CBS's MIXED MASTERS CD compilations [1989]

In 1987, noted DJ and remixer John "Jellybean" Benitez conceived and compiled what he called "the D.J.'s Collection Of Dance Club Classics" a two record set of songs that were becoming harder and harder to find. Columbia issued Let's Dance! on vinyl and single disc CD and then began a much larger but similarly themed project.  It should be noted that in order to fit all the songs on the CD, some of them were edited.

From 1987 to 1990, CBS and its affiliated labels in the United States issued a series of twelve inch vinyl singles containing many of the hottest dance tracks, rarities and remixes in their collective vaults from the Seventies and Eighties. They dubbed the series Mixed Masters (above). (HERC bought nearly two dozen of these singles as he was rebuilding his music collection in 1988-1989 and still has half a dozen of them.) Over in the Netherlands at the same time, Mixed Masters (below) were released on new-fangled 3" CDs that came with a free adaptor so they would fit in CD player trays.  Nearly sixty different singles were released on vinyl and HERC has managed to catalog at least half that many on 3" CD.  While some of the tracks were extended or remixed in some way upon their original release, many were just the full-length album versions.

Also in 1989, CBS Netherlands issued compilations of the Mixed Masters singles on standard 5" compact discs, with nine tracks per disc.  HERC was able to track down six volumes (1-6) of the series and hasn't been able to determine if there were any others.  All track titles and artist are listed on the front cover of each disc.

1 Dan Hartman – Instant Replay 8:18
2 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Don't Leave Me This Way 11:02
3 Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam With Full Force – I Wonder If I Take You Home (Extended Version) 6:44
4 The S.O.S. Band – Take Your Time (Do It Right) 7:35
6 Herbie Hancock – Future Shock 8:00
7 The Romantics – Talking In Your Sleep 5:34
8 The Clash – The Magnificent Seven 2:18
9 Dead Or Alive – Something In My House (Mortevicar Mix) 6:57

1 McFadden & Whitehead – Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now 10:44
2 The O'Jays – Love Train  6:15
3 Wham! – Young Guns (Go For It) 6:54
4 The Three Degrees – Dirty Ol' Man 8:21
5 Marlena Shaw – Love Dancin' 7:59
6 Melba Moore – You Stepped Into My Life 7:48
7 Heatwave – Boogie Nights 4:36
8 Earth, Wind & Fire – Magnetic (Extended Dance Remix) 6:22
9 The Weather Girls – Land Of The Believer 4:34

1 Herbie Hancock – Rockit 5:24
2 Melba Moore – Pick Me Up, I'll Dance 6:59
3 The O'Jays – I Love Music 9:46
4 The Romantics – What I Like About You 2:56
5 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Bad Luck 8:00
6 The Jacksons – Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) 8:37
7 The Clash – This Is Radio Clash 8:19
8 MFSB Featuring The Three Degrees – Love Is The Message 11:31
9 Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam With Full Force – I Wonder If I Take You Home (Extended Version)* 6:45
   (*repeated from Volume One)

2 The Jacksons – Can You Feel It (Long Version) 6:00
4 The Three Degrees – When Will I See You Again 2:58
5 Wham! – Bad Boys (Vocal Version) 4:58
6 MFSB Featuring The Three Degrees – T.S.O.P. (The Sound Of Philadelphia) 5:41
7 Marlena Shaw – Touch Me In The Morning (12" Version) 7:19
8 Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam With Full Force – Can You Feel The Beat 6:52
9 Herbie Hancock – Vibe Alive (Extended Dance Mix) 8:11

1 The Jacksons – Heartbreak Hotel 5:42
2 Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine – Dr. Beat (Long Version) 6:28
3 Brainstorm – Hot For You 10:40
4 Sly Stone – Everyday People 5:56
5 Earth, Wind & Fire With The Emotions – Boogie Wonderland 8:17
6 Deniece Williams – Free 5:57
7 Third World – Try Jah Love 6:49
8 Alexander O'Neal With Cherrelle – Never Knew Love Like This (Extended Version) 5:40
9 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – The Love I Lost 6:21

1 Sly Stone – Dance To The Music 6:36
2 The Jacksons – Blame It On The Boogie 6:58
3 Cherrelle – I Didn't Mean To Turn You On 6:23
4 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Wake Up Everybody 7:33
5 Third World – Dancing On The Floor (Hooked On Love) 5:37
6 Earth, Wind & Fire – Serpentine Fire 5:03
7 Gloria Estefan And Miami Sound Machine – I Need A Man 5:57
8 Deniece Williams – Let's Hear It For The Boy 6:01
9 S.O.S. Band – No Lies 6:03

Club Columbia Volume One came out in 1990 and consisted entirely of songs that had been issued as Mixed Masters. Unfortunately, no further volumes were released but beginning in 1990 and running through 1996, Sony/CBS/Epic featured many of these Mixed Masters on CD and vinyl here in the States on a series of six discs called Club Epic. In 1997, Sony/CBS/Epic issued a handful of Mixed Masters singles on vinyl with newly designed covers (below) which lacked the peek-a-boo window the first generation of Mixed Masters had.

Finally, from 2003 and running up through 2013, Netherlands' legendary DJ Ben Liebrand has been raiding record label vaults for dance classics or as he calls them "the roots of his career", remastering the tracks and then issuing them as Grand 12-Inches, 4CD sets on the Sony label.  A lot of the Mixed Masters have appeared on these collections as well although HERC didn't hear any on 2013's special six disc, sixty-four track 10th Anniversary of the Grand 12-Inches series (below).


  1. "Mixed Masters" on CD?? Very cool, Herc! Although, as you point out, most of the tracks found their way onto the domestic "Club Epic/Columbia" collections. Bought all of those when released (except for 'Volume 4', which overlapped a bit too much with what I already had on disc).

    You didn't ask, but I'll tell you... My favorites (in order) are: "Club Epic 3", "Epic 5", "Club Columbia", "Epic 2", "Epic 1", and "Epic 6".

  2. Taking a break from working on the next Radio Daze (Revisted) mix to drop little ol' HERC a comment?

    Aren't you the sweetest thing, providing a list and all?

    HERC supposes a Mixed Masters checklist is in order as he couldn't find one when he needed it. List of songs with twelve inch single, Club Epic/Columbia and Grand 12-Inches availability should do the trick.

    If you haven't picked up any of the Grand 12-Inches sets, HERC highly recommends them. Probably the best sounding versions of most of the songs. With restored or preserved wide dynamic range as well.

    Now get your patootieo back in the studio and let the smoothness flow.