…Does there have to be a reason?


On New Year’s Eve, a friend turned round and said to me ‘Do you realise it’s now twenty years since Madchester?’

He’s right. I’d love to pretend that I went to Spike Island, and the famous Alexandra Palace gig, but the truth is slightly different. I knew the records but i was still a pop kid reading Smash Hits and enjoying records like this one.

Still think it’s a good ‘un, though…

This was described as Italia House, and if I’d been going out at this age, maybe it would have been tearing up the dancefloors. Either way, it was sure as heck tearing up the charts, and selling a lot of records. If memory serves correctly, it went to no.1 after Jive Bunny with their updated take on the Stars on 45 approach to record making went to no.1.

However, this was where sampling was being used to almost comical effect. The voice did not belong to Katrin, but was the sampled voice of Loletta Holloway. Two years later she’d be singing with,erm, Marky Marky (now better known and more respected as actor Mark Wahlberg, do keep up). This was a ‘cool’ record at the time – I remember reading an interview in Smash Hits with Graham Massey (I think) of 808 State, who said that they’d had ‘Ride On Time’ about six months before anyone else at the violently cool record shop Eastern Bloc.

Was this cut and paste? Well, not in the way that Grandmaster Flash or DJ Shadow might be. But then and now, it’s sure as heck cooler than sodding Jive Bunny. Don’t tell me this doesn’t bring a smile to your face…

Black Box -‘Ride On Time.’ mp3

…and here’s the video

Six of the records that shaped dance music, 1977-1989

A friend came to stay the other week who I’ve known for twenty years. As is the case, we spent a fair amount of time discussing music. He’s been more of a dance fan than ‘indie’ over the last decade, though those two genres are not mutually exclusive. he’s been excavating the old dance stuff, and with my love of music from 1977-1982, it’s clear that this era stamped its’ mark on dance just as much as indie.

Having picked up an Arthur Russell compilation (on whom more to come!), I thought I would post three dance classics:

First up a classic. I wrote about Chic’s Good Times back in March, so here it is again.

Chic -‘Good Times.’ mp3

I mentioned Arthur Russell earlier; I will do a No Wave post one of these days…

James Chance -‘Contort Yourself.’ mp3

This record featured an American vocalist, but it’s a very European-sounding record.

Donna Summer -‘I Feel Love (12″ version).’ mp3

These guys came out of the same Bristol scene that spawned Massive Attack, Nellee Hooper, and Tricky, amongst many others.

Pigbag -‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag.’ mp3

And the first sample strewn record to top the charts in the UK:

M/A/R/R/S -‘Pump Up The Volume.’ mp3

Of course, by the end of the eighties, it wasn’t just New York and Chicago doing house, but Italy was doing ‘Italia House.’ And this was probably its’ best known hit:

Black Box -‘Ride On Time.’ mp3

Of course, there are many more out there…watch this space…