There are life long lessons in the history of music and everyday is a learning experience for someone that might be hearing about or exposed to something for the very first time. In this case, we have a heavy Disco 12″ sought after by some, unknown to others from True Feelings. “Love Me, Love Me”, a heavy spin in the UK by some of the finest DJ’s, the Backatcha Records scores big time with an officially licensed reissue of this gem that you’re going to want to get your hands on.
“In the 1970’s and 80’s, the north-west London borough of Brent and particularly Harlesden was a centre for black music in the UK. Whilst many of the key reggae labels, distributors and record shops were based in the borough, all avenues to black music have flown through Brent.
When producer Smokey recorded and wrote ‘Love Me, Love Me’ it was the local backdrop of playing funk and soul imports in pub function-rooms in the mid-70s and whatever informed the True Feelings band members musical learning that made the cut.
“It was my brother Vic on drums, Keith was on bass and our cousin Jeff is on vocals. We had a jam session at Tony’s house one night who was on keys. He was a genius. A classically trained pianist. We used to practice in his basement and came up with the song. Big Joe was there too and he did percussion. It all just came together”.
Already active during the first wave of the UK funk and soul movement, Smokey travelled across the country as a front-line DJ for his squad’s Inter City Soul Club nights long-before what became the ‘rare groove’ scene. He’s seen many come and go and one thing’s always remained clear – music first. “We wanted to do a record that was just us, ‘Love Me Love Me’ was a reflection of where we were at back then”.
Released in 1981 in tiny quantities, the song’s history has been an enigma ever-since. Musically it’s streets ahead but yet had remained under the radar for years until veteran London record-man Winston found it amongst a stash of reggae twelves about 15 years ago. He explained “It looked like a reggae record or lovers release looking at the label but something about it just told me it wasn’t and I took it home”.
Rumours circulated it was members of an already well-established set-up. “Atmosfear and Jerry Pike are all friends of ours” says Smokey. “I worked with Jerry in All Ears and half of us all went to school together or knew each other locally. We all used to jam together. That’s was our sound”
By the early-80s, the surrounding neighbourhood had spawned Hi Tension and many other releases on small imprints, all with their own take on the movement and True Feelings embraced that. For Smokey “That’s how it was, you had to have your own style. Everybody wanted that American sound because no one would play UK releases so we just did our own thing. It was just a feeling.”
True Feelings ‘Love Me, Love Me’ is available now on 12”, remastered and available as an official reissue for the first time exclusively on Backatcha Records.”