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 on DSPs June 18, 2021, via Motown/UMe. Being reissued as part of the celebrations for Juneteenth, Pride and Black Music Month, the re-issue 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. You can pre-save the digital deluxe here.
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 that we continue to 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 life 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 1970s.” A reviewer for Billboard magazine 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.
- Two remixes of “Do You Know?,” one by DFA (a.k.a. Daryl James and Fred McFarland) and another by the album’s producer Steve “The Scotsman” Harvey; the latter is previously unreleased.
- The original promo-only edit of “Do You Know?” by the legendary Danny Krivit, this one with a previously unreleased acapella 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.
1. Welcome To The Colored Section
2. Beautiful Me
3. Cloud 9
4. People Person
5. Big Black Buck
7. Do You Know?
8. Turn Around
9. You’ve Got A Friend
10. Heaven Sent
11. Rocketship (Original LP Mix) Extended *
13. Our New National Anthem
14. The Colored Section
15. Trois *
16. When You Call My Name *
17. Do You Know? (Steve ‘The Scotsman’ Harvey FunkyMalibu Remix) *
18. Do You Know? (DFA Remix)
19. Do You Know? (DFA Instrumental)
20. Do You Know? (DFA Beats)
21. Do You Know? (Danny Krivit Edit) a capella ending *
22. Do You Know? (Album instrumental)
23. Cloud 9 (DJ Spinna Mix)
24. Cloud 9 (DJ Spinna Mix Edit) *
25. Cloud 9 (DJ Spinna Instrumental)
26. Cloud 9 (Album Instrumental)
27. Rocketship (CD Mix)
28. Holiday (Original Version)
29. Holiday (DJ Deep Remix)
30. Holiday (DJ Deep Dub)
* Previously Unreleased