Sylvester - The collection (1994)
Barry Walters described Sylvester's falsetto as "convey(ing) the final moments of sex - the ecstasy, the release, the explosion...the instance when the soul jumps out of its skin."
01 Do You Wanna Funk (Edit)
02 Band Of Gold (Edit)
03 Don't Stop
04 I Need You
05 Lovin' Is Really My Game
09 You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
10 Dance (Disco Heat)
11 Stars (Everybody Is One)
12 Take Me To Heaven
Links to download:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/zhofpm part 1.
http://www.sendspace.com/file/9sv8ow part 2.
Biography (part 3.)
False arrest and Aids . . .
Though the fame and glory of 1979 certainly was sweet, two problems were about to bring sobering doses of reality into Sylvester's fantasy world. The first would be a nuisance, but the second would plague him for the rest of his life.
In October of 1979 Sylvester was informed that a coin dealer was using his name at the Watergate hotel in Washington, DC. The frightened singer was put in a cell.
After completing lie-detector tests, handwriting tests and giving leads to real culprits, Syl was officially cleared.
"Being arrested has done irreparable damage to my career," they reported Sylvester emoting.
The other problem that would surface during this time was far more serious. On a tour South America with the band, Patrick Cowley started to get sick. At first it was dismissed as bad reaction to the local food or psychosomatic illness, but unfortunately it was far more serious. Cowley was showing the first signs of AIDS, a disease that would soon begin to tear apart Sylvester's world.
And soon more problem: the bad strategy of his producer who had the plan to get Sylvester over the bridge from Discoland to post-Discoland. . .ban Patrick Cowley from the studio!
The resulting record, the appropriately titled Sell My Soul, is merely a decent dance record. At this point Fuqua had Two Tons of Fun recording their own LPs and they had been replaced on Syl's records with the competent, but not comparable Jeannie Tracy. Tracy's voice actually blends with Sylvester's very well, but the loss of Cowley and Two Tons is too much, and this record is a pretty average eighties soul record. The songwriting isn't up to par, the falsetto is used as an effect rather than a tool and, on the weird cover of "Cry Me A River," he may actually get too over the top, if that's possible.
Fuqua's (the producer) next move was either desperate, stupid or brilliant in a way beyond my recognition. 1981's "Too Hot To Sleep" features no Disco, no Cowley, no photo of Sylvester on the cover...and almost no falsetto. This attempt to un-gay Sylvester fails in almost every way.
and Cowley helps again . . .and some brilliant Lps !!
While banned from the Fantasy studio, Patrick Cowley had started his own label, and Sylvester was about to join him.
In 1981 Patrick Cowley and hustling underground DJ Marty Blecman pooled their resources and started Megatone Records. The first releases, Cowley's "Menergy" (#1 Disco) and "Megatron Man" were both instant classics.
The new sound became known as hi-NRG and was the standard of Gay Dance music for years to come.
Soon they recorded one of the all time dance classics, "Do You Wanna Funk," and his second Megatone album "call me" with the famous "band of gold".The music on these records, if you like the sometimes harsh sound of the early 80s SF Dance music that Megatone defined, is pretty solid. The passion in Syl's singing is there, and "Hard Up," and "Don't Stop" from the debut are solid, exciting numbers. On Call Me, his cover of "One Night Only," from "Dreamgirls" is much more passionate than the song merits, and "Band of Gold" is a strong dance number.
His third LP for Megatone "M-1015" is a favorite amongst gay fans for the deep, several-years-late Arthur Baker-esque dance grooves of "Rock The Box," the explicitness of "Sex" ("I'll give you my hand/You'll show me what to do/You make it hard...") and his fantastic take on "Lovin' Is Really My Game." It was produced by Megatone's ultra-gay act Modern Rocketry.
1986 : new Lp called "mutual attraction".While recording the vocals for his follow-up album Sylvester started coughing and couldn't stop.Sylvester was treated for pneumonia and was diagnosed with AIDS.His activity over the next few months was limited to sitting at home and watching TV as his body degenerated. A minor stroke left him with some loss of speech. His weight dropped from 200 to 140 pounds. He had some difficulties paying his hospital bills, but sadly Sylvester didn't live long enough for that to become a real problem.
On December 16, 1988, Sylvester James died at age 41.
The best Sylvester work is as vital today as it ever was. He is one of the lucky artists who has some of his/her greatest work documented in a way that future generations can treasure. There were many Disco stars who had a handful of hits, but few of them seemed as interesting, as three dimensional, as emotionally naked, as complex and as unique as Sylvester. None of them seemed as real. (http://www.roctober.com/roctober/greatness/sylvester.html - you can find here the full biography written by Jake Austen )