Vocalist Darryl Pandy – best known and internationally known for the early Chicago House track “Love Can’t Turn Around” – has passed away, according to a facebook post from Farley Jackmaster Funk.
Blessed with a six (“and a half,” he was quick to note) octave voice, Darryl had been ill for the last several months, which lead to several benefits held on his behalf in the Chicagoland area. He first came to prominence following the early (and completely unexpected) success in the United Kingdom of “Love Can’t Turn Around”; the track was one of the few re-issues in House Music to become a hit twice when the 1997 re-release with Farley Jackmaster Funk reached the Top 40 Billboard chart in the UK.
It obviously became the greatest success of his career and the title that will forever be associated with him. It was, in a sense, his “Love Sensation” – in fact, “Love Can’t Turn Around” frequently appeared on flyers and other promotional items beneath his name. Think of how few dance music records have become that big – big enough that they can receive top billing beside an artist – and you can get an idea of just what kind of an accomplishment that was.
Darryl worked with numerous producers, but it was his intermittent partnership with Farley that became his most enduring legacy and probably the most enduring collaboration between a producer and a vocalist in House Music. Aside from “Love Can’t Turn Around” and it’s many variations, the two also released “He’s My Best Friend” and the highly underrated “Free Man” on DJ International in 1987.
Aside from “Love Can’t Turn Around” Darryl left behind an surprisingly vast body of work, much of which currently lies undiscovered, awaiting the kind of posthumous appreciation that unfortunately is the lot of many artists. Much of it was spread out among several singles by many different record labels, most of which are now defunct. It’s my hope that someone sits down one day to rediscover it – to go over the old DATs as well as the old plates of poorly pressed vinyl and creates a new tape, which from beginning to end would show that his reputation as the most gifted vocalist in the early days of the Chicago House scene was quite deserved.
So in addition to “Love Can’t Turn Around”, here are some other classic Darryl Pandy tracks, some of which you may have never heard before. There’s likely an interesting story behind most of them, some of which will never be told. But there’s still – there’s always – the music: