Some history: Tyree Cooper’s Turn Up the Bass claimed it was the “first hip house record on vinyl.” This outlandish claim was disputed by The Beatmasters who indicated that Rok Da House had originally been written and pressed to vinyl as early as 1987. The latter then released “Who’s In The House?” featuring Merlin which featured lines like “Beatmasters stand to attention, hip house is your invention” and “Watch out Tyree, we come faster.” In 1989, Stylus Music dropped yet another compilation, Hip House – 20 Hip House Hits. As it was a single vinyl release, the usual caveats apply “some of the titles on this album have been edited” which continues to show that the CD format was still an afterthought for these labels, despite the steadily increasing sales and slight fall in retail prices.
“Bassline!” There’s some well-known tunes out early – Get On The Dancefloor, Girl You Know It’s True, Respect. Debbie D’s Hit The Rap Jack is an obscure one, full of samples and squiggly scratches. Much better is Kid ‘N’ Play’s fun groove Rollin’ With complete with jazzy break. Zipping by in cut form are Monie Love’s I Can Do This and Jazzy Jason’s 90 seconds of bonus beats, Faster Than Fast. Move over – just a little bit – for the Real Roxanne and the defiant Respect. “I tell ya, I can’t relax.” Hot on her heels are the Jungle Brothers with the raw earthy funk of Straight Out Of The Jungle. We then go full acid for D-Mob are in the house. Banger! “A rare instance of a tune straight out of the heart of an underground scene not just crossing over to become a massive hit in the pop charts but forcing itself into the consciousness of the country as a whole. I can’t believe there’s many people in England aged between about 40 and 60 who don’t at least vaguely remember hearing ‘Acieeeeeeeed.'” (AndyPandy2000)
“Blow the house down for the new generation.” Time for some demolition hip hop from the Wee Papa Girl Rappers. Not well remembered which is a great pity as it moves along nicely. Elswewhere She Rockers throw down the AA-side of On Stage with Get Up On This. Pure hip hop rather than hip house. A one-off next, MC Bam Bam with the Kraftwerk / “you’re quite hostile” sample rush of Wind Me Up which is followed by Lakim Shabazz’s routine Getting Fierce. MC Duke is back with ragga ‘n’ breakbeat flavoured I’m Riffin’. Shame we’re shortchanged on the time. Check out Paul Oakenfold pretending to play an upside down guitar on Electra’s Jibaro video – a solid cover of Elkin and Nelson’s Balearic classic. Dedicated to DJ Steve Walsh. Rise and shine with another Kid ‘N’ Play tune, the feelgood 2 Hype. The grand finale comes courtesy of Marshall Jefferson and Truth – Open Our Eyes – poignant deep house, all lush basslines and impeccable drum programming.
Electra – Jibaro
Jungle Brothers – Straight Out Of The Jungle
D-Mob featuring Gary Haisman – We Call It Acieed
Lest we forget
The Real Roxanne – Respect (Vocal)
K-Tel followed up The Hits Of House Are Here and Rappin’ Up The House with Hip House – The Deepest Beats In Town. It was 1989 and the market for dance compilations was really picking up. There are no sleeve notes for this one and the design is credited to Main Artery. At 52 minutes duration, it’s primarily all 7″ mixes. Don’t let that deter you – it’s brilliantly sequenced and plays like a party record. I have to say it’s really great to get all of these radio edits together in one place. A wonderful snapshot of the era.
As it was on Deep Heat is now and ever shall be – we kick off with Respect. There’s a lot of common ground between the two compilations as we continue with the old skool roof sweat dance of Royal House’s Yeah Buddy, the blinding fury ‘n’ stabs of Stakker Humanoid and Fast Eddie’s fantastically evocative Hip House. Next comes Raze and the timeless Break 4 Love; as it’s the 7″, more than half of the epic intro is missing. More: Joe Smooth’s gorgeous Promised Land sliding into Milli Vanilli’s slick Girl You Know It’s True. Keep on dancing to Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock’s while She Rockers drop the mean hip hop grooves of On Stage. Top of the class for the Turntable Orchestra’s You’re Gonna Miss Me – moody piano, rubber bassline and telephone conversation. Next are Swan Lake and the freestyle rhythms of In The Name Of Love. A big up for Longsy D’s House Sound and the melting acid skank of This Is Ska. Memories of Fibber McGee’s.
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 recalls: “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.”
Turntable Orchestra – You’re Gonna Miss Me
Longsy D’s House Sound – This is Ska
Lest we forget
Jolly Roger – Acid Man
While K-Tel were out of the various pop game by 1988 (flattened by the Now and Hits juggernauts), they still managed to release a number of dance compilations. Rappin’ Up The House is one of their finest examples, 20 extended tracks over two CDs housed in a magnificent fatbox. Tim Jeffrey shares some thoughts in the inlay; he also contributed to The Hits Of House Are Here. A flavour: “This is the year of dance. As the stampede of rap, house and acid gather momentum, dance floors are packed like never before with a euphoric mass who want to move all night long. Night clubs are charged with a kinetic energy that demands a relentless supply of tough beats to satisfy its appetite for action.”
It’s a thrilling beginning with S-Express’ acid smasher Superfly Guy (Fluffy Bagel Mix). You can smell the dry ice. This is a trip nowhere: Paul Hardcastle makes two appearances on CD1, the first as The Acid Boyz on the primitive sample ‘n’ hold We Don’t Exist. The second sees Mr Rainforest assume the form of The DTI on the moving, grooving Listen To This. In a sublime piece of sequencing, we’re treated to Pierre’s Pfantasy Club’s ecstatic and passionate Dreamgirl (Ralphi Rosario Mix). PS – the version here fades at 6:34. “Nothing beat riding around the Chicago skyline with this playing in the background.” (Jack86) And then the well known Can You Feel It complete with Chuck Roberts dialogue – “In the beginning there was jack.” Yet again, I’ll House You pops up and is followed by the extended mix of LA Mix’s Check This Out complete with Addams Family sample.
Their beat is the law; a welcome inclusion for the 12″ of Krush’s House Arrest. The B-side was called Jack’s Back. After Longsy D’s distinctly average To The Rhythm, CD1 comes to an end with the album version of Eric B. & Rakim’s Move The Crowd. Soul power! The second half gets underway with James Brown – The Payback Mix, a jam-packed 12″ remixed by Coldcut’s Jonathan More and Matt Black, a cut-up of The Godfather’s funkiest tunes. It takes two etc. They pop up in their own right with the sensational reggae meets go-go Stop This Crazy Thing – Junior Reid in tow. Rock if you’re rocking. More beats: engineered by Lee “Acid Fingers” Rumble, Intolerator III’s Harry’s House is a fun-filled workout of samples from Don Siegel’s 1971 classic. Who remembers Sudden Impact?
More pieces: Decadent Dub Team’s fiery Six Gun (remixed by Dr Dre – his first at the tender age of 18 and still living at home) which was included on the Colors soundtrack. Don’t forget D Moet and X-Calibur’s memorable ragamuffin cover of Ken Boothe’s Everything I Own. Rappin’ Up The House sold a lot of copies in Woolworth’s, this is one track that brings people to You Tube remembering when and where. On the final stretch are Dave Steel and Andy Cox of Fine Young Cannibals on the untouchable beat of Tired Of Getting Pushed Around. And then the uniquely funky jam called Stomp by ’70s outfit Master Plan. The party ends with a bang, the ultracool Black Pyramid Mix of Samantha Fox’s Love House. “The dance floor is no longer the preserve of the few, the new wave of night clubber are a cosmopolitan crowd who have come to expect the best. Rappin’ Up The House brings the diversity and excitement of today’s dance scene right into your living room. TURN IT UP!”
Coldcut featuring Junior Reid – Stop This Crazy Thing
Pierre’s Pfantasy Club – Dreamgirl (Ralphi Rosario Mix)
James Brown – The Payback Mix
Lest we forget
Intolerator III – Harry’s House (Full Blast Club Mix)