Peak UK Chart Position: #18 in October 1990.
On the way up one place to its peak chart position on this day in 1990 was the second all-Manchester collaboration between 20 year old Nicky Lockett, aka MC Tunes, and the group that named themselves after the Roland TR-808 drum machine, 808 State.
“Pacific State” was the saxophone-orientated debut single for 808 State in 1989, which was initially championed by Gary Davies on Radio 1. and was the first of their four top ten singles, peaking at number ten. “The Only Rhyme That Bites” was the second, also peaking at number ten six months later, and featured Moss Side-born MC Tunes, who would eventually go on to form the Dust Junkys in 1995 – responsible for a track called “Rinse (Beatbox Wash)” which would go on to be used in Fatboy Slim’s “Gangster Trippin'”.
808 State would ascend to number ten a third time with “Cubik/Olympic” later in 1990 before their biggest hit – charting one place higher – “In Yer Face” in February 1991. They also created the theme tune for Channel 4’s ‘The Word’, from which we feature this excellent performance. Terry Christian introduces “Tunes Splits The Atom” here, and LL Cool J also appears on the sofa. Totally live, and lots of reverb going on…