Frankie Knuckles - Presents: His Greatest Hits on Trax Records

Frankie Knuckles

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Frankie Knuckles - Presents: His Greatest Hits on Trax Records

These Tracks Are Why We Call Frankie Knuckles "The Godfather of House"

Frankie Knuckles is House. As in House Music. It was for The Warehouse, the Chicago nightclub where Frankie DJed in the early-mid Eighties that the world's dominant genre of dance music (still) was named. (The City of Chicago recently christened the street in front of the former Warehouse as "Frankie Knuckles Way.") Frankie was the best known of many experimenters and accidental innovators of the bare-bones dance music which eventually rushed into fill the vacuum left by the Disco Sucks virus.

Frankie Knuckles - Presents: His Greatest Hits on Trax Records

Early/mid-Seventies Underground gay clubs were the petri dishes that spawned what would later become know to the masses as "Disco." DJs in these clubs, playing 45s and album cuts (there were no 12" singles) found themselves gravitating toward the more rhythmic R&B cuts in their crates due to the reaction on their dancefloors. Production on the R&B records of the time became more and more elaborate, rhythmic and exiting. Labels like Scepter, Salsoul, West End, and Prelude, were the dinner bell which sent more commercial labels like Casablanca, Unidisc and scores of others into a feeding frenzy which erupted in the blinding laser, smoke and mirrors utopia-turned-nightmare that was the Disco craze.

In the cold light of the morning after, we were left with a hangover that obliterated the good times, clutching a citation for bad fashion, cheesy records and cheapened memories. Mention the word "disco" to someone too young or naive to know better and he or she will undoubtedly dismissively invoke the tired VH1 disco special cocktail of platform shoes, bell-bottoms, 'fros, burned out Studio 54 cokeheads and token divas — because that's all that pop culture cares to remember.

However, while whitebread America burned its Disco records, the gay black underground (and the rest of the planet) kept right on dancing, thank you very much. DJs, always looking for new ways to excite their floors continued to try new things. In Chicago, Frankie and others began to loop breaks from favorite Disco records into full tracks, since it was always the breaks which drove the floors wild in the first place. Drum machines were added to beef up the kick, keyboards were brought in and skeletal vocals were added. Soon the Disco loops were dropped and all new tracks were being created from scratch, incorporating innovations from brethren Italian and German producers and pushing even further this new minimalist esthetic. Underground clubs flipped for these dark, throbbing tracks. Many of the most revered were created or remixed by Frankie Knuckles and released on Trax Records in the late-Eighties.

On "Frankie Knuckles Presents: His Greatest Hits From Trax Records" you'll find truly seminal favorites, particularly those brilliant Frankie KnucklesJamie Principle collaborations ("Baby Wants To Ride," "Waiting On My Angel," "Cold World) the darkly glittering "Your Love" as well as that house track that even your friends who think they don't know House know ("Move Your Body"). Other gems lurk: Check out Frankie's tah-rippy acidic remix of "Boom Boom" by Dezz, the fierce "Children of the Night" by Kevin Irving, the clever gay Prince-ish ditty "Bad Boy," and a rare alternate version of "Waiting On My Angel" titled "You Got The Love." Trax president Screamin' Rachael even makes an appearance with "La Vie." A great little collection for DJs — club, bedroom, car or iPod.

Track list:

• Let The Music Use You The Nightwriters
Produced & Mixed By Frankie Knuckles

• Move Your Body Marshall Jefferson
Mixed by Frankie Knuckles

• Waiting On My Angel Jamie Principle
Co-Produced By Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle

• Children Of The Night Kevin Irving
Mixed by Frankie Knuckles

• Your Love Frankie Knuckles

• La Vie Screamin' Rachael
Mixed By Frankie Knuckles

• Baby Wants To Ride Frankie Knuckles
Co-produced by Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle

• Boom Boom Dezz
Mixed By Frankie Knuckles

• It's A Cold World Frankie Knuckles
Co-produced by Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle

• Face The Bass Nouveau Nation*
Mixed By Frankie Knuckles

• You've Got The Love Frankie Knuckles With Jamie Principle

• Bad Boy Frankie Knuckles

• B E A T The Knuckles Frankie Knuckles*

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