Song of the Day: Hercules & Love Affair “Blind” (Frankie Knuckles Remix)
While it is impossible to determine if Frankie Knuckles invented house music, there is no question that he played an incredibly important role in the music’s development in Chicago during the early 80s. It is for this reason that he is frequently known as the “Godfather of House”. Given house music’s roots in the disco movement of the mid-70s to early 80s, Frankie’Knuckles‘ remix of Hercules & Love Affair‘s neo-disco classic “Blind” is very much a perfect fit. Always one to change with the times and update his sound, this remix of “Blind” moved to be a massive club hit. The remix also features many of Frankie Knuckles’ trademark production moves including the insertion of a house beat, extended breaks and what amounts to basically a rewrite of much of the backing track for the song (while retaining the vocals and horn hook of the original).
Born Francis Nicholls in The Bronx in 1955, Frankie Knuckles got his start in music as a teenage where he would frequent discos with his friend, and also notable DJ Larry Levan. While studying textile design, Knuckles and Levan began working as DJs, playing soul, disco, and R&B at two of the most important early discos in New York, The Continental Baths and The Gallery. Knuckles eventually moved to Chicago in the late 70s where his friend was opening up the infamous club, The Warehouse. Knuckles would eventually both open his own club, The Power Plant and purchase an early drum machine. This latter acquisition would allow him to begin seriously modifying many of the tracks that he was spinning, while opening up a whole new world of rhythmic possibility. Knuckles possessed an innate understanding of production and music and quickly became in demand not just as a DJ but also as a producer/ composer. This included pending a number of huge club hits, including “Your Love” and “The Whistle Song”. Openly gay, he was also instrumental in pushing elements of gay disco into mainstream popular music. Knuckles sadly died in 2014 as a result of complications from diabetes. His legacy and importance to contemporary pop music remain undiminished.