From Dusk Till Dawn is my fantasy Balearic soundtrack, built on 35 years of record collecting. I have approached it as a mammoth DJ set starting at 9.00pm and finishing up shortly after 6.00am the next morning.
It’s 9:00pm so time to start the music. Part 1 largely plays like a warm-up; it’s a marathon not a sprint so there’s plenty of time to build a groove.
01 Mark-Almond – The City: Grass And Concrete (Harvest LP, 1971)
Jon Mark and Johnny Almond met while both were recording with John Mayall. They formed Mark-Almond in 1970 and released their self-titled debut album the following year. This track – an excerpt from The City suite – is rich with atmosphere; shadowy sax vibes permeating a rock landscape.
02 Kevin Ayers – Song For Insane Times (Harvest LP, 1969)
Slipping back into the ’60s – barely – for some peace and love. This dazzling beauty is lifted from the Soft Machine founder’s first LP, the inspiring Joy Of A Toy. Song For Insane Times is a melancholy number that’s jazzed-up by Mike Ratledge, the best organ improviser in the world. “We were all turned on.”
03 John Miles – Stranger In The City (Decca LP, 1977)
John Miles’ second LP, Stranger In The City, was produced by Rupert Holmes of Pina Colada fame. The title track, a haunting composition, is a blast, perfect for ’70s crime dramas and the Mediterranean nightclubs of the mid-1980s. When he sings “Concrete jungle all around” I get innervisions.
04 Crosby, Stills and Nash – Dark Star (Atlantic LP, 1977)
Taken from their CSN album, Dark Star is a mysterious tour-de-force with a killer groove. Ross Kunkel rocks the congas while Joe Vitale slays the drums. A moody boogie blasted from clock radios that June. Or as one guy said: “For the weary travellers who find themselves in an alien world.”
05 Jerry Garcia Band – Rubin And Cherise (Arista LP, 1978)
This one kicks off the Cats Under The Stars LP. It’s also known as Robert Hunter’s version of Orpheus and Eurydice. This takes inspiration from a 1959 film called Black Orpheus, which retells the original myth set but sets the scene at Carnival in New Orleans. Check out the mandolin playing on its own – creepy.
06 Dire Straits – Water Of Love (Vertigo 7″, 1978)
A key tune on the first record and released as a single in Holland. Water Of Love has been described as “pure hammock music.” It works best on a balmy evening, outside a taverna relaxing while the DJ plays a warm up set. The guitar tells a melancholy story but the groove keeps on swaying through.
07 Brian Eno – By This River (Polydor LP, 1977)
Before And After Science was Brian Eno’s last solo foray into rock for the ’70s. He describes it as “ocean music”; three tracks refer to water. By This River is also co-credited to Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius. You could also say “this is either suicide music or holding hands with your lover staring at the sky music.”
08 Talking Heads – Listening Wind (Sire LP, 1980)
Remain In Light is Talking Heads at their most spiritual. A Brian Eno production with an introspective side 2 from which the eerie Listening Wind is taken. The song tells the story of a foreign terrorist, Mojique, who plans to bomb American colonialists. Prescient, haunting and unlikely to be performed live today.
09 Peter Gabriel – Of These, Hope (Real World LP, 1989)
Passion was originally composed as the soundtrack album for The Last Temptation Of Christ but Gabriel decided to develop it further – into a fully-fledged double LP. The divine Of These, Hope has an inner organic beauty that still amazes me. Massamba Diop plays the talking drum while Mustafa Abdel Aziz’s arghul drone is gorgeous.
10 Monsoon – Ever So Lonely (Mobile Suit Corporation 7″, 1982)
Written by Steve Coe, Ever So Lonely brought an exotic taste to the UK charts in April 1982. The singer Sheila Chandra was just 16, her wonderful vocals harked back to George Harrison’s Indian excursions of 15 years earlier. She also appeared in Grange Hill as Sudamani Patel where Trisha Yates taught her how to say “flippin’ ‘eck.”
11 West India Company – My Shooting Star (Editions EG LP, 1989)
Having already incorporated Indian music with Blancmange’s new wave grooves, keyboardist Stephen Luscombe delved into it further with the West India Company. File under synthpop-Indian fusion with Vince Clarke, Pandit Dinesh and Asha Bhosle in tow. My Shooting Star melds a club rhythm and Eastern instrumentation with a hypnotic effect.
12 Herb Alpert – Rotation (A&M LP, 1979)
Flashback to 1981: my parents had just bought a fancy new Philips 3-in-1 stereo. The shop also threw in a copy of Herb Alpert’s Rise album. It seemed so futuristic; opening with a track named 1980. Rotation closes the first side, a supreme slice of heady electronic jazz funk. Perfect for going to the ocean’s edge and watching the incoming waves. It’s been there all my musical life.
13 Grace Jones – La Vie En Rose (7″ Mix) (Island 7″, 1977)
Edith Piaf’s signature tune, written in 1945 and released in 1947. Some 30 years’ later, Grace Jones’ cover version was a sublime revelation, all lush bossanova with a sexy rhythm and an absolute joy to dance to. This single mix distills the lengthy album version into a concise masterpiece.
14 Buggles – Island (Island 7″, 1980)
As Mark Barrott once said “There’s nothing more Balearic than a B-side.” Island appears on the flip of The Plastic Age and released on the, er, Island Records label. It’s a laidback gem which takes a reggae tip and adds some heavy synths.
15 Jan Hammer Group – Don’t You Know (CBS 7″, 1977)
Jan Hammer started off by playing keyboards with the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 1970s. Don’t You Know is taken from his Melodies LP. Nu-jazz with a spaced out soul vibe. Fusion trip hop almost 20 years ahead of its time. AllMusic think that it may have invented French lounge kings Air.
16 Marie Et Les Garcons – Re-Bop (Spy Records 7″, 1978)
Re-Bop was a double A-side with Attitudes and also appeared on the ZE label a year later. It’s a fine example of jerky French new wave, recorded in New York and produced by John Cale. The Velvet man also plays piano and marimba on this memorable tune.
17 The Police – When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around (A&M LP, 1980)
Jam alert! One of the unsung heroes of Zenyatta Mondatta, When The World Is Running Down would see a club re-invention at the turn of the millennium. Aside from the post-apocalyptic theme, its main attractions are Summers’ droning chords and Copeland’s amazing snare sound. Electric energy.
18 Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight (’88 Remix) (Virgin 7″, 1988)
The original 1981 version appeared in Miami Vice episode Brother’s Keeper, a seminal ’80s TV moment. This 1988 redux – courtesy of Phil and Hugh Padgham – adds extra keyboards and sampled orchestra bits while the incessant drums seem louder all the way through. Totally dope.
Coming around again; it’s the second leg of my Balearic trip. The clock says approximately 10.16pm and the venue is getting busier. So time for some faster beats. Make it happen via The Sax Trilogy + a slice of minimal wave Eurovision style amongst other heavier delights.
01 The Waterboys – A Girl Called Johnny (Chicken Jazz 7″, 1983)
The Waterboys arrived on the scene in March 1983 with this, their debut single. Reportedly a tribute to Patti Smith, A Girl Called Johnny combines heady folk with a euphoric sax. Big music. Despite a succession of great records over the next seven years, they would never sound this pure again.
02 Roxy Music – Angel Eyes (7″ Mix) (Polydor 7″, 1979)
The original Manifesto version of Angel Eyes has a raw Manzanera guitar sound. This radically overhauled single remix sounds more like ’80s new wave combined with some effortlessly cool Euro sleaze disco flourishes. Or remake-remodel if you prefer. On horns: Ryan Reynolds.
03 Men At Work – Overkill (CBS 7″, 1983)
Overkill is an ode to urban isolation and the stress of modern life. The video was mostly shot in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda. Greg Ham plays the melancholy sax. “1983. . . my 11th birthday. I received a Sony Walkman with Men At Work’s Cargo inside. I thought I had received the greatest present ever!” (LG Okie)
04 Will Powers – Adventures In Success (Island 7″, 1983)
Will Powers was the stage name used by celebrity photographer, Lynn Goldsmith, when she released Dancing For Mental Health, a self-help comedy album. The target of her ire – motivational gurus who tell you “anything is possible.” Adventures In Success is unbelievably funky with a sardonic edge. “Make it happen.”
05 Caroline Loeb – And So What (C’est La Ouate) (Single Remix) (Barclay 7″, 1986)
Caroline Loeb was born in Paris but grew up in New York where her father owned an art gallery. This is the English version of her 1986 Euro smash which was composed by Philippe Chany. In any language it’s an elegant hymn to indolence, an extremely laid back groove and a totally hypnotic tango.
06 Pas De Deux – Cardiocleptomanie (Parsley 7″, 1983)
Pas De Deux represented Belguim in the 1983 Eurovision song contest and finished 18th out of 20 entries. Their song, Rendez-vous was deemed unsafe for the conservative juries. Cardiocleptomanie is the B-Side of their second single, Mani Meme. It’s a fantastic slice of repetitive minimal wave that gets better every passing year.
07 Simple Minds – Hunter And The Hunted (Virgin LP, 1982)
Their zenith. New Gold Dream was recorded between spring and summer 1982 when everything clicked into place. Hunter And The Hunted features a guest keyboard solo from Herbie Hancock who happened to be in the Townhouse at the time. It’s a dazzling, spiralling cameo and a crowning moment on an absolutely perfect album. “Play a wee bit Herbie!”
08 Eurythmics – The First Cut (Instrumental) (RCA LP, 1984)
The remix album of Touch, appropriately named Touch Dance, is not held in high regard by the group. This instrumental version of The First Cut, remixed by Francois Kevorkian, is cosmic in its hypnotic, almost locked groove. Their sublime soundtrack for 1984 would follow later on in the year.
09 Tin Tin – Hold It (Extended Version) (WEA 12″, 1983)
According to Bob Stanley, Stephen Duffy is “The John Charles of modern pop.” Hold It is an early single, his second as Tin Tin with its 12″ mix also touched by the hand of Francois Kevorkian. It begins with a sample of a drill inspector before a huge bass and camp vocals kick in. A synth pop corker.
10 It’s Immaterial – Space (Instrumental) (Siren 7″, 1986)
This instrumental version of Space is taken from the 7″ double pack. While it comes across as a more restrained version of the Dave Bascombe-produced A-side, you’ll find it growing into a Balearic blaster after repeated plays. Or a hybrid of styles that don’t seem to exist anymore, yet still sound completely modern.
11 Ellis, Beggs and Howard – Big Bubbles, No Troubles (RCA 7″, 1988)
Nick Beggs had previously seen action in Kajagoogoo; his bass playing on Big Bubbles, No Troubles is truly magnificent, a moody wicked groove that sadly stalled at #41 in the UK charts. It was a much bigger success in Europe. Check out that Chapman Stick!
12 Hong Kong Syndikat – Too Much (Rio Sugar Hit Mix) (Teldec 12″, 1986)
West Berlin synthpop heroes Hong Kong Syndikat are best remembered for the addictive Too Much. The Rio Sugar Hit Mix (the lesser known 12″ remix) runs for seven and a half minutes, taking in jazzy excursions with some killer percussion from studio ace Curt Cress.
13 The Who – Eminence Front (Polydor LP, 1982)
Eminence Front was scheduled to be released as a single in the UK under catalog number WHO 7 but eventually got cancelled. The picture sleeve was designed by Richard Evans and featured a 1930s Art Deco house in Miami. It’s a neat new wave + synth hybrid from the mostly forgettable It’s Hard LP; a cautionary tale about drug-induced paranoia.
14 Laid Back – White Horse (US Edit) (Sire 7″, 1983)
The drugs don’t work #2. The playful White Horse by Danish duo Tim Stahl and John Guldberg is an unforgettable time capsule of ’80s electro-funk. The 808 beat keeps thudding while the hilariously scary continental vocal drops the classic lines like, “If you wanna be rich / Then you got to be a bitch.”
15 Icehouse – No Promises (Single Version) (Chrysalis 7″, 1986)
Measure For Measure was only the third album ever to be recorded entirely digitally. That’s DDD on those early compact discs. Brian Eno plays keyboards and contributes vocals. For many, Crazy is the gateway but No Promises has a lot to recommend it, an evocative and bittersweet new wave jewel.
16 Wham! – Blue (Armed With Love) (Inner Vision 7″, 1983)
Club Tropicana – fun, energetic, positive, escapism, catchy, infectious, LIFE! But with hidden depths as it satirised package holidays. And on the B-side, the amazing Blue (Armed With Love), a hidden gem destined for Balearic immortality. There was Zeus and then, well, there was Giorgos Kiriakou Panagiotou.
17 Chris Rea – I Can Hear Your Heartbeat (Extended Mix) (WEA 12″, 1988)
In 1988 Chris Rea decided to rework a selection of his old material in the form of a best of collection called New Light Through Old Windows. I Can Hear Your Heartbeat originally appeared on 1983’s Water Sign, the album that broke him in Ireland. The new extended mix is a real treat, the sound of numerous ’80s day trips to the beaches of south Wexford.
That difficult third part begins at 11.34pm. It’s mostly inspired by a mixtape I made in October 1989 which in turn was cobbled together from a number of sources: records I bought during that glorious summer, songs I taped off the radio, copies of other people’s singles, old favourites. The course takes a darker turn as the goths and indie kids come out. The buzz is still there. The sound just humming away, the movement of air, everybody having a good time as we approach midnight. Just keep repeating: “A Balearic record can come from any country, any time, any culture.”
01 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome To The Pleasure Dome (Fruitness Mix) (ZTT 12″, 1985)
12 XZTAS 7. The end of their invincible chart run as it stalled at #2 behind Easy Lover. The spoken word introduction is courtesy of actor Geoffrey Palmer – remember “I’m a doctor and I want my sausages” from Fawlty Towers. A beautifully constructed remix with not a second wasted. Did he really mean to say “Pleasure drome?”
02 Depeche Mode – But Not Tonight (Extended Mix) (Sire 12″, 1986)
But Not Tonight was originally the B-side of Stripped and also featured in Jeffrey Kramer’s film Modern Girls. In the US, the single was flipped and it became the main event but did not chart. The band thought it was a useless pop track; for me it’s an atmospheric wonder trip. Enjoy the night.
03 The Cure – Just One Kiss (Fiction 7″, 1982)
The release of Let’s Go To Bed in November 1982 saw The Cure take a step towards pop. However its superior B-Side Just One Kiss still retained doom DNA, a hangover from the relatively recent Pornography album sessions. Robert Smith has gone on to say that he wished the band had released it as a single. A swirling and dark epic. There’s an even better extended mix that’s still MIA on CD.
04 Sisters Of Mercy – Black Planet (Merciful Release LP, 1985)
“So dark all over Europe.” Black Planet is the powerful scene-setting opening track on First And Last And Always, an album described by Sonic Seducer as “a true pillar of the goth culture.” An all-consuming record that I lost myself in during the mid 1980s – bleak, austere, romantic and almost mystical.
05 Felt – Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow (Single Version) (Cherry Red 7″, 1984)
1984 was a fantastic year for singles and Sunlight Bathed The Golden Glow is up with the very best of them. The lush 7″ mix with its intricate bass has backing vocals from Strawberry Switchblade’s Rose McDowall. The opening riff surely inspired Just Like Heaven. A different tempo to the version of The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Stories but all the better for it. “Seem like a dream.”
06 Shelleyan Orphan – Shatter (Rough Trade 7″, 1989)
Shelleyan Orphan supported The Cure at Dublin’s RDS on 15 July 1989. My favourite gig of all time – read my memories here. During Shatter I was almost at the front of the stage and my eyes locked with those of Caroline Crawley as she delivered the first chorus. Baroque goth mixed with searing heat and mascara running wild. A truly hypnotising experience. Rest in peace.
07 New Order – Lonesome Tonight (Factory 12″, 1984)
B-side of FAC 103 – Thieves Like Us. I remember first hearing this on a ferry to Fishguard in May ’84. Like many early New Order songs, it features an extended instrumental conclusion, with Sumner’s lyrics ending not quite three minutes into its playing time. The bass and strings are sheer perfection. “How many times before did you leave my soul alone” sounds so melancholy but at the same time uplifting.
08 Pylon – Crazy (7″ Mix) (DB Recs 7″, 1981)
Like most people, I came to this via R.E.M.’s cover version which appeared on the flip of Wendell Gee and was later compiled on Dead Letter Office. Pylon’s Crazy distills jagged guitar lines, jangle pop, wiry bass, furious drumming and Vanessa Briscoe’s hiccupy vocals into three explosive minutes. It was released on the same day as Radio Free Europe. Athens, Georgia: brothers in arms.
09 INXS – Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain) (Mercury 7″, 1986)
Their most “down under” single and one in which Michael Hutchence’s poetry shines through. The music video shows the band performing on a salt lake and on the moon plains at Coober Pedy in South Australia. This sense of space shines through in the recording as the arrangement is refreshingly spare.
10 Scarlet Fantastic – No Memory (Arista 7″, 1987)
From the ashes of Swans Way came Maggie De Monde and Rick P Jones to form Scarlet Fantastic. Not a huge hit at the time (#24) but a floor-filler in a number of indie / goth clubs of the era and then went onto became a Balearic favourite in the 1990s. “We have the sun in our hair, moon in our eyes, we just don’t give a damn, ’cause we are free.”
11 Public Image Limited – Fat Chance Hotel (Edit) (Virgin LP, 1987)
The Happy? album saw PIL operating at their slickest, primarily due to Gary Langan’s production. Album closer Fat Chance Hotel with its Wobble-esque bass introduction and repetitive melodic drone, sounds like an amalgam of the 1978 and the 1987 PILs. In fact, there’s an almost mariachi feel to the narrative. From Dusk Till Dawn indeed.
12 Section 25 – Looking From A Hilltop (Restructure) (Factory 12″, 1984)
Section 25 were formed in Blackpool during 1978 by brothers Lawrence and Vincent Cassidy, taking their name from a provision of the Mental Health Act which allowed for compulsory detention. Looking From A Hilltop was remixed by Bernard Sumner and A Certain Ratio’s Donald Johnson. Some might say it sounds like a Cabaret Voltaire side project with a female lead. A major success in Club 6400, Houston, Texas where they dream E forever and keep wiggin’ their asses off.
13 Tones On Tail – Lions (Beggars Banquet 7″, 1984)
Daniel Ash (Bauhaus) set up his side project in 1982. Richard Williams said “Tones On Tail carries on with the traditional Bauhaus taste for the macabre, but charts new courses of twisting the pop thing.” Lions is an almost ambient view of love filtered through a barrier of unreality and comes with some neat melodic waves.
14 Chris and Cosey – October Love Song (Rough Trade 7″, 1983)
When Throbbing Gristle split in 1981, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti signed with Rough Trade and began recording as Chris and Cosey. The gorgeous October Love Song was recorded in two bedrooms at their Tottenham house. Cosey with the microphone in one room, Chris on headphones in the other. Intimacy through the wires.
15 Soft Cell – Memorabilia (Ecstatic Version) (Some Bizzare LP, 1982)
This definitive version of Memorabilia is taken from Soft Cell’s Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing LP, a key entry in the remix album genre. Marc Almond reckons that it’s the first British white rap record. And its filtered squelch all the way through gives it an acid house feel. Plus a killer performance from Cindy Ecstasy. Ahead of their time.
16 Pete Shelley – Homosapien (Genetic Records 7″, 1981)
Banned by the BBC due to its explicit reference to gay sex – “Homo superior / in my interior.” Who the hell cares? Homosapien is perfectly pitched, a transition sound falling between new wave and synth pop. Martin Rushent is on production duty and does a fine job for the old Buzzcock.
17 Heaven 17 – I’m Your Money (12″ Version) (Virgin 12″, 1981)
“The New Partnership – That’s opening doors all over the world.” Or a fantastic satire of early 80s greed Thatcher ‘n’ Reagan style that leans towards their early post-League cold electronics vibe. I’m Your Money features a powerful electro chant that could easily have fitted onto that year’s Computer World. More: and a mighty outro that makes you believe the Roland Jupiter 8 synthesiser has been sent to save mankind.
We’re coming up to the midpoint. By the time part 4 kicks in, it’s 12.54am. Still early for some people. On the menu: established Balearic favourites followed by a downtempo rewind and a gradual rebuilding of the BPMs.
01 Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf (Night Version) (EMI 12″, 1982)
With a video filmed in the jungles of Sri Lanka, the Colin Thurston-produced Hungry Like The Wolf is a key New Romantic 45. While its parent LP, Rio, remains their finest work, the additional remixes (which appeared on the Carnival EP and the US version of Rio) elevate the tracks to an even higher plane. Read here for more detail. This Night Version can be found on the Dutch and Japanese Carnival EPs (and also erroneously included on the first CD singles compilation box) has one of the most epic introductions ever and runs at a frantic pace – 129 BPM.
02 Kajagoogoo – Too Shy (Midnight Instrumental) (EMI 12″, 1982)
Also produced by Thurston, this version of the #1 hit is a moody, mostly instrumental take that pulls off the difficult trick of making a familiar tune sound like a fresh discovery. There’s a confusing history as most copies are labelled Midnight Mix as also was the more common extended version. This runs for 5:27, the other Midnight Mix is 5:45. For compilations fans, then 12″/80s Chilled is your friend. The more traditional cut can be found on 80s 12″ Summer.
03 Vicious Pink – Cccan’t You See (French Extended Mix) (Parlophone 12″, 1984)
Josephine Warden and Brian Moss began as backing vocalists for Soft Cell then known as Vicious Pink Phenomenon. Cccan’t You See was produced by Tony Mansfield of New Musik and features his Fairlight CMI which was used to sample Russian choirs from short wave radio. The superb French Extended Mix was a Leeds Warehouse favourite in the late 1980s. Fire and ice.
04 Pete Wylie – Sinful (Tribal Mix) (MDM 12″, 1986)
Having ditched his backing ensemble, Pete Wylie had a #13 hit with Sinful during the summer of 1986. Zeus B. Held produces, imbuing the track with a Teutonic sound and an almost soulful melodic expression. Massive at Shoom. “Hey Joe, got the news tonight should I laugh or should I cry or should I stay and fight.”
05 Fleetwood Mac – Big Love (Extended Mix) (Warner Brothers 12″, 1987)
Lead single from one of the most lush LPs of the decade, Big Love was written by Lindsey Buckingham and has a provocative “oh – ahh” male / female vocal exchange. Buckingham performed both using studio trickery to sound like Stevie Nicks. This 12″ mix is re-shaped by Arthur Baker; a kickin’ house beat that works all night long.
06 Johnny Hates Jazz – My Secret Garden (Virgin 7″, 1987)
After the storm of heavy hitters comes the calm. My Secret Garden is the gorgeous B-side to Shattered Dreams. A treasure of chilled sophisti-pop, it’s a primarily instrumental groove with chorus-only vocals from Clark Datchler. Their first LP, Turn Back The Clock, remains a classic of the genre with each track feeling like an exploration of lost memories.
07 Fresh 4 featuring Lizz E – Wishing On A Star (10 Records 7″, 1989)
Fresh 4’s cover of Wishing On A Star was produced by Smith and Mighty and dropped by Graeme Park as the last tune in the Hacienda one night in late ’89. It was also the closing track on the final Now album of the 1980s. Lizz E on vocals with Suv and Krust from Roni Size’s Full Cycle crew. Samples James Brown’s Funky Drummer and Faze O’s Ridin’ High. Still rockin’ the Bristol vibes over 28 years on. Big up.
08 Taja Sevelle – Love Is Contagious (Edit) (Paisley Park 7″, 1987)
Taja Sevelle (real name Nancy Richardson) was a Paisley Park prodigy. Her 1987 album saw Prince write two tracks. Its debut single, Love Is Contagious works the dancefloor really well – this original mix is a sultry, soulful jam that helps build the tempo again. The flip side is a more uptempo reworking by Ben Liebrand.
09 Womack and Womack – Life’s Just A Ballgame (4th & Broadway 7″, 1988)
The smooth soul sound continues with Cecil and Linda. The beautifully arranged Life’s Just A Ballgame has a celebratory groove. “Here we are winding up another day, How was the game of life? Was it different today? Some came to play and some came to lay.”
10 Innocence – Natural Thing (Cooltempo 7″, 1990)
Elevate your mind with Natural Thing, an almost ambient house masterpiece with a Soul II Soul flavoured R&B twist. The 12″ mix added Dave Gilmour’s guitar from Shine On You Crazy Diamond but its the original single edit that’s featured here – a track that’s fallen through the mists of time.
11 Moodswings – Spiritual High (State Of Independence) (Arista 7″, 1992)
Originally a single for Jon and Vangelis, then a memorable cover by Donna Summer. But it’s Moodswings’ version from 1992 that’s my favourite. Grant Showbiz (The Fall’s key producer) and Pretenders drummer James Hood. Chrissie Hynde is looped in for the vocal and the whole tune has a dreamy, floating vibe. You’ll also remember it from the closing credits of Single White Female.
12 Sting – Englishman In New York (Ben Liebrand 7″ Edit) (A&M 7″, 1990)
The art of the remix. The original 1988 single release was a flop but its urban paranoia is enhanced with Ben Liebrand’s new funkier take which saw it reach #15 in the UK charts at a time when remaking mid-80s tunes was in vogue – Tom’s Diner, Close To Me etc. Crisp and dry with a boom effect.
13 Cry Sisco – Afro Dizzi Act (Extended Version) (Escape 12″, 1988)
In the words of Ubzukki: “Awesome – summer in London – 1989 – West end record shops – pirate radio – pagers – hip hop – warehouse jams – Westwood Capital rap show – Energy – Sunrise – Biology – Camden Town – fuckin’ Wallabies – loud tracky bottoms – Kaos radio – Lisson Green Estate – great fuckin’ times – miss ’em.” Let’s go down the river (valley). Happy times.
14 Izit – Stories (I’ve A Novella Edit) (FFRR 7″, 1989)
Izit’s wonderfully inspired cover of Chackachas’ Stories is a great mix of funk and soul. It really captures that 1972 feeling, filling the vast open space with samples of fluffy flutes, guitar and sax. Mantra for a state of mind: “Feel the music in your gut, get up and move your butt.”
15 Dionne – Come Get My Lovin’ (Remix) (City Beat 12″, 1989)
One from the second Summer of Love. Caned at all the raves, outdoor sessions and after-parties. It’s easy see why this was such a crucial record; amazing synth keys at the start before that killer vocal kicks in, the pounding bass line and the sweet sounds of the snare hits. Seems like a world away.
16 L.U.P.O. – Hell Or Heaven (Low Spirit 12″, 1990)
Or Lutz Ludwig, German producer and DJ 1957-2014. Hell Or Heaven climbed to #2 in the Italian charts. A timeless house vibe that still sounds stupendous today. One of my most enduring memories of it is watching Channel 4’s Ibiza 90, head nodding while eating a delicious post-pub curry chips. A Short Film About Chilling.
The time is 2.14am and part 5 is about to get going. This is full-on; a selection of hedonistic sounds fed through the filter of a baggy daze with a more tribal second half. A past gone mad or 45 going on 19.
01 Flowered Up – Weekender (Heavenly 12″, 1992)
“Whatever you do, just make sure what you’re doing makes you happy.”
Memories: That NME front cover, 14 July 1990 – “Full Petal Jacket: The Unnatural Growth Of Flowered Up.” The Chart Show appearance of It’s On with the messed-up audio. The demo version of It’s On erroneously included on Indie Top 20 Volume 10. Getting signed to London Records for a million. The uptempo Egg Rush, the downbeat Phobia. A Life With Brian on repeat. The full tale is here. Weekender was the pinnacle: a 48 hour party people election broadcast. Bookended by Quadrophenia samples, rave as mod. RIP Liam and Joe. Tom Ewing said it best: “Weekender is an aggressive, unique record, a record that doesn’t want to be made sense of, a surly epic existing to tell you just that no matter what you’ll read about 1992 in some future pop textbook, it wasn’t like that, wasn’t nearly so neat.”
02 Gary Clail – Human Nature (On The Mix Edit) (Perfecto 7″, 1991)
Produced by Adrian Sherwood with Lana Palley on backing vocals. Human Nature is an anthem that’s still relevant today; so little has changed in 26 years. Dry ice and poppers. Rhyming intolerance with intolerance. Fantastic electric guitar and synth. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” On U-Sound to the max.
03 Soup Dragons – Mother Universe (Big Life 7″, 1990)
Dream E forever: The Soup Dragons jammed the indie disco dancefloor rush with their cover of the Rolling Stones’ I’m Free. A new version of Lovegod LP track Mother Universe was the hedonistic follow-up. It’s is a blast; total baggy overload that’s wildly euphoric. “Glow with all the colours of the rainbow.”
04 Happy Mondays – Bob Yer’s Uncle (Perfecto Mix) (Factory 12″, 1991)
Late 1990: Kinky Afro in the clubs saw us doing the Happy Mondays shuffle, many wearing donkey jackets. It was an immense trailer for the era-defining hedonism of Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches, a record that was more suited to a summer release rather than end of November. Loose Fit and Bob’s Yer Uncle were plucked for remixes in 1991. The latter’s laidback and joyful Perfecto makeover is utterly perfect for any Balearic trip.
05 A Certain Ratio – Won’t Stop Loving You (Norman Cook Remix) (A&M 12″, 1990)
After leaving Factory Records in 1987, A Certain Ratio signed with A&M and released six singles and two albums between June 1989 and July 1990. Won’t Stop Loving You is effectively a remix of earlier A&M 45 The Big E with additional rework by Norman Cook, namely outstanding Italo piano over an exquisite beat. Let the Italia ’90-era album, ACR:MCR into your life and it may become a desert island disc.
06 A Guy Called Gerald – Hot Lemonade (Radio Edit) (Rham! 7″, 1989)
File under transcendental fizz. Hot Lemonade was the follow up to Voodoo Ray and made its way into the shops just before Christmas 1989. I picked up a copy of the 7″ in Comet Records, Dublin. The subject matter caused a few nudges and winks; however when played in a club or warehouse setting, the full-on synth stabs and beats coupled with Brenda Petrie’s vocals made for a dark trip.
07 808 State – Magical Dream (ZTT LP, 1989)
Record Mirror’s James Hamilton on Magical Dream: “Glum girl muttered tinkling twittery burbling 120-0 bpm.” It’s the nearest that Ninety (a portentous November 1989 release) comes to a pop tune, albeit one fashioned on the foundations of Propaganda. It begins with a glockenspiel motif which is quickly overtaken by a grinding bassline: “A fantasy / Taking over your mind / It will take control / Of your body and soul”
08 Cola Boy – Seven Ways To Love (Arista 7″, 1991)
Seven Ways To Love was written by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs with Sarah Cracknell singing on the original white label release. If it looks like a duck. . . “No. It’s too cheesy for Saint Etienne. We’d have been finished overnight.” So the track was re-recorded for Arista with Janey Lee Grace on vocals and Andrew Midgley making up the duo. A loved-up, hands in the air E anthem with a gorgeous bassline and a warm euphoric sound.
09 Working Week – Eldorado (7″ Ortega Mix) (10 Records 7″, 1989)
British jazz-dance outfit Working Week were formed in 1983 by guitarist Simon Booth and saxophonist Larry Stabbins. They previously teamed in Weekend. One from those old Amnesia tapes, their revolutionary Fire In The Mountain LP begat the cinematic Eldorado. The 7″ Ortega Mix is a distilled short of wicked samples, pummelling beats and wild sax. Best enjoyed while sitting on decking or lazing on an open rooftop.
10 Electra – Destiny (Rave Mix) (FFRR 12″, 1989)
Balearic Beats is one of my favourite compilations of all time. It starts with Electra’s Jibaro. Now here’s the follow up; the slinky Destiny mixing downtempo beats with jazzy breaks and full-on chants. To complete the trilogy, greet the breaking dawn with Autumn Love. Eternal respect to Paul Oakenfold.
11 Impossible Dreamers – Spin (100 Things To Do 12″, 1982)
I first became aware of the Impossible Dreamers in 1985 when consuming all things Smiths; Johnny Marr had produced their gorgeous proto-sophisti pop single August Avenue. Some years later I learned about 1982’s Spin which had been caned in New York, riding the no wave dragon. It’s a furious instrumental with extraordinary percussion.
12 Unknown Cases – Masimba Bele (Original Version) (Rough Trade 12″, 1983)
Released in 1983, 1989, 1996 and 2015, Masimba Bele is an enduring classic which was created by Helmut Zerlett best known from the Harold Schmidt Show on West German television. This original 1983 version starts off all cosmic before the tranced-up synth skanks transforms it into a pounding tribal psalm.
13 Tribal House – Motherland Africa (Radio Mix) (Cooltempo 7″, 1990)
Based on the Cooltempo label, Tribal House was a Winston Jones project featuring the singers Karen Bernod and Pierre Salandy. Motherland Africa was a favourite in the Paradise Garage; I first encountered it in the more sedate sounds of KG Discs, Waterford where George was playing Deep Heat 6. The hard bass sound turned my head so I handed over the hard cash – another hole in my ESF grant.
14 Boytronic – Bryllyant (33 1/3 Plus 8 Remix) (BCM Records 12″, 1988)
Boytronic began life in 1983 as synth poppers from Hamburg before ripping it up and starting again with a completely different line-up in 1986. Hits included You, Hurts, Don’t Let Me Down. Remixed by Thomas Gesell and Willi Grossmann, the 33 1/3 Plus version of Bryllyant is a perfect example of New Beat. Totally pitch perfect and also compiled on the seminal New Beat: A New Style Of Music.
15 The Sound Of Shoom featuring Eusebe – I Hate Hate (Southwark St. Mix) (Creation 12″, 1990)
I Hate Hate is a cover of a 1974 Northern Soul tune by Razzy and The Neighbourhood Kids. The Sound Of Shoom (Danny Rampling plus Eusebe) keep it magical and retain the soulful vibe of the original as they remodel it into a house anthem. The sleeve features the Shoom loveheart logo which is become synonomous with the club. Maximum joy. I leave the last words to Jenni Rampling: “I’d hardly say that Shoom’s fashionable or trendy. We never thought in those terms, We just wanted people to come to the club, leave their egos at the door and have fun… after all, we all sweat the same.”
Part 6 of my seemingly endless Balearic journey begins at approximately 3:32am. Two thirds of it is a constant beat buzz followed by a gradual comedown as dawn approaches. “It’s Hall and Oates or nothing for me.”
01 Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra – Deep In Vogue (Epic LP, 1989)
Fashion > dance > vogue. Deep In Vogue is touched by the hand of Mark Moore and William Orbit with Willi Ninja on vocals. It samples the Paris Is Burning documentary with both the film and record depicting the underground dance and ball scene of the gay, African-American and Latino voguing houses in New York City during the late 1980s. I believe that there is an uncredited appearance by both David A. Stewart on guitar and possibly Candy Dulfer on sax – the interplay sounds very much like their subsequent single Lily Was Here. Opulence – you own everything.
02 Kariya – Let Me Love You For Tonight (Sleeping Bag 7″, 1989)
Instantly recognisable intro. Watch a grin break out on people’s faces. Soul diva Kariya’s immortal house banger just conjures up amazing memories of a long and hot summer. A perpetual weekender for the second Love Generation. “One of the first crossover tunes that had the acid tempo with the E melody.”
03 Natural Experience – Don’t Leave Me (The Brothers Organisation 12″, 1990)
I came across Natural Experience on an obscure split 12″ in Abbey Discs. Their Abbey Mall shop. A recommendation from Billy Murray. Quaker State on the other side. Don’t Leave Me got another lease on life when included on Deep Heat 7. It’s got an urgent vocal, a fantastic melody and a spacey late night vibe. Noise in my head: I can still remember listening to this for the first time through the shop’s headphones.
04 Alison Limerick – Where Love Lives (Come On In) (Radio Edit) (Arista 7″, 1991)
Voted greatest dance record of all time in Mixmag at one stage and one that never fails to move the crowd. It’s got all this and more: a blinding piano intro, awesome production and beats that still sound fresh. Plus Alison Limerick’s fantastic vocal and uplifting soulful message – a real leap of faith. “Follow me down, deep down where the love lives.”
05 Banderas – This Is Your Life (London Records 7″, 1991)
The state of the nation: A chugging synth bass, relaxed groove and crucial message. Just go for it. You only get one life. The video is effective at putting across the idea or meaning. You’ll notice public phones, long benches at a railways station and a photo booth. A fine example of a leftfield pop tune that deserves to be played a lot more now than it actually is.
06 FPI Project – Everybody All Over The World (ZYX 7″, 1990)
Winter 1990 at The Bridge Hotel, Wateford. The DJ drops this. Dance energy and good vibes. The FPI Project’s Everybody All Over The World was a big favourite at many early ’90s raves. It’s got a simple, old skool house feel to it – plus a deadly piano breakdown. Upbeat with everybody dancing in sweet harmony. Perfect for the sweat box.
07 Londonbeat – I’ve Been Thinking About You (Anxious 7″, 1990)
A song for your BAE (Before Anybody Else). I’ve Been Thinking About You was released in October 1990; around the time of the Pixies’ gig at Dublin’s National Stadium. It was a total energy flash – 35 songs zip by in the blink of an eye. A knocked-back pint in The Headline Bar afterwards and back on the bus to Waterford. Londonbeat’s soulful disco dancing jam comes on the radio and all seems perfect with the world.
08 Raul Orellana – The Real Wild House (Radio Mix) (BCM Records 7″, 1989)
Another bug-eyed sunrise anthem from the second Summer of Love. Raul Orellana samples Iggy Pop’s Real Wild Child. While Italo house was burning up the dancefloor – Ride On Time et al – and although this Spanish gem came from the other end of the Mediterranean, it was lapped up and cherished by clubbers. Viva Balearica!
09 DSK – What Would We Do (Hurley’s House Mix) (Boys Own 12″, 1991)
Released on the Boys Own label in 1991 and a regular spin on Kiss FM back in the day, What Would We Do is a proper melding of house and garage, a true anthem of the era. It comes with a super funky bassline and a quality sax riff. The Steve Silk Hurley mix is the one to own; accept no imitations.
10 Gene and Jim Are Into Shakes – Shake! (How About A Sampling Gene?) (Rough Trade 12″, 1988)
Gene Noakes and Jim Cunningham dropped this samplefest in 1988. At the time it was compiled on Indie Top 20 Volume 4, Part 2 and K-Tel’s The Hits Of House Are Here. 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.
11 Jolly Roger – Acid Man (Original Mix) (10 Records 12″, 1988)
Eddie Richards first came to prominence as a DJ at London’s Camden Palace. He then took a residency at Clink Street where he played a major role in introducing house music to the UK. Under his Jolly Roger guise, he dropped Acid Man in September 1988. It’s chock-full of samples e.g. I Have A Dream, Say What Time Is It plus a little Cheech and Chong. Plus a relentless 303 and pummelling vocal. Ware’s the house. When it hit #22 in the charts, a Top Of The Pops appearance was on the cards but that week the BBC banned the word acid so it didn’t get played anymore. Eddie Richards on the banning: “It was stupid, it didn’t have anything to do with drugs, people were taking ecstasy not acid. It was called acid because that was a description of the type of twisted sound, it wasn’t anything to do with drug taking in the UK. They just didn’t understand it, it was just a stupid reaction.”
12 Human League – Heart Like A Wheel (Extended Mix) (Virgin 12″, 1990)
Produced by Martin Rushent and remixed by Martin Saunders of Bomb The Bass, Heart Like A Wheel is the greatest third wave Human League track. Supposedly a commentary on US military imperialism, Jo Callis’ lyrics are pretty vacant – stuff like “sell your soul to a holy war.” No jihad in those days but tailor made for the post-2001 era.
13 When In Rome – The Promise (Coliseum Club Mix) (10 Records 12″, 1988)
“If you need a friend, don’t look to a stranger.” When In Rome’s Billboard smash The Promise is dark yet catchy and boasts a throbbing dance rhythm, a singalong chorus, and a hypnotic melody. This Coliseum Club Mix has a sublime cello and an amazing bassline; a massive shot in the arm for late 1980s’ new wave. It featured in 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite and listening to it now, I am transported back to 6th year and Club 19.
14 Rolling Stones – Heaven (Rolling Stones Records LP, 1981)
Heaven sounds like a record going backwards. Buried on 1981’s Tattoo You, it’s an atmospheric, mellow, deep space epic. Contemplative and relaxing, a gauzy gem. Mick Jagger strums an electric guitar while woozily crooning lines like “Nothing will harm you / Nothing will stand in your way.” over a restrained, bare-bones accompaniment. Time, place and mindspace. A fever dream set to music.
15 Cocteau Twins – Pandora (4AD LP, 1984)
Mark Barrott describes this as “the anti-Phil Spector wall of sound.” Pandora is taken from 1984’s Treasure, where fuzziness met reverb with an ambient sheen. I first experienced the Cocteau Twins around the the time of Aikea Guinea and Pink Orange Red on The Tube. Ever since then, I find myself coming back to them every six months or so. It’s like getting a blanket, wrapping it around myself and sitting next to our open fireplace.
16 Saint Etienne – Fake ’88 (Volume CD, 1993)
Fake ’88 was inspired by Denim’s The Osmonds; a caustic look back at the 1970s and updated for the next decade. It originally appeared during April 1993, as a track on Volume 6, the book ‘n’ CD combination. Stephen Duffy handles the nostalgia in a Brummie John Betjeman drawl extolling a lush and understated litany of 1980s recollections and nostalgia fragments. “I don’t remember any of that. If you can remember the ’80s you weren’t there.”
The clock says 10 minutes until 5.00am. The sun is rising and the comedown has started. Part 7 soundtracks the dawn with a final burst of electric energy before the last sign-off and roll-call. “The story is old – I know – but it goes on.”
01 The Beloved – The Sun Rising (WEA 7″, 1989)
I first encountered Jon Marsh’s mob on an early Indie Top 20 compilation which contained Forever Dancing. By 1988 they had fully embraced a dance sound and within 12 months dropped The Sun Rising, a sublime dawnbreaker and fabulously uplifting classic. The sample featured is O Euchari sung by Gothic Voices’ Emily Van Evera. Always remember and never forget: “Love is just a state of mind That we leave behind.”
02 JT and The Big Family – Moments In Soul (Champion 7″, 1990)
JT and The Big Family’s Moments In Soul is primarily built on samples of Soul II Soul’s Keep On Moving and The Art Of Noise’s Moments In Love. The drum sound is from Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks. It was massive in 1990, a period when a number of enduring tracks were created from multiple sampled sources.
03 Art Of Noise – Camilla: The Old, Old Story (China LP, 1986)
A reissue of In Visible Silence, the second Art Of Noise album, has been on my wantlist for many years. The dream came true in May. Camilla: The Old, Old Story is the centrepiece of the original LP’s second side. A gorgeous comedown piece which is driven by congas, xylophones. ethereal vocal samples and an atmospheric sound that conjures up their own Moments In Love and 10cc’s I’m Not In Love.
04 Tears For Fears – Listen (Mercury LP, 1985)
The lush downtempo sound continues with Listen; the closing track on Tears For Fears’ Songs From The Big Chair. This ultimate 1980s pop album contained five singles including Alfredo’s favourite Shout. Listen is a mesmerising conclusion, a beautiful ambient sculpture. About two minutes in, there’s a descending bass followed by spiritually uplifting synth which just gives you goosebumps.
05 Talk Talk – Happiness Is Easy (EMI LP, 1986)
The Colour Of Spring is Talk Talk’s great leap forward. For many people in 1986 it was the gateway to another world. Mark Hollis’ vocals are amazing and Paul Webb’s bass is spellbinding. And Tim Friese-Greene’s production is nothing short of mind-blowing with complex rhythms and beautiful orchestration. Then there’s Happiness Is Easy with its children’s chorus that floats off into a superb hypnotic groove.
06 Kate Bush – Cloudbusting (The Organon Remix) (EMI 12″, 1985)
Second year, after school. Standing in Moran Brothers and reading the magazines. I’ll always remember the review of Cloudbusting: “After the magnificent Running Up That Hill, Kate returns with another dramatic breeze of a song. There’s chugging strings, that soaring voice and a wonderfully evocative melody. Add to that a fascinating storyline video and you’ve got another massive hit. Music to swoon to …” (Karen Swayne, No. 1, October 19, 1985). This 12″ remix is out of this world; there’s less focus on the verses and instead we’re treated to a divine mix that shows the development of the chorus.
07 Solid Gold Easy Amex – Enjoy (Paul Oakenfold Future Mix) (EastWest 12″, 1990)
There’s a case for Enjoy being the greatest Balearic tune of all time. The Paul Oakenfold Future Mix is a blinding electronic downtempo anthem; a track that swoops between a variety of peaks through its 5:40 duration. Check out the old film samples, the Soul II Soul break and that rooster, an immaculately produced true classic.
08 The Aloof – Never Get Out Of The Boat (The Gosh Mix) (FFRR 12″, 1991)
Good advices. The voice you hear is that of Captain Benjamin L Willard (played by Martin Sheen) in Apocalypse Now. The seminal Never Get Out Of The Boat was The Aloof’s debut single, released in 1991. It also contain elements of the Unknown Cases’ Masimba Bele (see Part 5). The Gosh Mix is my favourite, a drifter through the heart of darkness.
09 One Dove – Fallen (Boys Own LP, 1993)
One Dove’s sole album Morning Dove White is a real case of what might have been. Preceded by four well-received singles, the anticipation built all through 1992 but the LP’s release was delayed until the following year due to label politics. The push / pull effect between Andrew Weatherall and Stephen Hague led to a rather unfocused and muddy album. Opening tune Fallen is amazing though; a classic cut from Creation’s Keeping The Faith cloth. Synth pop meets dub via deep house and mellow ambient psychedelia all chugging along at a mid-tempo pace.
10 Polygon Window – If It Really Is Me (Warp LP, 1993)
Richard D James is one of my musical heroes. AFX’s Analogue Bubblebath inspired a fanzine and shorn of vowels, an online identity. Selected Ambient Works 85-92 is one LP I put on when I need to take time away from the rubbish of modern life. In early 1993, under the Polygon Window moniker, he released Surfing On Sine Waves and the highpoint was If It Really Is Me. A magical and mysterious sound that takes the piano house template and makes into a new genre – mournful chill.
11 The Shamen – Hear Me O My People (Orbital – Delays Expected) (One Little Indian CD, 1990)
En-tact, The Shamen’s career highlight, convinced a lot of people on the indie side of the fence to come on over and embrace beats. The one to own is the 1990 release with the original unmixed Human NRG (black cover and silver writing), not the later remixed and more poppier version from 1991. Buried at the end of the first CD pressing is this classic with the Hartnoll brothers. Hear Me O My People samples a speech from Reverend Allan Boesak, a South African anti-apartheid preacher with a trippy dubbed-out and slow-building BPM all the way through. Perfect and potent crossover material.
12 Kraftwerk – Musique Non Stop (Radio Edit) (EMI 12″, 1986)
“To me, Electric Café sounds like it was influenced by the artists that they themselves influenced.” (Esteban Rincon). My first Kraftwerk album and one that took me months to get my head around. So this is where the future was. Musique Non Stop’s lyrics comprise the title of the song being repeatedly chanted by a generic male and generic female voice in English and a computerised male voice in French. The video shows a computer animated representation of the band. This perfectly formed radio edit can be found on the B-Side of the 12″; there are two shorter mixes on the 7″. Techno pop at its best.
13 U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Island 7″, 1987)
Almost there. At the time of release, U2’s The Joshua Tree felt like a record that would gradually reveal its secrets after many listens. 30 years on, I’m still getting more from it – thanks in no small part to Daniel Lanois. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For has a gospel feel, a real spiritual yearning. It’s perfect for that 6.00am feeling – when you’ve been up all night and the buzz is coming to an end. I read a quote on the YouTube comments that says: “Happiness is for the ones who live in the struggle, happiness is not something you can achieve. Happiness is something you live.”
14 Mike Post featuring Larry Carlton – Hill Street Blues (Elektra 7″, 1981)
It’s shortly after 6.00am and time to go. Last record on the deck is The Hill Street Blues theme; a beautiful instrumental. The simple piano riff combined with Larry Carlton’s guitar really makes your ears tingle. Between 1983 and 1987 I watched the ground-breaking show on RTE every Monday night with my Dad. Any time I hear it now I am immediately taken back to those carefree days. “Let’s be careful out there.”
“We were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.” (Hunter S. Thompson)