Big Brother's back on, so summer must be here. To celebrate the novelty of the weather being yer actual warm and sunny, I'm inviting a purveyor of good music (some people call them DJs) to share their favourite summer track from each year of the 80s. I've chosen this decade for two reasons, one, because I want to and two because it was always sunny in the 80s. Wasn't it? And because there's ten years to choose from, I'll be posting one a week over the whole of summer.
First up is 1980 and Mark Wood, aka Chelsea Kelsey, one half of the Readers Wifes.
Tough choice. Could easily have been Teena Marie’s ‘Behind The Groove’ or Crown Heights Affair’s ‘You Gave Me Love’. On any other day I might have gone for Odyssey’s ‘Use It Up (Wear It Out)’ or Jermaine Jackson’s ‘Let’s Get Serious’. Stacy wins out by dint of being the same age as we were and therefore we worshipped her, or rather her one wonderful one hit wonder. Oh we but we thought we were the bloomin’ bees knees. 14 years old, swigging Lilt on the swings and puffing away on ciggies. Spitting. Always spitting (why?) In our baggy jeans with luminous piping, kung fu belts, espadrilles and Hawaii shirts, all from down the market. Surrey’s Funkateer Juniors on parade!
Funkateers, you see, because we never called it ‘Disco’ even if, technically, it still was. We carved the words ‘Funk’ or ‘Soul’ into our school desks to differentiate our music from the Bee Gees, and the Dooleys and the Nolans and Liquid Gold dancing themselves d-d-d-dizzy’ in spandex pedal pushers. Ugh. People as old as your dad in a gold medallion thinking he was Travolta – that was what Disco had become by 1980.
Contrary to the received wisdom of today, things were faster back then. We’ve actually slowed down. In those days I wrote down my personal Top Ten from the charts every single day – and ‘Jump To The Beat’ was Number 1 for ages. There was a dizzying succession of youth trends to chase - in 1979 you’d been a 2-Tone and in 1981 you would become a Futurist etc., Kids today got it easy.
But the endless summer of 1980 was the best of the lot and for me it’ll always be Stacy’s pubescent pleading that brings it all back. That and the lovely boom! crunch! boom! of Narada Michael Walden’s production. When it came on at The Pit, our rubbish local Friday night Disco, it wasn’t unknown for me to shove my head right into the bass bins to get even closer to the sound.
Play it! Play it now! It still sounds fucking amazing."
Jump to the Beat - Stacy Lattisaw (zShare)
You'll find Chelsea Kelsey on the right of Kim Phaggs as the Readers Wifes in the DJ booth every Saturday night at Duckie down at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Londinium. DON'T FORGET, the last ever Gay Shame night (it's going girly folks) on Gay Pride will be at Brixton Academy on July 4th. Get info and tix here. And if you've never checked out the Readers' Wifes recorded output, where've you been clicking that mouse? Try here.
Also, if you'd like a bigger slice of Chelsea, aka Ultrabaz, kick off yer heels, take the wig off and read his marvelous and vare entertaining blog Shang-a-Lang.