The Story Behind Newcleus “Jam On It”


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“In the early 80’s I formed a company with Morris Levy of Roulette Records called Sunnyview Records.

Although I lived in Miami, the company was based in NYC. I brought with me to this new label Dan Joseph, who had worked for me at TK Records and was one of the best promo men in NYC.

A couple of producers by the name of Joe Webb and Frank Fair who I knew from the streets and the music bidness brought me an act called Newcleus. A rap group from the city.

I was looking for a hip hop act out of New York cause most of my stuff came out of Miami and this was a New York group that was presented to me for a change of pace. When I first heard it, I heard the beginnings of a hit record. Their first release was Wikki Wikki Wikki and I thought it was just kooky enough to be a hit.

In July 1983 I released a single on the group called “Jam On Revenge” (The Wikki Wikki Song(Sunnyview 7″ 3007)) which climbed to #26 on Billboard’s Black Singles chart.

In early 1984 I had Dan Joseph along with New York mixer Jonathan Fearing do a 12″ remix of “Jam On It” (Sunnyview 12″ 411, Sunnyview 7″ 3010) and hired Morris Levy’s son Adam to promote the record.

Released in March 1984, the remixed version did a lot better the second time around as it reached #9 on Billboard’s Black Singles chart and #16 on the Billboard Top 80 Dance / Disco chart. It was an instant #1 hit in nightclubs around the world and to this day remains an Electro Dance classic.

After the success of “Jam On It” I released their debut album “Jam On Revenge” (Sunnyview 4901), which peaked at #15 on Billboard’s Top 75 Black albums chart and #74 on Billboard’s Top 200 Pop Albums chart.

One other song from the album, “Computer Age” (Push The Button) (Sunnyview 7″ 3013), released in August 1984 also became a Top 40 hit Billboard’s Black Singles chart. During the summer of 1985 Newcleus enjoyed moderate hits with “I Wanna Be A B-Boy” (Sunnyview 12″ 425) and “Let’s Jam” (Sunnyview 7″ 3024).”

 

©Jake Katel and Henry Stone. All Rights Reserved. No Unauthorized Reproduction

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There are 2 comments on The Story Behind Newcleus “Jam On It”

  • Henry remembers it just a bit wrong. First, we were not a Rap group. We only rapped after the record company asked us to make a Rap record, which ended up being “Jam On It”. “Jam On Revenge” was first released on Joe Webb’s Mayhew Records, then Sunnyview released a re-edit of the original. “Jam On It” was not a remix, it was released almost exactly how we recorded it. Perhaps Henry is confusing it with “Jam On Revenge”. “Jam On It” was an instant hit the first time it was released, we only wrote and recorded it that January.

  • What is the story behind the video to Jam on It? as if a production.

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