House Sound of Chicago

The House Sound of Chicago was an album released in 1986 by London Records. I first noticed tracks from this album at the Black Rhythms night at the Poly Union and the sound was very new and exciting.

I heard the same tracks in the Hacienda around the same time, but the poor acoustics mashed up the smooth production, making the deep bass sound like a ship’s foghorn which seemed to shake the building!

Steve Silk Hurley – Jack Your Body

This video is very like the film montages which were played in the Hacienda on two screens near the dancefloor; there were lots of clips from silent films mixed in with other footage. I remember fixating on these screens while I was dancing to music that was quite boring.

I saw some of the Chicago House artists in the flesh at the International 2 Plymouth Grove, around 1987, in what was billed as a House Sound of Chicago Tour. The singers performed live over backing tracks on a bare stage with no lighting effects, and although their vocals were good, the concert itself had no buzz and the atmosphere was flat.

The biggest shock for me was the singers’ appearances; they appeared to be cabaret performers… not cutting edge or cool like their music. I was expecting sharp tailoring, not sparkly lycra and big hair! Maybe the Chicago reference confused me into thinking the artists would be dressed like 1920s gangsters… it’s possible. If I’d seen this video ahead of the concert, I might not have been so surprised:

Farley Jackmaster Funk & Darryl Pandy – Love Can’t Turn Around

I’m not sure if this video ever appeared on UK TV screens in 1986-87; we didn’t have a telly in our student house due to lack of funds and poor organisation, so perhaps I missed it for that reason.

This classic Chicago House track is an instrumental so it wasn’t tarnished by the International 2 experience…

Fingers Inc – Can You Feel It

It’s from the House Sound of Chicago 2 double album, released in 1987. I once heard this track at the Hacienda with Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech played over the top. Co-incidentally me and my brother Alf had played the same tracks simultaneously at our house. I went to congratulate the DJs on their choice and they were people I didn’t recognise; then one of my friends gave me a hard time for being nice to them because they were famous DJs from London! (I think it may have been an ID Party.)

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1 Comment

  1. Luke Bainbridge

    Do you know what date the International II date was? I’m writing a book on the early years of acid house at the moment, but can’t find exact date for that gig.

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