Symphony in Effect

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Symphony in Effect
Studio album by
GenreCanadian hip hop
ProducerPeter & Anthony Davis, Maximum 60, Stanley McCook
Maestro Fresh-Wes chronology
Symphony in Effect
The Black Tie Affair
Singles from Symphony in Effect
  1. "Let Your Backbone Slide"
    Released: 1989
  2. "Drop the Needle"
    Released: 1990

Symphony in Effect is the debut album of Canadian rapper Maestro Fresh-Wes, released in 1989 on Attic/LMR Records. In Canada, the album nearly went double platinum and remains one of the best-selling Canadian hip hop albums of all time.[1] The first single "Let Your Backbone Slide" became the first hit single in Canadian hip hop history, appearing on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart.[2] A second single, "Drop the Needle", was released in 1990.


After making his radio debut on Toronto's CKLN in 1983, Maestro formed the Vision Crew with Ebony MC. The duo opened for hip-hop acts such as Public Enemy, Ice-T, and Beastie Boys before breaking up in 1987.[3][4] Originally known as Melody MC, he changed his alias to Maestro Fresh-Wes in 1988 and released the independent demos You Can't Stop Us Now and "I'm Showin' You", which featured his new DJ, LTD. The next year, he performed at the New Music Seminar in New York City, where he walked away with a record deal with independent label LeFrak-Moelis Records (LMR).[3] Later that year, he released Symphony in Effect which included "I'm Showin' You" and "Just Swingin'", featuring his friend Ebony MC. Maestro's manager Farley Flex also made an appearance on the track "LTD's on the Wheel(s) of Fortune".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[5]

The album was successful in Canada, with 190,000 copies sold, nearly going double platinum.[1] It peaked at #4 on Canada's RPM Albums Chart.[6] gave it a 7/10 rating, stating "Maestro Fresh-Wes was exactly the right rapper to put Canadian hip-hop on the map."[4] The album won the first Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year in 1991.

Track listing[edit]

# Title Producer(s) Featured guest(s) Length
1. "Drop the Needle" Peter & Anthony Davis 5:44
2. "Untouchable" Peter & Anthony Davis 3:44
3. "The Mic's My Piece" Peter & Anthony Davis 5:58
4. "LTD's on the Wheel(s) of Fortune" Peter & Anthony Davis Farley Flex 4:33
5. "I'm Showin' You" Peter & Anthony Davis 4:49
6. "Let Your Backbone Slide" (Power Mix) Peter & Anthony Davis† 4:58
7. "Private Symphony" Maximum 60 Corey "Koko" Whittington 5:40
8. "Just Swingin'" Peter & Anthony Davis Ebony MC 5:28
9. "The Maestro" Peter & Anthony Davis 3:47
10. "Tear It Up" Stanley McCook 2:22
11. "Fortissimo" Peter & Anthony Davis 2:31

† Maximum 60 is incorrectly credited as the producer of "Let Your Backbone Slide".


Chart positions[edit]


Chart (1990) Peak
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[6] 4


Year Single Peak position[2][7][8]
Hot Rap Singles RPM Singles Chart
1990 "Let Your Backbone Slide" 14 10
"Drop the Needle" 46


  1. ^ a b Border Block - Canadian Hip Hop vs. America, Accessed on October 23, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Maestro Fresh-Wes > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles, Allmusic. Accessed on May 15, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Artist: Maestro Jam! Music. Accessed on October 18, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c RapReviews review
  5. ^ Allmusic review
  6. ^ a b Top Albums/CDs - Volume 51, No. 21, April 07 1990 RPM. Accessed on June 22, 2010.
  7. ^ Top Singles - Volume 51, No. 20, March 31 1990 RPM. Accessed on June 22, 2010.
  8. ^ Top Singles - Volume 52, No. 5, June 16 1990 RPM. Accessed on June 22, 2010.