Some of you might know that I have a hobby as a DJ. Not a radio style DJ who has not touched a record (or CD) for years and talks too much. Not a remix DJ who digitally mashes up multiple songs into a single confused track. Not a DJ who creates their own music.
I am talking about a old style club DJ who plays dance music, beat mixes, and might use the odd sample or bit of scratching for fun.
My love of dance music in the 1980’s translated to a growing collection of 12″ remix singles on vinyl and meant that whenever my group of school (and later university) friends had a party, I provided the music. At first we used to set up two stereo Hi Fi systems, each with a record player and then would “mix” by turning one system up while turning the other system down.
Later, when I was 18, I bought a mixer and could start using a single system (or playing the same audio signal through both systems for richer sound). Then when I was 21, for my birthday present, my father bought me a pair of Technics SL-1200MK2 turntables. Once equipped with Stanton 500 styluses and Stanton slip mats, these 13kg (29lb) beasts became the ultimate tool for any DJ of the time, you still see them in music videos today.
Now, my turntables (and some 220kg/500lb of vinyl, about 500 12″ singles from the 80’s and 90’s) stay at home and get used rarely. Instead I have gone digital, using VirtualDJ with over 3,000 mp3 files which weigh nothing.
I still DJ every now and then (mainly for my sons’ birthday parties), I have lots of lighting gear as well, including chaser light boxes, strobes, UV lights, and even a laser animation projector and smoke machine. More recently, my eldest son has been using the equipment along with a MIDI DJ Controller for his parties.
So, back to the topic of this post and the reason for the nostalgia.
The main reason I got into DJing was my love of dance music from the 1980’s and much of this music came from “Hit Factory” PWL (Pete Waterman Limited) and the producers Stock/Aitken/Waterman (SAW). The artists they worked with included Kylie Minogue, Banarama, Mel & Kim, Rick Astley, Blue Mercedes, Sinitta and of course Dead Or Alive.
I heard today that Pete Burns, the lead singer for Dead Or Alive has passed away over the weekend. Dead Or Alive’s signature track is their first major hit: You Spin Me Round (Like A Record), they had many other hits but will always be remembered for this awesome track.
Below are three versions of the song from three different decades, showing the that music changed almost as much as Pete’s face. The third video shows Pete from his many different eras.
Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) (1985 Version) (direct link)
Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) (1996 Version) (direct link)
Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Audio from 2003 Version) (direct link)
Enjoy the music and remember the talent that was Pete Burns.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.