Carl Bean ‎– I Was Born This Way

West End Records ‎– WES 5014-2
CD, Maxi-Single


The original record was first released back 1977 on Motown Records.


A Message from West End Records CEO, Mel Cheren

I would like to share with so many old as well as new friends of West End a very proud addition to the West End Classics Series: Carl Bean's "I Was Born This Way." After ten years of working to acquire the publishing rights in order to re-release this record, the paperwork — and a beautiful remix — are done!

"I Was Born This Way" is a song which, in my estimation, ranks with the very best of the danceable R&B tracks to come out of Philadelphia in the mid-to-late Seventies. It's right up there with songs like "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye, "Love Is the Message" by MFSB and "I'll Always Love My Mama" by The Intruders — three of my personal all-time favorites.

The original version of this record — the Tom Moulton mix (included here) — was produced by Ron Kersey, Norman Harris, & T.G. Conway for the Harris Machine & Co. Kersey and Harris, who were in the Salsoul Orchestra, were together and individually responsible for producing many of the greatest classic R&B artists out of Philadelphia, such as Loleatta Holloway ("Love Sensation," "Dreamin," "Hit & Run,") First Choice ("Doctor Love," "Let No Man Put Asunder") and MFSB ("Love Is the Message.")

The lyrics to "I Was Born This Way" are as relevant today — perhaps even more so in the current political and social climate — than they were when this record was first released back in 1977. What makes the message of these lyrics even more significant is that they were written by Bunny Jones (along with Chris Spierer) — a straight black woman who was a real music woman from "back in the day." Bunny once told me, "I don't know how I could write such a socially significant message song since I am a heterosexual woman." Bunny had owned hair salons in Harlem before entering the music business. She came to love many of her employees who were gay and, out of love and empathy, she wrote this song.

I was honored when Bunny and her son Chris Jonz — with whom I worked at Scepter Records in the early Seventies and is still a good friend — agreed to sell me the master and 75% of the publishing rights. Bunny and Chris agreed that the song should help in the struggle for equal rights. I was humbled when the talented producer Gomi — a straight man — upon hearing we'd acquired "I Was Born This Way," asked to do a remix as his tribute to this great dance classic. And I'm grateful to Carl Bean for his powerful performance imparting God's message of love and acceptance. This song is about having Gay Pride every day. If we're serious about wanting equal rights, then we need to spread the word that we were "born this way" on a daily basis and not just the last week in June. This is a message for every day — not just to pull out of the closet for Gay Pride. So, here it is. Enjoy it and be proud!

-- <i>Mel Cheren, CEO West End Records.</i>

Other Versions (5 of 26) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
M 00008D1 Carl Bean I Was Born This Way(12", Single) Motown M 00008D1 US 1977 Sell This Version
TEN 110 Carl Bean I Was Born This Way(7") 10 Records TEN 110 UK 1985 Sell This Version
TMG 1108 Carl Bean I Was Born This Way(7") Motown TMG 1108 UK 1977 Sell This Version
none Carl Bean I Was Born This Way(CDr, Maxi, Promo) West End Records none 2005 Sell This Version
TEN 110-12 Carl Bean I Was Born This Way(12") 10 Records TEN 110-12 UK 1985 Sell This Version


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October 4, 2008
This song has so much soul & so much power. I love the extended Motown release. The way I got to know about this song was trying to find the original break from Pal Joey's 'Earth People "Dance"' (itself a personal favourite / classic!)
From the soul-stirring string intro onwards, this can cause quite an emotional dancefloor reaction! Up until I decided to hang up my headphones earlier this year, I'd often drop the intro "I'm walking through life, in nature's disguise..You laugh at me, and you criticise" over pretty much anything (most often just for myself). I consider this song a soul classic, and like Walter Gibbons would say "It's good for the soul".
If you don't know this song, in any of it's mixed forms - Just buy it - and that's coming from a very straight man!


February 15, 2007
edited over 11 years ago
Nah, the mixes were indeed off the original 24 track (I did them with Shep) but in truth we did them in less than a studio time. By FAR the favorite mixes I ever did. I remember getting chills up my back as a thousand people at Better Days screamed when I played the BD mix off tape the night we mixed it. A religious experience.

Thanks for the very kind comments.


January 1, 2006
edited over 12 years ago
WOW! Pick this one up before it goes out of print again - this new 2005 CD reissue of legendary proto-gay disco/house anthem I WAS BORN THIS WAY by the Rev. CARL BEAN is worth the price of admission just for the inclusion of the sought-after and long-OOP circa 1984 remixes by SHEP PETTIBONE & BRUCE FOREST released on the elusive Next Plateau 12" - amazing percussive breakdowns/vocal ad-libs to raise the roof - this is one of my all-time favorite dance songs - and way, way ahead of its time - amazing that Carl Bean would sing so PROUD about being GAY way back in 1975, when this track was first released on 12" by MOTOWN! I think the mixes were taken from vinyl source, but no matter, nice to own on CD...finally after waiting two decades!