Operating out of New Jersey, Duke Bootee's Beauty & the Beat Records released some of the most chaotic and speaker-busting hip-hop cuts of the mid-80s, by artists such as Word of Mouth and DJ Cheese (who would go on to redefine the art of scratch DJ'ing with a groundbreaking routine that won him the 1986 DMC World Championships). Bootee (real name Ed Fletcher) is an important figure in the history of hip-hop. He started out working for Sugar Hill Records as a ghost-writer for Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. He wrote and rapped on 'The Message' and 'New York, New York', but as he was a little bit older than the rest of the group he didn't really fit in, so left to seek his own fortune.
'If You Want Love', released in 1986, is a quality slice of catchy pop-electro by Tululah Moon and is a complete anomaly in the small, yet perfectly formed Beauty & the Beat back catalogue - the solitary beauty amid the vicious, hard-hitting beats and rhymes of records by Z-3 MC's and Point Blank MC's. The clattering 808 drums that typified the label's sound were retained, but with twanging 80s basslines, melodic synth hooks and a sweet soul vocal from Ms Moon, along with razor-sharp edits from the peerless Latin Rascals. It's a kindred spirit to Mantronik's work with Joyce Sims, but with a harsher edge. It was picked up in the UK by Total Control Records, a label funded by EMI and run by Paul "N-n-n-n-nineteen" Hardcastle, but it didn't bother the charts. The Beauty and the Beat release is notable for its truly bizarre cover art - a collage featuring random Chinese imagery, including a snap of the Great Wall, that seems to bear no relation to the record itself.
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