Tuesday, June 06, 2017

40 From 40: 1990

1990, time for the Guru. (That's not here.) It was the year of rave in many ways, the evolvement of travelling sound systems and free open air festivals exploting loopholes in the law and bringing the emergent house and trance scenes out of the smiley face acid house umbrella just as the traditional outlets such as the Hacienda grind to a halt under the weight of drugs and non-weight of cash. They came to be called raves, directing endless cars around the M25 into warehouses and fields, and over the next couple of years they'd change things. Kiss became the UK's first legal dance radio station, Alex Paterson and Jimmy Cauty invented ambient house, and all manner of indie hangers-on discovered there'd always been a dance influence on their sound, their "moment" being Spike Island. Eurodance through Snap! and Technotronic - Beats International and The Adventures Of Stevie V holding up Blighty's end there - bolstered a fading singles sales market that was usually all over the place. Stock Aitken Waterman were on the way out as they had their final number one and several of their big hitters from the previous couple of years disappeared, so in their stead Turtle Power and Timmy Mallett's Bombalurina made it a very long summer silly season amid a welter of reissues and MOR in which the year's best selling single was Unchained Melody, off an advert. At least Madonna was doing interesting things, continuing down the path of least sexual resistance with Vogue, the Blonde Ambition tour and The Immaculate Collection leading into Justify My Love. Milli Vanilli admitted to miming and lost their Grammys, MTV Unplugged began (with Squeeze!), Wembley held a Nelson Mandela tribute concert, Curtis Mayfield was paralysed after an onstage accident and 2 Live Crew were cleared of obscenity charges in a big freedom of rap speech case. Not a great year at the time, but in retrospect a key one for what was about to happen. The two Spotify refuseniks this time around are a KLF track from Chill Out, you'll know why that is, and the remarkable sole solo single by former Stump bassist Kev Hopper, which I and everyone else who saw it remembers from its one ITV Chart Show outing. That was quite the EXCLUSIVE experience that week.

Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine - Sheriff Fatman
They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul
The Chills - Heavenly Pop Hit
The Sundays - Skin And Bones
The Blue Aeroplanes - Jacket Hangs
Cocteau Twins - Iceblink Luck
Adamski - Killer
The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds
A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It? (single version)
Dream Warriors - My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style
Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence
Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring
Public Enemy - Brothers Gonna Work It Out
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
N.W.A. - 100 Miles and Runnin'
The Fall - Telephone Thing
Gang Starr - Just To Get A Rep
Happy Mondays - Loose Fit
Mazzy Star - Blue Flower
Lush - De-Luxe
Pixies - Is She Weird
Galaxie 500 - Fourth Of July
Teenage Fanclub - Everything Flows
Nirvana - Sliver
Pavement - Debris Slide
Ride - Chelsea Girl
Sonic Youth - Kool Thing
Dinosaur Jr. - The Wagon
Fugazi - Repeater
Inspiral Carpets - She Comes In The Fall
Kev Hopper - The Sound Of Gyroscopes
My Bloody Valentine - Soon
Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart
The La's - Doledrum
His Name Is Alive - How Ghosts Affect Relationships
The KLF – Wichita Lineman Was A Song I Once Heard
Lou Reed & John Cale - Style It Takes
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Ship Song
Julee Cruise - Falling

Previously among the 40: 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009

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