The self-titled LP, originally released on Salsoul in August 1981, is one of the greatest albums of the post-disco era. It’s one of Be With’s favourite ever LPs and so it’s a complete honour to be giving it our reissue treatment. With all the touchstones of Burgess’s finest work - breezy grooves, undulating synths, funk-drenched bass and life-affirming lyrics - delivered with gospel-derived vocals and harmonies - it’s a record to uplift both body and spirit.
Already a cult soul figure as lead singer of seminal vocal group Black Ivory, Leroy Burgess cut his teeth as arranger, vocalist and songwriter with legendary producer Patrick Adams on essential late-70s projects like Phreek and Dazzle. He went on to define the essence of “boogie”: the vibrant underground dance sound that stood in contrast to commercial disco. With its reduced speed - mid-90 to under 110 BPM - the cool boogie of Burgess has the disco bounce, just more laidback.
All six tracks here could have been stand alone 12" hits. Indeed, some of them were. But together they are also an incredibly cohesive album, where all the compositions are deeply relevant to each other. In short, it’s essential; a thrilling showcase for Burgess’s finest arranging and production work - with his vocals at their euphoric peak alongside the inventive rhythm section of Aaron (Sonny) T. Davenport on drums and James Calloway on bass.
Opener “(You’ve Got) That Something” is a balmy sunshine groover with an insistent chorus whilst the timeless vocal of “Dancing Into The Stars” - married to percolating synth and airtight drums - showcases the chemistry between Burgess and the rhythm section.
The fusion of funk and gospel-influenced harmonies which propels “Something Else” is remarkable - deep, joyous and bouncy. Infamously mixed by Larry Levan, “I Know You Will” is an easy glide, all rollicking electric piano underpinned by a precise and relentlessly upbeat groove. “Lay It On The Line” radiates smooth, understated brilliance, elevated by interstellar keys and finally album-closer “Sweet To Me” is a chilled-out gem of profound soulful elegance.
Logg has long been a hit with the likes of Kenny Dope and Dam-Funk whilst, in the last decade, MCDE and Harvey Sutherland have routinely cited it as a huge influence. Accordingly, finding original copies on vinyl at affordable prices has been a thankless task. This fresh Be With reissue ensures this legendary record now sounds, looks and feels as sensational as it deserves to.
Mastered brilliantly by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and with lovingly reproduced artwork, we think this is a reissue that does justice to this classic LP.