dirty martini

old music for new people

i love 1988: fresh and fly April 5, 2009

 freshfly1

yes, in 1988, even north london schoolgirls could rap. yes, that is michelle gayle. back then in junior school, we could only aspire to be as cool as grange hill hip hop act ‘fresh and fly’.

if there is one way to describe the music of 1988 though, fresh and fly just about does it. hiphop, slick wine bar soul and the birth of new jack swing.

to be honest, my school was more bros and debbie gibson in 88, but london, as usual, was infinitely cooler…

download 1988

al b sure – night and day

bobby brown – roni

bvsmp – i need you

five star – godsend

karyn white – the way you love me

loose ends – watching you

mac band – roses are red

mica paris – my one temptation

pebbles – girlfriend

prince – alphabet st

slick rick – mona lisa

today – him or me

 

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

 

nite flite…the first sunset May 2, 2008

last week i was working from home (…) and an advert for ‘nite flyte’, a ‘new’ cd, came on tv, and i was momentarily disoriented and didn’t know what year it was. seriously!

back in the 80s, nite flyte compilations were for the discerning yuppie soul boys and girls – yes those who hung out drinking wine spritzers by night, and pretended to be upwardly mobile by day in their now slightly tragic accountancy/estate agent/banking careers.

the cover art is the same – there were three nite flyte compilations back in the day, but you wouldn’t have guessed unless you saw the tracklisting. the new cd is a summary of the three but it’s not promoted as ‘best of nite flite’ or the ‘anniversary edition’. it’s just there, it’s like we’ve slipped back 20 years

this is weird – the compilations surely weren’t that successful back when more people actually used to buy music? why bother?

download here

alexander o’neal – do you wanna like i do

anita baker – caught up in the rapture

bobby womack – i wish you didn’t trust me so much

chaka khan – through the fire

controllers – stay

eugene wilde – gotta get you home

el debarge – stay with me

force md’s – love is a house

freddie jackson – hey lover

george benson – kisses in the moonlight

glenn jones – show me

gregory abbott – shake you down

 

yuppie soul…for wannabes and estate agents alike July 13, 2007

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yuppies were everywhere in the late 80s. inspired by wall street and dressed by armani. or more likely, next, in fact i think the blame for the continuing success of next and its unflattering, boxy clothes can be laid squarely at the feet of the yuppie movement.

think del boy falling over in an underground wine bar trying to impress snooty trophy wives while hapless trigger looks on in his blue suit. being the average man on the street, never mind the underdog, was not a celebrated thing in the late 80s. my parents knew someone who aspired to be a yuppie. if he held a barbecue, it was a ‘dinner party’ by virtue of the fact that he would provide a musical backdrop of ‘now thats what i call classical music’. the fact that he worked at asda didn’t hold him back – he assumed the look, the lifestyle and the self delusion.

it’s sad to watch the ex-yuppies now, especially those that were young at the time. they cling desperately to their trench coats and briefcases, and we don’t invite them out for after work drinks. unless we want them to pay.

dodgy, drab fashion and buck teeth aside, the most hilarious part of the yuppie image was the mobile phone. or the brick, as its now commonly known. not dissimilar to lugging around your own portable phone box, and requiring an antenna that would spear anyone within fifty feet.

it’s no surprise that some of the soul artists that broke through at this time were white, and very middle of the road. they were reflective of the audience. the music was criticised as manufactured and lacking in grit, but its a hell of a lot better than most of the crap we’re forced to endure today. ‘pop’ does mean ‘popular’ after all…

smooth wine bar grooves for the upwardly mobile – download here

al jarreau – we’re in this love together

alexander o’neal – hearsay

sade – hang on to your love

mica paris and will downing – where is the love

luther vandross – give me the reason

whitney houston – you give good love 

lisa stansfield – live together

simply red – a new flame

wet wet wet – angel eyes

tracy chapman –  fast car

terence trent d’arby – if you let me stay

michael bolton – soul provider