Compiled by C.K.C. & The Queen Bee, Indie Top 20 Volume 4 Part 2 – House remains an outlier in the catalogue. It contains just eight tracks, making it the shortest compilation to be reviewed on this site. The sleeve is a rather striking yellow and blue and crucially, the logo was consistent with the one used on Volume 3 and would remain in situ for years. While the occasional house or dance track had appeared in earlier instalments, by 1988 the charts (both official and independent) were thronged with them – presumably this was the rationale to have a official division of genres this time around. Never to be repeated.
The opening tune was only massive – Theme From S-Express. In terms of sequencing, Telstar would use it as the closing track on The Greatest Hits Of 1988. It relies heavily on Rose Royce’s Is It Love You’re After and TZ’s I Got the Hots for You. By way of note, the hi-hat is sampled from an aerosol spray. There are crazy flares in the video. By the time of inclusion here, the track had been released about five weeks previously making Indie Top 20 the first compilation to feature it – albeit in 12″ form. The train sample is an InterCity 125 while you can thank Karen Finlay for the “Drop that ghetto blaster” vocal. Next come Twin Beat – the Fallon brothers – and Let’s Pick Up The Pieces (And Make Some Music). I remember it from the vinyl version of K-Tel’s The Hits Of House Are Here which I also purchased around the same time. We get the 5:58 Extended Mix, chock full of 1960s soundbites and jazzy licks – originally created by the Average White Band.
Gene Noakes and Jim Cunningham dropped their classy samplefest Shake! (What About A Sampling Gene?) – credited to Gene And Jim Are Into Shakes – during the spring of 1988. You might also remember it from the Jack The Video VHS. While it was heavily caned in Ibiza back in 1989, some might say it’s now lost the magic but for me, Shake! is a blast; a real cut ‘n’ paste delight. Meanwhile Chris Mellor (Coco), Lene Stokes (Steel), and Craig Woodrow (Lovebomb) serve up the long-forgotten The Sound of Europe Part 1. MC Mikey provides the rap while Imagination’s Body Talk is liberally used. And thanks to Bradx for the note re “Comin’ out of New York, comin’ out of LA, comin’ out of…. Europe”: this is Marshall Jefferson taken from a BBC local radio interview. Equally obscure is the next tune, 2 The Max’s communal joyfest People Of All Nations which benefits from a banging beat and a cool piano riff. Dave Lee was involved; he is now known as Joey Negro.
Submit To The Beat is an aptly-named floor-filler credited to Groove who consisted of Graeme Park, John Crossley and Tim Mold. Park was a Hacienda legend, manning the decks there for 10 years. It formed part of a AA-side with Dance To The Music and is a fine example of early UK house, spacious in delivery with a minimal feel. Next comes the highlight of the entire record, Smith & Mighty – The Dark, Dark House. A wonderfully atmospheric and sinister five minutes, ideal for late night street walking or lonely trawls through deserted industrial estates. Finally, the Housedoctors under the control of the late Dr Felix and Professor Fido see us home with Housedoctors (Gotta Get Down), a rather anodyne number complete with prominent piano, samples and annoying random samples.
Smith & Mighty – The Dark, Dark House (Special Remix)
Lest we forget
Coco, Steel & Lovebomb – The Sound of Europe Part 1