Running from 1986-1992, the Boy’s Own fanzine became known as ‘the village newspaper of acid house’: celebrating, documenting, and at times mercilessly lampooning the scene as it transformed everyone from the football terrace casual to the suburban soulboy.
Three decades on, Terry Farley, Pete Heller and Andrew Weatherall are among the key Boy’s Own alumni still shaping dance music today.
Here, Terry Farley talks you through your exclusive, incredible, Farley & Heller ‘Boys Own Summer Of Love’ mix to mark this month's special issue of Mixmag.
His Brutal House ‘Nitro Deluxe’
Originally released in 1986 this electro / house crossover had already been huge in trendy London warehouse parties, but broke nationally in 1988, and remains a classic
Cultural Vibe 'Ma From Bey’
Again from 86 and a big Paradise Garage track for Larry Levan that was massive in the UK pre the House explosion. One of those records that reminds us of the legendary and much missed Wag club .
Adonis ‘No Way Back’
Possibly the Bassline of that summer of Love on the Legendary Trax records this classic’s eccentric simplicity compels the dancer to release the inner acid Ted
LNR ‘Work it to the Bone’
“C’mon lets work - lets work it to the bone bone bone”. Yeah, that one. That sample over great raw house beats have seen this played ever since its release on Chicago’s House Jam records.
Virgo Four ‘In a Vision’
Deep house before deep house had a name and long before the term was hijacked. Beautiful Chicago electronic soul .
Mater C & J ‘Dub Love’
While Adonis had that bassline this tune has that electronic string line. A thousand hands in a thousand parties have hit the air to the sleazy spoken word and simple two note chord that seems to go on forever
Ralph Rosario ‘You Used To Hold Me’
The wonderful Ralph Rosario’s biggest moment featuring the soulful vocals of Xavier Gold
House Master Boyz ‘House Nation’
The term ‘never gets old ‘ is way over used but fuck it, I’m saying it now. Those ‘H-H-H-H- House nation’ ‘triggered vocal samples over those hypnotic rims still rock any party or club where folks understand the foundations.
Victor Romero ‘Love Will Find A Way’
Victor also made the amazing ‘Acid Rain ‘ but this really is his theme tune. The vocals remind me almost of a UK Lovers Rock record in style, underpinned by a great 303 line and thumping beats.
The Morning After ‘Fall Out’
A Sunrise and Biology M25 Rave classic, this has everything a great E record needs: the iconic opening, the baseline drop, those uplifting strings. This is as good as an instrumental House record gets, with Lenny Dee and Tommy Musto and Fourth Floor records at the top of their game.
Tyree ‘Acid Over’
Tyree Cooper wrote this in Chicago at a time when house was waning in its birthplace but exploding worldwid . The juxtaposition of a boss acid line and a piano in the Joe Sample jazz vein takes me back to sunny afternoon at Colnbrooks Queens and lines of kids with baggy jumpers pulled down over their hands doing what my girlfriend called ‘the tea pot dance.’
Joe Church ‘I Can’t Wait’
One for the Soul connoisseur. While Chicago was supplying the Jack trax, New Jersey’s ‘Club Music’ mirrored house in tempo but with a more professional application to production and songwriting as well as performers like the incredible Joe Church. Tony Humphries was resident at New Jersey’s Zanzibar club during this period and his NY Saturday night mix show broke so many Jersey classics both in NY and worldwide, making him an icon even before his legendary visits to play Danny and Jenni’s Shoom party in London .
Jomanda were the three fly girls out of Jersey (think Destiny’s child ) who made the M25 anthem ‘Make My Body Rock ‘ but ‘Drifting’ was the heads’ fave with those club beats and sweet soulful vocals, very much the style of UK DJ’s like Paul Trouble Anderson, Norman Jay and Mr Park from the Hacienda.
Sandee 'Notice Me'
The wonderful sultry Latin spoken words of Sandee over a sophisticated New York beat and bassline . The 7” had an a capella that must have been the most rinsed of that era - it fitted over just about every record you had in your box .
A Guy Called Gerald 'Voodoo Ray'
To this day probably still in the top five of UK house music ever made . The soundtrack to the Hacienda at its peak, it’s still hard to hear this and not conjure up images of Mancs in cricket hats dancing in unison amongst the smoke as Gerald’s groundbreaking classic cuts through the smoke and sweat .
Pierre’s Fantasy Club 'Dream Girl' (Ralphi’s Mix)
For me the Sound Of Shoom and Danny waving record sleeves like he was conducting a orchestra. The acid on this tune is immense, the vocals have that early Chicago youthful appeal and way it drops in and out is edit perfection. Fuck it: never gets old.
The Night Writers ‘Let The Music Use You’
Number one house record of all time in many polls and charts this Ricky Dillard and Frankie Knuckles masterpiece really is the epitome of what a truly classic record should be. If you don’t love this then, as they say, ‘you aint really house’.
Tyree ‘Hardcore Hip House’
Hip House was, lets be honest, a bit marmite. Doug Lazy’s ‘Let it Roll‘ crossed over to the bigger Raves but in the main Hip House was for those who liked their House with a lil’ sashay’ myself included. Hardcore Hip house was very much the sound of the more fashion conscious clubs like Pure Sexy and Boys Own .
Koro Koro ‘No Smoke’
London’s Bang the Party crew on UK label Warriors Dance: their lineage was as much Soul II Soul at Africa Centre as it was Delirium at Heaven. Afrocentric samples and a conga loop to die for, this is early UK house at its finest .
Dionne ‘Come Get My Lovin’
On the collectible Canadian label Big Shot records this is another great female vocal record that was playing on every pirate radio station in town - in fact that summer no BMW ever drove past me without this blaring out - what was known back then as ‘big people’s music’.
Turntable Orchestra ‘Your Gonna Miss Me’
Pure singalong anthemfrom New Jersey DJ and garage icon HippieTorales who also provided the great spanglish phone call opening. The piano line on this influenced just about every piano house record that’s been made since: a real garage foundation tune
Bang The Party ‘Release Your Body’
House music in England owes a debt to the three members of Bang the Party: Kid Batchelor and Lesley Lawrence (of very early house night Confusion) and Keith Franklin of K.C.C. fame. Formed in 1986 ‘ Release your Body ‘ was in my opinion to London what ‘Voodoo Ray ‘ was to Manchester: a very urban underground take on what was happening Stateside
Armando is held in high reverence amongst the real acid heads and this is pure fire. Minimal and strange, it’s exactly the sort of house that literally sentmany hip hop and rare groove dancers into states of anger which in some cases ended with bottles being thrown at DJ’s who dared to try and break this music in 87 and even into early 88. 90% of them loosened up once they had sampled the first ‘Californian sunrise’.
Arnold Jarvis ‘Take Some Time Out’
Arnold’s soulful and at times anguished voice for me is up there with Robert Owens as the male voice of our music. Low slung sexy house music to this day it’s very playable: as proved by Harvey dropping this around 4.30am at the Ministry of Sound a summer back to a glorious reception
The Beloved ‘The Sun Rising’
As outdoor parties and raves go there is probably no better record to drop at 5am as the day breaks, Jon Marsh’s vocals perfectly fit the beautiful music and heavenly optimism this record brings. Helena and Jon of The Beloved were both Shoom regulars and they captured the early vibe of the scene as well as anybody ever has with this magical record.
Marshall Jefferson Presents The Truth ‘Open Our Eyes’
MJ is such a wonderful character and the music he created remains up there with the best that Niles Rogers and Quincy Jones have ever done (all about opinions). A year or so back I saw an incredible video of Bushwacka playing this high up on a platform in the desert at Burning Man, just as the sun rose on the desert horizon.
Ce Ce Rogers ‘Someday’
‘I’ll go to South Africa and be called a man’ lyrically this was our scenes‘What’s Going On’; Ce Ce Rogers’ sublime gospel vocals over beautiful flute and conga opening and then the distinctive bass line. ‘Someday, We'll live as one family, In perfect harmony" . We’re still striving…