Boys Own was the name given to a collective of like-minded DJ's and wideboys at the back end of the 80's. These wideboys just so happened to kick start a British revolution in response to both the explosion of House music happening stateside and some less savory British takes on the emergent youth quake.
Boys own established a true underground culture from which their take on House could thrive, and their Boys Own fanzine was instrumental in this. Taking some initial influence from Liverpool football/Casual fanzine The End, the boys Own posse added a more open ended manifesto to their pages. A truly hedonistic call to arms but almost mod in it's outlook and attitude. The core posse was made up of Terry Farley, Andrew Weatherall, Steve maze and Cymon Eckles and from fanzine to the first documented outdoor raves to a groundbreaking British record label - not to mention a load of truly life changing records, BO in there time were some serious geezers.
The label JBO brought the likes of stadium house giants The Chemical brothers, Underworld and X-Press 2 into the world, but there's so much more than that in the JBO story. And everyone has their own take or their own preferences. For me it's all about a hand full of boundary breaking genre smashing life affirming moments, most of them involve Andrew Weatherall - still one of my hero's to this day.
• Bocca Juniors 'Raise' a tune that still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. This band was basically the Boys Own super group.
• Andrew Weatherall's remix of 'Soon' by My Bloody Valentine, this came out on creation but was later featured on a box set of Junior Boys Own's essential label related picks. Essential is definitely one word to describe this music, another two would be 'life changing'.
• One Dove's cover version of Dolly Parton's Jolene, underrated Scottish indie dance wonders One Dove take the Dollywood classic and turn it into an epic Dub House masterpiece - all under the guiding hand of yes... Andrew Weatherall. One Dove's singer Dot Alison went on to make some brilliant solo albums and work with Death in Vegas.
• Terry Farley's sublime and 'last word' remix of Primal Screams 'Loaded' the tune that cracked open the last resistance of indie kids to house music.
• Black Science Orchestra's 'New Jersey Deep' out and out classic of it's era.
• The Chemical brothers 'Leave Home' from their beginnings as the Dust Brothers (not the US Dust brothers) there was always something special about these two geeks, you cant argue with this.
• Ballistic brothers 'Peckings' this joyous slice of neo Ska came from their 'London Hooligan Soul' album which managed to distill all of the bands influences from the Jam and The Clash through Ska and Dub to Jazz Funk and deep house.
• DSK - 'What Would We Do' - total headrush anthem that was recently sampled by grime star Wiley on his smash hit 'Rolex'.
• Substance - another killer track by Bocca Juniors, that still sounds soooo exciting - beamed in from a punk rock house nation in outer-space. The sleeve is fantastic too.
• ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART - Weatherall mix, those who know it know it, i hope you know it. Beautiful. Bliss. Heavenly. Perfection. Actually came out on St Etienne's Heavenly label but it fit's into the JBO scrapbook so perfectly that nitpicking is irrelevant.
• Happy Mondays 'Hallelujah' Club mix - the most important rock 'n' roll band of the acidhousequake era get the Boys own treatment (a colab between Weatherall and Oakenfold), not that they needed it as they were on that wavelength anyway. GENIUS
There's loads of others, you may have your own, but those are mine.
I never had any of the original fanzines so it'll be interesting to read some of Weatherall's old ramblings, and to get a sneaky read of some frontline banter from back in the day.
Also Splash One cohort Mike Porter bought one of the original Boys Own Clockwork Orange style logo T-shirts at the time. He has still got it and over the years I've offered him money, even the very fine satorial authority - Eleven clothing Emporium in Sunderland have offered him cash so they can frame it on the wall, so iconic and strong a symbol of a great time now lost is that classic T-shirt that people who lived through the era melt at the mere sight of that graphic.
So then this compilation and book, a tiny reminder of some good time's past.
But all said and done fuck it and live for today looking to tomorrow - don't spend too much time looking back - it's what they they would have wanted.