Everyone’s saying it; PAUL JOHNSON’S ‘Better Than This’ is just about THE best UK soul side in recent years. It’s on every decent jock’s playlist and the real soul collectors already have it nestling in their collections.
The good news is that there’s a spiffing, brand new remix doing the rounds. The sad news, though, is that said remix is one of the last projects from the late and very great FRANKIE KNUCKLES.
Paul himself commissioned this mix late last year and it’s the classiest dance mix you’ll hear all year. Already a great tune, FK takes it to the next level showing, once again, how he totally understood the soul dance genre.
Paul has released the mix with the following message: “I am still reeling from the loss of the late great Frankie Knuckles. Last year after writing the track ‘Better Than This’ and getting it mixed by the talented Ozzie Tripleo I sent it to Frankie to have a listen. I hadn’t seen him for over ten years – and then that was while catching a flight home from Ibiza – when I was working with Shaun Escoffery. I was surprised and overjoyed that he had remembered me from my CBS days and my work with Shara Nelson. Frankie asked me what I had been doing so I told him about my career in Further Education and the recent track I had worked on. I sent him my song; he listened to it and replied ‘Nice groovy tune! What’s the deal? What are you doing with it? I like it!’ On his return from Venice a couple of months later he had mixed ‘Better Than This’. The music is an expression of my freedom and the joy is knowing that others are willing to receive it. It certainly is not about sales, recording deals, egos etc. Frankie knew I didn’t have a recording deal but I think he wanted to spread the joy that he detected! I am grateful that he gave this song his seal of approval and more than that – he gave me his time, talent and effort. What a gift…. and what integrity. Something more of us could aspire to… Much love Frankie RIP.”
This very special mix of ‘Better Than This’ will be released on vinyl via Expansion Records on Record Store Day… April 18th.
.. and for those partial to tasty remixes, LISA STANSFIELD’S latest single, ‘So Be It’ has just been given a fab makeover from the Soul Talk people. Always one of her latest LP’s best tunes, here it becomes a revelation. The modern soul crew need to dig this one out pronto… it’s gorgeous. They’ll probably pass on the energized Cahill Remix though – strictly for the house heads.