Big Beat Volume 1 – 80s/90s Classics

Before Pete Tong’s Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1, there was another guy who kicked off many a good Friday night in the late 80’s and early 90’s. This new series of mixes is a tribute to the radio show that many of us UK oldies fondly remember as the soundtrack to our youth – Jeff Young’s Big Beat.

Kick it!


Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam – Let The Beat Hit ‘Em
Mantronix – Got To Have Your Love
Loose Ends – Hanging On A String
Fatback Band – I Found Lovin
The Family Stand – Ghetto Heaven
Jhelisa – Friendly Pressure
Soul II Soul – Keep On Movin’
Soul II Soul – Joy
Quartz – It’s Too Late (DMC Remix)
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Paul Simpson Feat. Adeva – Musical Freedom
Sounds Of Blackness – Optimistic
Rufus & Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody
A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It
Galliano – Skunk Funk
Young Disciples – Apparently Nothin’
James Taylor Quartet – Love WIll Keep Us Together
Diana Brown & Barry K Sharpe – The Masterplan
Nomad Feat. MC Mikee Freedom – I Wanna Give You Devotion



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3 thoughts on “Big Beat Volume 1 – 80s/90s Classics

  1. Great tribute mix to the great man Jeff Young who meant so much to so many people in the original classic years of old school underground dance – house, techno, R&B, rhythm soul, hip hop, breakbeat, freestyle, jazz funk.

    By late 1989 the hip hop I’d loved I got really tired of and that was the end of that in clubs for me, as house became even more my obsession (so I could still appreciate hip house and there was a lot of it around). Even so, I found I could still listen to Jeff Young’s hip hop selections of National Fresh right until the end of his time, at the end of 1990. The Big Beat show became the only place left where I’d listen to the (very best) hip hop, of course still wrapped up in the other dznce genres Jeff played the best selections of. I’d been a devoted Big Beat Show fan since early 1987.

    If not going out on a Friday njght, from early 1987, for four years, it didn’t matter because there was at least a worthy time with The Big Beat Show on BBC Radio 1. So much so that going out – however incredible – was also confusing and a pain, if I missed the show, meaning I’d do what I could to find anyone who had taped it that week.

    Jeff was the support that the British scene needed to come good in a wider sense in club life like it already was doing in the USA. Soon it was much more than that though. The British charts were more overwhelmed by sounds coming out of underground dance than the US popular charts managed to be in the country which gave birth to this dance culture. Not many believed here in the earlier days that the music could take such a strong hold as it did in the UK, given the staleness of British club scenes up until then. Jeff and literally just a few others on legal platforms, DJs and publications like Record Mirror, helped to split the scenes wide open nationwide, just by themselves. Yes there were the pirate stations, essential, and the whole scene was based around word of mouth also. But Jeff’s show provided still a lifeline for many people and important elements in the scene and in bringing the nation together.

    The mix is great, nearly all acts were Big Beat Show plays and I think nearly all of those tunes were of the BBS years and on the show.

    I think there may be only a couple of inauthentic tunes in the mix.
    I’m not sure about Galliano’s “Skunk Funk”. I remember I bought the album the track was on in late 1993, “A Joyful Noise Unto The Creator”. But it had been released a year or two already. Still, I’m not sure, but I guess the track came out after the Big Beat Show was handed over to Pete Tong and his programme after the end of 1990.

    I love the jazz funk classic of the James Taylor Quartet, which features Alison Limerick. I remember picking up that album on the Acid Jazz label soon after its release, either in early 1995 or late 1994. So at least 4 years after Big Beat with Jeff Young, and a different era I guess. The only track in your mix some time off the BBS years.

    It’s still a classic collaboration album between JTQ and Alison Limerick. While Limerick featured on Big Beat for her solo releases, I’m not sure JTQ were ever played by Jeff on the show. No, wait, Jeff had to have played something, probably a remix from JTQ’s “Love the Life” album – maybe the title track, released in 1990, with remixes by Morales and Danny Rampling and others. Thinking of it, I’m confident I remember this played.. (Interesting, Jeff set up the Friday night R1 dance agenda, where another 80s legendary club pioneer Rampling would follow him some years later, like Tong.)

    Thanks for the memories and the sense of tri bute. I also think of Froggy from the 80s Soul Mafia with Jeff and some times from the Caister gigs they did together.

    • … Sorry, the JTQ song was “Love the Life’ from 1990. The album it was on had a different title. It was called “Supernatural Feeling”, released 3 years later, from 1993.

      Checking Discogs, I’m right that “Love Will Keep Us Togrther” from your mix by JTQ and Alison Limerick was years after Big Beat Show – on the 1995 JTQ album, “In The Hand of The Inevitable”.

    • Great comments, thank you!
      I must have been mistaken with those two tracks you mentioned. Funny thing is I had an old cassette recording of one of Jeff’s shows and those tracks were on the other side. Must have taped over his show by accident a few years later. D’oh! ????

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