Spring ’95 and time for Level 4. The centre pages open into a massive zone logo from Qd Design Limited. Upfront are Alex Party, East 17, N-Trance, The Real McCoy, The Brand New Heavies, Perfecto Allstarz, Deuce, JX, Nightcrawlers, Mory Kante, Corona, Clock.
Don’t Give Me Your Life reached #2 in Ireland, Israel and the UK, plus it topped the Club Record category at Music Week’s 1995 Awards. The next song makes me turning back my memory clock to the late ’80s and I remember both Pig Bag and Big Pig as graffiti on an unapproachable person’s pencil case. Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag had an amazing bassline; much too bright for post-punk. In January 1995, Paul Oakenfold released the addictive Reach Up, credited to the Perfecto Allstarz. A fav of Mitch’s. Anthems abound on Nightcrawlers’ Push The Feeling On, N-Trance’s Set You Free and Clock’s Axel F. Don’t you forget about Deuce’s poptastic Call It Love which is followed by the Human League’s Tell Me When, their biggest hit for nine years. Purchased just after Christmas in Virgin. Ready to wear: the joyful Close To You by The Brand New Heavies coupled with Mory Kante’s expansive Yeke Yeke, caned by Tom and Emma in the bedsits of Beechwood Avenue. Working those Euro dance moves are Corona on the simply wonderful Baby Baby.
“A generation without soul” wonders MC Sar on the evocative Run Away, the outstanding follow-up to Another Night. Adapting their sound were Snap, a throwback to the heady 1990-1992 period on the sublime Welcome To Tomorrow. Joo talks: “The nursery rhyme synth riff which goes throughout the song and especially under the Hocus pocus turn around, ain’t no magic at around.” Thank you for the days – there’s Whigfield’s carbon copy Another Day and East 17’s Stay Another Day pumped up in Less Sad Mix guise. Time for True Faith ’94, used to promote the November ’94 Best Of, a popular Christmas present. Next, another winter hit, M People’s Sight For Sore Eyes, the lead single from Bizarre Fruit. Less cerebral are Reel 2 Reel plus The Mad Stuntman on Can You Feel It while Driza Bone let Real Love have a second crack (#24 vs #16 in 1991). Bringing us to half time, Ultimate Kaos representing teenage London on the smooth Hoochie Booty.
CD2 brings us on a somewhat less familiar road. Some big ‘uns: Loveland’s powerful Let The Music (Lift You Up) and Lovestation’s uptempo Love Come Rescue Me. Plus more: Strike’s handbag classic U Sure Do and JX’s shimmering You Belong To Me; the latter summoning up the sensation of being in a fast car, windows open on a warm night. Move around the zone for Mr Roy’s party classic Saved – as Kee Lo says “Great track that used the BBC’s cricket theme nicely. Very euphoric and typical of the Eurodance movement of 1994.” Back once again or a slight return? Wildchild’s slammin’ Legends Of The Dark Black Part 2. A drop into the dark side on Giant City’s Feel The Spirit, a Hacienda memory for some as the North Mix Edit kicks in. And then a nice reggae detour with Sharon Forrester’s jungle-tinged Love Inside before the big, fat and heavy beats of Leviticus’ Burial. That one came from Freebird’s basement on Eden Quay. And taking it right back are Greed featurng Ricardo Da Force with a wicked version of Pump Up The Volume.
Quarter 4 opens with Ace Of Base and the doomy remix of Living In Danger courtesy of Armand Van Helden. In the name of love: Coming Out Crew’s Free, Gay & Happy. 23 years on, I’m still blown away by Moby’s Everytime You Touch Me. Its killer chorus and soaring melody along with the uplifting vibe – a true sound of Moyne Road. The nostalgic feeling continues with the arrival of Passion from Jon Of The Pleased Wimmin. Remember that on The Word? Get your hands in the air for Escrima AKA Tall Paul’s Train Of Thought – we all did at the Ormond Multi Media centre. Elsewhere, The Tabernacle give us the righteous I Know The Lord while Swing 52’s warehouse groove Colour Of My Skin still packs a punch. One of the forgotten hip hop records of the era is Darkman’s cutting and edgy Yabba Dabba Doo, inspired by a documentary on the killing of Stephen Lawrence. Quality London beats. Equally sublime is D*Note’s joyful acid jazzer The Garden Of Earthly Delights. Lastly, a call to arms from Outrage, a belter called Tall ‘n’ Handsome.
“And he’s got to be free”
Corona – Baby Baby
Darkman – Yabba Dabba Doo
Brand New Heavies – Close To You
Escrima – Train Of Thought
D*Note – The Garden Of Earthly Delights (X-Press 2 Radio Edit)
Lest we forget
Leviticus – Burial