French outfit Soul Sugar – the brainchild of Guillaume “Gee” Metenier – drops another soulful reggae 12”, this time a version of Marvin Gaye’s classic I Want You, originally released in 1976. Jamaican vocalist Leonardo Carmichael sings lead and legendary drum and bass duo Sly & Robbie add their flavor on two versions on the B side.
Marvin Gaye’s single I Want You is taken from the album of the same name released in 1976. The album was a big step forward for Marvin Gaye and marked a change in direction – from hip Motown soul to sultry and elegant soulful disco with intimate and explicit lyrics.
“I Want You is one of the great classics of the sophisticated, yet intense and provocative, soul sound of the 70s. It has that unique and sincere combination of great harmony, groove and sexiness. It’s one of the hottest tracks of its era,” says producer and musician Guillaume Metenier, who runs Gee Recordings.
The A side is a discomix version with a more modern flair and the B side showcases a traditional reggae mix with Sly & Robbie on drum and bass. The backing was recorded in France, while the vocals and Sly & Robbie’s parts were recorded in Jamaica. The discomix was mixed by Guillaume Metenier, while the vocal version on the B side was mixed by him along with Jahno. The dub mix on the B side was mixed live and direct by Jahno himself.
“I Want You is the follow-up to Why Can’t We Live Together, which also had Leonardo Carmichael on lead vocals. It was an easy decision to work with him again since he already knew this song and does it really well. He has got enough talent to come in after Marvin Gaye,” says Guillaume Metenier, and continues:
“Our version is different from the lush and orchestrated original, and it combines elements of funk and reggae as well as drum machines and vintage instrumentation combined with modern production techniques. I think we’re bringing a fresh and up to date take on this timeless classic while remaining true to the original sound of Leon Ware and Marvin Gaye.”
A version of I Want You was recorded together with legendary Jamaican rhythm machine Sly & Robbie, known for playing on countless of songs from the 60s up until today. The connection with Sly & Robbie came from French horn man Guillaume “Stepper” Briard, who has played with Sly & Robbie for many years.
“It was a real honor working with Sly & Robbie since they have recorded so many great tunes over the years. They have also made a heap of solid soul covers in reggae style and they are heroes of mine since the 80s,” concludes Guillaume Metenier.
I Want You 12” is now available on 12″ and will hit digital outlets on June 15th.