Funny how a brief spell of good weather stirs happy musical memories (that’s England for you).
Round my way, if the summer of 1983 was all about Thriller, Let’s Dance and The Kids From Fame, summer ’84 was breakdance and electro.
When our playground wasn’t being used for tennis-ball soccer, British Bulldog or kiss chase (all probably outlawed now…), the cooler kids were dragging an old piece of tarpaulin over from the sports hall and having a go at breaking – to various degrees of success.
Here’s the soundtrack. Breakdance/electro was a short-lived musical relation to early hip-hop and digital funk, but some genuine pop classics emerged from era. Sure, they’re at the commercial end of the burgeoning electronic scene but they all deliver an instant nostalgia rush. The videos are great too.
7. Break Machine: ‘Street Dance’
Reached UK #3 in January 1984, and spent 16 weeks in the charts.
6. Ollie & Jerry: ‘Breakin’ (There’s No Stopping Us)’
Reached #5 in June 1984 and spent 11 weeks in the UK chart. Their only UK top 40 single.
5. Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five: ‘Beat Street Breakdown’
Only reached #42 in the charts but reverberated widely.
4. Herbie Hancock: ‘Rockit’
Reached #8 in July 1983. This mind-blowing performance on ‘The Tube’ opened the floodgates for a lot of kids of my generation. Has a jazz musician ever ‘crossed over’ more successfully?