Much as it is now, back in my freshman year of high school my mind was something of a mental musical jukebox. At the beginning of the school year, it was nothing for me to have Zapp’s “More Bounce To The Ounce” or Teena Marie’s “I Need Your Lovin'” looping in my head during first period Algebra II class. During the winter, Yarbrough & Peoples “Don’t Stop The Music” would take over. By Spring, there was one song that was so overpowering, you heard it everywhere-indoors, and outside where cars had starting rolling by with the windows down.
The song started simply enough: a beat that sounded somewhat like a heart beating, followed by electronic clap sounds. But when the beat dropped and that amazing, classic bass line kicked in—it was on. Taana Gardner’s one and only R&B hit, “Heartbeat,” is today’s Morning Groove.
That groove was so strong, it carried on for months—blasting out of boom boxes, booming out of dance clubs and cars. The Larry Levan dance mix was the version everyone seemingly had to have, even though a shorter radio edit was being played to death on the airwaves. It’s the Levan dance version that I have posted for today. If you don’t have ten minutes, you might not want to listen to it. Someone like me would fit ten into seven and a half and two step, of course.
Some of you might be more familiar with this song with its use in songs by Ini Kamoze (“Here Comes The Hotstepper”), De La Soul with A Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah & Monie Love (“Buddy”), and more recently Musiq Soulchild, who made a second generation song out of it (“B.U.D.D.Y.”), among many others. The group Seduction, armed with Robert Clivillés & David Cole (the C + C from C + C Music Factory) as producers, made a cover version in the early 90s. But to me, the original stands tallest; helping a kid who was a nervous ninth grader become a more seasoned sophomore by the time the school year ended.
Enjoy the Morning Groove and if you are so inclined, move something! As always, thanks for reading and listening.