Key and Cleary – What It Takes To Live

Side A:

What It Takes To Live

Side B:

To Live

Written and Produced by Key and Cleary.

Originally released on Buffalo’s Reflection Records.

Recorded in 1976, What It Takes To Live  speaks to the center of Key And Cleary’s mission: charging individuals to reach out beyond familiar faces and work to create positive change in one’s broader community. Music was just one of the countless modes through which Key And Cleary pushed their creative agenda. Meeting each other in Buffalo, NY in the early ’70s, Jessie and Syl developed a close friendship. Idealists both, distressed by the problems in their town – the two set out as a creative team intent to change their city for the better. During their course together, they produced many recordings: including hundreds of cassette tapes of day to day conversations, varied commercial advertising spots, and a handful of 7″ singles of both conservative and avant-garde music. 

In recent years the record was re-introduced to new listeners ears by the one and only DJ Keb Darge, fitting as a crossover sound for the Deep Funk and Modern Soul scenes both. While the record was first played on the UK’s Northern Soul scene in the early 80s, shortly after the records’ limited release in and around Buffalo, it has taken nearly thirty years for this record to get its due respect.

Soul-Cal, in association with New York funk  and soul collector-historian David Griffiths, is proud to re-release this anthem in both original formats: vocal on the a-side, stripped down “instrumental” on the flip.