before chris moyles, there was the big breakfast. before that, there was simon mayo. a national breakfast experience.
in 1991, i actually liked getting up early to listen to the radio. we always listened to simon mayo, rod mckenzie and sybil ruscoe.
the thing that was interesting about the breakfast show was that they didn’t just play the current top 40. they tried to break new music, albeit fairly commercial music, but new jack swing and r&b wasn’t huge in mainstream uk at the time and they did a decent job of representing what was happening over the pond. remember, we didn’t have access to things like the billboard or casey kasem back then.
needless to say none of these tracks became huge hits over here but i might not even know them if it weren’t for simon mayo. of course he also had a penchant for right said fred, but we’ll let that one go…
download simon mayo’s forgotten classics
hi-five – i like the way
sadly, singer tony thompson died a few years back. he was only 15 when he released this. it pretty much epitomises the era. i love this sound.
jazzy jeff and fresh prince – ring my bell
how do you follow ‘summertime’? well, that used a little known kool and the gang hook but this used a more obvious anita ward one, and suffered for it.
jody watley – i’m the one you need
very typical of the house/r&b hybrid sound of the time. it’s quite difficult to listen to now, but this one stands the test of time.
karyn white – romantic
karyn white has moderate success here, but nowhere near as much as in the states. i remember this being promoted to death, too. well, for those days – by that i mean i saw the promo for this song at least twice on national tv!
keedy – save some love
part of the miami freestyle scene, which didn’t really penetrate over here…this was her only big hit on the billboard charts.
mantronix – don’t go messing with my heart
despite the massive success of ‘got to have your love’ and ‘take your time’, this didn’t really go anywhere. featured artist jade trini.
natural selection – do anything
playing this after practically every newsbreak didn’t help it break the top 40. now that i listen back, it’s very prince…
nona gaye – love sign
…who coincidentally featured on this nona gaye track. but his purple magic didn;t quite rub off.
paula abdul – promise of a new day
now, paula struggles to articulate entire sentences in one go on american idol, but back in 1991 she was still trying to keep her music career going with that incredibly thin voice and limited range. good job she could dance, eh?
rythm syndicate – p.a.s.s.i.o.n
another prince soundalike band. i thought the slightly noveltychorus would have made this a hit over here, but nope. bob the builder and mr blobby, yes. i despair of this country.