Chicago’s airwaves were thick with house in 1985. The city’s indigenous dance music revolution which had begun just two years before, was now in full bloom. At the time, Tom Adams was building a following as a DJ on Chicago’s southeast side under the moniker Tommy Thumbs as the sole resident of the spacious Onyx nightclub on 63rd Street. Looking to other house crews, such as the Hot Mix 5 or Chosen Few, Tom created his own version: Tommy Thumbs came to gigs equipped with the E.S.P. (Essential Sound Productions) soundsystem. With ever more DJs experimenting with drum machines and synthesizers, Tommy’s experience playing live music as a drummer compelled him to join them, too.
He recruited Daniel Ellington, an old childhood friend and fellow musician, to help round out E.S.P.
Together, in late 1985, they wrote an enduring house music classic, “It’s You.”