1989 saw a new breed of hip hop break into the mainstream.
The sound was sample-heavy, eclectic and often influenced by jazz and soul beats.
And the rhymes were positive, focussed on love and harmony, and often comic too.
This was the Native Tongues sound, Native Tongues being a collective of like-minded hip hop artists including Queen Latifah, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul.
De La Soul stole the limelight in 1989 with the release of the universally acclaimed 3 Feet High And Rising album, which in turn spawned four top 20 singles, each of which was released on 7” and 12”.
Me Myself And I, Say No Go, Eye Know and The Magic Number all achieved heavy rotation on UK radio making the album the sound of the summer for many school and college kids.
The 12” single featured here completed the year neatly for the band, doing exactly what it promised on the tin, with 4 New Remixes – one for each of the four singles De La Soul released in 1989.
This was actually the second 12” for The Magic Number single release. The first (BLR14T) featured mixes of Buddy and The Magic Number. The 4 New Remixes 12” was catalogued BLR14R.
Here we’re featuring the Daisy Bass Mix of Eye Know, the remix being provided by Chad Jackson, who became famous for his own heavily sample-laden hit a year later, Hear The Drummer (Get Wicked).
Eye Know itself features elements of Make This Young Lady Mine by The Mad Lads (guitar and horn), Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding (whistle), Peg by Steely Dan (guitar, keyboard, vocal) and Sing A Simple Song by Sly And The Family Stone (drums).
The price we pay for such heavy sample use is that De La Soul have struggled since to sell these classics online, or to share via streaming services such as Spotify.
So much so in fact that in 2014 on the 25th anniversary of 3 Feet And Rising De La Soul made their entire catalogue available for free download for 25 hours simply to get their best-known music out digitally.
Artwork here comes from the Grey Organisation artist collective, who by 1989 had relocated from London to New York where they came up with the Daisy Age concept for De La Soul, where black and white photography was combined with childlike bold primary and pastel colours on sleeves which didn’t have a right way up.
The style is followed through all of De La Soul’s 1989 vinyl releases making this 12” and its sister releases a treasure for their visual strength as well as their equally revolutionary and engaging musical content.
Label: Big Life
Cat No: BLR14R