Summer is officially here and all kinds of music marketeers are offering us what they’re calling “the perfect summer soundtrack” (or something like that). Well if you’re a child of the 80s and/or a lover of classic soul and R&B from there or thereabouts, then Universal has something that will fit that “perfect” bill.

To tie in with the heat wave (more luck than accurate weather forecasting, me thinks) they’ve just released this ab fab 3CD, 55 track compilation that’s named for the Montell Jordan smash, ‘This Is How We Do It’ and listening across the three silver discs , this, indeed , was how we did it!

All the big hitters and all the big tunes of that era are included – things like Bobby Brown’s ‘Every Little Step’, Mary J’s ‘Real Love’, Zhane’s ‘Hey Mr DJ and ‘Request Line’, Keith Sweat’s ‘I Want You, Shanice’s ‘I Love Your Smile’, the Whitehead Bros’  ‘Forgot I Was G’ and the always welcome, evergreen ‘Optimistic’ from the Sounds of Blackness.

There are plenty of lesser-known gems too and when tunes like Melvin Riley’s Goin’ Thru A Thang’, Christopher Williams’ ‘Every Little Thing You Do’, Today’s ‘Why You Get Funky On Me’ and/or Teddy Riley’s ‘Is It Good’ come on, I guarantee that they’ll raise a smile and make you realise how much you’ve missed ’em.

Good too to see there’s a strong Brit contingent in the mix – Beverley Knight’s ‘Flavour Of The Old School’, Mark Morrison’s ‘Return of the Mack’ and Soul II Soul’s ‘Keep On Movin” amongst ’em.

The PR people tell us that this collection’s title cut is James Corden’s favourite song of all time; I’ll bet that there are loads and loads of you out there who, amongst this 55 strong treasure trove, will find your own particular fave!

(BB) 4/5