Song of the Day: SHANNON – Let The Music Play (1983)

In the mid eighties, I would sometimes enliven a dead Saturday afternoon by going to the Queensmere Centre in Slough to watch the breakdancers and boddy poppers. There was usually a healthy crew there with their customised ghetto blasters, each a little smaller than an aircraft carrier. It was there that I first heard this track, but I had no idea what it was or who it was by. It stayed with me, though, and a decade later I heard it again at the Electric Chair night in Manchester (when it was at the Roadhouse). This time I had brains enough to ask somebody what it was.

Shannon is Brenda Shannon Greene from Brooklyn. The brains behind the track, though, was co-producer and co-writer Chris Barbosa. “Let The Music Play” was a fairly groundbreaking record when it came out. It fused the underground electro sounds associated with the likes of Cybotron and Hashim with a disco sensibilty, and a cracking song, and helped to lay the foundations for a whole heap of modern dance styles. It was also one of the first dance records to cross over to a mainstream audience, supposedly selling a million copies in the process. That aside, it’s simply a great record to dance to. It exudes joy, and still sounds fresh nearly a quarter of a century on.


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