Listen: The 900 Number (Single Edit) / The 45 King
DJ Mark The 45 King immediately intrigued me. I wanted to be the 45 king, but Mark grabbed the title in ’87. I had just started working for Island, and spent extended time in London. Part of each day meant scouring the record shops for the newest releases. By the way, this was not fluffing off. The job entailed hearing all the latest product, especially the independently released records that may have needed a bigger, stronger partner.
The crew at Island UK were insatiable for US hip hop. When you live in the midst of any form of music, it’s not a big deal, but when you’re three thousand miles away, it is. So we’d hit the shops together, I would grab everything, always on 7″ as opposed to the then politically correct 12″. Everyone laughed. Fine. Now having these 7′s is a big deal, and I love them.
‘The 900 Number’ featured a looping baritone sax solo from Marva Whitney’s ‘Unwind Yourself’. I was rather surprised all those British soul experts didn’t pick up on that bit, and apparently neither did Dance Trax, the label who issued it.
Listen: Hear The Drummer (Get Wicked) / Chad Jackson
Nor did Chad Jackson, who went on to sample The 45 Kings’ single for his massive 1990 chart hit, ‘Hear the Drummer (Get Wicked)’, which peaked at #3 in Britain. I guess lawsuits flew round everywhere at that point. But, not my problem. I loved this record to death.