dirty martini

old music for new people

i love 1986: living in a box May 23, 2008

name an underground classic from 1986. you can’t – 1986 was the most mainstream year ever. fact.

estate agents and ‘business executives’ ruled the world. mobile phones were the size of bricks and cost about £5 per minute. we used copious amounts of studio line hairspray and didn’t care. everything was geometric.

so in the spirit of consumerism, some things that were huge in 1986:

  • boxer shorts
  • geometric home furnishings
  • casio keyboards
  • panini stickers – smash hits, football, whatever
  • top gun
  • crocodile dundee
  • pound puppies
  • poochie
  • jem
  • yuppie soul

 download here

al jarreau – l is for lover

cashflow – mine all mine

club nouveau – jealousy

five star – if i say yes

george benson – shiver

krystol – after the dance is through

janet jackson – pleasure principle

oran’ juice jones – 1-2-1

regina – baby love

satin silk and lace – your love

serious intention – serious

vesta williams – once bitten twice shy

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you always take the weather with you April 5, 2008

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in the uk we’re probably more obsessed with the weather than is healthy. because our weather is SO CRAP.

evidence:

  • weeks where the temperature ranges from 4c to 18c so you don’t know what the bleep to wear
  • summers which are hot, but humid rather than sunny
  • summers which are sunny and then way too hot
  • rain – last summer we even tried to blame rihanna

download here

alexander o’neal – sunshine

nice 80s mellow track from mad mr neal. was ‘interpolated’ in the 90s by jay-z and foxy brown. how does a camel always manage to get a female compadre? foxy, mary, beyonce…

cloud one – don’t let this rainbow pass me by

quality 70s/80s soul.

level 42 – sun goes down

cod-reggae from a band that only ever would have sold in the 80s. you could get away with anything back then.

love unlimited – walking in the rain with the one that i love

these girls were part of barry white’s love unlimited orchestra until he allowed them to sing. hence their catalogue is an odd mix of vocal 70s soul and instrumentals. this was sampled by letoya luckett for ‘you got what i need’.

madame x – cherries in the snow

vanity-esque mid-late 80s artist. so, sounds a bit like prince, a genre close to my heart. cherries in the snow is also the name of a revlon lipstick and a book by emma forrest.

miss thang – thunder and lightning

answer records did exist in the 80s – this was a reply to oran juice jones. the genre wasn’t invented by sporty thievz.

neneh cherry – kisses on the wind

first woman not to hide her pregnancy on totp in 1989…and became a grandmother in 2004 at the age of 40.

new edition –  can you stand the rain

post-bobby and once their voices had broken, this was a great turn of the decade slow jam.

oran’ juice jones – the rain

synth soul classic with actual rain noise in case the point about rain wasn’t quite clear…gotta love the 80s…

rah band – clouds across the moon

quirky semi novelty soul. about someone whose man has flown to the moon. yes, the moon.

rotary connection –  i am the black gold of the sun

one of the best chillout soul classics ever featuring minnie ripperton. shameful admission – i thought nu yorican soul’s 90s cover was the original at the time. well i wasn’t born in 1971…

tony toni tone – it never rains in southern california

ok, again…i thought this was an original. tony toni tone are another group who can pull off cover versions.

 

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…