El Michels Affair Adult Themes Big Crown Records is proud to present Adult Themes, the latest full length offering from El Michels Affair. This album takes the band’s “Cinematic Soul” aesthetic literally and sends the listener on a journey through a whirlwind of moods and energies. With their 2005 debut album Sounding Out The City, EMA spearheaded an instrumental funk / soul movement that inspired a slew of bands and even lead to the creation of a few independent record labels. El Michels has since lent his signature sound to artists from Adele to Dr John, Lana Del Rey to Aloe Blacc, and a who’s who list of others. In 2016 he co-founded Big Crown Records and has since produced the lion’s share of its output. A short stint as the touring band for Wu Tang Clan in 2007 led to the cult classics Enter The 37th Chamber (2009) and Return To The 37th Chamber (2017). Adult Themes marks the long awaited, highly anticipated return to an album of original compositions from El Michels Affair. Big Crown Records CD | LP Pre-Order
Crown Jewels Vol. 1 Various Artists Big Crown is proud to present their first compilation on the label, Crown Jewels Vol. 1. This is something of a highlight reel for what they have released in the three years that they've been around. It features Lee Fields and The Expressions, Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band, Lady Wray, The Shacks, El Michels Affair and more. Big Crown Records LP
Lee Fields & The Expressions Wake Up / You're What's Needed in My Life Following up on the massive success of Lee Fields' recently released full length It Rains Love, Big Crown drops another 45 for the DJs and collectors, showing off two different sides of Lee & The Expressions' range. The A side "Wake Up" is Lee’s heavy duty, drum driven, anthemic tune for the times. Fields calls out the highly over-used and abused term of the current presidency "fake news." Over a hard as nails sound bed courtesy of The Expressions he goes on asking people to wake up and not let this propaganda sway them from knowing what is right and wrong. The B side "You're What’s Needed In My Life" is a gushing testament to the beauty of love. Solidifying his title as the Professor of Love it's almost like he's writing your girl's valentine for you. Going beyond how happy the woman he is singing to makes him and telling of how she makes everyone she meets happier. This two-sider is about as classic as possible, a heavy duty funk banger on the A side, and nothing but love on the ballad B side. Another classic and timeless offering from the one and only Lee Fields. Big Crown 7"
The Shacks This Strange Effect / Hands In Your Pocket The A side “This Strange Effect” is an updated take on the Ray Davies penned classic from 1965. The B Side “Hands In Your Pockets” finds The Shacks dipping their toe into the rocksteady / reggae world. Recorded with the rhythm section of the infamous Frightnrs of Daptone Records fame, Shannon’s floaty vocal stylings are right at home on a new jack reggae rhythm. Big Crown 7"
Sunny & The Sunliners The Missing Link [Black Friday 17] Limited Black Friday release available instore and online from Friday 24th November, strictly one per customer. $2 from each copy of The Missing Link sold on Black Friday Record Store Day 2017 will go to The Greater Houston Community Foundation to help with relief for areas of Texas that were affected by Hurricane Harvey When it comes to living legends in the Texas and Latin Music pantheon, few have been at it longer and are more revered by their fans and peers than vocalist, songwriter and bandleader Sunny Ozuna. Born and raised in San Antonio, where he still resides, Sunny became a star right out of high school in the late '50s and hasn't looked back in the six decades since. After releasing dozens of albums since the mid-1960s (in Spanish and English), Sunny still keeps a busy schedule and loves performing as much as he did as a teenager. His classic 45s regularly change hands for hundreds of dollars among collectors around the world, affirming his timeless appeal. As a logical next step after Big Crown's excellent (and Sunny-approved) Mr. Brown Eyed Soul compilation from September, the label has started digging into the vaults of Sunny's Key-Loc Records label to unearth some legit soul classics - which are hard to find even in San Antonio, and clean originals will cost you a pretty penny if you ever luck into one - and have not been on vinyl since the late '60s. Each has been remastered and includes original album art. Second in the reissue series is The Missing Link, a 10-cut, all instrumental album, and the tracklist is a wild ride indeed. Ranging from hip soul - James Brown's "Soul Pride," The Inclines' Muscle Shoals groover "Pressure Cooker," and the Meters classic "Cissy Strut" - to a wide swath of '60s Texas Latin party essentials ("Uno," "Rosita Bonita" and "La Pecosita"), the Sunliners are in top form all throughout. It won't take much to envision a San Antonio backyard BBQ in the early '70s with this long player spinning in the background, on repeat. Instrumental party albums were all the rage back when this hit in the late '60s, and Sunny Ozuna and crew show here that they could groove with the best of them. Throw it on, break out the back deck smoker, and let the good tunes roll. A1. Soul Pride A2. Duffy A3. Cissy Strut A4. Rosita Bonita A5. Madrid B1. Boo Boo B2. La Pollera Colorada B3. Pressure Cooker B4. Uno B5. La Big Crown LP
Sunny & The Sunliners Smile Now, Cry Later [Black Friday 17] Limited Black Friday release available instore and online from Friday 24th November, strictly one per customer. $2 from each copy of Smile Now, Cry Later sold on Black Friday Record Store Day 2017 will go to The Greater Houston Community Foundation to help with relief for areas of Texas that were affected by Hurricane Harvey When it comes to living legends in the Texas and Latin Music pantheon, few have been at it longer and are more revered by their fans and peers than vocalist, songwriter and bandleader Sunny Ozuna. Born and raised in San Antonio, where he still resides, Sunny became a star right out of high school in the late '50s and hasn't looked back in the six decades since. After releasing dozens of albums since the mid-1960s (in Spanish and English), Sunny still keeps a busy schedule and loves performing as much as he did as a teenager. His classic 45s regularly change hands for hundreds of dollars among collectors around the world, affirming his timeless appeal. As a logical next step after Big Crown's excellent (and Sunny-approved) Mr. Brown Eyed Soul compilation from September, the label has started digging into the vaults of Sunny's Key-Loc Records label to unearth some legit soul classics - which are hard to find even in San Antonio, and clean originals will cost you a pretty penny if you ever luck into one - and have not been on vinyl since the late '60s. Each has been remastered and includes original album art. First up is Smile Now, Cry Later, a 12-song platter which first hit in 1966. As with most Sunny LPs, this is a mix of soulful originals - most notably, "Smile Now, Cry Later" and "Put Me In Jail" - and provocative, wide-ranging covers. Cases in point on the tributes side of this great album include the Sam & Dave shouter "Hold On I'm Comin'"; "Forever," made famous by both the Marvelettes and Marvin Gaye, and a song that Sunny performs to this day; and the '60s Louis Prima crooner special "Just A Gigolo." The band is tight, the sound is honest, the vocals are dusky and deep, and the album is an undeniable soul and Texas music classic, ready to be discovered by a whole new generation of music fans. Dive in and be ready for a permasmile, thanks to that patented Sunny sound. A1. Smile Now, Cry Later A2. Baby, I Apologize A3. I Want To Make It Up To You A4. Forever A5. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me A6. Everybody Knows B1. Hopeless Case B2. Stop That Thief B3. Hold On I'm Comin' B4. Just A Gigolo B5. Put Me In Jail B6. Sidewinder (Part 1 & 2) Big Crown LP
El Michels Affair Shadow Boxing / Iron Maiden Following up on the smashing success of El Michels Affair’s Return To The 37th Chamber, EMA drops one more 45 for the collectors. The A side is the crushing cover of the Wu classic “Shadowboxin” off GZA’s cinematic masterpiece Liquid Swords. El Michels Affair takes the tune and makes it their own with dancing guitar licks, floating organ notes, and their signature heavy drums. The B side is a treat for the fans, a non album cut, they cover Ghostface’s “Iron Maiden”, the tune that opened up and set the tone for his debut classic Ironman. El Michels smashes this one with a frantic off beat intro that drops into a heavy duty cover of the tune. The inimitable studio prowess of Michels is higlighted all over this track in the nuances and arrangements. Play it loud, and also smoke something and play it in your headphones. Another Big Crown sureshot. Big Crown 7"
Lee Fields & The Expressions It Rains Love At the corner of Living Legend St. and OG Ave. you will find Lee Fields’ house. A home that was built with blood, sweat, and tears, and stands on the unshakable foundation of his god given talent. Lee has been singing for 50 plus years and is undeniably, yet amazingly, at the top of his game. Those who have paid attention know that Lee is part of the class that is directly responsible for the revival of old school funk and soul. He has inspired many of today’s younger artists who are doing their best to carry the torch. As long as the road has been, and heavy as the crown may be, Fields is proving yet again that he’s “still got it”. His latest offering is sure to be a warmly received instant classic. It Rains Love is the 2nd album by Lee Fields & The Expressions on Brook- lyn’s Big Crown Records and gives us yet another masterclass in soul. Teaming up again with frequent collaborator and producer Leon Michels and his devoted band, The Expressions, they have managed again to take a classic approach and update it. Traditional soul sensibilities are mixed with a hip-hop tinged, sample ready sound that is as much an homage to the old as to the new. Some of the songs sound like they could belong to any of the last 4 decades without it feeling like a throwback, while others are 60’s soul through and through. Lyrically, Lee runs the gamut from gushing admonishments of love to politically charged calls to action, from proclamations of God’s existence to love letters written to his wife. This record marks the fifth studio album from Lee Fields & the Expressions and we are very proud to add it to the already impeccable catalog they have created together. Another strong offering by a man many people consider to be a national treasure, the professor of love himself, Mr Lee Fields. It’s all love baby! Big Crown CD | LP
El Michels Affair / Lee Fields Never Be Another You (Reggae Version) For years, Lee Fields has been asking for and patiently waiting on a reggae rhythm to sing over. To bring this dream to fruition, EMA teamed up with frequent collaborator and reggae enthusiast, Nick Movshon, and busted out this version of the Lee Fields & The Expressions' instant classic, Never be Another You. The A side is the vocal version of the tune; EMA cut a killer interpolation of the original and had Lee lay down the vocals like only he can. The result is right on time for summer, a feel good side that can hold court right next to the classics. The B side finds Michels manning the boards for a proper version of the tune. Echoes, drop outs, and reverb flourishes all dancing through the mix in proper reggae style. Big Crown 7"
The Shacks The Shacks The self-titled release from dreamy indie-poppers The Shacks. When you listen to the Shacks’s self-titled debut, you might imagine that Shannon Wise and Max Shrager are much older than their respective 18 and 20 years. But when Shannon’s whisper-vocals breeze through the speakers, you hear the youthfulness of their sound which then in turn explains the fearlessness of their songwriting. Both vaguely familiar and completely fresh, The Shacks are one of the most interesting NYC bands to surface in a minute. Big Crown CD | LP
Lee Fields & The Expressions Special Night First press of the CD (double CD) comes with a bonus disc of instrumentals. Soul legend Lee Fields is back with an incredible album and teamed up with The Expressions! "Special Night" is a masterclass in soul music past and present. “I feel that every human being’s purpose is to do what their inner voice says to do,” says Lee Fields. “And my inner voice, my driving force, wants me to put out music and keeping making better records.” Special Night is also the first record in the Expressions catalogue in which every song was written jointly by Lee Fields and The Expressions. Big Crown CD | LP
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band Scorpio / 8th Wonder A couple of great covers from Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band! Coming after the smashing success of their debut full length “55” they drop 2 B-Boy classics back to back on this tough two sider that comes in a beautifully illustrated picture sleeve. The A side “Scorpio” is a killer cover of the Dennis Coffey breakbeat staple. BRSB turn up the tempo a touch on the original doing the tune justice with crushing drums they have become known for. This is sure to be in every breakbeat enthusiasts box. The B side features the non album cut, BRSB’s cover of The Sugarhill Gang’s 8th Wonder, a tune that lends itself to pans like it was written for them. Another dance floor winner sure to be in DJs sets the world over shortly. Big Crown 7"
El Michels Affair Sounding Out The City Reissue of the first album by Wu Tang collaborator El Michels Affair. One of the very first and most noteable NYC soul scene releases! Leon Michels, who was 18 when recording 'Sounding Out The City' began, had just released 'Thunder Chicken', the first record by his high school band The Mighty Imperials. At the time of SOTC, Michels was just discovering early rocksteady, afrobeat, and 60's garage rock, which inevitably crept its way into the songwriting. Big Crown LP