Frankie Knuckles 1955-2014 | Frankie Knuckles Productions
April 2, 2014

To complement the previous post, here is the second playlist from those guys over at the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA). This time however its a collection of some of Frankies fantastic original productions and remixes. Its a fantastic collection of some of the best known productions including collaborations with Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Chaka Khan and much much more. Enjoy!

Frankie Knuckles 1955 – 2014
April 1, 2014

I found out last night that Frankie Knuckles had died aged 59 and I cannot overstate how gutted I was. Frankie Knuckles wasnt just a DJ or Producer, he was one of a very small cadre of people responsible for creating the sound that has played in my head and heart for as long as I can remember. Sounds a bit spiritual I know but its hard to explain that music to me has always been about the kickdrum, the high hat and piano or soulful vocal hook. Sure my tastes have mellowed over the years but at the very beginning of my own personal musical journey, it was House music and specifically the Soulful House sound synonymous with ChiTown/NYC that I loved. Imagine me. locked onto as a young 8 year old lad, the John Peel radio show on a Sunday night, taping the imports that he played during the show. House music is probably the first thing I would say that defined me as my own person with my own taste. The first thing I found on my own.

Frankie Knuckles was responsible for the music at the Warehouse in Chicago, often credited with the origin of the name “House”, a shortened version of “The Warehouse” music that was in such demand in early 80’s Chicago record stores. The history of House Music is littered with DJ’s and producers held in high almost godlike reverence but almost all agree that Frankie was deserving of his title as the “Godfather of house”. A guy who took the records available to him after the death of commercial disco, rolled in a drum machine in the booth thanks to Derrick May and helped pioneer a sound that has dominated global music for over thirty years. Sure it was going to happen sooner or later but this soon, man I wanted to see Frankie just one more time…

So today the web has been rammed full of tributes to Knuckles, Twitter exploded last night with tributes, Facebook has been busting at the seams with friends all posting their favourite Frankie Knuckles cuts. He has a legacy that transcends his death for as long as there is a Kick Drum, a snare, a highhat played over a soulful vocal and an uplifting piano riff, therein lies some of Frankies DNA, a fingerprint that will outlive all of us left here reflecting upon his body of work.

Thank you for the music Frankie.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Welcome to the Pleasuredome (Real Altered) [1985]
August 25, 2011

Probably my favourite of all the FGTH tracks, its got that cracking driving bass drum that just dominates all the way through. The original radio release was just a shortened version of the Real Altered mix that you hear. The fundamental difference here is that this 12″ version was most definately designed for dancing rather than as a 4 minute pop track. There’s far less vocal work, much more of that cracking bass riff that makes this track just a relentless floor pounder. An absolutely monster tune. Thanks to Emz who stuck this up on Facebook this morning and ive been listening too all day!

From Discogs
Following an appearance on Channel 4 TV show “The Tube” performing “Relax”, the group were signed up by Trevor Horn and Paul Morley’s new ZTT record label. With the benefit of Horn’s production skills and Morley’s off-the-wall marketing ideas, “Relax” came out in October 1983 and slowly but surely took off. It was already a top ten hit when, in January 1984, BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Read suddenly realised what the song was actually about, leading to a total BBC ban on the disc. From this moment on, Frankie Goes To Hollywood became not just a pop group but a phenomenon. The record went to number one in the UK, and was a smash hit across Europe and even in the USA. “Frankie Says” T-shirts (some dreamt up by Morley, but far more the creations of small-time bootleggers) became the fashion statement of the year, and anticipation was at such a fever pitch that every subsequent FGTH release that year – two singles and a double-LP – went straight in at number one in their home country, an unprecedented achievement and a triumph for ZTT.