It takes a hell of a song and one devil of a performance to make a record a hit three times in thirty years.
“I’m Not Gonna Let You” is the song in question, and Colonel Abrams delivered the vocals. More people cried for Bowie and Prince in 2016 but the death of Colonel Abrams has been a frequent reference in my conversations with people in the industry. It isn’t hard to understand why. In these precarious times, more of us see ourselves in the Colonel – wracked by illness, the accompanying medical bills, a precarious existence on the fringes, where society likes to keep down those who have fallen – than the others. Rest in peace, Colonel.
This is the first that I’m aware of but probably not the last tribute to Abrams. The original “I’m Not Gonna Let You,” of course, was released in the mid 1980s and took the Colonel to Soul Train among other more exotic locales. A decade later, Bassline Records released “I’m Not Gonna Let,” a collection of mixes from Victor Simonelli and “Shuffle, Inc” (Jay-J and Julius Papp) that took the original back into the underground where it thrived. This is one of Victor Simonelli’s remixes – “previously unreleased” per the title, which suggests it’s one of the few that didn’t fit on the packed-to-the-runout original. Those happy chords do evoke those happy days – it’s on the whole a classy affair, and a worthy tribute to a force of nature that nature itself will never forget.
Originally published in 5 Magazine Issue 141, featuring Sumsuch on Kiko Navarro, Paris’ legendary soulful mecca Djoon, Rondell Adams & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music.