Bringing Back the Beat of Farley Jackmaster Funk’s Timeless 'Love Can’t Turn Around'

Feb 10, 2023

Austin Miller

2 min read

While we’re always on the hunt for the latest and greatest grooves in dance music, we also hold a deep respect for the tracks that built its foundations. Infallible acts of today like A-Track, Disclosure, Wax Motif, and others might never exist without the pioneering efforts of house music forefathers like Frankie Knuckles, Chic, Marshal Jefferson, and this week’s featured artist, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk.

Farley was the mastermind behind our track of the week, “Love Can’t Turn Around.” In 1986, his roommate and fellow pioneer of the time, Steve “Silk” Hurley, produced a cover of “I Can’t Turn Around” by Isaac Hayes. Hearing Hurley’s version of the song, Farley teamed up with house music’s first publicly sold, vinyl-pressed DJ, Jesse Saunders, to make his own version of the track. Most of the instrumental arrangement remained, but Farley changed the hook from “I Can’t Turn Around” to “Love Can’t Turn Around” and dropped the rest of Hayes’ original lyrics for new words by author Vince Lawrence. Gospel singer, Darryl Pandy, performed the lead vocals.

“Love Can’t Turn Around” is widely considered one the most important tracks in the history of house music as the first record in the genre to make it to the UK Singles Chart and popularize house music overseas. One spin of this tune, and you’re whipped back to a neon-drenched time rife with the thick beats of drum machines and the distinct smell of vinyl.

An air of trailblazing liberty accompanies those canned drum loops and synth lines. And don’t even get me started on the emphatic attitude and energy with which Darryl Pandy delivers his vocals. Queue up the original video and see for yourself just how fabulous and vivacious Pandy’s performance is. He’s got it all: the mullet, the green sequined shirt, the strut, the voice. Farley, Saunders, and Pandy created one of the original boundary-breaking tunes that, almost four decades later, will still have you walking it out like a runway.

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