Tag Archives: 1990

John Cale & Brian Eno ‎- Spinning Away (1990)

YouTube – AmazoniTunesDiscogs

Good morning! In 1990, John Cale and Brian Eno revisited their past collaborations to produce a new album. For these two, the output (Wrong Way Up) is untypical in its accessibility. Apparently, Cale had sensed that Eno was in the mood for something less experimental and together they produced what only can be called a pop album. The track ‘Spinning Away’ stands out and is a complete omission from my best of 1990 sounds post. Have a great week.

Tagged , ,

Adamski feat. Seal ‎- Killer (1990)


A bonus post this morning… 10 years after Japan’s ‘Quiet Life’, British electronic music had changed dramatically. After the success of his acid house album Liveanddirect, producer/DJ Adam Tinley’s (aka Adamski) ambitions had grown. He had recorded the instrumental track ‘Killer’, but wanted to add vocals. Rather than use a sample, Adamski hired Samuel Adeola (aka Seal) whom he’d met in a club. Seal wrote his own lyrics and recorded the vocals in one take – the resulting house/pop crossover became one of the biggest tunes of 1990 worldwide.

Tagged , ,

High Tide ‎- Time Unlimited (1990)


Released in 1990, High Tide’s ‘Time Unlimited’ is a standout italo house track. What sets it part today is the fact that, unlike may of its contemporary releases, it still sounds fresh. Forsaking the typical italo piano chords in favour of a harp sample and acoustic guitar, it has a real Balearic beach vibe. We need a serene sun dance this week. Have a great weekend, peeps.

Tagged , ,

The Charlatans ‎- The Only One I Know (1990)


The Charlatans got a mention on this blog on Monday. More specifically, the organ riff they lifted off Deep Purple for their breakout single ‘The Only One I Know’. The sound they created was right in the mix of the dance-floor friendly Madchester movement that blended alt rock with psychedelia and funk. The swirling organ was played by keyboardist Rob Collins. He did not get the opportunity to deliver his signature on the biggest of stages. His car crash and death occurred three weeks before The Charlatans’ biggest concert to date — supporting Oasis at Knebworth in 1996.

Tagged , ,

The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds (1990)


The Orb is an electronic music group founded in 1988 by Alex Paterson and The KLF’s Jimmy Cauty.  By 1990, Paterson and Cauty had fallen out and the former was now working with old school friend and bassist of Killing Joke, Martin “Youth” Glover. Youth had come across a recording of an interview with Rickie Lee Jones, in which someone asked her: “So what were the skies like when you were young?”. The two of them sampled her answer and mixed with a whistling harmonica from Ennio Morricone, some drums from Harry Nilsson’s Jump into the Fire and some other stuff. This was ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’; this was ambient house.

Tagged , , , , ,

Cocteau Twins – Cherry Coloured Funk (1990)


I bring the Cocteau Twins’ ‘Cherry Coloured Funk’ off Heaven or Las Vegas, the band’s most beloved album. Liz Fraser’s voice draws, swoops and amazes.

Tagged , ,

Happy Mondays – Step On (1990)



The following year, ‘Step On’ was the first single and biggest hit from Happy Mondays’ Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches. The song was an evident cover of a track that’s already featured on this blog – John Kongos’ ‘He’s Gonna Step on You Again’ – but the production (Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne) and pure chutzpah took some beating. “You know you talk so hip man/You’re twistin’ my melon man.” It brought indie freaks and dance crowds onto the same floor.

Tagged , , ,

A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It? (1990)


A Tribe Called Quest

Before I walk away for Easter, I’ve just read that Malik Taylor has died at the premature age of 45. In 1990, Malik and his crew A Tribe Called Quest released People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm, an odd mix of rap, hip hop and jazzy rhymes. It was in the alternative furrow that De La Soul had furrowed the year before with their 3 Feet High And Rising. I recall flipping the vinyl and listening to the start of the B-side: ‘Bonita Applebum’ followed by ‘Can I Kick It?’. Genius. R.I.P. Phife Dawg.

Tagged , , , ,

Faith No More – Falling To Pieces (1990)


Faith No More 1990

I’m back. I watched Black Hawk Down last night. Visceral stuff and why wouldn’t Ridley Scott feature ‘Falling To Pieces’ to accompany all those ammunition shells. Originally released on Faith No More’s epic 1989 album The Real Thing, it followed as a single in 1990. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , ,

Ozric Tentacles – Iscence (1990)


Ozric Tentacles

When I was a lad, the Ozric Tentacles sounded and looked like they had fallen down from a scary outer space and landed in the woods of Wimbledon Common. Someone then handed them a recording contract and in 1990 they released their first major pressing Erpland. I overlook the the album’s spacerock signature ‘Eternal Wheel’ in favour of the reggae-influenced ‘Iscence’. Why? Because there are some vocals; proof of human life.

Tagged ,

LFO – LFO (1990)



I hate to end the week on a sad note; but I do love to end it with a great tune. Last month, it was confirmed that Mark Bell, one of the founding members of house duo LFO, has died. With Gez Varley, Bell quickly established himself as one of the pioneers of early UK house music, helping usher in a creative wave of UK techno. They were part of a confident stable of acts from and around Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield that included Forgemasters, Nightmares on Wax and Unique 3. The bands benefitted from the burgeoning club scene in that part of the world as they had a guaranteed audience. In the case of LFO’s eponymous release on Warp Records, the music lived up to the billing. Bleeps and wall-cracking bass. The video was by John Foxx. Have a great weekend.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Above The Law – Untouchable (1990)


Above The Law

So what happened with these breaks? One episode was taking shape under Easy-E’s stewardship in 1989/90. While at Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records, Above the Law became close allies with gangsta rapsters N.W.A. Their first album Livin’ Like Hustlers featured N.W.A. members and production from Dr. Dre. And this was before Dr. Dre’s seminal The Chronic. Gangsta rap was about to become mainstream, funk breaks were being reborn as G-Funk and it was becoming acceptable for white middle class gents to… well a little biddy tells me that this song might feature at a friend’s 40th birthday bash this weekend. I don’t expect to see any Kings and Raiders caps and gold ropes. Have a great w/e.

Tagged , , ,

Beltram – Energy Flash (1990)

YouTubeAmazoniTunes – Discogs

Joey Beltram

How dance music had changed in a decade. I stumbled across a recent Mixmag listing of the best dance/house tunes of all time, as voted by their readership. It had me hunting down old copies of the magazine that listed the same in 1996 and 2001. Given that all three lists cover most of the genre’s heyday, I was interested to compare shifting opinions. In 1996, Joey Beltram’s ‘Energy Flash’ topped the list with Alison Limerick’s ‘Where Love Lives’, and Ce Ce Rogers ‘Someday’. By 2001, favourite tracks for the same period had become those of Massive Attack, Faithless and Underworld, and not much has changed since. Energy Flash was a game changer – exploding onto the scene in 1991 after a year percolating on dark subterranean dance floors. It paved the way for experimentation with a harder sound. But of course, that experimentation would ultimately make ‘Energy Flash’ less essential. But what memories… dry ice and smiles all round.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The KLF – Wichita Lineman Was A Song I Once Heard (1990)

YouTube – No Amazon – No iTunes – Discogs

KLF Chill Out

You will notice that I don’t have a country music category. I conveniently call Willie Nelson easy listening and would call Uncle Tupelo americana. I think I must have a problem with the stuff in between. But I love the culture the music calls upon. Having marked the world of house music with their proto-trance tracks of the late 1980s, The KLF agreed and put their single hands to kickstarting a trend for the ambient. Their album Chill Out used house music as an echo to an American journey. (The KLF’s Jim Cauty drove around London in a 1968 Ford Galaxie American police car.) The ‘Wichita Lineman…’ also had humour, reminiscent of Malcolm McLaren. Together with Cauty’s work as The Orb, this brew gave birth to “ambient house” and the ubiquitous Enigma project.

Tagged , , , , , , ,