The Moody Boyz' Tony Thorpe: 20 Vinyls Always In My Record Box

The UK house pioneer has been making dancefloors shake since the 80s. Ahead of a new release he takes us through the wax he won't leave the house without, proving to be a man of unsurprisingly impeccable and eclectic taste
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Coil – Window Pane [Wax Trax Records, 1990]


Always been a big fan of Coil, since the eighties and I loved the work that Peter Christophreson did with Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. I thought they were a group of brilliant producers with good ideas, always thought provoking and experimental. I’ve been playing the B-side instrumental out recently and it still sounds as good as it did back then.

Carlton “Killawatt” Valley – Pull Out The Meat (Chariot Records, 2008)

I would’ve played “Special Request” but I don’t think songs with references to serial killers are in at the moment! I must admit it really made me laugh at the time, which is why I’m playing “Pull Out The Meat” which is just as funny, just not as dark. I heard “Pull Out The Meat” in Rough Trade and I just burst out laughing. It’s good to have a few records with a sense of humour in your record box.

Black Knight – Capita [Source Records, 1994]

I’ve been listening to Rob Gordon’s records since his debut release as The Forgemasters on Warp back in 1989 and following his little pseudonyms throughout the early nineties. This record has not left my record box since 1994; I think it’s stuck! Mr Gordon is criminally overlooked.

The Flying Lizards – Flesh & Steel (Extended Version) [Statik Records, 1984]

This reminds me of my residency in the now legendary Swamp Club in Croydon. I used be able to spin this next to James Brown, The Clash, Art Of Noise and Billy Idol without anyone blinking an eyelid or leaving the dance-floor. If you like this you should check out some of The Flying Lizards other works, The Secret Dub Life of The Flying Lizards is another personal favourite.

Longsy D – This Is Ska (Skacid) [Big One Records, 1989]

When this came out it was totally original because acid was just popping off and this was Ska and Acid Techno, it was fresh. My ears pricked up when I first heard this I heard it at a warehouse rave in Hackney, I asked the DJ what’s this and I was straight down to Groove Records in Soho the next day. It’s been in my record box ever since.

Motion – Rainbow [Double D, 1981]

When George Oban, bass-player and founding member of Aswad gave me the Motion album. I was really inspired by the fusion of all the reggae, jazz, rock, funk and Latin styles. Being so heavily into King Tubby, Scientist and Mad Professor this album was a refreshing ear-opener and definitely planted a seed in my head for some of my later work with The Moody Boyz. I’ve always had it in my record box since George Oban gave me a copy of the album.

Quando Quango – Love Tempo [Factory Records, 1983]

I’ve always liked what’s come out of Factory Records in Manchester; A Certain Ratio, New Order and Quando Quango, I love the production of Love Tempo, how they’ve taken an electronic template and given it a Manchester attitude. It’s stood the test of time too; it hasn’t dated because it’s still in my record box.

Colourbox – Baby I Love You So [4AD Records, 1986]  

I absolutely loved the original Jacob Miller version but when I heard the Colourbox version I was just blown away.  And it’s another one that never leaves my record box no matter what, the sleeve is beat up, its crackly but I treasure the single. I’ve got a lot of respect for Colourbox as producers, anyone got a clue what they’re up to now?

Public Image Ltd – Home Is Where The Heart Is [Virgin Records, 1981]

I remember being titillated like every other schoolboy at the time by the Bill Grundy interview with the Sex pistols in 1976. I’ve still got my copy of God Save the Queen, which I treasure, so when John Lydon started Public Image it really opened my eyes to what you could do with a reggae formula, definitely an early inspiration for The Moody Boyz.

Mikey Dread – Jumping Master [Dread At The Controls Records, 1980]

An all-time classic and another reggae tune that’s never left my box. It’s one of the original DJ Tools, its got that spin-back sound on the intro and it’s a great tune. For me it was worth getting it alone just for the spin-back sounds to use while mixing.

Yellow Magic Orchestra – Fire Cracker [Electrowave Records, 1979]

This record was totally ahead of its time, in ’79 I was a jazz/funk/soul DJ in Croydon at The Forum pub and I would drop this every time. After spending a lot of my young life in arcades it was mesmerizing to hear that Space Invaders sample at the beginning of the 12”, still in my box.

I.R.T. – Watch The Closing Doors [RCA Records, 1983]

I heard Tim Westwood play it at Crackers and I went straight down Groove Records in Soho to get it and I bought 2 copies so I could spin the Instrumental into the vocal version. I love that Latin piano lick in the middle. To this day it’s still my favourite electro track of all time.

Cloud One Orchestra – Atmosphere Strut [P & P Records, 1976]

Produced by Patrick Adams, one of my favourite Disco/Dance producers who also produced some great tunes with Universal Robot Band. I first heard this in a place called Global Village (for those old enough to remember!) in charring cross. I just remember hearing that synth sound as a young clubber and just wondering what that sound was. After years chasing it down I paid handsomely for a first pressing and that’s why it won’t leave my record box.

Bill Laswell – Work Song [Rough Trade, 1984]

A lovely old dear in Groove Records recommended “Baselines” by Bill Laswell to me and it changed my life. When I heard it I was instantly a fan and I went out and bought everything they’d released.

Aphrodisiac – Song Of The Siren [Nu Groove Records, 1990]

Probably one of my favourite house tunes, any song with seagulls in it has got my vote. I just loved the atmosphere this track created. One of the best tunes that Ronald Burrell ever produced. This track is as close as it gets to a masterpiece.

Mad Sector – Kick A Trip [PIAS Holland White Label, 2001]

I got this when I was working doing A&R for Play It Again Sam, did some promo on it and forgot about it for a little while. It wasn’t till about 5 years later I really started to play it out when I was DJ-ing my dubstep sets. I used to slip it in-between a DMZ record and a Pinch record and it went down a storm. Good to have a one-sider in your record box.

Plaid – Riot In Lagos (Remix) [Language Records, 1997]

I signed a Japanese artist called Tao to Language and he did an album for me called Esoteric Red. I wanted a remix done for this tune Riot In Lagos by Riuchi Sakamoto and I wanted the perfect remix done so I knew Plaid could do it. And we had the great accolade of having Plaid play it out live at their show, its not everyday you get a band playing out a remix!

The Cramps – Human Fly [Vengeance Records, 1978]

This was a big tune at the now legendary Swamp Club in Croydon, which was run by Andreas, George Michael from Wham’s cousin. One of the most requested while I was DJing, only second to the theme from Hawaii 5-0.

The Junkyard Band – The Word [Def Jam Records, 1986]

Def Jam opened my eyes to mastering, whenever I used to play Def Jam record is always louder than my UK pressings. I took The Word down to the cutting booth and said I want my record to sound like Herbie Powers had mastered this! This was my favourite go-go record second only to Troublefunk express.

Stevie Wonder – Race Babbling [Tamla Motown Records, 1979]

Everyone was playing out Send One Your Love off the album The Secret Life of Plants and I was playing this out! This track was Stevie Wonder doing a jazz-fusion Kraftwerk and I loved it, this track is a moment of utter genius. I’ve played this out recently and people still don’t know it, its not one of the most familiar Stevie Wonder tracks. I love the sentiment of it, “this world is moving much too fast”.

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