GREG WILSON CREDIT TO THE EDIT VOLUME ONE.

GREG WILSON CREDIT TO THE EDIT VOLUME ONE.

For someone that loves music as much as I do, one of the worst things that could happen is having your music collection stolen. After all, how can you replace albums that are either long out of print, were released on small labels or are imports that took ages to source. That to me, is just a nightmare scenario, for someone whose music collection includes over 1500 albums. This actually happened to Greg Wilson whose first volume of Credit To the Edit was released back in August 2005.  

Having experience financial problems that saw his house, car and musical equipment repossessed, his trauma was made even worse when his record collection was stolen. This was a real low point in the life of Greg Wilson, who has been doing edits for over thirty years. These edits feature on Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One, released on the TIRK Records. Having been taught how to edit by a radio DJ Dave Porter, who was then working for Radio Merseyside, Greg began incorporating his edits into his DJ sets and later, created mixes for a show on Piccadilly Radio in Manchester. Reediting wasn’t as easy as it is now with the advent of computer software. Instead, it was a case of splicing reel-to-reel tape with razor blade then rejoining the tape to create the reedit. This was something Tom Moulton did to great affect during the seventies, when he created the original twelve singles. However, a reedit is very different to a remix, with the person doing the reedit never having access to the master tapes like a remixer will. Now that Greg was starting to establish a reputation as a talented re-editor, he decided to stop working as a DJ in 1984

Having stopped DJ-ing in 1984, Greg decided concentrate on his reediting work. In 1984, Greg worked on the Street Sounds UK Electro compilation, reediting all but one track. For the rest of the eighties, Greg continued working on reedits, with this work continuing into the nineties when his editing skills were put to good use on two albums by The Rap Assassins. By now, he was using an Akai sampler as part of his work, and in 1996 produced his last reedit using his beloved Revox tape machine. Nowadays, Greg, like other producers, uses computers and software to reedit a track. This means he can do things much quicker that in the “old days.” With the nineties giving way to the new millennium, Greg would make his DJ comeback.

Greg’s comeback came in December 2003 at Manchester’s Music Is Better. For this auspicious occasion, Greg decided to rework some of his old reedits. This included Walking On Confusion, where he took New Order’s Confusion and married this with an  acappella of Arthur Baker’s production of Walking On Sunshine by Rocker’s Revenge. After his comeback, Greg continued working as a DJ, but wanted to start remixing tracks. However, he found himself unable to get work as a remixer, he decided to start collaborating with other musicians, blazing a trail for acts like Coldcut, M/A/R/R/S and Bomb the Bass. After this, Greg decided to try to persuade record companies to hire him as a remixer by producing what he calls a series of “turntable edits.” This he thought, would be a showcase for his talents. Creating these at his home, with his Technics SL-1200s and his reel-to-reel tape, this failed to generate the interest he’d hoped for. Not long after this, his financial problems meant he lost everything, with his grief added to, when his record collection was stolen. Thankfully, after these traumatic events, things would eventually improve for Greg Wilson, with his life rising like a phoenix from the ashes in 2005,  when TIRK Records released Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One. It features fifteen of Greg’s reedits, with tracks from the Salsoul Orchestra, Rockers Revenge, Chaka Khan, Yello Chic. These are reedits of a combination of familiar tracks and a few leftfield choices, which some people may not be familiar with. However, each track is creatively edited, adding something new to the original track. I’ll now choose some of the best reedits on Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One.

Opening Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One is the Salsoul Orchestra’s Ooh I Love It (Love Break), is the 1983 Shepp Pettibone remix of Vince Montana Jr.’s original production. Like the First Choice version, the tempo is 118 beats per minute, the crispy drumbeats, with percussion, a funky bass line and keyboards combining before backing vocalists enter. Then, cascading strings enter, while the track takes on a Latin sound and influence due to the percussion and bursts of vocal enter. When the lead vocal enter, it’s almost rapped be a female vocalists, while the percussion, drums and strings provide a mesmeric, almost hypnotic backdrop. It’s a new take on a classic track, one with a funk tinged percussive heavy sound.

Produced by Arthur Baker and written by Eddy Grant, Walking On Sunshine by Rockers Revenge is now thirty years old. Gaining popularity in clubs before giving Rockers Revenge a huge chart hit in 1982.  Here, Greg has used three versions of the track for this reedit Sunshine, Partytime (Rap), Dubbing In Sunshine and Acappella Sunshine. As the track opens, crunchy beats, bursts of squelchy synths and percussion combine as the track begins to reveal itself. Gradually, keyboards and the powerful vocal combine, with delay used on the vocal, while backing vocalists cut in. Searing guitars are the next component, while a Latin influence makes its presence felt. Although three versions of the track have been combined the end result is a seamless reedit with a contemporary sound, that’s credit to Greg Wilson’s reediting skills.

Back in the early eighties Scritti Politti were one of the biggest groups around, with their electro, new wave sound. Here, Greg calls the track Absolute Wood Beez, because it’s a combination of two Scritti Politti tracks Absolute and Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin). This was a reedit Greg did in 1984, when all he had was a reel-to-reel tape and his trusty razor blade to splice the tape. During the track, after two minutes, Greg says there’s a forty-five second part that took several hours to complete. Listening to the track, all his efforts are well worthwhile, creating one great track from two tracks. With the vocal multi-tracked and delay used on the vocal, old school synths and drum machines combine with the sweetest of vocals. It’s a track that sounds circa 1984, with its drums and synth sound. When the track gets to the minute mark, you can only marvel at Greg’s reediting skills, to be able to edit and merge the two tracks perfectly. Considering the lack of technology available back then, it demonstrates how talented Greg Wilson is, that he could create one track from two very different tracks, with a real old school eighties sound.

While Kraftwerk were producing some of the most influential electronic music in Germany, Yello were doing something similar in Switzerland. Lost Again is a futuristic sounding track where synths and drum machines play a major part in the track’s sound. They combine with a vocal sung through a vocoder to producing a haunting, hypnotic sounding track. Released from Yello’s 1983 third album You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess, the last album featuring founder member Carlos Peron. This track demonstrates just how influential Yello were to in the evolution of electronic music, their music later influencing later artists. I’ve always thought that Yello were a hugely underrated band, with a back catalogue that deserves more attention.

Many years ago, I was fortunate to see Chaka Khan in concert, where she performed I Feel For You. However, it sounded nothing like Greg’s reedit. Here, the tempo is quick, 128 beats per minute, with this one of the “turntable edits” Greg sent out when trying to get some work as a remixer. Written by Prince and a hit for Chaka in 1984, I Feel For You has a fantastic frenzied sound, with scratches repeated during the introduction, before the track gets under way with that harmonica solo. It gives way to the rap which has filter added, before the harmonica returns and then Chaka’s sassy vocal enters. WIth bouncy electro beats, synths, funky bass and a chiming guitar accompanying Chaka, parts of the track are repeated, scratches added and synths squelchy before coming to an abrupt halt. Of the fifteen tracks on Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One this is one of the best reedits.

Another of the compilation’s highlights is Greg’s reedit of Chic’s Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah). A true classic of the disco era, Greg combines various samples before Chic’s combination of funk and soul unfolds. With the funkiest of bass lines, chiming guitars and punchy drums giving way to the lush, swirling Chic Strings, while synths reverberate and filters take the edge of the sound. Instead of the normal vocal, bursts of samples, laughter and vocal emerge from the flowing string laden arrangement. Although very different to Niles and Bernard’s original masterpiece, it’s a new and compelling take on a true classic.

My final choice is Kool and The Gang’s Open Sesame, originally released in 1976 and a track that featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It’s a track that’s familiar to many, but not this version. With it’s combination of percussion, funky rhythm section and blazing horns, the track has a joyous funky sound. This was before the group changed their sound, releasing more soulful tracks. Instead, this is a blistering slice of uptempo funk with a real feelgood sound. Here, Greg’s has cleverly rearranged the whole track transforming it into three minutes of joyful funk music, by one of music’s unsung heroes Kool and The Gang. Although I’ve only mentioned seven of the tracks on Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One, there’s much more to this compilation than this. Among the other tracks worth mentioning are one of Boystown Gang’s best tracks Cruisin’ the Streets, Mr Bloe’s Groovin’ With Mr Bloe or The Controllers’ I Can’t Turn the Boogie Around. Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One is an album where the music is consistently of a high quality. On the album are a mixture of well known tracks, hidden gems and a few tracks that’ll be new to many people. While there’s many remix albums available, there aren’t many albums of reedits available. Previously, I’ve reviewed  Philadelphia International The Re-Edits, which was a stunning collection of reedits, by a number of DJs. Like that compilation, Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One is another album full of clever and interesting takes on each of the tracks. The great thing about a reedit, is that you can chop up a track, take out bits you feel don’t work and extend the best bits of a track. This can totally transform an average track to something very special. Here, Greg starts with good tracks to reedit, giving each of them his own unique twist. I love what he’s done to Chic’s Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah), Salsoul Orchestra’s Ooh I Love It (Love Break) and Chaka Khan’s I Feel For You. Greg treats each track sympathetically, trying to add something to the track, but something different from other reedits and remixes. This is testament to Greg’s thirty years experience as a re-editor and what makes Greg Wilson Credit To the Edit Volume One such a fine album, chock full of quality reedits. Standout Tracks: Salsoul Orchestra Ooh I Love It (Love Break), Yello Lost Again, Chaka Khan I Feel For You and Chic Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah).

GREG WILSON CREDIT TO THE EDIT VOLUME ONE.

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