Thursday, November 10, 2011

Records: Def Jam Original 12"s (DJ001-DJ007)

There are a few legendary record labels that are synonymous with Hip-Hop music. Sugar Hill, Enjoy, Cold Chillin', Tommy Boy, Loud, Death Row, and Bad Boy Records all come to mind, but for a Hip-Hop junkie like myself none are more legendary than Def Jam Recordings. Founded by Rick Rubin in his NYU dorm room in 1982 when he released a punk record by his band Hose (the real first record on Def Jam), Def Jam became the the label we know today when Russell Simmons got involved in 1984. I'm not going to run down the history of Def Jam here because it's pretty well documented, plus you can just go HERE and get the full story. This post is all about the first 7 releases on the label. For those that don't collect vinyl, or never got their hands on the original seven, the thing that sets these 12 inches apart are basically the labels. Def Jam's classic black label has become pretty recognizable, but the first seven releases were on a burgundy label. Not sure why they changed the direction of the artwork, and it was probably for the better, but it makes the first seven releases on Def Jam pretty rare and special for record nerds like myself. Some of the original artists like LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys went on to hall of fame careers, others such as Hollis Crew and Jimmy Spicer didn't quite make it to prime time. Either way these records are the shit to me and represent the birth of a dynasty. And just for some bonus Def Jam treats, I threw in the T-La Rock & Jazzy Jay "It's Yours" 12" which was the first Hip-Hop record to have the Def Jam logo on it, and a few tracks by Rick Ruban's band Hose so you can get a taste of what a pre Hip-Hop Rick Ruban was into before he had a hand in blowing Hip-Hop music up worldwide. It isn't Hip-Hop, or even def for the matter, just some music nerdology for you crumbs!

LL Cool J (DJ001)

A1 "I Need A Beat" (Vocal)
B1 "I Need A Beat" (Zootie Mix)
B2 "I Need A Beat" (Instrumental)

Produced by Rick Ruben

Beastie Boys (DJ002)

A1 "Rock Hard"
A2 "Party's Getting Rough"
B1 "Beastie Groove"
B2 "Beastie Groove" (Instrumental)

Produced by Rick Ruben & Beasties

Jazzy Jay (DJ003)

A1 "Def Jam"
B1 "Cold Chillin' In The Spot" Featuring Russell Rush
B2 "Cold Chillin' In The Spot" (Instrumental)

Produced by Rick Ruben

MCA & Burzootie (DJ004)

A1 "Drum Machine"
A2 "Drum Machine" (Mini Jerk Edit)
B1 "Drum Machine" ((That) Psycho Dust Version)

Produced by Burzootie

LL Cool J (DJ005)

A1 "I Want You"
A2 "I Want You" (Instrumental)
B1 "Dangerous"
B2 "Dangerous" (Instrumental)
B3 "Dangerous" (Burnt Mix)

Produced by Rick Ruben

Jimmy Spicer (DJ006)

A1 "This Is It"
A2 "This Is It" (Chant, Instrumental)
B1 "Beat The Clock"
B2 "Beat The Clock" (Instrumental)

Produced by Rick Ruben

Hollis Crew (DJ007)

A1 "It's The Beat"
B1 "It's The Beat" (Instrumental)
B2 "The Beat"

Produced by Jam Master Jay, DJ Run and Rick Ruben

T-La Rock & Jazzy Jay

A1 "It's Yours" (Radio Mix)
A2 "It's Yours" (Instrumental)
B1 "It's Yours" (Scratch Party Death Mix)
B2 "It's Yours" (Instrumental Party)

Produced by Rick Ruban

(I don't have the full 7" release or the EP, but these are a few tracks of Rick Ruban's band that appeared on the first two Def Jam Recordings releases circa 1982)