Drop That Ghettoblaster

Something a bit more in your face and full on, full frontal even, than yesterday’s ghostly Rootmasters song. This 1986 release by Karen Finley was sampled by S’Express (which this post’s title was borrowed and also the phrase ‘suck me off’, which somehow Mark Moore managed to disguise slightly by smudging the first vowel sound and then sneaking onto Radio 1 and Top of Of The Pops). Over a rapid fire drum machine and then some long keyboard chords Karen opens fire (Karen was a performance artist and poet and is currently a professor at New York University). She starts out with ‘you don’t own me bastard, you fucking asshole’ and then crams in pretty much every insult, sexual reference and swear word she can think of, also taking time to include your Granny and Belgian waffles. It’s a tour de force performance and was produced and co-written by Mark Kamins (who most famously worked with Madonna in the 80s).

It is still pretty jaw-dropping to hear and should probably only be played loudly/audibly if you are very confident in those who are around you. Most definitely Not Safe For Work.

Tales Of Taboo

Here, so you can place those vocal samples in context, and also because this is one of the greatest records of the 1980s (and of any decade in fact) are S’Express having a lot of fun on Top Of The Pops.

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Funky Killer

There’s an album out now of updated versions and remixes of S’Express songs which looks pretty interesting. As well as the opinion splitting Primal Scream cover version Enjoy This Trip has new versions by Tom Furse of the Horrors, Jagz Kooner, Horsemeat Disco and Chris and Cosey among its fifteen tracks. This very funky Red Snapper remix didn’t make the final tracklist but has a very 1990s jazzy, hip hop vibe which works really well if sounding quite unlike S’Express.

A State Of Mind

I’ve flip-flopped around with Primal Scream’s RSD cover version of Mantra For A State Of Mind, starting off thinking it just sounds lazy, then liking it more (Jason Pierce’s guitar probably making the difference). The original S’Express version (from 1991) is pretty wonderful, discofied and then a housier last few minutes. As Craig at Plain Or Pan pointed out, it isn’t a million miles from Don’t Fight It, Feel It.

Mantra For A State Of Mind (Club Mix)

And just because I’m kind to you this is the Weatherall remix of Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em, Forget ‘Em, a loved up, piano and synth driven excursion with heavy breathing and airhorns, also from 1991.

Find ‘Em Fool ‘Em Forget ‘Em (The Eighth Hour Mix)

Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em, Weatherall ‘Em

I’m not sure anything qualifies as ‘rare’ in the internet age but this is a lesser known (or lesser heard) Andrew Weatherall remix from 1991, wherein our hero takes S’Expresses disco house and stretches it out over up to eight minutes.

Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em, Forget ‘Em (The Eighth Hour Mix)

Enjoy This Trip (And It Is A Trip)

Surely one of the greatest singles ever made, S Express (Mark Moore)’s Theme From S’Express introduced acid house and sampling to a mass audience in 1988- it was number 1 in the UK for two weeks. Borrowing liberally from Rose Royce’s Is it Love You’re After? it is dance music heaven.

Kind of ridiculously, I love the ‘lyrics’

‘Enjoy this trip
Enjoy this trip
And it is a trip
And it is a trip

(Coutdown is progressing)
Uno, dos, tres, quatro

S Express
S Express

I got the hots for you

Chop me off, chop me off, chop me off (this bit always sounded more explicit to me)
Jump on that ghetto blast off (or is it Drop that ghettoblaster? I can never quite make it out)
Come on now slip it to the music, now scoot (Not wholly sure about this bit either)
Oh, that’s bad
No, that’s good’

If one of pop culture’s sacred wordsmiths had written these, they’d be held up for all to see. As it is they’re vocal samples that sum up the joy of the record, the scene, the dancing. But they sound pretty profound to me. I’m not joking.

Theme From S Express.mp3