Dance music supplier Central Station Records is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month by releasing a series of CDs featuring a retrospective of dance music from the past three decades.

The music has been split into three separate compilations -“ the early years (1976-1990), the house years (1991+) and the hard years (1996-present).

There’s also a limited edition three-disc set featuring music from the whole 30 years, plus a DVD documentary about Central Station’s history.

The albums are a trip down memory lane for anyone who’s been to a nightclub since the late 70s. Take the first album, 30 Years Of Central Station Records, The History Of Dance Music In Australia: The Early Years.

Mixed by Paul Goodyear and Jo Palumbo, it includes the tracks You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate, Atomic by Blondie and I Feel Love by Donna Summer.

Next up is The House Years compilation, mixed by Groove Terminator and Matt Nugent, featuring Addicted To Bass by Josh Abrahams, Gypsy Woman by Crystal Waters and Sing It Back by Moloko.

The Hard Years set, mixed by Nick Skitz and BeXta, has 9pm (Till I Come) by ATB, In The Evening by Sheryl Lee Ralph and Tricky Tricky by Busted DJs.

There’s also a national tour, with club nights being held around the country to celebrate.

In Sydney The Early Years party is at Stonewall on Sunday 14 May. The House Years party is at Arthouse on Saturday 13 May. The Hard Years party will be at Home this Friday 5 May.

The first Central Station Records store was opened by Giuseppe Jo Palumbo, an Italian immigrant, in Melbourne in 1975. The shop became the supplier for Melbourne’s growing DJ scene, importing decks, mixers and a large collection of 12-inch singles.

With the rise in popularity of hip-hop, house and acid house music -“ Central Station’s specialty -“ the demand for CDs grew. In 1986 Central Station Records -“ the label -“ was born and a year later new stores were opened in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane.

In the 1990s house and hip-hop went mainstream, and Palumbo relocated the Central Station headquarters to Sydney. The Sydney store, located on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst -“ the city’s dance club central -“ became the most popular store.

By 1992 the company was manufacturing its own products. Central released a number of tracks which went on to do massive business, including This Is It by Ruth Campbell, Here’s Johnny by Hocus Pocus and Total Eclipse Of The Heart by British singer Nikki French.

Come the late 90s, the musical styles upon which Central Station was founded -“ dance music, R&B, hip-hop, electronica -“ had now crossed over into the mainstream. In 1997, Central Station released the first compilation for dance radio station Wild FM, which proved extremely popular.

The company now believes the future for the label is in developing artists rather than chasing one-hit-wonders, a spokesperson said, as well as continuing to release more dance compilations.

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