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"Instead of throwing an anniversary party for one night," says Capsicum Records founding CEO and A&R Director Roger Meltzer, "I decided to re-release these r&b/funk masters -- this time as fusion remixes with modern reggae and dancehall grooves. I have no doubt many of them will become hits all over again -- not only with Baby Boomers like me, but with today's Generation Y crowd who don't know that a dance beat and a melody can be compatible."
Meltzer announced the release of Capsicum's "Lost Masters" EP with eight 1980's r&b/funk chart busters stemming from Meltzer's time as the co-founder of Brothers United Together Music with former Buddah Records artist, the late David Morris. All the reggae remixes were produced by Meltzer and Joseph Everton "Reality" Weekes, and were remastered by multi Grammy winner, ZenMasters Ray Kennedy in Nashville, TN
"Many of our old songs weren't even sold to the record labels which had originally agreed to distribute and promote them for us -- some were merely leased in return for distribution and promotion and a nibble on the publishing -- to be returned after their expected life expectancy had expired; but many of those small labels went under or sold out without paying the royalties due under those production agreements, and many of those catalogs were in turn bought out by other labels and song publishers which also chose to default on those royalty obligations,
"Over the years, it's proven a lot easier for me to write hits than to get paid for them." says Meltzer.
"I won't recite that litany of horror stories here; but I often tell young people aspiring to careers in this industry that there will be times when it seems like everything that ever crawled out from under a rock is in this business and all you can do is to learn the business of the business and protect your intellectual property with what few laws exist to generate your copyrights and royalties. At this point there's not a lot to be gained crying over spilled milk and unethical executives encountered; but more importantly, we got back some of our best work, and now it's time to move on."
Meltzer explained the struggle to recover his work after serving from 1977-79 as a staff writer-producer-arranger at Philadelphia International Records/The Sound of Philadelphia and going independent.
"Frankly I was stunned to learn Don't Send Me Away now sells as a collector's item in Europe for $300.00 USD as a 12-inch vinyl single in its original sleeve, and that an "unofficial" video with the artist, Philadelphia native son Garfield Fleming singing along with it in a Paris flea market record store has now had over 20,000,000 views on Youtube, Facebook and other social media,"
The EP leads off with a reggae remix of Don't Send Me Away, written by Meltzer, Morris and Jimmy Tindal and produced by Meltzer and Morris. Originally released in 1980, it features grainy second tenor Garfield, whose influences from r&b immortals Davy Ruffin, Bobby Womack and Teddy Pendergrass are undeniable.
"Garfield told me he's met fans of all ages of that song on his tours of Europe and Japan for 24 years with The Delphonics .Many of the younger fans told him their parents had taught them that song as an example of why they preferred old school music...and the kids said they had to agree. Many of them even said they knew the song better than Delphonics' classics, La La Means I Love You and Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time."
The "B-side" of that song was a funky club favorite entitled You Got Dat Right, written and produced by Meltzer and Morris and likewise re-mixed, re-mastered and re-released with today's sound.
The project also includes remixes of two songs featuring Houston's Archie Bell of Tighten Up fame, the ultra-cynical Don't Wait For The World. and the romantic and sensual Touchin' You, both written and produced by Meltzer and Morris Two others feature the vocal magic of Morris on Somebody You'd Love To Love, a funky tribute to the mind-numbing power of visual attraction. and the NYC monster club smash Saturday Night which also features the bass work of co-writer Gary Lunsford. All five were written and produced by Meltzer and Morris. The last two remixes feature the now fourth cover of the pop/rock ballad No Music by Geri Mingori co-written by Meltzer with Philly guitarist Ron Gentile, and Just Let Me Go, a country style tune featuring Sal Anthony and co-written by Anthony with Meltzer and Barbara Lehman.
Morris of Philadelphia and Las Vegas, NV, also contributed all the keyboards and sang most of the background vocals on the seven original masters, which also feature the other original members of the acclaimed B.U.T. rhythm section, Lunsford on bass, Gentile on guitar, with Donnie Smith and later Phil DeMarco on drums. Meltzer played percussion on the original mixes and arranged the horns, strings and woodwinds
Garfield Fleming (on tour with The Delphonics)
Archie Bell (of 'Tighten Up" fame)
The Original B.U.T. Rhythm Section