Heat you up, Melt you down by Shirley Lites, West End Records 1983
Heat You Up, Melt You Down by Shirley Lites came out on Mel Cheren’s legendary NY disco label West End Records in 1983. Shirley was a vocalist from Philadelphia who sang in gospel choirs before starting to work as a backing vocalist for the likes of Dexter Wansel in her late teens. Heat You Up…appears to be her only hit, but if you’re only going to add one thing to the canon, this is the way to do it.
Produced by the trio of Fioravente, Parente and Parente with additional production by Nick Martinelli and David Todd, the track is a boogie monster, an absolute searing slice of gold. A bass line that nails the groove, beautiful synth work, pitch perfect production that allows all the elements to breath, a flawless arrangement and an ultra sassy vocal performance to top it all off (listen to the held high note around 4mins in, just before the bridge, wo!). The Meltdown mix on the flip is a dub version that cranks up the drums and adds a new wash of fierceness to the piece. The track was a fixture in Larry Levan’s sets at The Paradise Garage, and at clubs all over the East Coast. The track got re-mastered with a vinyl re release in 2001. Of all the numerous gems on West End Records, this is my personal number one favourite.
If you see it, buy it. I’m not going to say any more about it, just listen.
By Joe Evans