ESG – Dance To The Best Of ESG – Double CD
The new 3LP version of this release is an exclusive release for Record Store Day 2014. This title may be available on sale one week after the event on Monday 28th April, dependant on availability. FINALLY AVAILABLE – THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE BEST OF COMPILATION FOR THE ICONIC ESG.
BEST NEW REISSUE 8.4 – PITCHFORK,
Fire Records is proud to announce the global release of the two-disc Dance To The Best of ESG from New Yorks legendary punk/funk family affair ESG (Emerald, Sapphire and Gold.) For the very first time, all of the songs that made the band such an innovative influence are available in a single release. Covering their earliest Martin Hannett produced tracks such as Moody and UFO right through their more recent killer tunes, this compilation leans heavily on the foundation that made them one of the most sampled artists of all-time, while touching on every one of their stellar records. Every cut runs deep and every ass had better shake. When ESG says dance you had better dance dammit!
Born in the late 70s from their Mothers hope that they would avoid the dangers of the South Bronx by practicing their instruments instead of running the streets, the young Scroggins sisters soon formed a band naming themselves after their birthstones and christened ESG (Emerald, Sapphire and Gold.) Entered into a talent show, they caught the attention of 99 Records Ed Bahlman and soon were opening for the likes of PiL and Gang of Four. One such night playing before A Certain Ratio at Hurrahs caught the attention of Factory Records impresario Tony Wilson. Not long after, the four sisters, Renee, Valerie, Marie and Deborah, along with friend Tito Libran, were in the studio with producer Martin Hannett making the tracks that would instantly cement their legend.
Youre No Good, UFO, and Moody (all included here) were classics upon arrival. Their relationship with Factory would soon be cemented by playing the opening night of the labels Hacienda nightclub in Manchester, England.
In the meantime, the group had a debut LP to assemble. Starting with the Dance To The Beat Of Moody EP, they then recorded the resulting Come Away With ESG, and it is an absolute stunner. Named by Pitchfork as one of the Best Records of the 80s – the songs are packed with the defining sound of their wonderful way of making a funk juggernaut from a three-note bassline and clattering sticks. Dubby vocals and chickenscratch guitar join clear two note melodies and incessant high hat and congas.
The world seemed to eagerly await what would come next. They had no idea how long that wait would last.
99 Records and Bahlman were soon embroiled in the groundbreaking lawsuit regarding Sugarhill Records use of Liquid Liquids Cavern in Grandmaster Flashs White Lines. At the same time, ESG was suffering at the hands of hip hop, quickly becoming one of the most sampled (and least compensated) groups of all-time. It would all serve to derail their initial promise.
They never stopped playing live including the final night of the mythic Paradise Garage club, confirming their place on the House DJ playlist, where Moody was a must spin. However, little in the way of recording was done. A few EPs would trickle out (most notably Bam Bam Jam) before 1991 saw a renewed interest via a compilation showing off a re-vamped version of the band, centered on Renee, Marie and Valerie. Following Sample Credits timely considering the new batch of digital grabbers the band went quiet on record once more.
The new millennium finally saw ESG getting some proper due courtesy of compilations and a cutting new release. Step Off added in second-generation Scroggins girls, Renees daughter Nicole and Valeries daughter Chistelle, with little change to their core sound. Following up with the Kee