Tag Archives: 1988

Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two (1988)

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The greatest hip-hop single ever cut? Well if you are judging on the choicest use of a Lyn Collins sample, hands down, Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock’s ‘It Takes Two’ is numero uno. What’s more, my wife can sing the entire song. That is how the Samuels roll. Have a great weekend.

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Les Négresses Vertes – Voilà L’été (1988)

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Les Négresses Vertes

I was reminded of the troupe Les Négresses Vertes the other day. All fusion and very 1980s – the accordion, punk, guinguette and flea-market shenanigans. It was rather chic in its own way, but the cabaret was evidently masking something rather sad. In 1993, vocalist and band leader Helno was found dead by overdose in his mother’s Parisian apartment – from whence he came. It was fun while it lasted, peut-être. ‘Voilà L’été!’

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Raze – Break 4 Love (1988)

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Vaughan Mason

And now for some classic dance moves. Raze’s Vaughan Mason took The Castle Beat’s ‘Today, Tomorrow and Forever’ and turned it into one of the dance floor tunes during house music’s early heyday. ‘Break 4 Love’ my friends. Have a great weekend.

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R.E.M. – Hairshirt (1988)

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R.E.M. 1988

With its mandolin that instantly reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s Four Symbols, I was always going to like ‘Hairshirt’. But it also had added credibility – there was no chorus and it was buried on the B-side of R.E.M.’s sixth studio album Green. Things changed of course, as the album became a multi-million selling breakthrough for the band. “It’s a beautiful life” and this was 1988.

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Soul II Soul Feat. Rose Windross ‎- Fairplay (1988)

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Soul II Soul

In 1989, Soul II Soul took the world by storm with with their confidently entitled debut album Club Classics Vol. One. It was a completely fresh breeze that blew through contemporary soul and dance. ‘Keep on Movin” and ‘Back to Life’ were bonafide classics, but it was the album’s second track that started it all for Jazzie B and his collaborators. Soul II Soul had been a party sound system that had experimented in music-making. ‘Fairplay’ was an experimentation that resulted in a dub plate, which became a calling card and helped them secure a recording contract with Virgin Records.

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Slick Rick – Children’s Story (1988)

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Slick Rick

London-born MC Richard Walters is arguably the original bad boy of hip hop. But this reputation would, unfortunately, overshadow the evident Slick delivery and witty lyrics of his recordings. Take ‘Children’s Story’ off the classic 1989 LP The Great Adventures of Slick Rick – despite the standard early Def Jam production, the effortless storytelling warranted the countless samples that would follow. Have a great week.

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Inner City – Big Fun (1988)

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Kevin Saunderson

A year after Substance, another album that helped define my musical interests was Techno! The New Dance Sound Of Detroit – the album’s already had a mention on this blog. Reputedly, ex-Northern Soul scenester Neil Rushton travelled from UK to Detroit to find content for 10 Records. He met Kevin Saunderson who had ‘Big Fun’ sitting there on tape. He’d recorded it the year before with Paris Grey, his vocalist for all of the Inner City sounds that would follow. Like his close buddies Derrick May and Juan Atkins, Saunderson was on top of his game, and front and centre of a new wave of US dance music. ‘Big Fun’ featured on T!TNDSOD and then became a worldwide smash.

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Kariya – Let Me Love You For Tonight (1988)

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Kariya

For better or for worse, dance music had come a long way in the decade preceding Massive Attack’s Mezzanine. Nothing summed up London’s ‘Summer of Love’ in 1988/89 as well as DJ Jerry and DJ Bob Moss’s house anthem ‘Baby Let Me Love You For Tonight’. Distributed on Sleeping Bag Records, the track became a permanent fixture on the sets of house parties and club nights. I may only have a bottle of Lucozade and a tie-dye t-shirt to my name, but will you let me love you for tonight? You can see why it secured its slot. Have a great weekend.

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Paul Simpson feat. Adeva ‎- Musical Freedom (Free At Last) (1988)

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Paul Simpson

By 1988, Paul Simpson had calibre – he’d worked with Vince Montana Jr. and released some significant garage productions on the Streetwise, Easy Street and Pow Wow labels. Then, out of the blue, he made the unexpected decision to forsake the purists and try his hand at the sampletastic. ‘Musical Freedom’ was both great fun and a great success, but possibly the beginning of the end. The song features Adeva’s vocals and the stellar samples of Sinnamon’s ‘I Need You Now’ and Candi Stanton’s You’ve Got The Love. I like the original 1988 (Free At Last) version – less “Moving On Up’s” and more “Let Yourself Go’s”!

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Happy Mondays – Wrote For Luck (1988)

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Happy Mondays again

In 1985, the little-known Happy Mondays stepped out at a Battle Of The Bands night at The Haçienda. They were spotted by Tony Wilson, signed up to Factory Records and fixed up with a studio session with VU legend John Cale. The output – Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) – was as messy as the name suggests. But a year later, the one and only Bez had joined the crew and everything was alright. The sound was a complete derivative of Front 242’s electronic body music, but their time was nigh. The original video for ‘Wrote For Luck’ was recently uploaded on YouTube – that’s worth celebrating itself. (Viewers are warned that the video contains lots of flashing lights and images of Bez.)

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Boogie Down Productions – Stop The Violence (1988)

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KRS One

Most rap from 1988 is lost in the long shadow of three summer releases – Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions, Big Daddy Kane’s Long Live the Kane and NWA’s Straight Outta Compton. But KRS-One re-emerged in 1988 a year after the murder of Boogie Down Productions’ DJ/producer Scott La Rock. Without La Rock, By All Means Necessary is essentially a KRS-One solo album, on which he is teh self-proclaimed Teacher and asks his community/scene to ‘Stop The Violence’. It starts with an infectious “1-2-3”,  and ends with a mesh of rap and dancehall. It’s dated, but maybe that’s because hearing it makes me think of that time. Have a dope weekend.

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Black Riot – A Day In The Life (1988)

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Todd Terry

Todd Terry was prolific in 1988: The Todd Terry Project’s ‘To The Batmobile Let’s Go’ and their ‘Weekend’, plus Orange Lemon’s ‘Dreams Of Santa Anna’, Royal House’s ‘Can You Party’ and its hip house reworking, Jungle Brothers’ ‘I’ll House You’. But the pick of the year was Black Riot’s ‘A Day In The Life’. His use of fragments of Yello, Manu Dibango, Sequal and Peech Boys pressings demonstrated his supreme ear and technique. And then throw in that much copied synth riff and you have a bona fide classic. ‘Todd The God’ put the track out on Fourth Floor Records which was licensed in the UK on the beloved Champion Records.

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Paul Rutherford – Get Real (Happy House Mix) (1988)

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Paul Rutherford

The Roland 303 never lent itself to accompanying vocals. My recent feature of Róisín Murphy’s ‘Overpowered’ was an exception that had me thinking and digging through my own crates for other examples. I had not seen or heard the name Paul Rutherford for an eon. In 1988, the ex-Frankie sidekick put out ‘Get Real’. It would become a mainstay for early acid house mix tapes that needed a vocal thread.

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A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (Paradise Ballroom Mix) (1988)

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A Guy Called Gerald

Last week’s news about Frankie Knuckles had me revisiting his back catalogue. I was reminded that he had remixed A Guy Called Gerald’s game-changing ‘Voodoo Ray’ for its US release. Rham! Records had pressed the original single in the UK and the 500 copies sold out in a day. Gerald Simpson was already known as part of the 808 State crew that had released the seminal Newbuild earlier in 1988, but after some wrangling over money, he struck out on his own as AGCG.

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Dionne – Come And Get My Lovin’ (1988)

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Dionne

A year before the label put out Landlord’s ‘I Like It’, Canadian Bigshot had already made their mark with this scorching tune. And in their confidence that they had been ahead of the game, the label released a remix of Dionne’s ‘Come And Get My Lovin” a year later and it arrived just in time for every weekend of 1989’s Summer Of Love.

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