dirty martini

old music for new people

i love 1982: boogie nights February 7, 2008

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after disco, what was left for the clubs?

in 1982, the musical landscape was split pretty much between the last hangers on of disco, ska heads, fizzling out punk and the mainstream. hiphop was emerging but it would be ten years before the soul boys and girls hooked up with the rappers.

reluctant to let go of disco, but needing a new direction, boogie was born to fill the glitterball shaped void. it was so seamless most people didn’t even realise anything had changed. out went the strings, in came the bass. we also had bouncy blue eyed soul, and baby boy bands.

check out the start of the decade, 1980, and 1981, the last days of disco.

download 1982 here

amuzement park – make up your mind

this band exemplified the boogie soul movement.

barbara lynn – you make me so hot

saucepot barb was already a bit of a veteran by the time this was released. of course these days, a 25 year can be called  a veteran… 

carly simon – why

carly is quite annoying. but everyone loves this and it has been sampled and covered – by a tribe called quest for ‘bonita applebum’, a garage/dancehall cover by glamma kid and shola ama. written by chic, a rare demo by the group apparently does the rounds in ibiza. interesting.

damaris carbaugh – what about my love

sampled more than 20 years later for shapeshifters’ massive ‘lola’s theme’.

jocelyn brown – i wish you would

anyone with even a passing interest in 80s soul should already have ‘somebody else’s guy’. jocelyn and her big voice has gone on to work with incognito and todd terry, amongst others. 

klymaxx – all turned out

these sassy 80s girls ruled the early 80s dancefloors , way before the seminal ‘meeting in the ladies room’.

maze – before i let go

the 70s funk instrumentalists plus frankie beverly had two of the biggest boogie hits – this, and ‘joy and pain’ later covered by donna allen. quite badly.

musical youth – never gonna give you up

the uk’s answer to new edition. well not really, their music was completely different. but the uk wasn’t exactly able to tell the difference in 1982.

patrice rushen – where there is love

patrice dominated boogie (forget me nots, haven’t you heard, remind me) but she also did downtempo. this track was later sampled by smooth aka juanita stokes, who is by now probably 45 but is probably promoting herself as ’21’ if her track record is anything to go by.

prince  -1999

to omit this song from a 1982 list of any kind would be to totally underestimate its impact then, since, and now. no longer a gimmick now that the millenium has passed, it can be enjoyed for what it is. god it make you feel bloody old though.

real to reel – can you treat me like she does

not to be confused with reel 2 reel as in – i like to move it move it – as parodied by big breakfast puppets zig and zag.

skyy – call me

enduring 70s/80s band who peaked during the boogie period. later this track was interpolated by nicole ray on ‘seventeen’.or is it nicole wray? or just plain nicole?

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70s rainbow funk children August 18, 2007

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apparently everything in the 70s was rainbow hued. maybe in a backlash against the sixties monochrome, minimalist ideal or in a reaction to the unsettlement of the era – as much fun as the 70s look to those of us who didn’t experience them, people who did assure us that their abiding memories of the decade are rioting, powercuts and strikes, and that the colourful music was a brief escape.

its easy to forget that things were very different only 30 years ago, in terms of multiculturalism, values and wealth. there were the same problems of high inflation and unemployment as today, but it was less concentrated on the younger population as property was still affordable and people got jobs based on merit, not to satisfy government directives or for fear of legal action.

so the 70s are often remembered as the last days of political incorrectness, unrest and dodgy food but they were also the inception of many things we have today – microwaves, colour tv, video games, the internet. but this isn’t supposed to be a dreary post.  

there are lots of insights into the experiences of living in the 70s that can be found online. who knew that strawberry and lime aeros existed? i did say for years that there was a ‘red aero’ but no one believed me. despite the boil in the bag curries and deep fat fried food, many people reminisce over their 70s childhood cuisine – my mum has driven me crazy for years over fry’s five centres and cabana bars.

and sometimes i could kill for a glass of that transparent ‘orange’ squash we used to get in glass bottles – more sugar than orange but more fun than cloudy, 72% real fruit juice squash…at least 70s orange squash was defiantly nothing to do with actual oranges. was that the infamous kia-ora?

twelve technicolour grooves – download here

bar-kays – hit and run

the second incarnation of this group, saw them tread similar territory to george clinton and co. band member james alexander is jazze pha’s dad.

brick – dazz

enduring tune often confused with output from the dazz band and the commdores (brick house). the merging of a disco and a jazzfunk group to from brick, coined the term ‘dazz’ meaning ‘disco-jazz’

earth wind and fire – star

everyone knows ‘shining star’, but this is much better. ewf were what you might call prolific so there’s always more to discover.

ebonys – hook up and get down

one girl and four boys who formed part of the early 70s ‘fro and flares revolution.

jackson sisters -rockin’ on my porch

not letoya, janet and…the other one. the jackson sisters weren’t related to those jacksons. despite modest 70s success they were better appreciated after their time, during the rare groove revival of the 80s.

kool and the gang – hollywood swinging

kool and the gang’s 70s output is more funk-oriented than their slicker 80s sound. this track was sampled by mase for his debut ‘ feels so good’.

labelle – what can i do for you

patti labelle and co are infamous for ‘lady marmalade’ but they actually did make other songs, like this one.

ohio players – love rollercoaster

i first heard the red hot chilli peppers version of this song. this is the danger with cover versions.

parliament – flashlight

does anyone get the whole parliament-funkadelic thing? my understanding is that they are one and the same, but recorded for two different labels.

sly and the family stone – i want to take you higher

no rainbow funk playlist would be complete without a contribution from sly and the family.

soul children – hearsay

i only recently discovered this group but i love them.

tom browne – funkin’ for jamaica

features chaka khan. i didn’t realise that for a long time…