dirty martini

old music for new people

on the radio April 6, 2009

mayo

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.

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two miles an hour so everybody sees you June 8, 2008

long before will smith extolled the virtue of driving slowly through the summer heat, to ensure potential hookups got to see you looking your best, crews who weren’t old enough to drive found another way to look cool.

they lugged a fifty pound ghettoblaster round town all day.  any less than four people looked desperate – boom boxing was a group activity, plus, it was heavy work. ghettoblasters generally required four to six huge batteries to keep going for, ooh, two hours, and so you might think the lads would plan strategically for maximum impact from their hard earned. nope.

instead of trying to impress girls and finding out where they would be, you could usually find boom boxers outside hotspots such as:

  • hanging around outside woolies
  • in the tesco trolley area
  • round the back of the bingo hall
  • on deckchairs on the beach near all the OAPs
  • on a bench in the middle of a roundabout
  • in the local park

hmm. the girls are at each others houses, getting their fake id ready to go out and meet boys who have cars and don’t need to lope around town with a boombox on their shoulder…

download here

brooklyn funk essentials – do or die bedstuy

bvsmp – i need you

doug e fresh – the show

full force – your love is so def

just ice – latoya

kurtis blow – if i ruled the world

ll cool j – i need love

rocksteady crew – hey you

run dmc – it’s tricky

slick rick – mona lisa

utfo – fly girl

whistle – just buggin’

 

sunshine reggae: winter warmers December 16, 2007

palm-tree-snow.jpg

 yes it’s christmas…and it’s freezing here in london. today i needed warming up on a long car journey and i found my summer playlist worked a treat.

i also like to select ‘summertime’ by jazzy jeff and the fresh prince on pub jukeboxes at this time of year.

download here

althia and donna – uptown top ranking

late 70s duo who always looked fairly surprised that the totp audience liked their song so much.

amazulu – things the lonely do

colourful 80s pop reggae at its best.

aswad – don’t turn around

possibly the best 80s pop reggae song of the entire decade.

eddy grant – do you feel my love

best known for ‘i don’t wanna dance’ and ‘electric avenue’.

john mclean – if i gave my heart to you

sweet island tune.

maxi priest – close to you

ah 1990…hot summer, world cup…

musical youth – sixteen

there was more to the boys than ‘pass the dutchie’.

nisha k – secret lover

one of those songs you’ve heard before, the first time you hear it.

rihanna – if it’s lovin’ that you want

much prefer popreggae rihanna to pvcrock rihanna.

sophia george – girlie girlie

one of my first ever records, which i ill-advisedly attempted to sing along to.

sugar minott – good thing going

as covered by sid owen…

ub40 – red red wine

this version, with the rap in the middle, was a late 80s remix.