You know his soul. You Know his funk. His gospel, and his blues. But what you may not know of Henry Stone is all the drum machines he’s used. From multi-million sellers to underground classics, Henry Stone encouraged every artist he worked with to be creative using every tool available to make hits. Here are the top 10 Henry Stone drum machine records.
10. Mad Hatter – Dracula’s Boogie
Some people think that a guy in a cape with gold fangs, eye makeup, and a funny name like Dracula could be dangerous. Like the mother of the girl that Dracula’s on his way to pick up for a date. It’s all in this comedy hip-hop and funk novelty record that’s straight outta 1983, and represents 100% drum machine styles from the HSM vaults.
9. Quartz – Beyond The Clouds
If there was no Quartz, there would be no Jersey Shore. Just listen to this song’s fist pumping house beat. This 1978 release on Marlin has release versions as far afield as Venezuela, Canada, Spain, and Hong Kong to name a few. This 1978 blast of percussive programming and synthesizers offers a dynamite sound.
8. Amant – If There’s Love / Hazy Shades Of Love
Uptempo love-funk with candyland chord changes, and an insistent 130bpm of claps and thumps from the TK sublabel Marlin, known for experimental rhythms ahead of their time.
7. Anita Ward “Ring My Bell”
“Beeeooooo. Beeeooooo.” The electronic drum heard around the world. If you listen to Miami engineer Willie Clarke tell it, he’s the one who made the track for this #1 hit. However, the song’s certified writer, producer, and publisher Frederick Knight has repeatedly and unequivocally stated that Willie Clarke had absolutely nothing to do with the record. TK VP Steve Alaimo agrees.
6. The Extra T’s – I Like It (Corn Flakes)
Henry Stone was later sampled by Prince Paul and De La Soul in a hip hop classic.
5. Pretty Tony – Fix It In The Mix
Miami studio wizard Pretty Tony still reigns supreme as the record sales leader for anyone not named Henry Stone to sell a million independent using a drum machine in South Florida in 1983 to make an experimental urban funk track. Stone did help this one along with a marketing and distribution deal that made it an even bigger hit in L.A. than the M.I.A. Just ask Dr. Dre.
4. Newcleus – Jam On It
After the bankruptcy of the T.K. empire, Henry Stone founded the Sunnyview label with his old pal Morris Levy. Their first hit was a grandslam called “Jam On It.” This electro funk powerhouse is still booming out across the galaxy.
3. Little Beaver “Party Down”
By today’s standards, the “Party Down” drum machine is so subtle as to barely be noticeable, just an insistent metronomic knock that belies its non-robotic tape-warm thump. A classic, classic, classic.
2. Timmy Thomas “Why Can’t We Live Together”
Whoever designed the circuits on the 1970s Lowery organ, and programmed the drum machine that sits in its console, probably did not know that one day Nelson Mandela would be inaugurated as the first President of an Apartheid-Free South Africa to the beat of a song made with this machine.
1. George McCrae “Rock Your Baby”
There are something like 27 million of these records in physical circulation on Earth, and all it took to make was a beat up old Ampex tape recorder, a sweaty guitar, the drum machine off Timmy Thomas’ Lowery, and a humid little studio in Hialeah, Florida in 1974.