Whenever I hear this year mentioned it is immediately repeated on the Walkman that lives in my head in the style of Chuck D. (The following year has a similar curse, but with a bit more saxophone.)
Below you can find the club chart from Jocks Magazine, April 1989. Jocks was a trade magazine aimed towards professional mobile DJ types, the sort that were booked for your school disco or wedding. It uncomfortably carried a club chart in the centre pages, presumably to be posted in the sort of music emporium that catered to said mobile DJ, and this was based on their monthly returns and compiled by James Hamilton & Alan Jones. Jocks eventually morphed into DJ Magazine, but more about that here. Perhaps at some point in the future I’ll go into the contents of a couple of these magazines, not today although the best thing about them is probably the Tony Blackburn columns.
The cover dates it as April, the returns involved here are probably from January-February 1989 given lead copy times and print deadlines. The content of the chart is a bit of an odd mix of Rap / Hip-House / Soul / House / New Jack Swing with early innovators of these sounds (Joe Smooth, Fast Eddie, A Guy Called Gerald, Tyree, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Clivilles & Cole) and favourites from the previous incarnation of this blog (Smith & Mighty, Gail “Sky” King, Dave Dorrell & CJ Mackintosh) fairly well represented as well as a little bit of more unusual sounds in the lower reaches such as Westbam & A Split Second. I guess the sorts that were dutifully sending their chart returns covered a broad church of portable discos and not quite serious nightclubs, and this was long before the DJ as rockstar was a phenomenon so the kind of person that voluntarily opted to pursue this career wasn’t really in it for the money.
I’ve taken some of the tracks from this chart and bunged them together into an almost 3 hour haphazardly mixed set, which you can find here. Featuring tracks from A Split Second, Tyree, Joe Smooth, Baby Ford, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Longsy D’s House Sound, Soul II Soul, KC Flightt and more.
FWIW, there were a couple of items I couldn’t find in a decent bitrate, namely Bali – Love To Love You (Future mix), which is a bit surprising as it’s an early Oakenfold mix, Candi McKenzie – Wanna Be Good Tonight (specifically the Top Cat remix. Cooltempo stuff seems quite hard to come by these days, which is unfortunate as there’s a lot of Jolley / Harris / Jolley there), Freshski Dames – Kickin’ It (Fairly interesting rap that sounds super-dated due to the oft-used backing tracks here) and Prince Lover Dalu – Let Me Make Love To You (no idea, the Internet barely remembers this guy). I mean, I could rip the audio from youtube but that’s really a last resort kind of action and the tracks don’t really warrant it. It’s kind of like looking at Oakenfold’s early sketchbook. Would you
buy drugs commission a remix from this man?
Bonus scan of the “new” dance releases in Feb/Mar 1989, Edward II & the Mad Professor, Bizarre Inc., Soul II Soul & The Reynolds Girls among never to be heard of again acts.