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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > May 2019 - Bryan Adams > CLUB CLASSICS VOL. ONE

CLUB CLASSICS VOL. ONE

EMERGING FROM THE UNDERGROUND SOUND SYSTEM SCENE, JAZZIE B AND HIS COLLECTIVE OF FUNKI DREDS GATHERED TO MAKE AN ALBUM WHICH INCORPORATED A FUSION OF STYLES AND INFLUENCES TO CREATE A STYLISH SONIC SNAPSHOT OF MULTICULTURAL LONDON IN THE LATE 80s

SOUL II SOUL

Jazzie B was awarded the inaugural Ivor Novello Inspiration Award in 2008, with the announcer describing him as “the man who gave British black music a soul of its own”
© Normski / RetnaUK

History may have taught us that 1977 was the year of punk and that Johnny Rotten sneering his way through the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen was one of the defining musical and cultural statements of the year, but Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee celebrations can also claim to herald the beginning of the career of Jazzie B. His DJ set at a street party that year was to be the impetus of a journey that would take in sound systems, warehouse parties and a genre-defining Sunday night residency at London’s famed Africa Centre, before he established himself as one of the most dynamic figures in mainstream music and culture.

Far more valuable to Jazzie (real name Trevor Beresford Romeo) than the £12 fee he pocketed for his Silver Jubilee manning of the decks, was the realisation that his unerring passion for music and DJing could become a career and he embarked on a relentless quest to establish himself as part of the sound system scene. Originally a Jamaican phenomenon, portable sound systems consisted of a pair of decks, a mic and huge speakers that would blast out bass-heavy beats, predominantly dub and reggae. Along with his close friend Daddae Harvey, Jazzie formed his own sound system called Jah Rico and began booking gigs across London. With every penny earned ploughed back into the system and spent on records, Jah Rico were forced to be resourceful, travelling to gigs on buses with their equipment or transporting it via shopping trolleys.

“The No.14 bus was basically our transit van,” Jazzie recalled in a recent BBC documentary. “We’d get to the bus stop in Hornsey with our equipment in a trolley, then get the bus to the gig, which could sometimes take up to two hours. People would see us with our boxes of records and wonder what we were doing!”

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About Classic Pop

Issue 52 of Classic Pop is on sale now! This month, we have an exclusive interview with Bryan Adams and get the inside track on his adventure-packed 40 years in music plus we meet Howard Jones who tells us why he's returning to his synth-pop roots for new studio album, Transform. Classic Pop celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 2 Tone movement by speaking to those who made it happen including Jerry Dammers, Lynval Golding, Pauline Black and Ranking Roger; hip-hop legends De La Soul reveal the ties that have kept them together since their 1989 breakout LP 3 Feet High And Rising and we also talk to Toyah Willcox who explains why she's revisiting her 2008 album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen. Elsewhere, we interview Erasure's Andy Bell, pop tunesmith Guy Chambers and A Flock Of Seagulls. We also have unseen photos of Nick Heyward and Haircut 100. Our Classic Album is Soul II Soul's Club Classics Vol One and we serve up a buyer's guide to Japan and David Sylvian. Our packed new album reviews section includes Howard Jones, Morrissey, The Cranberries and The Waterboys. On the reissues front, Stephen Duffy's wonderful I Love My Friends makes its debut on vinyl plus there are re-releases from Heaven 17, Stevie Nicks, Julian Cope and more. In our live reviews section, we check out gigs by The Specials, Giorgio Moroder, Emika and Stewart Copeland.