Nu & Improved Records is the brainchild of Rick Gianatos, veteran remixer and producer, who decided to start a second label (the first being Altair Records, home to Scherrie Payne, d'Llegance, and Love Twins during the late 70's and 80's). This new label would release 12" singles with two tracks. One would be a "Nu" side, or original tune, while the other side would be an "Improved" side, or cover version of a classic soul or dance track from the past. Neither would be considered an "A" or "B" side. It would be up to the DJ or the public to pick their favorite.
There were two releases for the new label: Pattie Brooks - [Improved Side] "After Dark," [Nu Side] "Sweet Temptation." The second release was "3ozs of Love" - [Improved Side] "Double Cross," [Nu Side] "True Believer." Both singles were well received, the 3ozs release getting a wonderful singles review in Billboard for "True Believer". Even though initial response was promising, Rick, was burned out from working in the industry since the early seventies, and he took a much-needed hiatus.
Flash forward to 2005. One of Rick's arranger/programmers, David Raschka, called him up and told him about a new trance version of Pattie's "After Dark" he had been playing around with. Rick loved it, took it to Pattie, who was equally impressed, and by New Years Eve of 2005, Rick had reactivated Nu & Improved and was releasing Pattie Brooks, "After Dark ". Since in 2005 there would be no plans for vinyl release, Rick explained in the Pattie CD disk what a "side" meant, since he continued the concept of "Nu Sides" and "Improved Sides" designated on the disk: "A" Side in music vernacular is a track. Back in the 30's and 40's, in the days of 78's, there was one song on each side of a 78 rpm record. It became common for singers and musicians to describe what they did in the studio by saying "I recorded 4 sides today", meaning that they recorded 4 songs. He also explained on the sleeve of the CD single that there may be singles with only a "Nu" selection(s), or there may be some with both.
The DJs welcomed Pattie Brooks back with open arms and drove her CD single to 35 with a bullet on Billboard's National Dance Chart, not bad for a little independent to be surrounded by major label releases such as Madonna, Barbra Streisand, and Donna Summer.Nu & Improved Records will be focusing initially on working with veteran artists and teaming them with up and coming new talent to create fresh new dance product that has some substance to it. Not only are the recording artists veterans, but some of the songwriters are too, such as Marilyn McLeod ("Love Hangover" and "365 Days a Year (Same Ol' Love)") and Detroit's own Sylvia Moy ("My Cherie Amour" and "It Takes Two").
Beyond the initial dance singles, Rick will flesh out the companion CD albums with hip-hop, smooth jazz tracks, and warm ballads for well-rounded representations of each artist's talent.The next step is for the veterans to bring to the family new talent, and assist in nurturing that talent for future superstardom. Hopefully, then, Nu & Improved can indeed have a fully rounded roster of artists that live up to the name.