This one’s all about nostalgia – priceless archive radio material from the late 80s and early 90s, featuring many of the key players and pioneers of the time. Direct from my personal cassette archives, buried deep in the loft and garage!
These days, virtually all radio shows are available via Listen Again players or download links, but back in the day, pressing play and record on the cassette deck was the only way of preserving them for posterity. The audio here will send tingles down the spine of those of a certain generation … and will hopefully hold some fascination for younger cats with an interest in musical heritage!
I’ll be adding to the selection as and when I get time to go burying in the archives and get everything uploaded, but here’s a fairly extensive lot to get things going. Check this lot out:
DISCO 94, U.S RADIO KRLY, MARCH 1979
First off, just had to get it going with this one. I inherited this from a friend years ago, and it goes back to early 1979 – thirty years! A classic souvenir of the glorious days of disco music when it was still in full swing. This is a show called Disco 94 on the New York station WBLS, presented by Dayna Steele, and is a collector/ nostalgic enthusiast’s delight. Relive the last days of disco right here.
MIKE ALLEN, CAPITAL RADIO HIP HOP SHOW, 1985/ 86
Back in Radio 1’s Smashy & Nicey era, Capital was where London listeners headed for serious black/ urban/ soul music, and long before Westwood’s legendary Capital Rap Show, Mike ‘The Boss’ Allen was the pioneer of early hip hop and electro. Despite sounding like Alan Freeman, (Mike was actually a mainstream presenter before being asked by the Capital bosses to come up with an interesting new show format and settling on the emerging hip hop scene,) this guy was a phenomenal presenter, and his track selection was always on-point. These two recordings are of his year-end round-ups of 1985 and 1986. (Respect to Dutch and Dazzler for these links, by the way, as these particular ones aren’t MD originals!)
Mike Allen Best of 1985
Mike Allen Best of 1986
ROBBIE VINCENT’S KILLER CUTS OF 1987, RADIO 1
Radio 1’s soul/ funk specialist had been doing his thing for over three years by this point, and had switched from his legendary Sunday night spot to Saturdays. This is a two-part round up of some of the classily soulful tunes of ’87. Hard to imagine now, but in the 80s Radio 1 only used to broadcast on FM during certain parts of the week. Sadly this show fell in the medium wave portion so the quality could be sharper. But it’s highly listenable all the same.
JEFF YOUNG’S BIG BEAT, RADIO 1, NOVEMBER 1987
Former BBC Radio London soul presenter Jeff Young was the predecessor to Pete Tong with Radio 1’s Friday primetime dance show, and The Big Beat ran for three years from ’87 until Tong’s arrival. Here’s one from the show’s very early days.
JEFF YOUNG’S BIG BEAT, RADIO 1, FEBRUARY 1988
And here’s how the selection was sounding three months later.
CHRIS FORBES ON CAPITAL RADIO, OCTOBER 1988
This dude truly is a forgotten hero and a strong contender for ‘After They Were Famous.’ Back in the late 80s, Chris appeared alongside a young Westwood as a presenter on ITV’s ‘Night Network’, and held down a Saturday night show on Capital playing the dance music of the day. This recording has multiple references to ‘acid house’, and features some great ‘twittering synth’ tunes (as Record Mirror columnist James Hamilton would have said,) that were very much of the time.
WESTWOOD CAPITAL RAP SHOW, EARLY 1989
A trip back twenty years to the legendary Capital Rap Show, and a young and very different-sounding Westwood. This show was essential listening for rap fans in London, and this recording offers a great reflection on how the production styles and sounds have changed over the past couple of decades. (Thanks again to Dazzler and Dutch for the links.)
WESTWOOD CAPITAL RAP SHOW, OCTOBER 1990
Fast forward 18 months to a Westwood CRS selection from Oct ’90.
PETE TONG’S SESSION, CAPITAL 95.8, 28/4/90
And here’s where Pete Tong resided before his move to Radio One. The Session (originally ‘The Soul Session’) was a Saturday evening fixture on London’s Capital Radio from 1987 to the end of 1990. This one’s from April ’90, a time when the house/ dance scene was still evolving from its soulful roots, with a resulting sound that was very distinctive to 1990 and very hard to classify. Great tunes though, and a very youthful-sounding Tong. The reception’s a little dodgy in places, but then this was recorded in Witney, a clear 70 miles outside London!
CAPITAL RADIO LONDON/ WBLS, NEW YORK. FRANKIE CROCKER & PETE TONG, EARLY 1990
Capital used to run occasional transatlantic link-ups with revered black music station WBL ‘kickin’ S around this time. This one sees the late Frankie Crocker, original radio legend, co-presenting with Capital’s Pete Tong, and dropping some big tunes of the moment.