what you won't hear on 80's radio
Slave: "Just a Touch of Love"
"Slide" was cooler, actually - the last great 70s funk-band strut; "Just a Touch" was slower, slicker, but just as sly.
Junior: "Mama Used to Say"
A Britfunk classic, perhaps the only one. Not even his Trevor Hornrims could get him on MTV.
Shannon: "Let the Music Play"
The beat that launched a thousand copycats, including Madonna's "Into the Groove".
Living in a Box: "Living in a Box"
From the LP of the same name, and with the requisite Arthur Baker remix.
Talking Heads: "Slippery People"
So funky (in spite of David Byrne), even The Staple Singers covered it.
Nimbler than "Word Up", and just as much a ripoff of Sugar Bonner.
Evelyn "Champagne" King: "I'm in Love"
Synth-driven, and produced by Kashif, who got more mileage out of this than Ms. King.
Tom Browne: "Funkin' for Jamaica"
As in Jamaica, Queens; excellent Woo-like bass. A oft-sampled groove, but resistable to the gatekeepers of pop.
Grace Jones: "Cry Now - Laugh Later"
Sly and Robbie, Barry Reynolds, and the Compass Point posse fashioned a pseudo-JB's groove that was truer than what James Brown himself, in his quest for commercial viability, would be willing to do in those days. The lyrics were a far cry from the playful double entendres of "Pull Up to the Bumper", and maybe helped to keep this song a secret.
George Michael: "Hard Day"
Post-Wham, pre-divahood, here's a humble hip-hop George.