Larry Heard

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Larry Heard
Birth nameLarry Heard
Also known as
  • Mr. Fingers
  • Loosefingers
  • Gherkin Jerks
  • Trio Zero
Born (1960-05-31) May 31, 1960 (age 60)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • DJ
  • record producer
Years active1983–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websitewww.facebook.com/larry.heard.35

Larry Heard (born May 31, 1960)[1] is an American DJ, record producer and musician[1] who has recorded solo under various names, most notably Mr. Fingers. He is widely known as a pioneering figure in 1980s Chicago house music, and was leader of the influential group Fingers Inc., whose 1988 album Another Side was the first long-form house LP. He is regarded as a progenitor of deep house music,[2] bridging the gap between the futurism and "posthuman tendencies" of house and the lush, soulful sound of disco.[3][4] His landmark 1986 single "Can You Feel It" would be a major influence on dance music.[5]

Early life[edit]

Born on the South Side of Chicago, Heard grew up hearing jazz and Motown at home, and could play several instruments from a young age.[1] Before beginning his solo musical career in 1983, he was the drummer, at the age of 17,[6] in the band Infinity (a jazz fusion cover group that included Adonis). He is sometimes cited as having been a member of the Manhattan Transfer,[1] but Heard has denied this, saying, "[I] filled in for somebody on one show."[7] He also worked for the US government as a benefit authorizer, which enabled him to buy his first pieces of studio equipment.[1]

Musical career[edit]

Heard began producing music in 1984 after purchasing a synthesizer and drum machine; after a few days with the gear, he had recorded three tracks that would later be regarded as landmarks of house music: "Can You Feel It", "Mystery of Love", and "Washing Machine."[3] Despite initially not having a connection to Chicago's club scene, he eventually met singer and DJ Robert Owens at a party and the two formed the group Fingers Inc. along with Ron Wilson.[3] The group would release the first full-length house LP Another Side in 1988.[3] Around this time, Heard also began releasing solo singles as Mr. Fingers on Trax Records and DJ International.[3] At the end of the decade, Trax released Amnesia, which compiled Heard's early tracks; it was released without Heard's permission.[3]

In 1989, Heard contributed to the debut album by producer Lil' Louis. In the early 1990s, he recorded with Harry Dennis as the It[1] before setting out on his own, signing with MCA Records as a solo act in 1991 and releasing his first official Mr. Fingers album Introduction in 1992 to international success.[3] After the label interfered with his Mr. Fingers follow-up, he released the less dance-oriented album Sceneries Not Songs, Vol. 1 in 1995 under his given name.[3] He continued to record intermittently in the following years, and released the Mr. Fingers album Cerebral Hemispheres in 2018.[8] Much of Heard's music has been released and re-released under different names, including Loosefingers, Fingers, House Factors, and Trio Zero.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Ammnesia (1988) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • On Top of the World (1990) (with Harry Dennis, as The It)
  • Introduction (1992) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • Back to Love (1994) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • Sceneries Not Songs Volume One (1994)
  • Sceneries Not Songs Volume Tu (1995)
  • Alien (1996)
  • Dance 2000 (1997)
  • Dance 2000 Part 2 (1998)
  • Genesis (1999)
  • Love's Arrival (2001)
  • Where Life Begins (2003)
  • Loose Fingers: Soundtrack from the Duality Double-Play (2005)
  • Cerebral Hemispheres (2018) (as Mr. Fingers)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Classic Fingers (1995) (as Mr. Fingers)

EPs[edit]

  • 6 Tack E.P. (1988) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • Mr. Fingers 2 (1991) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • The Calm & Chaos EP (1997)
  • Dance 2000: The Glasgow Connection (1998)
  • Dance 2000: The Chicago Connection (1999)
  • 25 Years from Alpha (2008)
  • Distance Revisited EP (2012)

Singles[edit]

  • "Mystery of Love" (1985) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "Washing Machine" (1986) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "Slam Dance" (1987) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "What About This Love" (1989) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "Ammnesia" (1989) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "Love and Juice" (1989) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "Closer" (1992) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "On My Way" (1992) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "On a Corner Called Jazz" (1992) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "Dead End Alley" (1992) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "I Need You" (1994) (as Mr. Fingers)
  • "Black Oceans" (1994)
  • "Missing You" (2000)
  • "Direct Drive" / "Time Machine" (2001)
  • "Another Night (Re-Edit)" (2001)
  • "Praise" (2002)
  • "Space Jungle" (2003)
  • "Reminisce" (2003)
  • "Evening Dance" (2003)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Bidder, Sean (June 1999). House: the Rough Guide. London: Rough Guides Ltd. pp. 142–147.
  2. ^ Iqbal, Mohson (January 31, 2008). "Larry Heard: Soul survivor". Resident Advisor. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Bush, John. "Larry Heard - Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Unterberger, Richie (1999). Music USA: The Rough Guide. London: Rough Guides. p. 265. ISBN 185828421X. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  5. ^ "Various Artists - The Kings of House, Compiled and Mixed by Masters at Work". In the Mix. August 12, 2005. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  6. ^ "Larry Heard". Red Bull Music Academy Radio. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  7. ^ "Larry Heard". Pulse Radio. Archived from the original on December 1, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "Cerebral Hemispheres by Mr. Fingers". Metacritic. Retrieved June 26, 2020.

External links[edit]