My girlfriend was recently tipped off by colleague about a couple of great op-shops over in Miramar, so based on today’s clement weather, we decided to go for a long walk over to the Miramar Peninsular for a spot of thrifting and lunch at the legendary Chocolate Fish Café.Last night, I’d been re-reading the fantastic DJ history book, “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton and had just got to the section on the birth of the House scene in Chicago, with reference to such pioneers as Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley and Marshall Jefferson.
So, on arrival at the Salvation Army shop in Miramar, I have a rifle through the LP’s and lo and behold, there’s a load of Neil Diamond, Mantovani and Classical LP’s like every other op shop in the world.
There was however what looked like an eighties soul LP (from 1988 on further inspection) the wrong way round in the stack, with a trio of fairly awesomely dressed chaps on it:
On scanning the tracklist and rear cover credits, I was pretty surprised to learn that it was produced by none other than Marshall Jefferson.
I read the inner sleeve thanks list when we got home and found shout-outs to basically the entire eighties US House music aristocracy (Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk, Tony Humphries, The Hot Mix 5, L’il Louis and Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, who mixes some of the tracks on the LP) and early instigators from the UK (Jazzy M, Kiss FM and Blackmarket Records).
On playing the LP, the opening track ‘That’s The Way Love Is’ (Underground Mix) was immediately familiar (though I’ve found out it was actually re-recorded by Ten City vocalist Byron Stingily in 1999 and released on Defected) and the remainder of the record is really listenable crossover of vocal R&B/deep house.
In particular, the track ‘Suspicious’ (which itself sounds like a Marshall Jefferson deep house tune with Stingily singing over the top) is a bit of a corker and will be making an appearance on a mixtape I’m making for a friend in the not too distant future.
All in all, the edges of the sleeve inner are worn, but the cover and vinyl are in good nick and it’s a steal for $2.00.
I think it makes a good companion piece (showing the growing sophistication of House as a genre) to my V/A “The House Sound Of Chicago” DJ International LP from 1986, which features many of the same artists that Ten City thank on their sleeve; Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, Fingers Inc., Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk (with the awesome ‘Love Can’t Turn Around’ Feat. Darryl Pandy) and Ten City’s producer – Marshall Jefferson.
The compilation is considered to be pretty seminal as the way in which many UK listeners first heard the new “House Sound” that was coming out of Chicago at the time.