Lyn Christopher’s self-titled 1973 debut on Paramount was once a curio item for Kiss completists given that Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley played on it early in their careers. However, when the Smut Peddlers looped the eerie sirens and muscled bass lines from the LP’s sultry ballad “Take Me With You” in 1998, they turned the song into an instant sample classic.
Unbeknownst to many, Christopher’s take was actually a cover. The original traces back to British producer/songwriter/A&R man Kaplan Kaye, who wrote the song for session singers Moon Williams and Lisa Strike. “As it was done as a [demo] session, I just came up with a name which I thought sounded good,” Kaye explains, and thus Moon and Lisa became Tyrone and Carr.
Their original version of “Take Me With You” begins with the same signature bass line. “I already had the riff when I wrote the song, and originally it was on guitar,” says Kaye. “However, when [bassist] Richard Markstein started to play the riff, I decided to keep it on bass.” Notably, Williams and Strike harmonize together so cleanly, on first listen, it almost sounds like a single voice. “It was not written especially as a duet,” Kaye recalls, but “there was a record in the charts by two session singers at the time, and I was trying to do the same.”
Since the single was really a glorified demo tape, Tyrone and Carr’s “Take Me With You” barely received a release in 1973 on the British label Jam (and then another—a tiny release on DJM in 1975). However, Kaye sent it along to Louis Ragousa, an A&R man at the U.S. branch of DJM. Ragousa—best known for signing Kiss—also happened to be married to Lyn Christopher and liked “Take Me With You” enough to include it on his wife’s debut. Thanks to the Smut Peddlers (and the Dusty Fingers series), Christopher’s version went on to become the better-known until Kon and Amir’s 2006 Kings of Diggin’ brought Tyrone and Carr’s back to light.
It’s not often that a songwriter can see their creation enjoy such different lives. When asked if he had a favorite version, Kaye replies: “I like both, but because [Christopher’s] has been sampled by so many acts, I thank her for that.”