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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Sep-18 > SMILEY CULTURE

SMILEY CULTURE

THE ESTABLISHMENT FIRST IGNORED IT, THEN EMBRACED IT, BEFORE FINALLY TRYING TO BAN IT… BUT THE CHARTS WERE HEATED UP 30 YEARS AGO BY A STRING OF CLASSIC HOUSE MUSIC TUNES DURING THE SECOND SUMMER OF LOVE.

SECOND SUMMER OF LOVE

“It’s club music. This isn’t what people are actually listening to.”

That’s what Coldcut’s Matt Black and Jonathan More were told when their innovative fl oor-filler Doctorin’ The House swooped into the Top 10 of the national charts, and they asked why Radio 1 and Top Of The Pops were ignoring it.

To be fair, you could have forgiven uninitiated listeners for doing a double take. Doctorin’ The House was patched together with samples from kitschy TV-drama dialogue, scratching, snatches of old rap and reggae records and a squelchy, hyperactive bass sound, all underpinning a stirring but lyrically baffling soul vocal from a previously unknown frontwoman.

But in truth, none of this was anything new to the tens of thousands of kids that were flocking to club nights such as London’s Shoom and The Trip and Manchester’s Thunderdome and Haçienda, and swarming into illegal warehouse parties, not to mention the nightlife of Mediterranean hippy meccas like Ibiza. In those places, the same old scene of ‘no-T-shirts-no-trainers’ meat markets pumping out chart hits had long since been eclipsed by a new kind of dance beat, fuelled by something a little more potent and uplifting than Malibu and lemonade.

TAKE A TRANCE ON ME

As the spring of 1988 turned into summer, the same sounds would flood out of the clubs, into the charts and throughout youth culture in what would become known as the Second Summer Of Love.

In fact, things had actually been stirring for a while.

The ‘Belleville trio’ of Detroit schoolmates Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson had long been blending electronic minimalism with r’n’b grooves (“George Clinton and Kraftwerk trapped in an elevator” was one description they offered), while a new strand of soul coming out of Chicago was using Roland bass synthesisers and looped samples and being labelled ‘house’ music.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 44 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we speak to Soft Cell's Marc Almond and Dave Ball as they prepare for their farewell gig at the O2 in London and release a career-spanning boxset, Keychains & Snowstorms. We also take a look at their Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret LP in our Classic Album feature. Elsewhere, we have an exclusive interview with the world's biggest record producer, Mark Ronson, catch up with The Proclaimers who return with their politicised new album Angry Cyclist and talk to Level 42's Mark King about his life in pop's funkiest band. This month, we look back on the glory days of house music and Toyah tells us how she brought the punk aesthetic to the pop world. For boombox fans, we take an in-depth look at why cassettes are making a return and we also serve up a buyer's guide to the wonderful Luther Vandross. Our packed reviews section features new albums from Prince, Paul Weller, Lenny Kravitz, Paul Simon and many more while the reissues section includes Pet Shop Boys, the latest David Bowie boxset and Curiosity Killed The Cat. On the gig front, we head to Hyde Park for The Cure's only European show of the year, delve into the latest Let's Rock festival in Shrewsbury and check out gigs by Nick Heyward, Del Amitri and others. Enjoy the issue!