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 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 and 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.