One Man and a Blog…Machine

Sorry for the lack of updates last week. Life got crazy for a bit, and I lost an entire day because I had to transfer all my music to my new computer. And yo, when you have about half a terabyte of MP3s that shit takes some serious time.

I got good stuff planned for this week though! Check it!

Norman Cook
For Spacious Lies
For Spacious Beats
The Invasion of The Estate Agents
For Spacious Ballad
Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim has gone by about a billion aliases (The Cheeky Boy, Sunny Side Up, Pizzaman, just to name a few) but this 1989 12″ single is one of the few to bear his actual name. It came out during a rather odd time in Cook’s career. He had left The Housemartins a few years before, but was still a year away from finding his first taste of success in the burgeoning dance scene as part of Beats International. He hasn’t yet found his “voice” as a producer/remixer/DJ, and it shows. The A-side “For Spacious Lies” is very generic by-the-numbers hip house, the kind of track made by someone looking to score with broad appeal. It’s rather boring.

Thankfully, Cook fared far better with the B-side “The Invasion of The Estate Agents.” It’s pretty much just the instrumental for Beats International’s cover of “Just Be Good To Me,”  an incredibly mellow bass groove with a Morricone sample built in. It works great, so great that Cook would later re-use the track as a the basis for his first hit single with Beats International, “Dub Be Good To Me.”

The Wee Papa Girls
Heat It Up (Adonis Chicago House Mix)
Heat It Up (Detroit House Mix)
Heat It Up (Extended Mix)
Heat It Up (Single Edit)
Heat It Up (Adonis House Instrumental)
The Wee Papa Girls are awesome. I already established this when I wrote about them before, first when discussing the Jive Presents Acid House LP, and then again when posting the Jive Presents In House album.

This time, however, they’re made even all the more awesome with the additional production and remix work by Two Men and a Drum Machine. Who are Two Men And a Drum Machine, you ask? Well, they would be a side project by Andy Cox and David Steele. You may not recognize those names, but you’ve surely heard their music before. In the early 80s they were part of the original line-up of The (English) Beat, the excellent ska act who gave up “Mirror in the Bathroom” and “Save It For Later,” among other clasics. Then after that group broke up the duo met singer Roland Gift and formed Fine Young Cannibals, who had major smash hits with “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing.” (They also did the most shockingly brilliant cover of “Ever Fallen In Love” you’ll ever hear).

Their output as TWo Men and a Drum Machine is sadly sparse. The only track the duo released as Two Men And a Drum Machine was the 1988 single “Tired of Getting Pushed Around,” which is actually credited to “Two Men A Drum Machine and a Trumpet,” and this track by The Wee Papa Girls is their only production credit. It’s a shame, their work as Two Men and a Drum Machine was way more interesting and innovative than anything they put out as members of Fine Young Cannibals.

They definitely missed their calling as acid house/hip-hop producers. “Heat It Up” is a great track, of the stuff by The Wee Papa Girls that I’ve heard it’s clearly the best. The acid house production is tight, and the flow by the girls is great. How great? So great that The Beastie Boys swiped parts of it wholesale some 10 years later for their track “Alive.” Either that or both artists swiped from the same source material. If anyone out there knows of another track that features the same vocal hook, please tell me. Rap is so full of “homages” that sometimes it can be hard to tell who was the real originator and who was borrowing from who.

8 Responses to “One Man and a Blog…Machine”

  1. Dave says:

    Surely “Invasion Of The Estate Agents” wasn’t a cover version of “Just Be Good To Me” until that song was sung over the top of it. Isn’t it just an instrumental track, albeit one based on a sample of The Clash’s “Guns Of Brixton”? I’d be interested to know who gets the writing credit for it. There’s no real reason why Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis should have been credited for it.

  2. Lost Turntable says:

    Yeah, I worded that poorly in my original text and rewrote it slightly, thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  3. Dan says:

    Once again we seem to have the same record collection from that golden late 80s / era 90s dance pop period. Great blog as usual!

  4. Gary says:

    Yay! Thanks for the Adonis mix of “Heat it Up”!

  5. Eric Schulz says:

    When you posted the Wee Papa rapper Girls track on the Jive Collection I was SO hoping to eventually hear these! Now if I could get a better quality copy of “Tired Of Getting Pushed Around!”

  6. Lost Turntable says:

    I got that somewhere, I’ll have to dig it out. Also, I think it’s on the latest FYC re-issue.

  7. That Guy Again says:

    Both “Invasion Of The Estate Agents” and “For Spacious Lies” were released under the “Beats International” moniker – the latter as a bonus track on the “Let Them Eat Bingo” CD on Elektra and the former, appropriately enough, on the “Dub Be Good To Me” single.

  8. club beats says:

    Heat It Up Detroit Mix is definitely my favorite..

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