LISA LISA AND CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE-LISA LISA AND CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE.

LISA LISA AND CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE-LISA LISA AND CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE.

After signing to Columbia Records, the three members of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Lisa Velez, Alex Panador and Mike Hughes would embark upon the most successful period of their career. During the four year period between 1985 and 1989, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam released three albums, two of which were certified platinum and one gold. Oh, and that’s not forgetting two US R&B number one singles Head To Toe and Lost In Emotion. This successful period started with Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam’s debut album Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force which will be released on 30th July 2012  by BBR Records. Key to the success of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam were the production team of Full Force, plus a hugely talented vocalist in Lisa Lisa. Full Force were one of the most successful production teams of this time, working with artists like La Toya Jackson, The Weather Girls and Lil’ Kim. With the help of Full Force, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam and their fusion of R&B and hip hop burst onto the musical scene. The next four years, would change the lives of Lisa, Alex and Mike, resulting in some memorable music, including their debut album Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force.

Now signed to Columbia Records, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam headed to New York’s Sigma Sound Studios, where they’d record their debut album Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force. The three members of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam lead vocalists Lisa Velez, guitarist and bassist Alex Panador and drummer and keyboard player Mike Hughes cowrote seven tracks, while Lisa Lisa cowrote This Is Cult Jam with Full Force and Howie Tee. Not only would Full Force produce the album, but accompany Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, including Bow Legged Lou and Paul Anthony adding vocals. A total of eight tracks were recorded, becoming Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force.

Before the release of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force, the first single was chosen from the album. This was I Wonder If I Take You Home, released in April 1985. It reached number thirty-four in the US Billboard 100, number six in the US R&B Charts and number one in the US Dance Charts, resulting in the single being certified gold. More success would come the way of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam when they released their debut album. Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force was released in August 1985, reaching number fifty-two in the US Billboard 200 and number sixteen in the US R&B Charts. Having sold over one-million copies, the album was certified platinum. Can You Feel the Beat was released in October 1985, reaching number sixty-nine in the US Billboard 100, number forty in the US R&B Charts and number six in the US Dance Charts. All Cried Out was the final single from Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force, released in June 1986, reaching number eight in the US Billboard 100 and number three in the US R&B Charts. Quite simply, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force had been a huge success, but what does the album sound like? That’s what I’ll now tell you.

You Wonder If I Take You Home opens Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force. Not only was this the lead single from the album, and was certified gold, but saw hip hop, R&B dance music and pop combine. Lisa’s vocal combines R&B and pop, while Cult Jam and Full Force fuses hip hop and dance music. Stabs of keyboards and crispy beats precede Lisa’s emotive, needy vocal. As backing vocalists augment Lisa’s vocal, swathes of keyboards combine with crunchy, spacey beats. During a breakdown, Lisa’s vocal dances above Cult Jam and Full Force arrangement, before Mike lays down his rap. For seven minutes, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force create a groundbreaking, innovative and genre uniting track. In doing so, they paved the way for a wave of similar artists and in the process, laid down a marker.

You’ll Never Change opens with a dialogue between an errant boyfriend and his frustrated girlfriend. Then comes Lisa’s frustrated, angry vocal. It’s delivered against pounding beats, as stabs and layer upon layer of keyboards provide the mainstay of the arrangement. Backing vocalists sympathize and empathize with Lisa, reflecting her frustration and disappointment. Meanwhile, drums crack, providing the track’s angry heartbeat, as keyboards add to the sadness of Lisa’s weary vocal. Key to the success of the track is Lisa’s vocal. Without her vocal, this track wouldn’t be half as good.

All Cried Out was the third single from the album reaching the top ten in the US Billboard 100 and US R&B Charts. It’s quite different from the two preceding tracks. The reason for this is the use of a piano, guitar and bass. They give the track a much more R&B sound. Lisa’s vocal is accompanied by just the piano, as again, she demonstrates just how talented a vocalist she is. Her vocal is full of sadness and regret. Later, Paul Anthony delivers the male lead vocal, adding to the emotion of the track. The addition of a searing, rocky guitar solo adds drama, and is the finishing touch to one of the highlights of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force.

This Is Cult Jam was one of only two tracks not written by Cult Jam. Here, a haunting, sinister sounding male vocal is fused with crunchy hip hop beats, synths, scratches and Mike’s rap. Lisa’s vocal drifts in and out of the track, while Cult Jam and Full Force combine, scratches, samples, sinister vocals, melodic harmonies and Mike’s punchy rap peerlessly. The result is a pioneering, innovative track, from true musical pioneers.

Can You Feel the Beat sees another change in style, with the track more dance-floor influence. The tempo is quicker, Lisa’s vocal dropped in, before the track reveals its secrets. Marauding beats, a pounding bass, multilayered synths and guitars create a track where hip hop, dance, R&B and pop unite. Lisa’s vocal is R&B and pop combined, while the arrangement would prove a template for later dance music producers. Even many years later, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force’s influence could be heard, with another generation of artists and producers using their pioneering sound and moving it forward.

Stabs of squelchy synths and drums accompany Lisa’s anguished vocal as Behind My Eyes opens. Background vocals from Full Force accompany her, while an infectiously catchy arrangement unfolds. Guitars and electric percussion are added, providing a contrast to the rest of the arrangement, as Lisa’s vocal becomes sassy, brimming with confidence, before she dramatically half-sings, half-speaks the vocal. Again, it’s Lisa’s vocal that’s the clincher. It takes the track the next level, as hip hop, dance, R&B and pop hooks melts together seamlessly,

Private Property opens dramatically, with piano opening the track, before crunchy, punchy beats and synths are added. They give the track a hooky, melodic sound, before Lisa takes charge. Her vocal is powerful, laden with emotion. As her vocal drops out, the piano reenters, adding a new dimension to the sound. So do the backing vocals that accompany Lisa, as she struts her way across the track, mixing bravado with a sassiness. Although Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force all play their part in the sound and success of the track, it’s Lisa that plays the starring role.

Closing Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force is Take Me Home, a two minute rap by Mike of Full Force. Crispy beats crack, reverberating, while Lisa adds a dramatic vocal. Mike literally struts in, his vocal full of bravado. Keyboards, percussion and crunchy beats accompany as Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force bring their debut album Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force to a dramatic, machismo-fueled close.

When Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force was released, little did Lisa Lisa, Cult Jam or Full Force realize the impact of the album would have. With its fusion of R&B, hip hop, dance and pop, artist had managed to bridge the gap between the various genres. This made Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force musical pioneers, boldly going where no artist had gone before. Where Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force first walked, other artists stepped into their shoes and walked even further. They took over the baton from Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force, whose music became a template for a new generation of artists and producers. What Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force had seemed almost impossible back in the early eighties, artists and producers now take for granted. Maybe they should tip their hat to true musical pioneers, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force. Without Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force’s debut album Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force, which will be rereleased on 30th July 2012 by BBR Records, then much of the music we take for granted wouldn’t have happened. So, maybe the artists and producers who’ve benefited from the pioneering music on Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force, should give thanks to Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force for paving the way for them and in some cases, the untold riches that has come their way. Standout Tracks: I Wonder If I Take You Home, You’ll Never Change, All Cried Out and Private Property.

LISA LISA AND CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE-LISA LISA AND CULT JAM WITH FULL FORCE.

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