The obscure “TAKE A RIDE TO HEAVEN“ is pure uplifting madness. A brilliant, hooky and floor-friendly soul stomper, Ron Hardy style!!
It contrasts with A side’s super intimate and heartbreaking “PAIN“.
Gregory Charles Royal (born October 10, 1961 in Greensboro, North Carolina) is an American trombonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, writer, and artistic director who grew up in Washington DC. He played with Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Slide Hampton and his World of Trombones, and the Howard University Jazz Ensemble.
Royal, who grew up loving Holland & Dozier as well as Earth, Wind & Fire songs, wrote “PAIN” and “TAKE A RIDE TO HEAVEN” to try his hand at singing. The songs were recorded at Track Recorders in Silver Spring, Maryland, on a used 2inch amped analog tape at half speed with 8 hours studio time for recording and mixing.
A year later, Royal recorded the songs again but went back to playing only and got the “real singers” to do their thing as he did not feel adequate as a vocalist. The album versions were released on the now scarce “PAIN” LP. Back then, only 100 45s of the first Royal versions were pressed.
Nowadays this record hardly ever turns up for sale in its original issue. Here it is again in very limited edition, fully licensed and remastered.
Limited reissue of 300
released June 30, 2016
Gregory Charles Royal - Lead and Background vocals, Piano, String Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Drums, Trombone
Chris Royal - Trumpet
Nola Brooks - Viola