dirty martini

old music for new people

let’s do the timewarp September 10, 2008

spain loved the 70s so much, it decided to keep them forever.

seriously, something i noticed while in spain recently, is that they don’t renovate or update for the sake of it. some of those shop fronts, signs and decor have been there for more than 30 years, untouched.

similarly, why update your sound if it still works? disco clearly resonated within spanish ears, and they’re reluctant to let go.

with the dismal british news the only english-language entertainment we could get on our hotel, it made perfect sense. if ain’t broke…

this was not a new revelation however, i have been reminiscing about the retro fabulousness of spanish holidays for a while now….check this post on novelty disco

70s disco magic

baccara – yes sir i can boogie

brothers johnson – stomp

crown heights affair – you gave me love

earth wind and fire – let’s groove

hues corporation – rock the boat

jacksons – can you feel it

liquid gold – dance yourself dizzy

nolans – i’m in the mood for dancing

ottawan – d.i.s.c.o

phyllis hyman – you know how to love me

tina charles – i love to love

viola wills – gonna get along without you

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ibiza: the brits are coming October 21, 2007

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if you’ve ever seen ibiza uncovered but not actually visited the island, chances are your perceptions are slightly misled.

the antics of the young brits who descend on san antonio each year probably would seem tame in comparison to what’s occuring in benidorm, lanzarote and tenerife. but no one made a series about those places, to my knowledge.

sure, those who visited up until 1994 may be disheartened by the transformation but san antonio apart, the place does retain a balearic vibe. you can still get those funny little spanish crisps in lots of different shapes. the staple vodka limon has not been usurped by designer cocktails and red bull.

the change was evident in 1996 – the soundtrack to las salinas beach was oasis, totally at odds with the club scene but representative of what was happening back in the uk. you struggled to find cheap club entry so you spent some nights in those all night bars in the west end where if you buy four san miguels you get a free bottle of teichenne schnapps. which lets face it was too much freedom for brits used to stingy measures and archaic licensing laws, and could have been directly responsible for the mayhem displayed in ibiza uncovered…

whatever happens with the image though, the music stayed true to itself. 1996 saw the armand van helden invasion that inadvertently kickstarted the speed garage scene back home.

check out my ibiza 1994 post and also an ode to the balearic vibe of the early 00s.

download here

junior vasquez – if madonna calls

josh wink – higher state of consciousness

love tribe – stand up – alcatraz remix

cj bolland – sugar is sweeter – armand van helden mix

tori amos – professional widow – armand van helden

stretch and vern – i’m alive

lisa marie experience – keep on jumpin’

todd terry – jumpin’ – rhythm master remix

full intention – america

ken doh – i need a lover tonight

planet soul – set u free

mighty dub kats – magic carpet ride – son of wilmot original

rozzo – into your heart

wildchild – renegade master

cool jack – just come – sharp blasted dub

natural born grooves – forerunner

mory kante – yeke yeke – hardfloor mix

hysteric ego – want love

faithless – insomnia

dj scot project – u

mary kiani – 100% – tall paul mix

amen uk – passion

 

the soundtrack to any spanish holiday between 1977 and 1983 September 30, 2007

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if you went on a family holiday to benidorm, torremolinos, majorca or anywhere on the costa brava between the late 70s and mid 80s then this post is for you.

disco produced some enduring classics, yet most of the tunes that endured once the initial fad died down were the novelty tunes. these formed a staple musical diet for spanish hotels, wedding receptions and church hall discos until about 1990.

we used to go to the same hotel in majorca every year until i was about 8. it was the hotel flamingo in c’an pastilla, an area now overrun with germans. it was at this very hotel that i was introduced to the german-towel conundrum. my dad used to just chuck them in the pool. i loved sitting by the pool with my feet dangling whilst drinking chocolate milkshake with lots of ice.

i loved the hotel. it had shiny marble floors and the decor was brown and orange, well into the 80s. i used to gaze at the spanish kids tv – they looked like the muppets, but i couldn’t understand a word they were saying. i used to play donkey kong in the bar until we went out at night, where i would sit drawing until my parents were pissed.

when we would get back to the hotel, the disco would usually have started. and this was the inevitable playlist. i would jump around in my rara skirt, and wish i was allowed to wear makeup.

download here

baccara – yes sir i can boogie

bee gees – night fever

cliff richard – we don’t talk anymore

earth wind and fire – let’s groove

gonzales – i haven’t stopped dancing yet

ian dury and the blockheads – hit me with your rhythm stick

liquid gold – dance yourself dizzy

kelly marie – feels like i’m in love

ottawan – hands up

rod stewart – do ya think i’m sexy

taste of honey – boogie oogie oogie

tina charles – i love to love

 

club tropicana drinks are free August 5, 2007

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a scene from almost any 80s edition of totp in the summer. the palm trees and pineapples used to get dusted off in the bbc props department and plonked onstage for mulleted dancers in hawaiian shirts to dance around. in preparation for their holiday in benidorm.

summer anthems used to sound sunny, they weren’t about rain. of course rihanna isn’t old enough to remember the 80s. and many people won’t remember when we had actual seasons instead of increasingly bizarre and extreme weather.  when we were flying back from majorca in 1983 it snowed, in may, on the back of two weeks of sun. now, that wouldn’t be quite so surreal.

so here is my 80s summer countdown, one for each year. i’m winging it a bit on the early to mid 80s as i don’t remember much, and songs have different meanings to different people anyway.  i didn’t want to venture into agadoo territory…but while we’re on the subject, i miss those holidays where you could rely on a playlist of black lace, the tweets, bucks fizz and shaddap your face. novelty records should have stayed in the 80s though some british people still love them. last week at work, the finance team (admittedly only two people) were playing the chicken song by spitting image full blast.

i remember a particular year at butlins – thats an 80s holiday destination, kids – dancing to true blue by madonna, when the going gets tough by billy ocean and we don’t have to take our clothes off by jermaine stewart. to this day, me and my mum smirk when we hear these songs.

these are the sounds played in the garden that little girls made dances up to. on ghettoblasters powered by up to 8 huge batteries. that soon ran out so they sounded too slooooow.

80s summer anthems, by year – download here

1980 – lakeside – fantastic voyage

1981 – cool notes – i should’ve loved ya

1982 – teena marie – square biz

1983 – kc and the sunshine band – give it up

1984 – debarge – rhythm of the night

1985 – mai tai – body and soul

1986 – janet jackson – when i think of you

1987 – jets – crush on you 

1988 – taylor dayne – tell it to my heart

1989 – bobby brown – every little step