John Morales-Labor Day “All Headliners” Special
mixed by John Morales
John Morales Bio
If you grew up in the ‘70’s,80s , and early 90’s and had even the smallest of passing interest in music, particularly club music, chances are you were very familiar, albeit unwittingly, with the work of John Morales who helped define an era and influence future generations of DJs, producers and artists.
Born into a hard working Puerto Rican household in the Bronx, New York, at the start of the rock ‘n’ roll era, Morales, like many children of the era, was fascinated by this new art-form that was saturating the airwaves and rebelling parents everywhere. So in love with the music he heard, as a 12-year old he persuaded his local record store to give him a part-time job with payment not in dollars, but in 45s. By the time he was old enough to get a full-time job his burgeoning record collection had helped land him one of his first DJ gig at the influential Stardust Ballroom in the Bronx (his father had early owned a bar in Jersey City where John had first got the DJ bug). As his reputation grew Morales was invited downtown to Manhattan to play guest spots at the likes of Pippins, Bentleys, 1018, Limelight and the infamous Studio 54.
Like many DJs of the ‘70s John ventured into the studio more through need than necessity: “I started to make medleys and remixes because the records in those days were too short, most in the 3 minute range, and being a DJ I needed to get more out of the records I was spinning. I first started to do my edits using the pause button on a Teac Cassette Deck. After many hours ofself education I graduated and I purchased a Sony _” reel-to-reel and learned to edit. It was hard work and long hours editing and putting all the little pieces of tape together and making something creative happen. Reflecting now, I realize how important it was to what I would later do. It taught me a lot about what I wanted to do and how to do it, so that by the time I got in a real studio I was virtually a whiz at editing tape much to the amazement of some of theengineers I worked with.”
His now infamous ‘Deadly Medleys’ and ‘Sunshine Acetate Medleys’ brought him to attention of New York disco producers Greg Carmichael and Patrick Adams who were impressed by the hunger and desire of the self-taught engineer. “My first credited mix in 1978 was Inner Life’s ‘Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair)’, even though I had worked on a few other records before that, but I hadn’t been credited, for acts like the Universal Robot Band and Musique’s ‘In The Bush’.
A meeting at New York’s influential WBLS radio station, where Cuban-born Sergio Munzibai worked as musical director alongside Frankie Crocker would signal the next chapter in Morales’ career, and resulted in unquestionably the most prolific remix partnership in the 1980s and 90’s with over 650 mixes to their name. “We partnered in 1982, when we met at a New York
studio called Blank Tapes where I had worked for many years with Bob Blank. Sergio and John’s first record together was Mikki’s Itching For Love. After that we united and did all our mixes together and the M&M moniker was born.”
Discovering an instant rapport and musical appreciation it translated well into the recording studio where the M&M stamp became synonymous with almost every major dance release of the era.. Alongside cult and groundbreaking records for the Fantastic Aleems (‘Get Down Friday Night’), Class Action (‘Weekend’), and of course Jocelyn Brown (‘Somebody Else’s Guy’) theyrefashioned certified pop smashes for DeBarge (‘Rhythm Of The Night’), Harold Faltermeyer (‘Alex F’), Shakatak (‘Down On The Street’), Miami Sound Machine (‘Dr Beat’), the Temptations (‘Treat Her Like A Lady’) and hundreds more in an eight year period that saw them almost an ever present on the Billboard Dance, R&B or Hot 100 pop charts. Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, Spandau Ballet, Aretha Franklin, Shalamar, Hall & Oates, Dan Hartman, Candi Staton, Melba Moore, Rose Royce, Billy Ocean, Debbie Gibson, Odyssey, the Commodores and even Peter Schilling and Rod Stewart, in fact just about every major artist of the day was in some way retouched by the hands of Morales & Munzibai.
John Morales continued to excel in the studio and DJ Booth maintaining the standard that has given him the much deserved “ Legend “ Status. By mixing artiest the likes of Barry White, Teena Marie, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Level 42 the list of artist touched by John is Endless, with his critically acclaimed M+M Mix series on BBE he continues his dominance of the modern day Dance floor.
What They Say
“John Morales is a pioneer of our music and has been one of the reasons why I am a producer. He has inspired me since the 80s and by looking at this track listing I have to say he is a genius at WORK!!”
– Louie Vega (Grammy Award Winner, Vega Records / MAW)
“John Morales is certainly one of the angels in my life. At the time that John was involved with us, I always felt that my work was in good hands. The original process of ‘re-mixing records’ was intended to provide an alternative listening experience which had been optimized for people who went out to dance at Discos. John was one of the early pioneers who loved music, understood his craft and HAD RESPECT FOR THE CREATIVE WORK from which his mixes were derived.”
– Patrick Adams
“John Morales, what can I say, he is the beginning of JOCELYN BROWN!! We started out with a demo of CAUGHT UP IN A ONE NIGHT AFFAIR and there it began! He new how to record and work the sound of my voice like no other engineer has, I never had to worry about how I sounded or how a note came out for he and I was always one on catching the bad notes (hahahahaha) or wrong phrasings!! John was the reason I stayed in studio with INNER LIFE, he made each day that we were together a wonderful and exciting adventure! Being a singer is one thing but being an artist is another! He made me see the difference and how to apply the talent that I had to the knowledge he had to our music! I am so happy to have had this chance in my life with him and how it all still is so important in the recording business after 30 years!! People never forget the songs we have done together and the feeling that went with the songs! John and I both were going through alot and the music healed a lot of out hurts and pains. So
what do I say about John Morales – well he is Uncle John to my Daughter Kayaswonna and also to her children, my sister knows him as a brother and I will always know him as apart of my family and most of all the one who believed in me and my voice! Luv ya!”
– JB (Jocelyn Brown)
“M+M stands for Morales Magic,” say Tom Moulton, the man who single- handedly created the remix as an art form in between inviting the twelve-inch single and producing some of the most groundbreaking records that defined the disco era. “John always adds that sparkle in a mix that seems to bring out the energy and excitement when he works on something. When Morales doeshis mix he leaves a giant stamp on it. You can’t top that.”
– Tom Moulton
“When I started DJ’ing in the early eighties, there were already a lot of remixers, but only a few kept my attention. John Morales was one of the names I was looking out for on a record label. He was always taking a song to a more exciting level. The tricks and techniques of his remixes stood the test of time and are part of today’s dance music arsenal. It’s about time there is a collection of his work so we can finally have his best mixes as well as some outstanding unreleased material, remastered by today’s standards”
– Dimitri from Paris
“John is an unsung hero in the music world and without his participation many of the hits from Greg and others would never have come to fruition. His modesty has kept him from the acclaim that he deserves. I’ve known him for over 35 years…”
– Bob Blank (Blank Tapes Studio NYC)