Club Escape’s “Perfect List” 1990

Triple J Club Escape Perfect List 1990: click for a close-up

Before The Core magazine, there was Club Escape, a dance music radio program on Triple J which went to air on Saturday nights in Adelaide during 1990 and 1991.

I had the very great pleasure of presenting this program during its first year, along with promoter Scott Thompson — who also ran the coolest nightclub in the history of the universe, Metro on Rundle Street.

Club Escape was created by John Thompson-Mills (“JB”) who, through anally-retentive production, made Scott and me sound like stars.

I know I only wrote about The Core the other day. But on Facebook today someone’s brother saw that I was a “friend” and asked him to ask me if I had the Perfect List from 1991.

I don’t.

Well, I might have the audio somewhere, but not the list of tunes. Actually, I do have it, see this post.

However I do have the Perfect List from 1990 — our choice for the best 50 best dance music tracks released that year. And here it is.

How many of these tracks do you remember? And which ones would you prefer to forget?

[Update 6 September 2007: I’ve linked to as many of these songs as I can find on YouTube. Some of them may not be the exact mix played on air, but you get that. Enjoy. And if you find any others, please let me know.]

[Update 27 January 2011: So many of the videos I linked to have suffered from linkrot. I’ve just re-linked all the tracks. Not all of the mixes are the same as the ones we played on the radio.]

Top 10:

1. BBG: Snappiness

2. Orchestra JB: Free Spirit (Slow Burn mix)

3. The KLF: What Time is Love

4. Blue Pearl: Naked in the Rain (Blue Pearl Dub mix)

5. Ambience: The Adored

6. De La Soul: Tread Water (Italian Tour special remix)

7. A Tribe Called Quest: Bonita Applebum (Hootie mix)

8. Blackbox: Fantasy


10. 808 State: Cubik (Kings Country Perspective mix)

Part 1, 29 December 1990:

We broadcast the full list of 50 tracks over two weeks, in no particular order apart from the Top 10 at the end.

Major Problems: The Rush (Freak Out Mix)
A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funkidred: Total Confusion (Confusion mix)
Barrie K Sharpe & Diana Brown: The Masterplan (remix)
Family Stand: Ghetto Heaven
Jungle Brothers: Doin’ Our Own Dang (Do It To the JBs mix)
Adamski: Killer
Bassomatic: Fascinating Rhythm (Lisa Loud mix)
She Rockers: Jam It Jam
Silver Bullet: 20 Seconds To Comply
Moodswings featuring Chrissie Hynde: Spiritual High
The Grid: Flotation (YouTube has a bootleg live version)
Space Opera: Space 3001 (Part One mix)
GTO: Pure (remix)
Queen Latifah & De La Soul: Mama Gave Birth to the Soul Children
Monie Love: Down to Earth
Deee-lite: Groove is in The Heart
Together: Hardcore Uproar (Boomtown remix)
Earth People: Reach Up to Mars (Martian mix)
BBG: Some Kind of Heaven (Heavenly mix)
Soul II Soul: A Dreams a Dream
Snap: The Power
Westbam: The Roof is On Fire
The Orb: A Huge Evergrowing Pulsating Brain that Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld (YouTube has a bootleg live version)
Guru Josh: Infinity

Part 2, 5 January 1991

Ce Ce Rogers: All Join Hands
Touch of Soul: We Got the Love
CPO: Homicide
Above the Law: Untouchable
Magic Concept: Unstoppable
49ers: Touch Me
Blackbox: Everybody Everybody (Le Freak mix)
2 in a Room: Do What You Want
Tony Scott: Gangster Boogie
Tribal House: Motherland
Blue Pearl: Little Brother (Little Sister mix)
Capella: Get Out of My Case (Philly Style remix)
Technotronic: Get Up (Dave Morales remix)
The Adventures of Stevie V: Dirty Cash (Dime & Dollar mix)
MC Wildski: Warrior
… and the Top 10

Wow, what a list! Looking back, I can see that we were consciously trying to cover all the genres, rather than choosing our personal favourites. I’d have had a lot more English electronica and Detroit techno, for instance. Scott would have picked more hands-in-the-air stuff — I reckon he had surprisingly girly music tastes for a straight man.

And this is such an Adelaide list! So, so different from anything playing in Sydney of Melbourne at the time.

12 Replies to “Club Escape’s “Perfect List” 1990”

  1. Being in single digits at the time, I don’t have a strong memory of most of these tracks. However, I suspect if you played them to me, I’d remember quite a few more of them. I could currently identify 6-7 by name.

    Out of the ones I am familiar with, #3 & #8 are worthy choices. Guru Josh is a catchy bit of silliness. However, I would like to like to collect all copies of Groove Is In the Heart and throw them into the nearest black hole. It’s not a bad track, but #1 it’s massively overplayed and #2 I’m sick of seeing GenXers trying to relive their youth in 3-4 minutes every time they play this track. PEOPLE IT’S OVER — GET OVER IT.

  2. LFO is still in my top 10. Timeless…. and blew up the bass bins at the metro on first play didn’t it?

  3. Some great stuff in there. ‘Masterplan’ is a wonderful track, and I still have the 808 State albums on high rotation to this day.

    One good thing about ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ is that jazzman Herbie Hancock must have made a tidy sum from it.

    Can’t wait to hear you playing these tracks on ‘oldies’ FM in another 16 years’ time. ; )

  4. @Snarky Platypus: And so speaks the jaded Gen-Y member, eh? Deee-lite always shitted me, though. They just seemed to be trying so hard to be nice-and-funky in such a self-conscious, saccharin New York way.

    @DaSuthNa: I’m not sure whether the Metro story is truth or myth, but I certainly remember those low notes ripping the speakers of my stereo at home, and the network engineers at the ABC complained when we played it on air. Ah, LFO! 20Hz square waves than only whales and elephants can feel! If only there’d been digital audio all through the chain in those days — a lot more speakers would have been destroyed.

    @Snif: The layouts were by Acb Tyson, editor of The Core, though I recall that I had a lot of input into the 1990 design — it may have even been me.

    @Richard: Glad you enjoyed.

  5. That bootleg of the The Orb track is currently blowing my mind. I remember encountering their gear in about 99, but it had nothing on this.

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