Wednesday, June 2, 2021

In honor of the forthcoming 20th anniversary of its release, The Colored Section by influential neo-soul singer DONNIE will be receiving a brand new digital deluxe edition, to be released to DSPs June 18, 2021 via Motown/UMe. Being reissued as part of the celebrations for Juneteenth, Pride and Black Music Month, the reissue will include 16 bonus tracks, all streaming for the first time ever, featuring various remixes, rarities and unreleased tracks from The Colored Section’s recording sessions. 

Following an initial independent release on Giant Step Records in 2002, The Colored Section was re-released as a joint venture with Motown a year later in the midst of a neo-soul movement that included his new labelmates Erykah Badu, Kem and India.Arie. It’s a deeply affecting, inspiring record that touches on the societal and cultural topics of slavery, racism, oppression, consumerism, hair, same sex love and post 9/11 America –  topics we struggle with to this day.

"The Colored Section gave me a chance to pay tribute to African-American people and their American experience,” explains Donnie, who is a cousin of Marvin Gaye, about the record. "When people approach me and tell me how The Colored Section changed their lives for the better, it reminds me why I made the album in the first place. The Colored Section is my version of What's Going On. It definitely was one of the main inspirations for my album."

“When Donnie approached me with his idea to make The Colored Section I said yes without hesitation,” further adds Maurice Bernstein, the CEO of Giant Step Records and the album’s Executive Producer. “It sounds as relevant and fresh today as it did when we first released it almost 20 years ago.”

The Colored Section was critically-acclaimed upon its release, with The Boston Globe praising it as “… perhaps the best Soul record since Stevie Wonder’s masterpieces of the 1970’s.” A reviewer for Billboard lauded Donnie’s homages to his inspirations Donny Hathaway and Wonder, “as on the harmonica-flavored groove ‘Wildlife,’ the Latin-tinged ‘Do You Know?,’ and the inspirational ‘You Got a Friend.’” But dig deeper, the review continued, and the album “doubles as a history lesson about African-Americans' struggles, challenges, and still-undaunted hopes.”

The Colored Section: Deluxe Edition digs deep and features more than 90 minutes of bonus material, all streaming for the first time. This includes: 
  • Two unreleased tracks from the album sessions, “Trois” and “When You Call My Name.”
  • A remix of “Cloud 9” by DJ Spinna (currently one of the celebrated hosts on Apple Music Hits Radio), plus his radio edit not used by Motown at the time.
  • The original promo-only edit of “Do You Know?” by the legendary Danny Krivit, this one with a previously unreleased a capella ending
  • Harvey’s original mix of “Rocketship,” which had been included on the album’s 2LP release in 2002, but this Deluxe Edition features the unreleased extended version running two minutes longer – and it’s back in the original album sequence. (The notably different arrangement and mix included on the CD, by co-writer Justin Ellington, remains as a bonus track.)
  • The club record “Holiday,” Donnie’s Giant Step debut single from 2001, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. Produced by house music legend Ron Trent, “Holiday” was also issued on a limited 12” single that included remixes by French house icon DJ Deep, and all three versions are licensed exclusively for this Deluxe Edition.

In addition to Donnie’s core players and Harvey’s multi-instrumental contributions, prominent guest musicians on the album include the legendary RRHOF 2021 inductee Billy Preston, guitarist Al McKay (Ike & Tina Turner, Earth, Wind & Fire), bassist Bobby Watson (Rufus) and pianist Wayne Linsey (Whitney Houston, Maze, American Idol band, et al).

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