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Latin Freestyle 80s Electro with Bob Stanley


20-09-2023 • 45 min

On Episode 227, we are joined by the acclaimed music writer Bob Stanley, the man behind one of Niall's favourite books Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop and a member of indie-pop group St. Etienne.

To celebrate 10 years of Faber Books are reissuing Yeah Yeah Yeah (with a new chapter taking it up to present day) , along with its prequel Let's Do It: The Birth of Pop (the definitive story of the birth of Pop, from 1900 to the mid-fifties), both on paperback.

Along with the books, Bob Stanley also put together a compilation for Ace Records called Latin Freestyle - New York/Miami 1983 - 1992, in his wordsa crashing electro-funk sub genre of dance music.

It was the aural equivalent of a can of thirst-quenching Quatro or a Spanish Harlem dance-off, and it became the electronically constructed bridge between disco and house.

Latin Freestyle grew out of electro, and was a more female-fronted classic pop version with frequently Latina vocals, bleepy synth riffs, proto-house piano lines, drum machine hits and lyrics that harked back to '60s girl groups teenage concerns of heartbreak, boys and dancing.

We talk to Bob about the books and this subgenre of electro music that developed in New York and Miami in the early 80s and included Madonna, Debbie Deb, Shannon, Alisha, Company B, Lisa Lisa, Exposé, Taylor Dane and went on to influence music from the Bee Gees' Robin Gibb, Pet Shop Boys, Freeez and more.

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