Pure Essence – Wake Up

Side A:

Wake Up (Parts One and Two Edit)

Side B:

Third Rock

“Wake Up” Pts. 1 & 2 written by Steve Tucker and Jerome (Mouse) Richmond (Pure Essence Music – BMI). “Third Rock” written by Steve Tucker (Pure Essence Music – BMI)

Produced by Pure Essence.

“Wake Up” Recorded 1976 at Counterpart Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio. “Third Rock” Recorded 1976 at Recording Workshop, Chillicothe, Ohio.

Originally released in 1976 on Mantra Records 2477, Cincinatti, Ohio.

The Pure Essence was a previously unknown Cincinnati, Ohio ensemble until collectors Dante Carfagna and DJ Shadow turned up two copies of the band’s supremely rare 45 “Wake Up” on the microscopic Mantra label a short year ago. Since then, the pair of DJs have played their two copies the world over, and have made the soul and funk scenes flip their wigs trying to turn up extras.

Now, the search is over, as Soul-Cal has edited together parts 1 and 2 of “Wake Up” and paired it with another Pure Essence song from the same year – “Third Rock.”

The huge talent in the band is evident from the opening drum break of “Wake Up” – four bars of airtight hi hats, kicks and snares lead the way into the overdriven space bass of the verse. This same drummer and bass player would go on to play in The Deele with future star Babyface. In fact, the drummer in question is none other than L.A. Reid – yes, the same L.A. Reid that co-founded LaFace Records, discovered Outkast and helmed Arista.

“Wake Up” unfolds over six minutes into an epic jam of plaintive guitar licks and urgent soul vocals. On “Third Rock,” the lead singer’s vocal stylings suggest a Sly Stone influence… until the huge chorus, when it becomes evident that Pure Essence definitely have their own bag.