In celebration of Frankie Knuckles life and music;
and to mark the 1-year anniversary of his passing, two of Junior Boys Own cornerstone acts –Underworld and Heller & Farley – joined forces for the first time to record a version of the Chicago classic “Baby Wants To Ride”
Proceeds of the record go to the Frankie Knuckles Fund (part of the Elton John AIDS Foundation). By ordering direct, you ensure that the proceeds go direct to the charity, without any retailer margin deductions. The limited edition of 1,000 vinyl 12”s and the digital bundle are available at babywantstoride.com as “Pay What You Want” (subject to a minimum of £12 plus shipping for the vinyl and £3 for the digital bundle).
The Guardian Interviewed Elton John, Terry Farley & Karl Hyde about Frankie and Working on Baby Wants to ride:
Sir Elton John: “Frankie’s music when it hit the club scene in Chicago was just unlike anything that had come before. That mixture of disco classics, indie-label soul and European synth disco was just fantastic. He mixed all kinds of stuff together in a way that hadn’t been done before, and I’m always excited by new ways of doing things, new ideas, so this was great to me. And here was an openly gay man packing out clubs, giving people such joy just dancing to his music. That felt very liberating.”
Terry Farley: “There are certain ideals that people in the house community hold dear, and Frankie embodied them. He wasn’t just respected, he was loved, for the person he was and for what he stood for. The house community, worldwide, lost its leading light. Without a doubt”
Karl Hyde: “In the early days of Underworld, Darren Emerson used to bring in Knuckles tracks when we were writing, for reference, or if him and Rick were making a mix, there would always be Frankie tracks in the pile of 12ins they were using.”
Read the full interview here
The Frankie Knuckles Fund
The Frankie Knuckles Fund was established by Defmix and the Elton John AIDS Foundation in Knuckles’ memory, following his passing on 31st March 2014.
“Knowing that the Elton John Aids Foundation had established the official Frankie Knuckles Fund in collaboration with Frankie’s estate and Defmix, they offered to gift all royalties from the single to the foundation, which was great. Everyone who worked on the track did so for free, which just shows the respect people had for Frankie.” Sir Elton John
The fund receives donations for the charity’s work with men at high risk of HIV in Africa as well as African communities in the UK, and African American communities in the U.S.A. For more information on the work the charity does click here.
On the continued influence of Frankie Knuckles:
‘My relationship with Frankie goes back a long way.
Twenty-five years ago, Frankie championed the early
music Pete Heller and I made and many of the first releases
on Junior Boys Own. He helped turn a group of suburban
London music fans into DJs and producers who could travel
the world, simply by his patronage.’
‘As the creator of house music we owe Frankie
a huge debt. Karl and I have always seen Frankie as
the source and, as Underworld, we’re always swimming in his river.’
Rick Smith (Underworld)
‘When difficult decisions had to be made at the label,
I’d often ask myself, “What would Frankie do?’ This meant
we should approach the problem with love and
respect for the music as our first concern.”
Steven Hall (Junior Boys Own)
“It’s fabulous. I have always LOVED Underworld.
This is a great track and tribute to Frankie.
Thanks to everyone involved from me and everyone
at the Elton John AIDS Foundation.”
Sir Elton John (Elton John AIDS Foundation)