Tuesday, September 21, 2021

"It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock

Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  3620
Date:  08/20/1988
Debut:  92
Peak:  36
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Hip-Hop

Pop Bits:  Robert Ginyard, aka Rob Base, and Rodney Bryce, aka DJ E-Z Rock, first began performing in a band when in school together in Harlem. Following graduation, band members went their own ways, but Base and Rock decided to stick together and shoot for a career in music. Their first effort together was a track called "DJ Interview." It appeared on a 1986 indie compilation LP titled Fast Money. The song was credited only to Rob Base, but Rock and Chill Will were credited as co-producers. Next up was a 1987 indie single on the World to World label titled "Make It Hot." Once again it was credit solely to Rob Base with Rock co-producing. The two tracks were enough to get the larger Profile Records interested and they signed on Base and Rock as a duo. The first song they recorded for the label was "It Takes Two." The tune was issued out as a single and it made the R&B chart earlier in '88. By July it had peaked at #17. It would then become popular in clubs and in early September it would peak at #3 Dance. Just before reaching that peak.the single got on the Pop chart and eventually made the Top 40. Although the tune would complete its chart run by the end of the year, the song remained popular and folks kept buying up the single. In February of '89 it would go gold. By the end of '89 it would be platinum. Due to the success of the single, the duo had to quickly get into the studio and record a debut album. Titled after the song, it would be released in the late summer of '88. The LP would peak at #4 R&B and #31 Pop. It would end up being a platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  This was a big party tune back in the day. Base and Rock assembled a funky groove through samples adding a couple that were extremely memorable (see below). Frankly, the sampled parts were so strong that they nearly overpower the rap sections. It was expertly done and has been considered one of the best hip-hop tracks of all time. For me it was one of those songs that caused me to awkwardly dance after a couple of cocktails, but it wasn't one that I wanted to hear a lot. For certain times and places, the song works perfectly. Outside of that, I'm okay not hearing it.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Arguably the most memorable parts of this song are the "Whoa!...Yeah!" shouts and the female voice singing "It takes two to make a thing go right, it takes two to make it outta sight." Both were samples take from the 1972 funk tune "Think (About It)" recorded by soul singer Lyn Collins. That song was written and produced by James Brown. It was released as a single and got to #9 R&B/#66 Pop. It would be Collins' biggest hit. The "whoa" (voice of James Brown) and the "yeah" (voice of Bobby Byrd) along with Collins singing the "it takes two" lyric were parts of the drum break within the song. That break helped to make "Think (About It)" one of the most sampled songs in music with reportedly over three thousand tracks featuring portions of the tune. Artists who have used samples from the song include Salt-N-Pepa ("Push It"), Kid Rock ("The Upside"), Janet Jackson ("Alright"), N.W.A., Kanye West, TLC, Snoop Dogg, and Fergie. Collins would only see the R&B Top 10 once and would only release two albums, both produced by James Brown. Her second album in 1975, Check Me Out If You Don't Know Me By Now would feature the #53 R&B single "Rock Me Again & Again &Again & Again & Again & Again (Six Times)" That tune, written by James Brown and Lee Austin, would be covered by the Human League for their 1984 album Hysteria. It was not released as a single.


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