June 20

The Songs of Summer #18: Deeper Shade of Soul

deeper-shade-of-soul-cassingleI can’t remember where I first heard ‘Deeper Shade of Soul‘ by Urban Dance Squad. I know it was on the radio in East Lansing while I was at school…probably the college radio station (thank GOD for 88.9 The Impact in those days…a musical lifeline). I do remember digging it in a big big way. The song’s blend of rock, rap, funk, soul and latin jazz (?) was really unlike anything else around.

I picked up a copy of the single at East Lansing’s Wherehouse Records (R.I.P.) in the brand-new revolutionary music format, the ‘Cassingle.’ It’s a single, like a 45 record, but on cassette! Can you imagine? Now you can take your favorite singles with you on the go! Wait, you don’t remember the Cassingle? Don’t be surprised, the format only lasted about 5 minutes. But I had my copy of Deeper Shade of Soul. And I still do.

I listened to the song through the whole summer of 1990, and thus it became, to me, a Song of Summer. Not every Song of Summer has to actually be about summer, at least not to me. If it’s a song I remember hearing a lot hanging at the pool or beach, or if it’s from a summer movie, or if I just feel like it should be a Song of Summer, then it’s a Song of Summer. My list, my rules.

Urban Dance Squad was a Dutch rock/rap group, and Deeper Shade of Soul was their only kinda, sorta hit. I eventually picked up the entire album the single was from, 1989’s Mental Floss for the Globe, and I can’t honestly remember any of it.

This song samples a 1968 song by Latin musical artist Ray Baretto called, oddly enough, A Deeper Shade of Soul. I say they sampled the song, but they sampled it so much that the entire track is more like a cover version. Urban Dance Squad’s version is virtually Ray Baretto’s track with a new drum beat and some rapping added. That’s OK. Both versions are pretty cool.

See for yourself…will Deeper Shade of Soul be one of your Songs of Summer?

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Posted June 20, 2015 by brainstembob@yahoo.com in category "Music", "Pop Culture", "Spotify Playlist", "The Songs of Summer


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