A Hurtin’ Thing

Gloria Ann Taylor

“They were great songs born of hard times, and we put a lot of time and money into them. I feel like it’s time to put the music in somebody’s hands to do something with it.” — Gloria Ann Taylor

Four decades ago, soul singer Gloria Ann Taylor released the epiphanic 12-inch “Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing”—a focused fire groove swathed in a lush string arrangement. Over seven minutes long, its stately presence conjures longing and resignation. Its production was unlike anything of its time—it was disco before disco, and a re-edit before re-edits. Over a methodical backbeat that could be said to recall legendary Detroit producer Theo Parrish if it hadn’t been recorded decades before he would hit the studio, Taylor’s vocals soar skyward with gospel purposefulness.

For a quarter century, “Love Is Hurtin’ Thing” was relegated to obscurity, like the fate of many independently released gems lost in the upstream swim against the major label flow. In the early 2000s, the 12″ was rediscovered and rescued by crate diggers, and quickly transformed the deep funk scene. Its sultriness and sophistication changed the testosterone-dominated aesthetic within the collective. Instantly, collectors, DJs, and musicians began obsessing over the seminal jam. Because it was never officially reissued, a vinyl copy from the artist’s own label, Selector Sound, often fetched upwards of $1,500 on eBay.

Now, for the first time since its original pressing, Ubiquity Records/Luv N’ Haight will reissue the revelatory track with additional lost classics as an exquisitely packaged anthology of Taylor’s catalog, titled Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing.

“I never lost faith in the music. I always thought something would happen with it,” Gloria Ann Taylor says today. “They were great songs born of hard times, and we put a lot of time and money into them. I feel like it’s time to put the music in somebody’s hands to do something with it. It’s been a long time coming; a change is coming.”

“Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing” was the artistic brainstorm of a creative enterprise that included Gloria; her brother Leonard, as a contributing songwriter, conceptualist, and instrumentalist; and her late husband Walter Whisenhunt, as her producer. Whisenhunt had previously been a close business and management associate of James Brown. He was a fearless entrepreneur with a bold personal affectation, and a visionary producer.

Leonard Taylor, Gloria Anne Taylor, Walter WhisenhuntLeonard Taylor, Gloria Ann Taylor, Walter Whisenhunt

The story goes that Whisenhunt was fresh off a hot streak with R&B vocalist Doris Troy. On a tip from the owner of the Toledo, Ohio club the Green Light, Whisenhunt drove 60 miles from Detroit to where Taylor was regularly performing, whisked her away as a creative foil, and swept her off her feet as a love interest. In their time together from 1971 to 1977, the two would go on to to have torrid relationships as business partners and life partners, after which Gloria would never sing, record, or perform professionally again.

Originally, Taylor’s catalog was issued through Selector Sound, the trio’s own imprint. Though she was nominated for a Grammy, performed live on bills featuring The Emotions, Johnnie Taylor, B.B. King, James Brown, and The O’Jays, and had a close circle of friends that included Bootsy Collins and James Brown, she never crossed over into the mainstream.

Archivist and A&R rep Eothen Alapatt, aka Egon (an authority on rare soul, funk, and R&B, formerly the general manager of Stones Throw Records, and currently the creative director of the J. Dilla estate) says, “That one track really secured Gloria Ann Taylor’s space in the soul-funk canon. It begins as psychedelic soul and ends as disco, and she has a great voice. The track is on par with the quality of the commercial material of the day.” He continues, “I found out about it in 2000 and everyone wanted it back then. It was one of those amazing records, and it added a lot of sophistication to the aggressiveness and roughness of the deep funk scene of that time. It really opened up people’s ears.”

Reflecting on “Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing,” Taylor recalls, “I was afraid of that track! I didn’t know how it would turn out. I sang it in one take and then Walter added his orchestra. But when I heard it, man, I loved it. The music wouldn’t be the same without him. It was great and still is great.”

Gloria’s brother, Leonard Taylor, remembers driving around Hollywood at 2:00 AM listening to the track right after it was finished. “I was amazed at what we came up with. We didn’t realize how popular it continued to be until YouTube came up and people started getting in touch about the music,” he says.

The 13-track retrospective, Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing, features Gloria Ann Taylor’s iconic 12″ along with tracks culled from the five singles and one EP that Selector Sounds released during its six-year existence. In the space of that time, Taylor showed remarkable breadth as a vocalist. On “Deep Inside of You” (the 7″ version), she sings in a smooth, emotive, Motown style.  For “How Can You Say It,” she conjures smoldering sentimentality. On the balmy soul workout “Had It All The Time,” she luxuriates with a slow-burn melisma. Taylor also turns in a profound rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” Here, her haunting, charred soulfulness makes the song’s “don’t take my man” message even more sinister than typically interpreted.

Gloria Ann Taylor and Walter WhisenhuntGloria Ann Taylor and Walter Whisenhunt

The anthology is as much about producer Walter Whisenhunt’s artistry as it is about Gloria’s. Whisenhunt challenged Taylor with adventurous song choices. He was a daring innovator, spiking his opulent productions with grimy, psychedelic guitars; meticulously layering harmonies, strings, and vocal harmonies for a singular wall-of-sound approach; leaving in rhythmic clashes and stray tape noise to seemingly heighten drama; and boldly experimenting with vocal effects. Whisenhunt has long since passed, and few from his inner circle know the ins and outs of his production secrets. It’s hard to be certain what creative choices were visionary and what were the default results of budgetary constraints limiting studio time, thus making things seem potentially more avant-garde than intended. Listening to this collection, we can glean that the track was Frankensteined from the Selector Sound releases “How Can You Say It”, “Music,” and “Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing,” and held together by a freshly overdubbed drum track.

Taylor’s story begins under the specter of illness. At a very young age, she was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and it was thought she wouldn’t live past 16. During this uncertain time, she remembers frequently going to church with her mother, hearing her mother sing, and admiring her voice. Her brother Leonard reflects, “I can remember being in the cradle and my mom holding my head and singing to me. I could feel it deep within. I knew Gloria had that gift too; even when she was a baby, she was special. When Gloria sang, she could make us kids cry with the sad songs she would make up.”

Taylor’s hardscrabble rise from the club grind to sharing the stage with soul, funk, and R&B icons was almost mythic in its dramatic trajectory. “I remember one time James Brown got up on the table and did the splits on our dining room table,” Leonard Taylor laughs. But Walter Whisenhunt’s aspirations to be a Berry Gordy figure, and his lack of business acumen, embittered Gloria Taylor and eventually, she moved back to Toledo from Los Angeles to raise her children.

Gloria Ann Taylor

“I have fond memories of going to Atlanta, where I was strong. I turned on the radio and they were playing my music all day. It was fascinating,” Taylor says. “But I was pretty young back then, and I let my husband take care of the business and none of us had the knowledge we needed to make things really happen.”

Taylor left music to have the stability of a normal life and reconnect with her spirituality. “I remember when she quit and she was going back to church. I couldn’t say anything because I knew what motivated her,” Leonard Taylor says. ”Our mom had just died and Gloria had to do what she felt in her heart. Periodically, I would go back and listen to the music, and sometimes I would have a negative feeling because I felt more people should have heard it. Maybe we were ahead of our time. Now, I would love for my sister to get recognition for her music.”

Today, Gloria Taylor has a piano in her house and she sings in church. And after the Selector Sound releases get a proper release, she wants to write a book about her journey. Looking back, she says, “I lost interest in the music business, but I never gave up on the music. I knew the music was gonna endure.”

Bundle Up, Winter’s A Comin!

Buy full digital discography | M|O|O|N

You can now offer fans your entire digital discography for a special price, and fans can purchase or gift it in a single transaction. Check out a few examples here, here, and here.

The full discography purchase option is not enabled by default. To turn it on, first log in to your Bandcamp account. If you’re eligible to enable full discography purchase, you’ll see a notification linking to the section of your Profile where you set it up:


You can choose to offer your full digital discography for no discount, or from 5 to 90% off. Once you enable full discography purchase and save your Profile, we notify all of your followers automatically.

We quietly launched full discography purchase last week, and based on the percentage of eligible artists who have enabled it, and their earnings so far, we know that if every eligible artist turns it on, we’ll see about $1.8 million in bundles sell over the next few weeks. So get on it!

A few caveats:
Artists must have at least three purchasable albums in order to offer a full discography bundle (two albums is just two albums — three on the other hand… that’s an oeuvre!).

Labels (meaning those with label, not artist, accounts) can offer full discography bundles for any of their artists, provided they meet the three album minimum, and payment for all their releases is directed to the same account.

Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On

Boots-for Dancing by Alastair McKayphoto by Alastair McKay

“I didn’t play the game. Although time has passed and, certainly in the context of this AOTN release, I have reflected on this and many other past events, I have an absolute certainty that this was the right decision and I still stand by it.” — Dave Carson

When punk’s furious power hour subsided in the late 1970s, a new wave of iconoclasts emerged intoxicated with the possibilities of the DIY ethos and determined to make a racket all their own. This era has been dubbed “post-punk,” and it was heady and reached well beyond punk’s aggressive minimalism. Appropriating elements of funk, electronic, reggae, and experimental music, post-punk cultivated a singular aesthetic that spawned wildly diverse artists, such as The Cure, Public Image Limited, Devo, and Gang Of Four.

One of the lost innovators of this time was Edinburgh, Scotland’s Boots For Dancing, a collective as fiercely dedicated to funk as to its anti-commercial ideals. The band issued three now highly collectible singles, sessioned with the legendary English producer/influencer John Peel, and blazed the stage, opening for the Talking Heads and U2. But the group never issued a full-length until now. Thirty-three years later, Boots For Dancing issues the album that could have made them a defining voice in the fertile time of punk’s aftermath. The Undisco Kidds (Athens Of The North, aka AOTN) was recorded back in 1982.

Boots for Dancing, Hammersmith gig poster

“I didn’t play the game,” founding member/vocalist Dave Carson says. “Although time has passed and, certainly in the context of this AOTN release, I have reflected on this and many other past events, I have an absolute certainty that this was the right decision and I still stand by it.”

Boots For Dancing was a quartet active from 1979-1982, with a fluid membership. Besides mainstay vocalist Dave Carson, the group’s other notable member was guitarist Jo Callis. Callis, who previously played in the esteemed Edinburgh hooky punk band The Rezillos, would go on to achieve success after his tenure in Boots For Dancing as a member of the electronic new wave sensation The Human League (yes, that Human League: “Don’t You Want Me”, “Human”, “(Keep Feeling) Fascination,” etc.).

Boots was inspired by James Brown, Chic, the tribalism of the Cramps, and intrepid groove explorations of post-punk progenitors such as the Slits, The Pop Group, and Gang Of Four. The group joined the ranks of the post-punk vanguard upon releasing its 1980s Pop Aural 12” Boots For Dancing EP, featuring “Boots for Dancing”, “Parachute,” and “Guitars & Girl Trouble.” The group received a thumbs up from John Peel—a huge accolade for any up-and-coming band in the punk/post-punk era—and would go onto receive airplay from Peel and record for his legendary live session series, “Peel sessions.” (Notable bands who have also recorded for this series include The Cure, Joy Division, and The Smiths, among many others.) The group was an incendiary live act, and once opened for the Talking Heads during its Remain In Light period, when the band expanded its lineup to include P-Funker Bernie Worrell, King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew, and soul star vocalist Nona Hendryx (ex-) Labelle. At one point, Boots For Dancing was to be featured on the cover of the NME.

Boots for Dancing by Alastair McKayphoto by Alastair McKay

“To be honest, I personally felt that every time we played it was miraculous; it was always ‘of the moment,’” recalls Carson. “I enjoyed every minute of performing live, making it a collective experience, breaking down the barriers between performers and audience. Our mission was to school punks into funkateers, from ‘1-2-3-4’ to ‘on the one.’”

Dave Carson was, and still is, a voracious music lover and began the group shortly after landing a day job at a fledgling record store chain called Virgin Records. The store’s eclectic stock got him hip to artists such as Steely Dan, Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, Al Green, James Brown, and Lee “Scratch” Perry. “The Ramones’ first album opened the doors of possibility,” Carson says. “The mantra was ‘do it for yourselves,’ just get out there and give it a bash – in reality everyone was a star although it was more like everyone was an anti-star.” In an almost mythic turn of events, one day a buddy showed Carson a list of band names which included Boots For Dancing, and that very same night Carson and three of his chums pitched in as last-minute support for a featured band. The first name that came into his head when he had to introduce the band was Boots For Dancing.

Inspired from that onstage jolt, the group began rehearsing in earnest, churning out The Troggs-style (“Wild Thing”) primitive garage rock. The group’s song “Boots For Dancing” was an early standout anchored down by a New Orleans second line pulse. Upon hearing this unique pairing of punky snarl with a rarefied groove, Bob Last of Pop Aural called Carson and suggested the group make a disco 12” single of the track. “That sort of shaped the direction we would travel along: punky but funky,” Carson reveals.

Newly determined to groove, the band began to hone their chops into a taut but limber punk-funk unit. “I used to make cassette mixtapes for anyone interested in contributing to playing in the band. The triptych was: James Brown’s ‘I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me),’ Can’s ‘Mushroom,’ and Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation,” Carson explains.

Intuitively, Boots For Dancing found its own authentic connection between funk and punk. “It was about being subversive, playing a danceable rhythm that would subliminally get folks moving whether they liked you or not. The funkiness was the vehicle to get the message across,” Carson says. Former guitarist Jo Callis adds: “I remember [former Boots For Dancing] guitarist Mike Barclay once saying that, although we were all fans of The New York Dolls, Iggy Pop, Bowie, and glam, we were still soul boys at heart.”

Boots-for Dancing by Alastair McKayphoto by Alastair McKay

Boots For Dancing would issue two more singles following its groundbreaking debut before calling it a day. “We weren’t striving to cop a deal so we weren’t hungry for career opportunities; in fact, it was the opposite. My theory was that the music business was ‘honest capitalism,’ ’cause you knew from day one that you were going to get ripped off and exploited,” Carson says. He also cites how Edinburgh was marginalized by the press and how it did itself a disservice by sticking with the old guard of musicians and not nurturing the emerging youth culture.

The allure of pop stardom also created dissonance within the group. There was outside pressure on Carson to either go solo, or be positioned as the star member of the band. This all came to a head with the NME cover opportunity the band opted out of after doing the photo shoot. “I refused to be complicit with turfing out my friends from the group and consequently all the promotional opportunities that were planned didn’t happen, including that front cover feature,” Carson says.

“Dave often worried that he was being put under pressure to adopt some kind of a ‘pop star’ image, which didn’t sit too comfortably with him. In reality, he could have achieved that more or less on his own terms rather than being molded into something he wasn’t happy with,” Callis says. “A few years later, the first time I saw Holly Johnson performing with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, I thought, ‘That could have been Dave.’ He could pull something like that off so effortlessly, a pop star on his own terms.”

Boots for Dancing by Simon Cleggphoto by Simon Clegg

AOTN label owner Euan Fryer was 6 years old during Boots For Dancing’s career apex. He’s credited as the researcher and producer of The Undisco Kidds. He and Carson first met at a record store, and quickly bonded over their expansive tastes, which include everything from techno to folk. Once Fryer found out Carson was in a band, he tracked down Boots For Dancing singles and was enamored with the group’s aesthetic.

“Originally Euan had asked if I wanted to do a DJ spot with him about three years ago, and asked me to write a couple of sentences about myself to post on his Facebook page. In the post, I mentioned Boots For Dancing and my role in the band and punk funk as a sub-genre. The next time I saw him, he had purchased our third single on eBay and wanted to reissue our music,” Carson says. “I’m still waiting for my DJ gig!” It would take three years for Fryer to chase down the masters and locate album cover photos. The journey even included rescuing tapes from a cupboard in Spain.

The album title, The Undisco Kidds, is a tribute to George Clinton and his 1976 Funkadelic album Tales From Kidd Funkadelic. The 14-track album contains previously issued tracks “Oh’ Bop Sh Bam” and “Shadows on Stone,” along with 12 never-released tracks that have been relegated to obscurity and the imaginations of those select few who witnessed Boots For Dancing live.

The music is a collection of militant, lean, and angular funk frothing over with punk energy, a dash of free-jazz, and splashes of disco pop bliss. Tracks like “Salt in the Ocean” and the aforementioned “Oh’ Bop Sh Bam” are jittery, groove-laden sonic blasts, evocative of skronky, post-punk, pioneers-gone-contemporaries Gang Of Four. When the band slows down, lays back, and digs in, it achieves singularity. “Wild Jazz Summers,” and the tension-and-release dynamic of “Money (Is Thin On The Ground)” showcase the band paving its own path, away from the tightly wound-up funk-punk of the day. The “King” Sunny Adé-esque “Bend an Elbow, Lend an Ear,” is a revelation in world beat punk fusion. Throughout The Undisco Kidds, Dave Carson’s vocals invoke new wave crooning, tribal chants, fractured no-wave exclamations, and swaggering funk proclamations. His impressionistic, lyric tales straddle the line between realistic imagery and fantastical musings.

Post Boots, Carson went to college for community development and now has a career in the field of addiction and harm reduction. He reflects on his legacy saying: “We did something back then with no eye on the future, especially considering that we’d be releasing material 30+ years later in a very different context. I’ve joked a few times with Euan that I feel like some old blues cat sitting on my porch, and then Euan comes along like Alan Lomax and gives the music another shot late in life. I’m immensely proud that this album is finally seeing the light of day.”

Their Satanic Majesties


“For us, inspiration goes back to bands like Duran Duran. But we didn’t have instruments to emulate their sound, so we started making music with whatever was around, like scrap iron, tape recorders, typewriters, broken toys, and record players.”

It’s hard to imagine that some of the world’s most perplexing and eclectic modern music came from a trio of Duran Duran fans from Osaka, Japan. But since its inception in 1997, Satanicpornocultshop have consistently issued 28 albums and 27 singles of invigorating and unpredictable hip-hop-based music. Now, with a robust international profile, the three-piece is poised to penetrate stateside consciousness with its latest concoction, The Ship With No Cargo.

“For us, inspiration goes back to bands like Duran Duran,” Satanicpornocultshop MC and composer ugh yoing affirms. “But we didn’t have instruments to emulate their sound, so we started making music with whatever was around, like scrap iron, tape recorders, typewriters, broken toys, and record players.”

Thirsty for sounds that matched the music-making materials at hand, the members of Satanicpornocultshop began crate digging. In the late 1990s in Japan, secondhand records were inexpensive and abundant and the three musicians began exploring noise, new wave, punk, hip-hop, pop, rock, and ethnic music. Keenly aware of the theoretical antecedents to their early sonic explorations, they began to embrace French anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss’ musings on bricolage. They felt a kinship with his interest in how communities ingeniously reappropriate cultural artifacts. Channeling this spirit into hip-hop with a pinwheel of influences outside the genre became the foundation for the Satanicpornocultshop aesthetic.


Satanicpornocultshop officially began in 1997, and, since its inception, has shifted personnel with ugh yoing being the mainstay. Currently, the trio is Frosen Pine (MC and lyrics), ugh yoing (MC and composer), and Vinylman (DJ). Throughout the three-piece group’s 18-year run, Satanicpornocultshop has had label associations mostly with international niche experimental outlets. Interestingly, in 2010, the UK-based label Some Bizzare—most notable for helping propagate the 1980s synth-pop sound through issuing unreleased material from Soft Cell and Depeche Mode—released Satanicpornocultshop’s tenth album, Arkhaiomelisidonophunikheratos.

The trio has built a sizeable international profile through experimental music festival appearances in Madrid and Paris, numerous European tours, and through garnering acclaim from electronic arts influencers such as The Prix Ars Electronica and the Quartz Electronic Music Awards.

Despite the group’s anything-goes, assemblage compositional style, there are readily definable characteristics to the Satanicpornocultshop sound. Constants beneath its fractured artistry are spacious passages with meditative, melodious female vocals, shards of white noise, chill-flow hip-hop, rarefied references from urban subgenres (juke, footwork, and ghettotech), heavy metal freak-outs, and dementedly playful recontextualizations of ubiquitous pop hooks. And these can all happen in one song.

Central to Satanicpornocultshop’s artistry is irreverence and absurdity. “Commercial music has collapsed and we’re enjoying the new freedom from this situation. Our music is about a happy, artistic exchange between three people,” ugh reveals. When pressed about flak for maybe going a little too far with the band name, ugh says: “There hasn’t been a problem, everyone is laughing. Even the pastor of the church was also smiles.”


The trio’s latest album, The Ship With No Cargo, is something of a variation and continuation of its 2014 album The Shipboard Gardener, which was accepted to Unyazi 2014, an electronic music festival in Johannesburg, South Africa. This latest entry is a collaboration with the delicately emotive Japanese vocalist Miyuki Nakagaki. Here, her own lyrics and ideas take the foreground while Satanicpornocultshop provides supportive music based on its previous album’s motifs. On The Ship With No Cargo, Nakagaki explores the concept of the fate of a shipwreck’s cargo beneath the sea—will the ship’s discarded contents be unwelcomed intruders in an underwater biosphere or will they enhance the landscape of the ocean floor as artificial reefs? The concept brims with metaphor that, according to ugh, grapples with self-identity through examining the dissonance between inner and outer worlds.

The music on The Ship With No Cargo offers an eerie majesty best described as symphonic, slow-burn EDM. On the album, arrangements patiently unfold with logical dynamic and genre shifts. “Walk On The Meridian” has a dramatic sweep that’s more akin to classical music than fearless, sample-based assemblage. The album’s concluding piece, “Maiden Voyage,” (presumably a Herbie Hancock reference as the threesome has repurposed ideas from this composition before) is pure, icy beauty without any (perceived) hidden, arty jabs. Two sure signs of the pranksters of yore occur on the album opener, “Desert Divers,” which features a lonesome ambient vocal that only in the intro bangs into a cacophonously diced-up Eastern musical motif, and the strange animal quack or glitch that spikes up at the end of the mantra-like “The Shipboard Gardener.”

The group’s creative process includes collecting and recording sounds at random. These can be loose vocal ideas, samples, found dialogue, or various morsels of noise or music.  Within the group, each member has a clearly defined role. Lyricist and MC Frosen Pine, also an accomplished metal guitarist, contributes rap phrases and guitar parts, DJ Vinylman offers macro creative conceptual direction, and ugh stitches everything together into music using the recording platform Logic.


Conceptual ideas and specific genre explorations inform the process, as well. Sometimes entire albums are built from analyzing jokes, messing with new or old technology, or by simply making a conscious decision to explore a certain musical idea. Lyrically, the band seems to pull from a William Burroughs-esque, cut-up philosophy that strings together nonsensical words. “We don’t exclusively use any country’s language,” ugh confides. “A lot of our texts are comprised of misheard words in English, Portuguese, and, occasionally, nonspecific Japanese words.”

Satanicpornocultshop perform live in masks and curate something of a hybrid experience that melds the situationist concept of the spectacle with a true, insider-y, dance club experience. Onstage the group frequently collaborates with video artist Tkayoshi Ikeguchi and performance artist/musicians AkumaDaikon & Klone7023.

Up next, Satanicpornocultshop is readying a new album. “We are now recording a sweet soul disco album targeted to single women 20 to 40 years of age,” ugh says. “I want it to play in cosmetic departments of shopping malls.”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,897 other followers