About this Playlist
In 1989 Ten City unleashed their own brand of House music, soulful vocals and a more orchestral sound, full of positivity and love, now almost 25 years later it’s time again for those positive lyrics, having revived the iconic group, earlier in the year they released a new single, ‘Be Free‘, showing a new generation of house heads what the original sound was all about.
Then original member and producer Marshall Jefferson remixed one of their biggest hits, ‘Devotion’. also taken from their forthcoming album, ‘Judgement’ set for release this summer.
Now it’s time for the classic ‘That’s The Way Love Is’ the bands biggest song reaching #8 in the UK’s official top 40 and #1 in the USA’s Dance Club Play chart, the new version receives a full rewrite from Jefferson and original vocalist Byron Stingily, a new string intro has been added, additional layers of piano and funky guitar licks.
“Many people over the years have said to us, how the message in “That’s The Way Love Is” helped them through a difficult breakup or relationship. It provided hope of the resilience of the Heart!” Byron Stingily.
With an EPIC 10-minute disco boogie funky jazzy extended remix by Grammy Winning Dance Music Producer, half of Masters At Work, and all-around legend Mr. Louie Vega, you’ll be guaranteed to keep the floor deep in the groove for quite some time.
There’s also a really nice deeper looped out Sylvester-type Expansions Dub for those who like to grind a little more profoundly, as I wait for a UK Spotify release on these versions, the hoof is sharing the short radio edit for now.
Taken from their debut album, ‘Foundation’ which was one of a few house music albums released in the 80’s, Ten City were originally called Ragtyme, the trio was formed by vocalist Byron Stingily, guitarist Herb Lawson, keyboard player Byron Burke and producer Marshall Jefferson.
Byron met Marshall at Trax Records after Marshall had loved Byron’s vocals on a track by Dezz 7 – ‘Funny Love’. They recorded five unreleased) songs together before signing with Atlantic in the late ’80s and recorded Foundation, including the singles “Devotion”, “Right Back to You” and “That’s the Way Love Is,”
When asked who invented house music, Marshall Jefferson only half-jokingly replied: “Earl Young’s foot” talking about the legendary MFSB drummer and Trammps band leader, the man who created the disco beat and paying homage to discos influence of house music, brought in Earl two play on two tracks on the album including ‘That’s The Way Love Is’
The band went on record three further albums in the 90’s, exploring the sounds of soul, swing, R&B, Hip Hop, just going through my own playlists and seeing what I’ve saved over the years, stand out tracks are ‘Live In a Day’ ‘Fantasy (Funky Ginger Mix) from the last album in 94 That Was Then, This Is Now, from 92 No House Big Enough brought the classic ‘My Peace of Heaven’ and ‘Thick & Thin’. 1990’s State of Mind brought us some social commentary on ‘Nothing’s Changed’ for me something that doesn’t happen often enough in house music.
Ten years later Byron Stingily returned to the top of the dance chart with his own recording of the song on Nervous records and In 2018 British magazine Mixmag included the song in the “Vocal House: The 30 All-Time Biggest Anthems”, both Byron and Marshall haven’t just reappeared after 25 years, they’ve never been away, between them there’s been 100’s of singles, remixes, albums and collaborations, working alongside both fellow legends and new producers, the likes of Todd Terry, Dimitri from Paris, Louie Vega, Terry Hunter, Bobby and Steve, Steve Silk Hurley and Joey Négro, Frankie Knuckles, Blaze, Lenny Fontana, DJ Pierre… you get my point, they’ve both left an essential imprint on dance music.
Byron had his biggest success with “Get Up (Everybody)” where he sampled Sylvester’s “Dance (Disco Heat)”, it was a #1 US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 97 and again in 88 with another Sylvester song “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” also recording two solo albums ‘Purist’ in 97 and ‘Club Stories’ in 2000. Listen to Byron tell his own story on the excellent ‘True House Stories’ series of interviews from DJ/Producer Lenny Fontana.
Marshall’s long history in house music is only bettered by a few select producers and DJ’s like Jesse Saunders, Vince Lawrence, Chip E, Steve “Silk” Hurley, Frankie Knuckles DJ of the legendary Chicago club the Warehouse, Julian Perez of Dilligaf’s and Ron Hardy from the Music Box.
“I wasn’t even into dance music before I went to the Music Box […]. I was into rock and roll. We would get drunk and listen to rock and roll. We didn’t give a fuck, we were like ‘Disco Sucks!’ and all that. I hated dance music ‘cos I couldn’t dance. I thought dance music was kind of wimpy, until I heard it at like Music Box volume.” Marshall Jefferson interviewed on DJ History in 2014.
Here he talks about the early years of the emerging scene in online blog Gearslutz
“I was a DJ spending $200 a week on records from guys like Chip E at Imports etc. in 1982. I was not famous as a DJ however, until my records came out in 1985, and then only in Chicago. I deliberately hid the fact that I was a DJ because when House started everyone making the music were thought to be DJ’s, and my thought process at that time was if only DJ’s made music, we’d be extremely limited musically. So I encouraged and employed real musicians into my own music”
This story of the making and breaking of ‘Move Your Body’ a record that went onto become a classic of the genre, so much it was retitled as the ‘House Music Anthem’ blew my mind when I read it back in 2014, the way it was made, the fact it was unliked by some, thankfully Ron Hardy had good taste, pretty sure I’ve talked about the album ‘House Sound of Chicago’ before and how musically it left such an impression on me when I first heard it and it was this song and ‘Pleasure Control’ that really stood out as offering a different direction for this new genre of music back in 1986.
“The inspiration? I heard in tune in my head that actually had female vocals, not with the Move Your Body words but other words. Come to think of it now, I think I’ll write a tune with those words It came to me while working the graveyard shift at the Chicago Post Office (12am-8:30am) on a letter sorting machine. From there I rushed home to get it down.
I programmed the drums, piano, and bass there, then scheduled a session at my friend Lito Manlucu’s tascam 8 track studio. I called all my friends at the Post Office-Thomas Carr, Rudy Forbes, and Curtis McClain, and told them I had a song i wanted to do at the studio, and they came. I still hadn’t written vocals though.
Everybody got to the studio, and i wrote the verse and the chorus in the studio. I added a string line by playing half the piano line through a Prophet 2000 string sound. Prophet 2000 was also used for the piano. Roland Jx 8p was used for the bass. Now I know technically better piano sounds have come and gone since that old 32khz Prohet piano sound but none of them sound better to me.
Anyway, we finished mixing the tune and I looked at the guys like I’d just written the greatest song of all time. They thought it sucked. They weren’t too excited about it. Studio time recording and mixing took about 3 hours.
The night, I took the song 1st to the Sheba Baby club, where Mike Dunn, Tyree Cooper, and Hugo Hutchinson were DJ’ing. This was before they all had records out, and I was known as Virgo. (loved that nickname!) They loved the song and I gave them a cassette copy, but they said it wasn’t House music because of the piano. From there i drove to the Music Box to give Ron Hardy a copy. Outside in the car I played it on my car system for some friends (One was K-Alexi) and I don’t think they were too impressed. I’d had about 15 unreleased songs playing in the Music Box at that time and they thought some of my other stuff was much hotter. They also said it wasn’t House Music because of the piano.
After that, I went into the Music Box and gave DJ Ron Hardy a copy while he was playing. I didn’t expect him to play it right away; usually I just gave him a copy and he’d listen to it later and maybe play it the next weekend. This time he put it in the cassette machine right away. I saw his head quickly go into a violent bobbing motion and I knew he liked the song. He immediately put it on and played it 6 times in a row, putting on a sound effects record while he rewound the tape.
From there it got to be the biggest song in the Music Box. Ron told me not to give it to anybody else, and I held off for a while, but there were other DJ’s in the city that wanted it and finally I gave in when Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy’s biggest rival got a copy of it. Prior to that,I took it to Trax Records to press it up on my own label. At that time Larry Sherman, the owner, considered himself a House music expert because he’d previously put out Jesse Saunders stuff and also 4 of my records. He hated the song and said it wasn’t House music because of the piano. I didn’t care and paid him to press the record up.
Haha…it’s not House Music…it’s got piano” The night, I took the song 1st to the Sheba Baby club, where my firends Mike Dunn, Tyree Cooper, and Hugo Hutchinson were DJ’ing. This was before they all had records out, and I was known as Virgo. (loved that nickname!) They loved the song and I gave them a cassette copy, but they said it wasn’t House music because of the piano. From there i drove to the Music Box to give Ron Hardy a copy. Outside in the car i played it on my car system for some friends (One was K-Alexi) and I don’t think they were too impressed. I’d had about 15 unreleased songs playing in the Music Box at that time and they thought some of my other stuff was much hotter. They also said it wasn’t House Music because of the piano.
After that, I went into the Music Box and gave DJ Ron Hardy a copy while he was playing. I didn’t expect him to play it right away; usually i just gave him a copy and he’d listen to it later and maybe play it the next weekend. This time he put it in the cassette machine right away. I saw his head quickly go into a violent bobbing motion and I knew he liked the song. He immediately put it on and played it 6 times in a row, putting on a sound effects record while he rewound the tape.
From there it got to be the biggest song in the Music Box. Ron told me not to give it to anybody else, and I held off for awhile, but there were other DJ’s in the city that wanted it and finally I gave in when Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy’s biggest rival got a copy of it. Prior to that,I took it to Trax Records to press it up on my own label. At that time Larry Sherman, the owner, considered himself a House music expert because he’d previously put out Jesse Saunders stuff and also 4 of my records. He hated the song and said it wasn’t House music because of the piano. I didn’t care and paid him to press the record up”.
“13 months passed before he finally pressed it up, but there were some things that happened before that, after Frankie Knuckles got a copy of it, it seemed the flood gates opened. I had to give Lil Louis and Fast Eddie copies, because Eddie lived 2 doors down from me on my block and Lil Louis lived on the next block. Mike Dunn, Tyree Cooper, and Hugo Hutchinson already had copies. Pretty soon it seemed like every DJ in Chicago had copies, some really bad and some passable, but crowds freaked every time it came on. International DJ’s played it to and this is how I tracked down how they got copies, after talking to the DJ’s and members of the press”
Five big moments that moved body’s across the globe, Marshall describes how the record blew up across the globe and was instrumental in spreading the sound of house.
1. Frankie Knuckies got his copy from my friend Sleezy D.
2. Frankie Knuckles’ best friend was Larry Levan from New York’s Paradise Garage. At that time, DJ’s from all over the world would fly to New York to hear what Larry played, because whatever was popular there became hits.
3. Somehow DJ Alfredo from Ibiza got a copy of it, and started playing it in Ibiza.
4. English DJ’s Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling, and Jazzy M got copies. Pete Tong and Paul “Trouble” Anderson got copies too, but I’m not sure if they got it at the same time as the 1st 3 or not.
5. Once the English DJ’s started playing, things got weird, because the press got involved. England was quick to jump on a new music trend and got on it right away. “Move Your Body” had the words “Gotta have House music, all night long”, and with that “House” music, you can’t go wrong!” so naturally, the next task was finding out what house music was and getting the full scoop.
“I started hearing English accents asking me for interviews when I answered the phone. I thought it was my friends screwing with me, but damn, those accents sounded authentic. I did a few phone interviews and suddenly, a whole herd of British Press all flew to Chicago to interview any and everyone involved with House music. They sat in on sessions and took loads of pics. Of course, Larry Sherman considered himself the resident expert on House Music and offered to take all the press around to all the House music clubs in the city. At that time I’d tried everything to get Larry to press up Move Your Body,
but he hated it and said it wasn’t House Music. It was because he said it wasn’t House music that I called it “The House Music Anthem”.I even paid him with my own money to press it up. and he still hadn’t done it.
Well, when Larry took the press around to all the House clubs, Move Your Body was the hottest song playing at every single club-on dirty cassettes. The day after he took the press around to all those clubs, Move Your Body was finally on vinyl”
Marshall talking about a difficult period with the notorious early house label Trax and it’s consequences that affected relationships, sampling issues and the future of his music.
“When “Move Your Body” got released, it wasn’t released on my label, it was released on Trax records. Larry did a last minute hack job because he was so excited and didn’t even bother to recut or remaster it, he just scratched out my label number (OS2 for Other Side Records 2) on the mothers and added his own (Tx 117) to this day you know you have an original pressing if you see where he scratched out my label number. Another thing that gave me grief was he put down “Marshall Jefferson” as the artist. I had been using the nickname “Virgo” for more than a year and it was my 1st nickname. All my life i wanted a nickname but never had one, the song being so popular totally blew Virgo to the side and I haven’t used it since. The artist on “Move Your Body was supposed to be “On The House”-my friends from the Post Office, Curtis McClain, Rudy Forbes, and Thomas Carr, and putting it mildly, when the record came out as “Marshall Jefferson”, they weren’t too pleased..
I have been fighting to get the rights back for “Move Your Body” for 20+ years. This is why people have sampled the record with no consequences. Todd Terry did it 1st, then had the nerve to sue Jungle Brothers for sampling his sample of me. The floodgates seemed to open after Todd did it, seems like everyone started doing it after that.
My feelings on it? At first I was pretty pissed off. I’ve never sampled another artist because of that. And also I discourage anyone I’ve ever worked with from sampling. I play all my keyboards on all my records myself, and I started out not knowing how to play anything at all. My technique? When I 1st started, I would play stuff at 40-60 bpms into the sequencer and speed it up to 120+. Easy. I couldn’t understand why everyone else couldn’t just play whatever they wanted the same way.
All my friends saw how I did it and started doing it too. This is why almost all of the original Chicago guys have their own sound: it’s because we played everything ourselves”