Records Revisited: Eramus Hall – Your Love Is My Desire (1980)

What do you say to a group that has only one photo, two albums and three anecdotes? I ask myself this question as Eramus Hall’s début album plays on YouTube. I’m the 7497th person to click on the video.

»Your Love Is My Desire« by Eramus Hall was released in the US in 1980. Taken on its own, this sentence is a gross exaggeration. Most record shops would never have Eramus Hall’s début in stock. The record was far from being released in Europe or on other continents. If you ask yourself at this point, »Wait a minute, 1980… wasn’t that the time when P-Funk was celebrating major success in the shadow of George Clinton’s Mothership?«, then not only do you have a lot of background musical knowledge, you are also on the right track. 

Buy at HHV

Parliament-Funk could be heard on the dance floors of many US discos in the mid-70s. At the end in almost all of them. It was the creation of George Clinton, Motown producer, Frank Zappa fan and to this day one of the most sampled artists in the world. He may never have catapulted himself to Saturn like Sun Ra. But he had sucked up enough acid to make his hip-swinging palatable to white liberal hippies. 

Eramus Hall emerge from this tapestry of grooves. You might expect to find the career of a solo artist behind the name. In fact, however, at least six people worked on the Erasmus Hall début. How the band got its name remains a founding myth. Both Joe Anderson, who played guitar and sang, and Ronald Wright, who wielded the drumsticks, leave an HHV query unanswered. »Apparently it was George Clinton who gave the band its name,« says Discogs. Identifying a source for this is just as difficult as finding the Chicago building of the same name from which Clinton is said to have borrowed the name. 

Between pornstache and promo dump 

The music remains the point of reference. Eramus Hall could have soundtracked the pornstache vibes of Miami Vice with rapped tracks like »Just Me And You«. And »Feelin’ Higher« could also be used to capture wild car chases at the amusement park. In its entirety, however, the record belongs more under a knitted quilt. Today, a candle lit by Gwyneth Paltrow would burn during business hours, but back then it was the wobbly bass of »Superfunk« causing interactive heat expansion in the lumbar region.  

If Westbound Records hadn’t buried the Eramus début in the promo dump, it’s hard to imagine how many babies would have been made to their music. But the Detroit label, which had made a fortune in the 70s releasing Funkadelic records such as Maggot Brain, lacked the money. They also bribed the wrong DJs. Radio airplay was therefore out of the question.  

If Westbound Records hadn’t buried the Eramus début in the promo dump, it’s hard to imagine how many babies would have been made to their music.

By the early 80s, »Your Love Is My Desire« is collecting dust in the archives. A large proportion of the pressings are said never to have made it out of the pressing plants. Despite this, the band still played a few gigs in and around Detroit. Their not only mental proximity to George Clinton may have helped. By the beginning of the 80s, Clinton’s best Funkadelic days were behind him. When he wasn’t playing »computer games«, he had time to work on the follow-up to Eramus Hall.  

By the time »Gohead« appears in 1984, a finger exercise for lost fans of funk, the focus has long since shifted. The disco ball no longer revolves to P-funk, but to pop-funk. In light of his global hit »Purple Rain«, one could also use the term Prince funk in retrospect. Thus, the »pure, uncut« funk that Clinton had once dreamed of developed further. Eramus Hall were not supposed to cut another record again after that. Their story ends before it is even written. What remains: a photo, two albums and three anecdotes.