Building a 1995 Wall of Fame proved to be trickier than we thought...
"Online speech communities share ways of speaking that capture the meanings that are important to them and the logics that underlie their common sensibilities. Groups share insider lingo including acronyms, vocabulary words, genres, styles and forms of play."
Nancy K. Baym: Personal Connections in the Digital Age: 2010
'95WOF is an excellent example of the kind of insider lingo Nancy K. Baym describes above. It's a term that's used frequently in Sales threads on crate-digging forums such as Soul Strut and Waxidermy. In the broadest sense it refers to records that were considered to be heat in 1995 and were therefore expensive and worthy of display on the walls of record shops in that year.
1995 is a significant date to forum members for several reasons. When the Soul Strut forum began in 2000 many of the first regular members were fans of Hip Hop and had been heavily involved in crate digging throughout the 90s. They had spent much of that decade digging the crates for records with breaks and samples on and the early web adopters amongst them had also been avid readers of Soul Man's World Of Beats and regular signatories to The Crates Mailing List.
In 1995 the legendary Roosevelt Hotel Record Conventions in New York were in full swing uniting record dealers with Hip Hop producers and beatheads keen to source records that hadr either already been sampled or better still, fresh sounds that hadn't been used yet .
Differences of opinion
Almost 20 years on some confusion arises in trying to construct an ideal '95 WOF owing to differences of opinion about its definition. The term is rarely used on the VG+ forum but when I posted a thread about it many record collectors there knew the kinds of LPs it embraced but as suggestions began flooding in queries and questions also arose.
- Should a '95 WOF only contain LPs that were sampled?
Some were insistent the '95WOF concept is firmly rooted in Roosevelt show discoveries and any other LPs that were heavily sampled by top US Hip Hop producers in the early 90s.
- If a record was cheap or easily sourced is it '95 Browser Bin?
Should much-sampled records that were cheap and easy to find back then be included? George Semper, Ronnie Foster, Jimmy McGriff, Weldon Irvine and Serge Gainsbourg were all cited as expensibe now but cheap to pick up back in the day.
- Should first wave 'UBB' sample LPs be on the Wall?
The Incredible Bongo Band for example. Was it still on the wall in 1995 and even if it was should it be counted?
- Should sought-after LPs from the 90s Jazz, Soul and Latin scenes be included?
There was some debate about record shop walls having big hitters from these scenes but should they count?
- Are any of these LPs later than the '95 WOF?
Fifty Foot Hose, Electric Prunes, Silver Apples? Some confusion also comes from Mo Majid's 95beats Wall Of Fame CDs which were compiled closer to 1999 and appear to have stronger contenders for a 2000 WOF.
- 1995: The general concensus was that 1995 was too early for library big-hitters
Taking It To Soul Strut
We've bumped questionable / questioned / queried '95 WOF suggestions to the bottom and like the Price Is Right would welcome shouts of 'up' or 'down' from Soul Strut members. It may look provocative seeing Stark Reality, The Voices Of East Harlem and Lialeh near the bottom but how sampled were they in 1995?
We'd also welcome shouts of 'on' or 'off' to add glaring ommissions that aren't here yet or remove interlopers that really don't belong here.
It's highly likely we'll never arrive at a perfect '95 WOF but we'll be more than happy just to get twenty or thirty rock solid contenders to the top of the page as a visual representation of this retroactively applied 100% music forum construct.
In May 2014 the cement on this wall will set permanently and it'll be a case of 'It is what it is' and a subject for musicologists of the future to ponder over.
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