet you it could be really nice"

She probably didn't need to do the hard sell as she was well foxy but hey a water bed and wine on ice sounds fucking awesome so yes please. Although anyone who's ever had a go of waterbed knows that they are much better in theory.

Sylvia co-wrote and co-produced this with Al Goodman & Harry Ray from The Moments. Harry also plays the choice electric piano. That rhythm section is damn fine and correct me if I'm wrong but it's Frank Prescod on that extraordinary bass while Clarence Oliver is the astounding drummer. The luxuriant strings make me wanna stay inside this aural world and keep rewinding. I'm guessing the string arrangements are courtesy of Robinson and Sammy Lowe. The Sweet Stuff 7" was issued in 1974 on Sylvia's very own record label Vibration. Confusingly this tune was not included on her 1975 LP that was also called Sweet Stuff. However it turned up on her 1976 LP Sylvia

Sylvia Robinson's Vibration, Stang & All Platinum record labels would close later in the decade to make way for the paradigm shift defining Sugar Hill Records which she owned and operated with her husband Joe. Sylvia produced two just slightly legendary early hip-hop tunes you might know Rapper's Delight & The Message.


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