1) “No Way Back” – Adonis
One of the most infectious bass-lines and rhythms of all time. “No Way Back” perfectly demonstrated the brutal effectiveness of House Music’s simplicity following the previous 20 years of sophisticated productions and lush arrangements in dance music. A simple but highly effective marker for House Music.
2) “When You Hold Me” – Master C&J
In many ways Master C&J were very much the unsung heroes of early House Music. Their records always sounded brilliantly hypnotic when heard over a state-of-art sound system and “When You Hold Me” is a case in point. A typically infectious slab of Trax Records history.
3) “Bring Down The Walls” – Robert Owens
The debut release from House Music’s greatest vocalists which combined the vocal talents of Robert Owens with the early production skills of Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers. This was obviously a good foundation as both artists are still at the forrefront of the House Music scene almost some 30 years later.
4) “Rock Steady” – Dalis
Being an old Soulboy, I’m surprised that this sterling House cover of the Aretha Franklin classic never slayed me first time around. I’ve since changed my mind and I’m staggered by how good this is. I’ve no idea who Dalis is but she can sure rock a tune. Sounds absolutely deadly loud and proves that House Music can have Soul with the right vocalist and tune.
5) “Washing Machine” – Mr Fingers
One of the first Acid House records which would go on to spawn a thousand imitators. I remember hearing this when it first came over and the sheer simplicity and infectiousness of it struck me immediately. A stone-certified Acid classic!
6) “Your Love” – Eric Bell
The holy grail for serious Trax Records collectors. “Your Love” currently sells for £200 for a mint copy if you can ever find one. I don’t know what happened with this release but it was certainly one that slipped below everybody’s radar. Poor Eric Bell never stood a chance – his only release and no one ever knew about it.
7) “Baby Wants To Ride” – Frankie Knuckles
What can you say about this towering colossus of a track that hasn’t already been said? Probably one of the greatest House records of all time, whose progress was marred by being caught in the crossfire of being on both Trax and DJ International at the same time. A king hell bastard of a record!
8) “Lost In The Groove” – Marshall Jefferson presents Hercules
Another slice of Marshal Jefferson percussive House magic which says it all with the title really. Another Trax classic which nodded its head to ever-growing influence of Acid House with those oh so menacing vocals.
9) “As Always” – Farley Jackmaster Funk Presents Ricky Dillard
Yet another bitchin’ and highly credible House cover of a Soul classic which was waaaay over the top for most Soulboys but not me. It’s kind of against the rules to cover a Stevie Wonder classic but I thought Ricky Dillard did a particularly credible job here. The Lovin’ House mix is the one for me – a twelve and half minute extravaganza of Soulful House at it’s very best.
10) “Do You Know Who You Are” – Virgo Four
I’m so pleased that there has been a recent resurgence in popularity for these guys. Another great example of some of the gold which is buried within the Trax archives, much of which was missed the first time around. It’s shows that there’s still a healthy interest in House Music, as has become apparent over the last few years and hopefully will continue as a result of Traxbox!
Traxbox, the most comprehensive collection of Trax recordings ever released, is available now via download or CD box set.