All the Free EP's from the 20th Century collected in one place....when I get them, that is.

If you'd like to add to the collection of free magazine covermounts contact me here, on twitter.com/mannygrillo or at last.fm/user/grillmachine

Also available - http://discogshuffle.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 19 February 2012


As house music began to dominate in the late 80s, Record Mirror considerably boosted its coverage of all aspects of dance music in an attempt to gain credibility and keep ahead of the other music weeklies. This filtered through to the FreeEPs which began to promote club culture as much as the usual indie acts of the day. This EP released in conjunction with Cooltempo records is a prime example:

1. Jingo (Remix) - Jellybean

John "Jellybean" Benitez was one of the decade's most in-demand producers and remixers who worked with, amongst scores of others, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and his former girlfriend, Madonna. Benitez, under his Jellybean moniker, also released a number of singles in his own right at the  end of the 80s and scored 4 Top 20 UK hits. Jingo was his third reaching #12 and was a remake of one of the biggest club tracks of the 80s by Candido - first released in 1979 and hitting the UK Top 75 for the first time in 1986. Candido's version charted again after the release of Jellybean's version but could only manage #82. The origins of the track can be found on Nigerian percussionist  Babatunde Olatunji's 1960 album Drums Of Passion under the title Jin-Go-La-Ba. The version is described on this EP as a "special limited edition dance mix" so presumably this is the only place you can find it.

2. Jealousy And Lies - Julian Jonah

Despite this alternative mix being released in advance of the single release, this promotion didn't do much for the single which stalled at #96 in 1988. An album, It's A Jungle Out There, was released in 1990 to little effect but Jonah was to re-emerge in 1997 as one half of speed garage duo 187 Lockdown scoring a Top 10 hit with King Fu and hitting '#16 with the classic Gunman. The duo also released many singles under a variety of different aliases including M Factor, Nu-Birth and Disco-Tex presents Cloudburst - all of which saw chart success.

3. Def Beat Boy - Derek B

An exclusive Music Of Life Megamix of the track which appeared on the late Derek Boland's album Bullet From A Gun. Boland was the first UK rapper to crossover into the mainstream, the album reaching #11 and two singles, Goodgroove and Bad Young Brother both hitting #16. Perhaps ironically, despite leading the way for all UK rapper, Boland's only Top 10 credit was a co-write for Liverpool FC's Anfield Rap  Only a small number of releases followed the hits and Boland faded into obscurity. He died in 2009 from a heart attack at the age of 44.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


1. Motorcrash - The Sugarcubes

One Little Indian's newly-signed Icelandic eccentrics, The Sugarcubes, released their debut European single, Birthday, to immediate acclaim in 1987. The track was rated highly in the music press' annual round-ups, most notaby topping John Peel's Festive 50 of 1987. Their debut album, Life's Too Cool, featuring this track which was released a single in its own right in various territories, hit the Top 20 in 1988. Two more Top 20 albums followed over the following four years until the band split, lead singer Bjork becoming one of the world's most critically acclaimed artists.

2. Go Out And Get 'Em Boy (Live) - The Wedding Present

Indie royalty (even when they were signed to RCA), it's easy to forget that Leeds' finest band without question have had a mammoth 18 Top 40 hits in their near 30 year on/off career. Sure, two thirds of these are thanks to their 1992 a-single-a-month experiment, but it's still a magnificent feat for a band who never really crossed into the mainstream and have always remained very much a cult concern. Despite these 18 hits, 25 if you include Top 75s, it took them until their seventh single to crack the chart. The very first of the six that didn't make it, and the single that introduced the world to David Gedge, was Go Out And Get 'Em Boy in 1985, which set the blueprint for their 1987 magnum indie opus George Best. This is an exclusive live version recorded live at the Reading Majestic in 1987 so essential for any WP collectors.  The stage is also set for a brand new album, Valentina, in March. http://www.scopitones.co.uk/news/

3. Down To The Well - Pixies
4. Rock A My Soul - Pixies

Two tracks from one band, a real rarity on Free EPs...however, with a combined running time of 3:51, it's not hard to see why. Pixies, yet another band early in their career destined for legendary status, had released their first EP, Come On Pilgrim, in 1987 and first album proper, Surfer Rosa, in 1988. Recorded before any of the tracks on these debut releases were  these two tracks, along with several others, in their first studio session in 1987. This full session surfaced as one of indie's finest self-released cassettes, The Purple Tape, available from the band itself thus becoming a much sought after rarity. 8 of the 17 tracks on the album were released on Come On Pilgrim but, of the remaining 9, only Down To The Well and Rock A My Soul were released commercially and that was on here...thus making this EP a valuable commodity for Pixies collectors. However, the 2002 EP release simply entitled 'Pixies' rectified the situation containing all non-Come On Pilgrim tracks as an album in its own right.

5. Kitty (Live) - The Pogues

Unlike the other big names on this EP, the Pogues were already well established by 1988 and had already released two albums including their master work, Rum, Sodomy & The Lash. 1988 would see their third album If I Should Fall From Grace With God which contained the title track and the classic Fairytale Of New York which had just completed its first run in the chart at time of this EP's release - only kept off the Xmas top spot by Pet Shop Boys' Always On My Mind. Kitty was released in its studio form as the final track on the band's debut album, Red Roses For Me, in 1984. Again, this is an exclusive live version recorded at Glasgow Barrowlands in December 1987, at the height of their popularity.