The history of acid house in 100 tracks
Acid house - what better way to tell the story of the beloved genre than by compiling an unmanageably huge list of its standard-bearing tunes?
Acid. Aciiiiiiiidddddd. Ah, the Summer of Love, a period of time in 1988 where hedonism, ecstasy and care-free raves set the precedent for everything else that followed. House, techno and acid house took over and 30 years on, we thought we'd look back on the tracks that defined a period of celebration and joy.
100 tracks that surrounded the era seem like a good place to start, but for this, we needed to enlist some experts who lived through it both in front of and behind the decks.
Danny Howells, Dave Seaman and Darren Emerson are staples of British dance music. Collectively as 3D, they’ve just completed a tour of North America, released their first EP on Dave’s Selador Recordings imprint and are about to embark on an extensive tour across South America.
We asked the guys to share some of the most seminal tracks from the legendary summers of 1988 and 1989, just when the scene starting to explode across the UK and Europe.
Listen, learn and love.
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Frankie Knuckles ‘Your Love’
David Seaman: The ultimate summer of love classic. That sublime arpeggio and bassline combination topped off by Jamie Principle’s soulful vocal still creates goosebumps to this day. I had the honour of interviewing Frankie at his home in New York in 1988 when I was Editor of Mixmag. He was the originator and a true gentleman to boot. Everything started with Frankie. RIP.
Rhythm Is Rhythm ‘Strings Of Life’
Danny Howells: Derrick May is someone who will inevitably feature quite prominently in this list. It’s quite difficult to express just how influential “Strings of Life” was on both the house and techno scenes, or to imagine how different house and techno would have been had this record never been made. Derrick May, pioneer and true genius.
Darren Emerson: Without a doubt this is one of the classics of all classics. When this track was dropped at any party the place would go absolutely mental. The piano mix was the one that everyone got hooked on. It’s a masterpiece that still holds up today.
Lil Louis ‘French Kiss’
Dave Seaman: I remember hearing this for the first time on the Hacienda dance floor and it completely blew my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever run up to a DJ booth to find out the name of a track quicker in my life. There was no Shazam back then! It was like it had just landed from out of space. Containing one of the most emulated electronic riffs ever, it’s DNA still flows through much of the house music made to this day. A game changer.
A Guy Called Gerald ‘Voodoo Ray’
Danny Howells: The sheer definition of classic - a word that gets so badly overused, but is totally appropriate here. This was played everywhere and (if my hazy memories are correct) was still being caned well into the 90s. It’s amazing to think this is 30 years young - it still sounds so fresh to me.
Soul II Soul ‘Keep On Movin’
Danny Howells: You could not escape Soul II Soul back in 1989. You would hear the “Club Classics” album literally everywhere .. cars, pubs, shops, blasting out of Ford Escort windows etc. As far as “Keep On Movin’” goes, I was probably a bit of a latecomer. I think I heard it on the radio long before I heard it out, and it simply stopped me in my tracks. Beyond beautiful, a true desert island tune for me.
Phuture ‘Acid Trax’
Darren Emerson: This was the game changer. Considered one of THE 1st acid trax. Pierre and Spanky (RIP) producing this acid belter. As soon as the kick drum and cowbell came in you knew you were up for a 11 minute acid trip . Strobe and smoke machines at the ready. Enjoy the trip! Acciiieeed!
Marshall Jefferson ‘Move Your Body’ (House Music National Anthem)
Danny Howells: Pure euphoric hedonism, from an age (1986) long before anyone was using the T word. An early example of piano house… this jacks hard even today, a truly influential record. “Gotta have house, music!”
Laurent X ‘Machines’
Darren Emerson: Up there as my all time favourite Acid Trax . Relentless acid…rattle snake high hats. Machines are taking over... Mark Imperial bang on this groove. The whole EP is amazing.
Mr Fingers ‘Can U Feel It’
Danny Howells: Another 1986 Chicago monster, this time from the mind of Larry Heard. This set a benchmark for deep house, and is another track that was played for many years. It’s embarrassing to think that when this was recorded I was probably still overdosing on my Mai Tai and Jimmy Nail tapes.
Dave Seaman: Starting as they meant to go on, this Hartnoll brothers debut heralded their arrival on the scene with some fanfare. They even took their name from the newly opened M25 motorway which provided easy access to the areas of outer London where most of the big Raves took place.
Joe Smooth ‘Promised Land’
Dave Seaman: A vocal anthem that captured the positivity of the time. A genuine hope of better times ahead. An end-of night staple. “Sisters, Brothers, we’ll make it to the Promised Land”
Happy Mondays ‘Hallelujah’
Danny Howells: The fusion of indie and dance might not seem like much now but at the time it was a pure revelation. Happy Mondays were pivotal for me, and the Rave On EP from which this came took everyone’s breath away.
Sueno Latino ’Sueno Latino’
Danny Howells: Listening to these songs again, some for the first time in ages, I’m struck by how contemporary some of them sound. None more so than this... an extended (10 minutes plus) Italian deep house journey that floats along and takes you far away, using Manuel Göttsching’s amazing “E2-E4” as the basis, with added bird sounds, dreamy vocals and piano.
808 State ‘Pacific State’
Dave Seaman: An exotic, sax led, bird sampling, truly unique oddity from the Manchester outfit who were one of the first real UK dance acts to emerge from the scene. A stone cold Hacienda classic.
Ralphi Rosario ‘You Used To Hold Me’
Darren Emerson: An absolute classic from Chicago’s Hotmix 5 label. Baseline from Kenny Jason which is on the same tip as his “Can you Dance” track and a huge vocal from Xavier Gold. If you wanted the party to step up a gear, you just had to put this baby on and the place would erupt.
Frankie Knuckles & Satoshi Tomiie ‘Tears’
Dave Seaman: Seminal emotional masterpiece from Frankie with a young Satoshi Tommie on keyboard duties and Robert Owens on vocals. A thing of real unadulterated beauty.
The Beloved ‘The Sun Rising’
Dave Seaman: To a British public unused to the concept of all-night alfresco partying, the long hot summer of 1989 was a revelation. Thousands of revellers in a field dancing until the sun rose was suddenly not uncommon place. It was an epiphany which certainly left its mark on John Marsh’s Beloved. This crossed over into the UK pop charts in the autumn. One of the defining moments of the era.
Nightwriters ‘Let The Music Use You’
Dave Seaman: Probably my favourite house track of all time. I remember Frankie Knuckles finishing his set with this at The World Club in New York. What a night! A memory I’ll treasure forever.
KLF ‘What Time Is Love’
Dave Seaman: Bill Drummond & Jimmy Cauty cultural tour-de-force were at the vanguard of the Acid House movement and this was just one of their purpose built paeans to rave culture. The KLF juggernaut at the peak of it’s powers.
FPI Project ‘Rich In Paradise’
Dave Seaman: Out of Italy, borrowing it’s piano riff from Richie Havens ‘Going Back To My Roots’ (which itself enjoyed something of a revival around this time) fused with the the ‘woo, yeah’ vocal hook from Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock’s ’It Takes Two’ produced one of the all time classic piano anthems.
Raze ‘Break 4 Love’
Dave Seaman: Vaughn Mason’s classic contains one of the most distinctive and most sampled house breaks of all time. A thing of soulful, almost haunting beauty. Keith Thompson absolutely nailed the vocal too. The Pet Shop Boys even covered this a few years later!
Rhythim Is Rhythim ‘It Is What It Is’
Darren Emerson: I can’t get enough of this track. Has so much emotion. The acidy riff, heavy baseline and chords just work so well. Derrick May at his best here. Heavy, heavy Detroit soul anthem.
Soul II Soul ‘Back To Life’
Danny Howells: More Soul II Soul .. it’s easy to underestimate the impact that they had on urban music back then, but with their debut album, and the accompanying singles, Soul II Soul really altered the course of music, period. This one took the top spot in the UK charts, and listening to it today takes me straight back to 1989.
Black Box ‘Ride On Time’
Dave Seaman: It’s easy to forget that before this gatecrashed the pop charts, crossing over to reach Number 1 without any radio support, simply off the back of its domination at the raves, that this was considered the sound of Underground Italy at the time. It heralding a slew of similarly joyful uplifting piano tracks that sampled huge chunks from Paradise Garage classics. Loretta Hollaway’s ‘Love Sensation’ was the root source in this case.
Richie Rich ‘Salsa House’
Danny Howells: This was huge at the time, not something I listen to regularly now though. A rough and ready sample heavy production from the man behind the Gee Street label (Stereo MCs, Jungle Brothers etc) that you would hear everywhere. This later became an early example of the “mash-up” when it was re-released with the vocals from “You Used to Hold Me” (elsewhere in this list) on top.
Kariya ‘Let Me Love You For Tonight’
Dave Seaman: The New York based Sleeping Bag label released many huge club tracks throughout the 80s but this was the one that really connected with the UK’s rave movement. That distinctive opening keyboard riff was always greeted with a roar of approval.
Renegade Soundwave ‘The Phantom’
Dave Seaman: Big breakbeats, that distinctive bassline and ethnic vocal sample combined to for a weapon of mass dance floor destruction. RSW were a London 3 piece who’ve been cited as a huge influence by amongst others, by The Chemical Brothers.
Carly Simon ‘Why’
Danny Howells: My earliest memory of this is taping it off the radio back in 1982 and my Aunty having the 7” which she later handed down to me. For me this was possibly the last true great Chic production, slightly more reggaefied than their more well known hits of the late 70s.
Darren Emerson: Absolute belter of a track . Brian Dougans (Future Sound Of London) produced this immense acid house track. Will never get bored of this. The big build up - then the vocoder vocal kicks in...amazing! I have a re-edit that I still play out every now and then. Superb.
Fallout ‘The Morning After’
Dave Seaman: Fallout was actually another pseudonym for Lenny Dee and Tommy Musto originally appearing on the legendary Fourth Floor Records out of New York in 1987. It has a timeless, almost spiritual quality that still resonates to this day. A real gem.
St. Etienne ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’
Dave Seaman: The balearic nature of the scene back then meant that anything went. It was the musical equivalent of the wild west. There were no rules and therefore a much more open minded scene and DJs would frequently drop the tempo at the end of the night. And this Neil Young cover was a firm favourite across the board. A big Andy Weatherall tune at the Boys Own parties.
Fast Eddie “Acid Thunder’
Darren Emerson: Fast Eddie’s "Acid Thunder" on the DJ International label was another big one of it’s genre. A classic that will never be forgotten.
T Coy ‘Carino’
Danny Howells: Early Manchester house, from Mike Pickering (later M-People) and co. A piano house jam with Latin vibe that got utterly caned, way into the 90s. This was certainly ahead of its time and is such a classy production.
Black Riot ‘A Day In The Life’
Danny Howells: Todd Terry classic from 88. As with much of his material from that era it’s pretty relentless and sample packed. Historic stuff from a genuine legend.
Armando ‘Land Of Confusion (Confusion Mix)’
Darren Emerson: Loved this Armando track .Amazing acid released on Bam Bam’s Westbrook label. Acid hypnotic trance, smoke machines & strobe lights down in Spectrum (Heaven) on a Monday night.
Jillian Mendez ‘Don’t Know What You’re Missin’’
Dave Seaman: The Big Shot label out of Canada produced many a dance floor weapon around this time but this for me was the highlight. A big Graeme Park Hacienda tune.
Paul Rutherford ‘Get Real’
Danny Howells: When this acid monster came out I couldn’t believe it was an ex-member of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, produced by ABC. Another one of those tracks that has truly stood the test of time.
Adonis & Charles B ‘Lack Of Love’
Dave Seaman: The acidic know-how of Adonis married with the soulful vocals of Charles B was a potent mix. This would be right up there with my favourite acid tunes. There was a actually great re-edit of this done recently by Gardy which is well worth hunting down.
Ce Ce Rogers ’Someday’
Dave Seaman: An all time classic Mike Pickering Hacienda tune that frequently finished the night at Friday’s legendary Nude parties. That unmistakable bassline and piano from a time we really felt like we were changing the World. “Someday we’ll all be free”.
Derrick May ‘The Dance’ (Living Room Mix)
Darren Emerson: The beauty of this track is its simplicity. Heavy hypnotic bassline that just pulls you into the groove. Another Derrick May stomper monster that still stands up today in the clubs.
Turntable Orchestra ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone’
Danny Howells: Deep piano heaven that sounds as good today as it ever did. I was so happy to be able to include this on my Choice comp a few years back as this was a major influence. Pure house classic.
Adonis ‘No Way Back’
Danny Howells: There are quite a few tracks from 1986 on this list… tracks that seemed to hang around for years without ever outstaying their welcome. Another Chicago masterwork, and one that is absolute genius for its sheer simplicity. Totally hypnotic, I last heard Danny Tenaglia playing this a few years back with Angie Stone’s vocals laid on top with stunning results.
The Woodentops ‘Why Why Why’ (Live)
Darren Emerson: Takes me back to Alfredo playing this at Amnesia. This live version was the one. Rolo’s amazing vocals . Heavy rolling bassline and haunting guitar riffs. Oakey brought this back to the legendry Thursday nights at Future in the Soundshaft (Heaven). Was great to hear fantastic alternative music mixed in with electronic house grooves.
Royal House 'Can You Party' (Club Mix)
Danny Howells: Todd was (and is!) literally a God to so many, known for his relentless beats and sample-heavy productions that seemed to dominate clubland in the late 80s/early 90s .. we could have included so many of his tracks in this list. He needs his own top 100!
Oranges & Lemons ‘Dreams of Santa Anna’
Dave Seaman: Another Todd Terry masterpiece. As you can tell, Todd was Mr Prolific with a capital ‘P’ around this time. He pretty much had a new release, under a different pseudonym, dropping every week. Incredible!
Reese & Santonio ‘The Sound’
Danny Howells: Detroit house from 1987. Stripped down to the bone and built around the most incredibly infectious hook, one that was sampled many times, most notably by Todd Terry on “Back to the Beat”. Way ahead of it’s time.
The Orb ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’
Dave Seaman: Alex Patterson’s Orb were the leaders of the ‘New Age’ ambient movement that emerged out of rave culture and this Rickie Lee Jones sampling beauty was their finest hour. “What were the skies like when you were young?”
Chris Rea ‘Josephine’
Danny Howells: This is one of my favourite songs on this list. I think this first surfaced in the mid-80s, but it was the “Version Francais” mix a bit later that found it’s way into record boxes. I think I first laughed when I heard it was by Chris Rea as I only knew him for his cheesy pop, but this was, and is, phenomenal. A true Balearic classic, the intro just teases and teases before climaxing into an explosion of pure sunshine before the vocals hit.
Young MC ‘Know How’
Danny Howells: This struck a chord with me from the start, mainly as it was based on Isaac Hayes’ “Shaft”. Hip hop/rap that you would hear everywhere. I think I knew all the words and probably had some very dodgy dance routine to accompany it. Thankfully, camera phones weren’t around then!
Bam Bam ‘Give It To Me’
Darren Emerson: For me this Chicago acid track is the one for me. Just love the hypnotic 303 baseline, the sexy cheeky vocal stabs. Chris Westbrook’s finest piece of work (apart from Twilight Zone). Give it to me, give it to me, give it to me.
Pierre’s Pfantasy Club ‘Dream Girl’ (Wet Mix)
Dave Seaman: One of Pierre’s earliest productions, this was particularly big for Danny Rampling at Shoom who’s cited it as one of his favourites from the era. Timeless acid.
Model 500 ‘Off To Battle’
Darren Emerson: Feel good Detroit Techno from the one and only Juan Atkins & his Metroplex label. Amazing.
Maurice ‘This Is Acid’
Danny Howells: Razor beats on this Chicago house bomb from Maurice Joshua. My early exposure to this was via an acid megamix album, on Street Sounds I think. Has that dated stab sound which you heard everywhere which kind of puts a date stamp on it, but I still enjoy it.
Jungle Brothers ‘I’ll House You’
Dave Seaman: One of the earliest examples of the fusion of hip hop and house, it’s basically the Jungle Brothers accapella spun over the top of Todd Terry’s ‘Can You Party’ which crossed over to become a pop hit.
How II House ‘Time to Feel The Rhythm’
Dave Seaman: Yet more big bassline business from the Canadian Big Shot stable. Another that reminds me of Graeme Park at the Hacienda. What time is it? It’s time to feel the rhythm.
Earth People ‘Dance’
Dave Seaman: A wonderful cut and paste sample workout by the much underrated Pal Joey out of New York utilising Carl Bean’s ‘I Was Born This Way’ with Chic’s ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’. Kerri Chandler did a very cool update of this in 2002 that’s probably easier to track down.
Blake Baxter ‘When We Used To Play’
Darren Emerson: Detroit Techno at its best. Dreamy vocals, 909 workouts on Kevin Saunderson’s KMS label.
Corporation Of One ‘The Real Life’
Dave Seaman: A great example of creativity sampling was producing at the time. With the sudden accessibility of samplers, producers we’re literally trawling through their record collections searching for any kind of source material. This was largely based on Simple Minds ‘Theme For Great Cities’ with the added vocal hook from Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. An unlikely combination, but a winning one.
Raul Orellana ‘Real Wild House’
Dave Seaman: Massive Italian Piano House anthem with an Iggy Pop vocal sample thrown in for good measure. I distinctly remember this getting played at the legendary Sunrise at Longwick Park. 20,000 ravers in a field. A moment in time.
Stone Roses ‘Fool’s Gold’
Danny Howells: Coming in at the tail end of 1989, our list is not complete without this. This was such an exciting period, with Happy Mondays and Stone Roses both making massive waves with their own styles of indie/dance. The Stone Roses managed to shock everyone with this 10 minute slice of rolling heaven .. was way guitars, James Brown influenced drums and a killer groove managed to combine to make a record that truly sounds as fresh today as it did nearly 30 years ago.
Nitzer Ebb 'Join In The Chant’
Danny Howells: Another one of the original Ibiza anthems, this first came to my attention via the pivotal FFRR “Balearic Beats” album. This still sounds phenomenal to me, a relentless industrial bass riff over a massive house beat, this is yet another track that stayed in record boxes for years. In fact both myself and Darren used it on compilations .. Daz using a later remix while I used the original instrumental.
Dave Seaman: Another example of the creative possibilities that the advent of samplers had opened up. Combining the Rolling Stones ‘Gimme Shelter’ with Cuba Gooding’s ‘Happiness Is Just Around The Bend’ with irresistible effect. A marriage made in heaven.
Art Of Noise ‘Moments In Love’
Danny Howells and Dave Seaman: First appearing in 1983 and making it’s single appearance later on, this downtempo, chilled out and sun-drenched scorcher came out on the legendary ZTT label - hence there are about 40,000 remixes in existence, most of which stick very true to the original.
It’s Immaterial ‘Driving Away From Home’
Danny Howells: Originally hit the charts in the mid-80s and hung around to become a haunting Balearic gem that got absolutely rinsed.
Patti Day ‘Right Before My Eyes’
Dave Seaman: The House Vocal Mix of this produced by Bruce Forrest was the one. A dream DJ tool for creative mixers. If my memory serves me correctly, I got my copy from the legendary Spin Inn Records in Manchester, my preferred vinyl emporium of choice around this time.
Elkin & Nelson ‘Jibaro’
Darren Emerson: A big fave in Amnesia. Alfredo would play this latin, funk groover towards the end of his set. Fond memories dancing to this as the sun comes up. Great track.
Tyree ‘Acid Crash’
Darren Emerson: There were a couple of different versions of Video Crashes... Lil Louis was the other. I always preferred this one by Tyree. Slam dance time. Love it.
Sterling Void ‘Runaway Girl’
Dave Seaman: A classic from the legendary DJ International label who along with Trax were responsible for so many seminal moments from Chicago in the mid to late eighties. This conjures up memories of Mike Pickering in full flow at the Hacienda for me.
Landlord ‘I like it’ (Blow Out Dub)
Dave Seaman: Rave stabs at the ready. Produced by the much underrated Nick Fiorucci out of Canada and yes, you guessed it, it was on the Big Shot label!
Frankie Bones & Lenny Dee ‘Just As Long As I Got You’
Danny Howells: New York dance floor destroyer… smooth production and classic breaks, still love this one.
Rufus & Chaka Khan ‘Ain’t Nobody’ (Frankie Knuckles “Hallucinogenic” Version)
Danny Howells: A stone cold club classic (to this day) that originally came out in 1983. Knuckles took it to outer space on this dub though - an absolutely stunning rework that could be mixed into the vocal to give an orgasmic 10+ minutes of pure Chaka Gold. (For a recent update that retains the heart and soul of Knuckles’ mixes but with a very respectful modern edge, check Derek Kaye’s unreal rework.)
The Cure ‘Lullaby’
The Cure ‘Lullaby’
Danny Howells: House, hip-hop, indie, pop... everything came together in the late 80s, so when Goth got thrown into the equation I was obviously in heaven! The Cure were riding high with the career peak of “Disintegration”, and putting out quite a few 12” mixes but this was just phenomenal. An amazing song taken up several levels courtesy of an 8 minute excursion that remains a personal favourite.
Ten City ‘That’s the Way Love Is’
Danny Howells: The ultimate feel good record! A Chicago masterwork, Timmy Regisford and Steve Hurley were on the mix here, but it was the latter which I plumped for. Still sounds anthemic and classy and gets played to this day
De-Lite ‘Wild Times’ (Mayday Mix)
Dave Seaman: Another huge tune from the wild imagination of Derrick May. This one used to rip through the Hacienda sound system like a hurricane. Wild times indeed.
Kenny Jammin’ Jason with Fast Eddie Smith ‘Can U Dance’
Darren Emerson: Another all time classic on DJ International...feel good uplifting Chicago House...woof woof...arrghhhhh!!!
Dionne ‘Come Get My Lovin’
Dave Seaman: The 4th Big Shot release in our Top 100 no less. If you haven’t realised already, the Canadian label were one of the most influential imprints of the time.
Phase ll ‘Reachin’
Dave Seaman: Again, an uplifting vocal that captured the belief in the air of better times ahead which was so prevalent at this time. Great memories of this bringing the house down at Norman Jay’s High On Hope night at Dingwalls in Camden.
Sterling Void ‘It’s Alright’
Dave Seaman: Lyrically so poignant and still relevant to this day. Still sounds amazing and let’s not forget the massive Pet Shop Boys cover on their “Introspective” album.
2 In A Room ‘Take Me Away’
Dave Seaman: An early Little Louie Vega production together with Aldo Marin on the legendary Cutting Records. I picked this one up from the legendary Vinyl Mania record store on Carmine Street in New York which was always my first port of call on trips to the Big Apple.
Happy Mondays ‘WFL’ (Vince Clark Mix)
Danny Howells: More Mondays, and rightly so. From their second album came this devastatingly good overhaul of “Wrote for Luck”, by none other than Yazoo/Erasure’s Vince Clark. I was probably in The Crypt when I first heard this .. stripped down and hypnotic as hell, this is so good I don’t think I ever played Oakenfold’s mix on the b-side.
Phortune ‘String Free’
Darren Emerson: The amazing Hotmix label and the one and only Phortune (Pierre) & String Free. Such a good piano groove. Big smiley faces and hands in the air for this one. Love it.
Virgo ‘R U Hot Enough’
Darren Emerson: One of my favourite early Virgo tracks. Heavy bassline, great piano riffs and relentless brass stabs to finish..House music at its best.
Gino Latino ‘Welcome
Danny Howells: An early Italo hit that made it big in the UK a few years later. A killer bassline over a smorgasbord of samples and the usual 80s Italian horns, with the dodgiest rap over the top. Definitely sounded a lot better then, but still stands up as a good example of the genre.
Jago ‘I’m Going to Go’
Dave Seaman: This was actually an early Italian Production from 1983 that was big for Frankie Knuckles at The Warehouse in Chicago but got a whole new lease of life during the UK’s rave explosion.
Lil' Louis ‘Music Takes U Away’
Darren Emerson: Jackin’ Chicago track with hypnotic vocals from Lil Louis on Dance Mania.
Darren Emerson: This track was getting played everywhere. Great memories of Limelights in London. An acid jazz Balearic belter. Both mixes were great. The catchy flute riff and a the cool saxophone got stuck in the head.
Reese ‘Rock To The Beat’
Danny Howells: Another monster from Kevin Saunderson. The Derrick May mix was the one for me and still packs a mighty punch - a dark as hell bassline with a looped, loopy vocal over the top. Pure intensity.
Split Second ‘Flesh’
Darren Emerson: From 87 or so, this was one of the leading lights of the so called Belgian ‘Nu Beat’ scene. Such an influential track.
House Without A Home II ‘It’s Just A’
Dave Seaman: Another one of those obscure American imports that did more damage over this side of the pond with its incessant riff and repetitive vocal sample. Simple but highly effective.
Denise Motto ‘XTC’
Darren Emerson: A real Jackin’ track this one; throbbing, pulsating bass, sharp claps and a great sleazy vocal for Denise Motto. I would usually mix this with Adonis “Too Far Gone”.
Kechia Jenkins ‘I Need Somebody’
Danny Howells: On Profile Records out of New York produced by Marshall Jefferson, another vocal gem... total feel good tune.
Adrenaline M.O.D. ‘Ecstasy (Wherever You May Be)’
Darren Emerson: Great UK acid track Amazing 303 sequence. Engineered by the amazing Jagz Kooner. Memories of dancing to this in a warehouse on Curtain Road, London.
Robin Wants Revenge ‘Robin Wants Revenge’
Dave Seaman: One for the trainspotters out there. A rough and ready bootleg, massive Parky Hacienda tune that probably went under the radar of many.
ESP ‘It’s You’
Danny Howells: Deep as you like very early Chicago… haunting and emotive, such a beautiful track.
Mixmasters ‘In The Mix’
Dave Seaman: Another on DJ International, a big piano led houser that samples everyone and his brother. If you’ve seen Madonna’s Truth Or Dare documentary, you might recognise this one.
Robert Owens ‘Bring Down The Walls’
Darren Emerson: Great House jam with Larry Heard and the amazing vocals from Robert. Trademark Fingers baseline and rattling high hats. Never get tired of hearing this.
Mandy Smith ‘I Just Can’t Wait’
Danny Howells: There weren’t that many PWL productions that I deemed worthy of my pocket money in the 80s. The “Cool and Breezy Jazz Version” on this was something else though .. an utterly colossal balearic masterpiece that jams out on guitar and piano for well over four minutes before Mandy’s vocals make their entrance. A remix that continues to provide a beautiful listening experience.
House Master Baldwin Feat: Paris Grey ‘Don’t Lead Me’
Darren Emerson: Terry B., Paris Grey, Hitman Wilson & DJ Pierre. What a combo - classic Chicago House! The flip side had a great Hitman Acid mix too.
Jomanda ‘Make My Body Rock’
Dave Seaman: Out of New Jersey this one, where Tony Humphries’ legendary sessions at the Zanzibar were inspiring a whole new wave of local producers. None more so than the Backroom Boys who made a bunch of classics for this female 3 piece.
John Rocca ‘I Want It To Be Real (Farley's Hot House Piano)’
Darren Emerson: Pure class. Farley Jackmaster with a hot house hit.