Expansion Records | Launched 1989
Owner: Ralph Tee (Label), Richard Searling (Events)
Event: Luxury Soul Weekender
Welcome to Expansion Records. If you like real soul music, youve come to the right place. Based in the UK, we endeavour to provide the level of quality soul largely abandoned by the American major companies many years ago. Our purpose is to offer artists, both new and veteran, a platform for their music on the UK soul scene, and where helpful, an international stage through our vast network of music fans and business affiliates.
We have been privileged to work with such great talents as Leon Ware, Howard Hewett, Stephanie Mills, Gary Taylor, Leroy Hutson, Billy Griffin, Atlantic Starr, Ali Woodson (ex-Temptations), Jean Carne, Angela Bofill, Evelyn Champagne King, and more recently Steve Harvey, Frank McComb, Adriana Evans, Marva King, James Day, Maysa Leak, Kloud 9, Trina Broussard, Ebony Alleyne and many more. There is real passion in what we do here, and thats what keeps us going through sunshine and rain, especially through these ever more changing and challenging times.
Not all the music we release is new, much of what we do includes re-issues of rarities/new discoveries, compilations and previously unreleased music we recognize as special and therefore a demand for. We have major distribution for both our physical and digital releases.
The label is run from London by Ralph Tee, while the events side of the business (luxurysoulweekender.com, see also myspace.com/luxurysoulweekender) is headed up by Richard Searling in Manchester. Together we are Expansion where our record releases, music events and DJing activities reflect the personal tastes and love of classic soul we share.
The first releases on Expansion were through Richard Searling and John Anderson from Soul Bowl Records in Kings Lynn. Ralph joined at the time Ronnie McNeir released his Life & Love album for the label (1989), and John left after Gary Taylors Take Control the following year. Expansions name was thought up by Richard to mean stretching the boundaries of independent soul. Early success came with the singles Give Me The Sunshine (Leos Sunshipp) and Memory (James King, formerly of The Futures). At the same time Ralph was Assistant Editor of Blues & Soul, a magazine to which he still contributes. They also voted Expansion as the UKs No.1 soul label for 5 consecutive years.
Through the 90s, we worked on over fifty artist album projects and released numerous compilations in legendary album series like Expansion Soul Sauce, Soul Chasers, Winners Circle, Phat Jams, and Friend In High Places. In 2000 we launched the Soul Togetherness album brand which continues to this day. The Soul Togetherness weekenders paved the way for the Luxury Soul events which thrive on the same adoration for the music as the label. More recently, some compilations have been collaborations with ambassadors of quality soul like David Nathan (soulmusic.com), Andreas Hellingh (thesoulofamsterdam.com), Paul Clifford (myspace.com/soulguru_uk), Dan Dodds (Soul Jones), Eleanora Cutia (undergroundsoul.com), Chris Hill and Geoffrey Bingham.
In 2008 we joined forces with Jazz FM for a new joint venture label Jazz FM Records for a series of compilations including The Sound Of Jazz FM series, The Soul of Smooth Jazz and Funky Sensation. Ralph also presents a Sunday afternoon show on Jazz FM from 4pm and is joined by Richard at 6pm weekly,