ESG (band)

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Background information
Origin South Bronx, New York, United States
Genres No wave, post-punk, post-disco
Years active 1978–1985
Labels 99, Factory, Soul Jazz, Universal Sound, ESG Records
Past members Renee Scroggins
Marie Scroggins
Valerie Scroggins
Deborah Scroggins
Nicole Nicholas
Nicholas Nicholas
Chistelle Polite
Leroy Glover
Tito Libran
David Miles
Tammi Scott

ESG (Emerald, Sapphire and Gold) is an American band that emerged from the South Bronx, New York, in the early 1980s. Trouser Press called it "one of the most dynamic bands that New York could offer at the top of the '80s."[1] ESG has been influential across a wide range of musical genres, including hip hop, post-punk, disco, and dance-punk.


The band originally consisted of the Scroggins sisters, Renee (vocals), Valerie (drums), Deborah (bass) and Marie (congas, vocals) and friend Tito Libran (congas, vocals). A later incarnation of the band consisted of Renee (guitar, vocals), Marie (percussion, vocals), Valerie Scroggins (drums), David Miles (guitar) and Leroy Glover (bass), Chistelle Polite (vocals), Nicholas Nicholas (vocals/percussion) and Nicole Nicholas (bass/vocals). ESG's music is centered on complex polyrhythms, a funky bass and pop-flavored guitar.

During their first incarnation, the group signed with 99 Records and the self-titled 1981 EP of three live (recorded at Hurrah)[2] and three studio songs, the latter produced by English post-punk producer Martin Hannett.[3] A 7" of "You're No Good" was released by Factory Records in the UK.[4] 1982's ESG Says Dance to the Beat of the Moody EP continued in a similar vein, as did their first album, 1983's Come Away with ESG. Renee Scroggins retains the rights to ESG's new music and publishing.

ESG disbanded shortly after, but re-formed in the early '90s, heralding their comeback with a self-titled 1991 compilation of previously released material. The group's work had become popular, mainly among hip-hop artists searching for samples, with such acts as TLC, the Wu-Tang Clan, Kool Moe Dee, the Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Gang Starr, Junior Mafia, Tricky, Jay-Dee, as well as indie rockers like Unrest and Liars all sampling the group. The group addressed this issue on the 1992 12" EP Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills. The album, ESG Live!, was released in 1995 and featured both old and new material.

ESG performing in 2015

The band played what they had announced was to be their final show on Friday, September 21, 2007 at Chicago's Abbey Pub, during the Estrojam festival.[5] However, they subsequently played September 13, 2008 in New York.[6] They opened for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Radio City Music Hall in September 2009.[7] ESG announced shows in Sweden and France in September, 2011.[8] An ESG show in March 2012 was announced as their final west coast show to promote their Closure album. ESG is still touring with shows in London as of June 2014 and has released a single called "Watching" from their upcoming release "What More Can You Take?!" due to be released November 2015.[9][10]



Live albums[edit]

  • 1995: ESG Live!


  • 1981: ESG
  • 1982: ESG Says Dance to the Beat of the Moody
  • 1992: Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills


  • 2000: A South Bronx Story
  • 2007: A South Bronx Story 2 – Collector's edition: Rarities
  • 2010: Dance to the Best of ESG


  • 2010: Renee Scroggins appears on Gaëtan Roussel's Ginger album
    • track 03- Si l'on comptait les étoiles.
    • track 08- DYWD
  • 2011: Franz Ferdinand – Covers


  1. ^, retrieved 28 Aug. 2011.
  2. ^ Shapiro, P.: Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco, page 256. Faber & Faber, October 2006.
  3. ^ Spear, Justin. "Punk-Funk-Adelic". Mojo, September 2006.
  4. ^ "FAC 34 You're No Good | ESG | Cerysmatic Factory". Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  5. ^ Pitchfork: ESG Say Goodbye. Retrieved on 2008-07-03.
  6. ^ Beta, Andy (2008-09-12). "Preview: ESG @ Santos Party House". 
  7. ^ Harvilla, Rob (2009-09-29), "Karen O, Uptown Girl", Village Voice 
  8. ^ Tippex, Marie. "ESG ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE SHOWS : DANCE !". Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  9. ^ Ortiz, Paloma (2012-02-21). "Q&A: Renee Scroggins of ESG". Pulse. SF Station. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  10. ^ Chan, Julia (2012-02-26). "ESG embarks on final funky fete". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 

External links[edit]