Last week, with LPs, was a highlight of this series, with lovely posts from rustyfruitjuice and Kellie, covering everything from deep flamenco to children’s folk to 1980s pop to retro-punk mash-up, and in particular fabulous looking record covers. What could be less cool, in contrast, than the cassette single?
For me, however, for a brief period in 1991-2, the only piece of audio equipment I had a was little portable cassette player, so I got tapes out of public libraries and bought cassette singles from the bargain buckets of Tower Records at Piccadilly Circus (typically six months past release date – hence timelag). I then dubbed all of these and, of course, made endless mixtapes from them. To be honest, I can’t remember what order I got them in, but these two best symbolise that period for me, so I’ll cheat and go with them.
Flowered Up “Egg Rush”/”It’s On” (1990 Heavenly Records)
Flowered Up were the South of England’s answer to the Happy Mondays, and should have been as famous as them, for their awesome 1992 12″ “Weekender“. Singer Liam Maher sadly died of a drug overdose in 2009. RIP.
Gary Clail “Human Nature” (full discographic details here) – released early in 1991.
I saw Bristol’s Gary Clail DJ a couple of times over the years, the last being at the end of the 1990s at a benefit for Anti-Fascist Action at Walthamstow Town Hall, supporting The Selector. Clail epitomised coolness for me in the early 1990s. “Human Nature” wasn’t his best song, but it did make Top of the Pops – I suspect the On-U Sound System’s only appearance there.
Next week: cassette albums