UK vinyl label issues unreleased Dayton funk from Platypus

Having more classic Dayton funk unshackled from musical limbo is always exciting news. Kudos to UK-based Super Disco Edits for the new 45-RPM single from Platypus. The label releases specialty vinyl of previously unreleased R&B and funk from the late 1970s and early 1980s. A short-run promo version dropped Friday, Sept. 30, followed by the 45 release on Friday, Oct. 28.

“This guy only releases vinyl,” said Platypus member Arthur “Hakim” Stokes. “He also sells other vinyl around the world. He was still interested to see if I had anything else so I sent some other stuff for them to consider. They liked it but it didn’t have that late-’70s, early-’80s thing they’re looking for. They’re very particular. If it was a deep album cut, they’re not interested in that either. They only want stuff that was never released.”

While never as big as the Ohio Players, Zapp or Lakeside, Platypus was on Casablanca Records alongside acts like Donna Summer, KISS and Parliament. The funk group released its debut album, “Platypus,” in 1979 and its second and final album, “Cherry,” in 1980. It was a time of internal strife at Casablanca. Flamboyant label founder Neil Bogart left in 1980, ending a seven-year reign of excess and hits by Summer, the Village People and others.

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After leaving Casablanca, Stokes (vocals, percussion), Kerry Rutledge (vocals, guitar), Jerry Johnstone (lead and rhythm guitar), Lloyd “Rok” Jones (bass) and Curtis Sanford (drums, percussion) recorded some tracks at Total Experience Studios in Los Angeles. The songs on the Super Disco Edits single, however, were recorded at Counterpart Studios in Cincinnati.

“After our stint at Casablanca ended, we went back in the studio to record some other music to go after another deal, which never came through,” Stokes said. “As my mentor at Motown Records, Hal Davis, used to say, ‘A song sitting around, catching dust.’ I’m glad people can now get a chance to hear it and, hopefully, enjoy it.”

“I Live For Your Lovin’” is the A-side of the single. It was sung by Rutledge with guest vocals from Keith Harrison of Faze-O and was a full-band co-write. Stokes sings the B-side, “I Never Knew Love (Could Feel This Way).” It was written by former Platypus member Dana Meyers with Belinda Lipscomb and Jeffrey Cooper of Midnight Star.

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