Eugene McDaniels, a singer who had several hits in the early 1960s and who later such Top 40 hits as "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Compared to What," died Friday at his home in Maine after a brief illness, according to his official website. He was 76.I first became aware of Eugene McDaniels during years I spent as a hip hop DJ, always searching for rare groove records and original samples of some of the most classic hip hop songs. McDaniels' 1971 LP Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse is a rare and sought after gem and has been sampled by many greats in hip hop: A Tribe Called Quest, Beatnuts, Quasimoto, Organized Konfusion, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Gravediggaz, Non Phixion, De La Soul, and others. It was records like his and compilations like Ultimate Breaks & Beats and the Dusty Fingers compilations that got me into rare groove and ultimately old soul.
Gene McDaniels, as he was known early in his career, had hits with such songs as "A Hundred Pounds of Clay" (1961), "Tower of Strength" and "Spanish Lace" in 1961 and 1962.
McDaniels' songs, including those he wrote for other artists later in his career, jumped from jazz to blues to ballads to gospel and could be laced with cultural criticism and political protest, like his bluesy hit "Compared to What," recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1969 by pianist and singer Les McCann and saxophonist Eddie Harris.
Roberta Flack's rendition of "Feel Like Makin' Love" hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1974. It has since been covered by numerous artists.
Later in his career, McDaniels became a producer for, among others, organist Jimmy Sm ith and singers Nancy Wilson and Merry Clayton. He also did voice-over work in video games and audio books. -[JSOnline]
R.I.P. Eugene McDaniels. Your records will live on forever.
Eugene McDaniels - Jagger The Dagger
Cherrystones - Eugene MacDaniels
Eugene McDaniels Discusses "Compared to What" (July 2010)
Gene McDaniels - Compared To What (2000 remake)
John Legend & The Roots - Compared To What: Amex UNSTAGED
A Tribe Called Quest Bonita Applebum
Gravediggaz-Nowhere To Run , Nowhere To Hide
Quasimoto - Return Of The Loop Digga