Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (Remastered) Maxwell
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- 1The Urban Theme (Remastered 2021)02:43
- 2Welcome (Remastered 2021)05:17
- 3Sumthin' Sumthin' (Remastered 2021)04:17
- 4Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder) (Remastered 2021)05:44
- 5Dancewitme (Remastered 2021)06:15
- 6...Til the Cops Come Knockin' (Remastered 2021)06:56
- 7Whenever Wherever Whatever (Remastered 2021)03:45
- 8Lonely's the Only Company (I&II) (Remastered 2021)06:21
- 9Reunion (Remastered 2021)04:53
- 10Suitelady (The Proposal Jam) (Remastered 2021)04:48
- 11The Suite Theme (Remastered 2021)06:01
- 12...Til The Cops Come Knockin' (Remastered 2021)01:41
Info for Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (Remastered)
The 25th anniversary digital edition of Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite has been remastered for the first time at 24bit Hi-Res Audio with 2021 engineering by Mark Wilder.
An atmospheric concept album first released by Columbia Records on April 2, 1996, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite presented a deeply romantic-spiritual song cycle of classic soul-inspired grooves that flowed in contrast to the hip-hop-influenced contemporary R&B of the era. Maxwell’s debut heralded the arrival of a major new musical talent and sensibility while Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite would become widely-recognized as a cornerstone of the neo-soul sound.
Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite generated four hit singles: “…Til the Cops Come Knockin’,” “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder),” “Sumthin’ Sumthin'” and “Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)” with different versions of the album’s songs appearing on a series of EPs. “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)” has achieved RIAA platinum status while “Sumthin’ Sumthin'” has been certified RIAA gold.
Slow-but-steady in climbing the charts and making its impact, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite became one of the most ubiquitously played albums of the year, eventually spending 78 weeks on the Billboard 200 and achieving RIAA double platinum status. Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite made the year-end Top 10 Best Albums lists in Time, Rolling Stone, USA Today and others while earning Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album. With his debut album, Maxwell, an iconic singer-songwriter-performer, was redefining classic soul music for a new generation.
As Senior Vice President of A&R and Columbia Records, music industry veteran Mitchell Cohen signed Maxwell to the label in 1994 and remembers the first time he heard this music on an embryonic demo tape: “….it got under my skin; I heard echoes of music that I’d grown up with and loved, early Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye, some of the great R&B and doo wop singers like Clyde McPhatter, Pookie Hudson and Lee Andrews. And the music was slinky and sexy. It made unexpected twists, had a seductive pulse. The tape said ‘Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite,’ and I had no idea who this Maxwell was, but I thought I should find out…. He aimed for the platonic ideal of the record. And it came out as brilliantly as he’d hoped, an album that spoke to a new romanticism that had been missing in so much synthetic, inorganic R&B.”
R&B scholar, music/culture critic, journalist and filmmaker Nelson George called Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, “a musical landmark that began the career of one of pop music’s finest voices” while Q magazine called Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite “one of the very best R&B records of the ’90s.” Stephen Cook, from AllMusic, predicted the album was “destined to become a classic contemporary R&B album.”
Along with fellow founders D'Angelo and Erykah Badu, Maxwell was enormously important in defining and shaping the neo-soul movement that rose to prominence over the latter half of the '90s. Drawing his greatest inspiration from the concept of the R&B auteur (looking to artists like Prince, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, etc.), Maxwell recorded some of the most ambitious R&B of his time, becoming wildly popular and often earning critical raves in the process. What was more, his recurring theme of romantic monogamy set him apart from the vast majority of his bump'n'grind loverman contemporaries.
Maxwell was born May 23, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York; he adopted his middle name as his stage moniker, keeping his real identity a closely guarded secret out of concern for his family's privacy. Born of Puerto Rican and black Caribbean stock, Maxwell suffered the loss of his father (in a plane crash) when he was just three years old. The experience made him a deeply religious child, and he first began singing in his Baptist church. Still, he didn't really get serious about music until age 17, when he began writing his own songs using a cheap Casio keyboard given to him by a friend. Initially influenced by early-'80s R&B, he progressed rapidly, and by 1991 he was performing on the New York club scene, despite ridicule from classmates who couldn't imagine the shy, awkward teenager doing anything of the sort. After making a name for himself, he signed a recording contract with Columbia in 1994.
Maxwell's Urban Hang SuiteMaxwell recorded his debut album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, that year, working extensively with several collaborators, including songwriter Leon Ware (who'd co-written Marvin Gaye's I Want You) and guitarist Wah Wah Watson (who'd also worked with Gaye). Multi-instrumentalists and producers Stuart Matthewman (of Sade and Sweetback) and Hod David were involved on deeper levels and would work with Maxwell throughout his career. Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite was a romantic concept album in the vein of Gaye's greatest '70s work, with a more modern flavor courtesy of Prince's influence; inspired by a brief but intense affair, the record's giddy celebration of committed monogamy could have come off as old-fashioned as its classic influences, given the marketplace dominance of hip-hop soul at the time. Partly for those fears, it wasn't released right away, although a series of shake-ups in Columbia's management played a bigger role in the delay. It wasn't until the spring of 1996 that the album finally appeared. Sales were slow to take off at first, even though Maxwell scored some airplay with "...Til the Cops Come Knockin'." The gold-selling second single "Ascension (Never Wonder)" lit the fuse, however, and Urban Hang Suite went platinum before a year had passed, also earning a Grammy nomination. … Source: AMG)
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