AGS-044 is the 7" we've been wanting to reissue since, well, forever.
If you ask Vince Mendoza, he'll tell you the same thing. Ever since I linked up with Vince in 2015 to license and reissue his family's eponymous debut album, Aura (AGS-LP002), he's been encouraging me to reissue "When The Feeling's Right".
It was their biggest hit and their most requested song on the radio. Listening to their LP today would have you believe that the band was playing their original songs — like "Magic Lover" and "Let Me Say Dis About Dat" and "Yesterday's Love" — left and right at live venues, but the group was mostly performing hit songs of the day, because that's what the folks wanted to dance too.
But this song, this song was it.
All the ingredients were all in place to make a smash hit record — take the island's most popular R&B band, put them into Hawaii's top studio with an reputable engineer, and craft a ballad (and disco-boogie groove) for all the the lovers and dancers out there. Then, play the tapes over the airwaves for all of Hawaii to hear.
The moment Vince and his brother Del laid the tracks down and had the tapes in the their hands, they ran it down to the local radio station and gave it to on-air personality Frank B. Shaner, who played the tape right on the spot. Immediately, people started calling in to ask about the song. Who was it? Aura! How can we get it? Somehow, soon!
Legendary Hawaii concert promoter and record producer Tom Moffatt heard the cut and quickly convinced Del and Vince to release the song on his Bluewater Records label. Soon enough, Aura's fans had the band's latest single in their collections — but maybe more importantly, in the hands of music selectors at high school proms, which is where the tune really made its mark with local audiences (remember, back in the 70s and early 80s there was a big school circuit that greatly influenced regional success for local groups).
Ask any uncle or aunty today what local high school ballad they remember the most, and it's this: a timeless ballad with soul and style.
Aura recorded "When The Feeling's Right" and "Stop" at Sea West Studios in a matter of 8 hours with the help of engineer Gaylord Holomalia.
AGS-044 officially releases on February 14th, 2021 (yes, Valentine's Day, for the lovers out there).
P.S. the headline of this blog post isn't entirely true if you count our latest drop on Roots Run Deep, our reggae imprint for showcasing modern Hawai‘i reggae.)