Tag: 80s music

The Ultimate Guide to an 80s Theme Night

Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee presents the ultimate guide to programming the music selection for an 80s theme night!

Introduction

If I had to pick one theme night that I really enjoy programming music for above all others it would have to be the 80s! It’s my most loved decade and includes many of my favourite songs of all time. It’s was such a wonderful era for music with so many tracks standing the test of time to this day. Whilst other theme nights fall in & out of favour, 80s music continues to grow in popularity and with it the 80s theme night.


10 Mobile DJ 80s Floorfillers

Do you need a burst of inspiration for a few 80s floorfillers to drop into tonight’s set? Here’s some suggestions from Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee

Wham! – I’m Your Man

This 1985 UK number one is a guaranteed floorfiller. It’s a brilliant pop track that appeals to everyone! An almost perfect pop track from start to finish!

Erasure – A Little Respect

When an act has such a large & impressive back catalogue it’s often difficult to pick one track but this one stands out head & shoulders and is always well-received when played.

Spandau Ballet – Gold

This 1983 gem is a perfect Main Party or End Of Night track and is always accompanied by a sing-a-long among the audience. The steady intro builds before kicking in to the upbeat section and complete audience euphoria.

Madness – It Must Be Love

So many great tracks to choose from but it is this 1981 classic that is included in our Top 10. A unique band who’s appeal has spanned over 40 years and shows no sign of letting up anytime soon!

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax

The essential 80s song! If one track defined the decade it’s this one! It is simply perfect in every way!

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Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

From the opening guitar riff, through the verse to the chorus…it has everything! Stick it on and let the audience do the rest!

Bryan Adams – Summer Of 69

Turn the volume up a little higher to maximize on the intro to this pop rock classic that failed to hit the UK Top 40 but has become one of the decades most loved tracks!

Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

The best selling record of 1982 has, unfairly, been tagged as a novelty track by many DJs but this one is a must-play for any 80s set. Unique, innovative and that chorus…not to mention the slow section that builds back up to the crescendo…boom!

Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam

Often overlooked as an 80s track but this 1989 classic always hits the spot and allows other 80s dance hits to follow including ‘Ride On Time’ & ‘The Only Way Is Up’.

Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)

That one song that ensures a full dancefloor…usually dancing around a large pile of handbags! It’s the ultimate 80s pop floorfiller!

More inspiration of floorfillers can be found in our Top Tens of classic 90s Dance and Soul and Motown tracks!


REVIEW: The 100 Collection – 80s

Mastermix DJ Jules Little reviews the latest addition to the Mastermix catalogue

In the 80s there was Mastermind, general knowledge questions preceded by contestants being quizzed about their specialist subject. So forget Mastermind, it’s Mastermix, and this is ‘The 100 Collection – 80s‘, my specialist subject.


10 Great Cover Versions

Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee has compiled his favourite mobile DJ cover versions!

  • Yazz & the Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up: Yes…this really is a cover version! The original was recorded in 1980 by soul singer Otis Clay but failed to chart in the UK. In 1988 producers Jonathon More & Matt Black (better known as Coldcut) recorded their version featuring Yazz, who had previously appeared on their hit ‘Doctorin’ The House’, and it topped the UK charts for 5 weeks. Ironically the track knocked Glenn Medeiros off number one with his cover of ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You’ (George Benson) and was replaced at the top of the charts by Phil Collins with his version of ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ (The Mindbenders)! It is a party classic that continues to fill dancefloors when played and remains one of my favourite 80s tunes.
  • Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse – Valerie: In fairness to The Zutons their original recording isn’t that bad but compare it to this version and there is no competition. Musician & producer, Mark Ronson, beefed up the track, increased the tempo and added the remarkable vocal talents of Amy Winehouse to create a floorfilling anthem that always seem to hit the spot!
  • Ike & Tina Turner – Proud Mary: This version is like a firework. Light the touch-paper and stand back. Slow burner to start but when it goes…wow! Originally penned in 1969 by John Fogerty and released by Creedance Clearwater Revival it has become a mobile DJ essential. On occasion I have reserved this as a bonus track to play after the final song of the night. Create a false ending, let your audience shout for more…then unleash this gem! A truly outstanding version of a brilliant song.
  • The Beatles – Twist & Shout: Written in 1961 and originally recorded by the Top Notes it is the version by the Isley Brothers that saw it become a global hit. In 1963 the Beatles recorded it for their first album ‘Please Please Me’ and it’s their interpretation that comes out on top for me. It has all the hallmarks of the Merseybeat style that became synonymous with the ‘Fab Four’. Gritty sound with immense passion…pure rock & roll.
  • Soft Cell – Tainted Love: Northern Soul fans will probably have something to say about this choice but the biggest selling single of 1981 is arguably one of the greatest cover versions of all time. Gloria Jones did an amazing job with the original recording that is a must-play for soul fans but Soft Cell’s cover gives it a good run for its money. There can’t be many events where this track isn’t played and you get another cover version if you decide to play the 12” version which mixes seamlessly into ‘Where Did Our Love Go’.
  • Run DMC feat. Aerosmith – Walk This Way: The opening drumbeats to this track are iconic and have been the backbone to many remixes & mixes over the years and as soon as you play this the audience engage and react with great approval. The fusion of rap & rock is perfect and take the original Aerosmith version to new heights by using a drum machine and turntable to reflect the music trends of 1986. It has everything needed to make it a brilliant cover version and a crowd pleaser.
  • Los Lobos – La Bamba: This is another classic example of a straight cover that is better than the original. In 1987 the biographical movie ‘La Bamba’ was released and told the story of singer Ritchie Valens. He recorded his version of the song in 1958 before he was tragically killed in a plane crash that was also to take the life of rock & roll legend Buddy Holly & radio DJ – The Big Bopper. The movie soundtrack featured several Valens tracks but it was this one that hit the number one spot and remains the preferred version by many DJs when playing “a bit of rock & roll”.
  • The Communards feat. Sarah-Jane Morris – Don’t Leave Me This Way : Selecting the right track to cover is essential and there can be no arguing that the Communards got it spot on with this Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes classic. The original is awesome, the Thelma Houston cover is brilliant but the Communards version is the one that stood out and continues to do so to this day. The vocals of Somerville & Morris work perfectly and there can’t be many better crescendos than the final part of this classic cover version when Jimmy Somerville delivers the awesome “Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh Baby!” before the last chorus kicks in and the crowd go wild…boom!!!
  • West End feat. Sybil – The Love I Lost : The early 90s saw a plethora of cover versions with this one standing head & shoulders above many of the others. Originally a hit for Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes in 1974 this version featured the driving vocals of Sybil and the creative production skills of West End…better known as Mike Stock & Pete Waterman. Silky smooth production ensured this track was a hit in 1993 and is still a favourite amongst many DJs today.
  • Madness – It Must Be Love: I make no excuses for selecting a track by my favourite as my number one. Hits including ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘One Step Beyond’ & ‘My Girl’ had ensured that the group were amongst the biggest music acts in the UK.

In 1981 the group released a cover of a track written & recorded 10 years earlier by Labi Siffri. It reached number 4 in the UK and has become one of, if not the, most-loved of all songs by the Nutty Boys. The opening piano notes have become instantly recognisable, everyone knows the words and let’s be honest who doesn’t love a bit of Madness?