Were you having Now Dance withdrawal symptoms in 1988? There was no instalment for the second successive year and I began to have doubts if I’d ever see another. However Telstar saved the day and stepped in with a fine double CD compilation called Hyperactive! The 12″ Dance Album.
It starts with a bang: Dance Little Sister was Terence Trent D’Arby’s third single and arguably his slickest. This long version was remixed by Shep Pettibone and has a number of false endings. The groove is as tight as hell with a killer vocal. Will Downing’s take on John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme is a lush production of percussive soul. Frankie Knuckles and David Morales bring a celestial vibe to this extended vocal remix. And if that wasn’t enough, Alexander O’Neal’s extended Criticize has a beautiful intro before the heavenly ladies vocals kick in. This pumping dancefloor burner was remixed by Steve Hodge and sounds amazing. Watch out for those divine backing singers out the outro as well.
We’ve got a hot one for you. Almost forgotten today, Was (Not Was) had a massive house hit in 1988 with Spy In The House Of Love. This 12″ side was remixed by the late Derek B. and is magnificent; a joint spinner, a club banger and a huge driving tune. It’s followed by Phil Harding’s 12″ remix of I Want You Back; a timely update for ’88. I’m lovin’ it and Pebbles’ extended jam of Girlfriend. Meanwhile there’s the exquisite House of Hearts remix of Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart. Check out the keyboard solo halfway through. Time for some midnight love: a triple play of lengthy smoothness from the dearly departed Jermaine Stewart and Luther Vandross. Still not 50, Glen Goldsmith’s jazzy Dreaming is proto-New Jack Swing.
The focus shifts to pop for much of disc 2. Tiffany’s 12″ version of I Saw Him Standing There is surprisingly funky and seems to have been erased from public consciousness. Sinitta appears twice with two remixes touched by the hand of Pete Hammond. Cross My Broken Heart and Toy Boy are sparkling SAW productions with quality club mixes to enhance their danceability Heaven-17 style. Pete gets his fingers in many pies as he also touches up I Should Be So Lucky [actually the 7″ edit was cut from this creation]. Then there’s the cake mix of Never Gonna Give You Up. Finally he reworks Sabrina’s Boys (Summertime Love) into a throbbing Euro disco jam.
Switching back to more rhythmic and bluesy material – after the ubiquitous Push It, The Mac Band featuring The McCampbell Brothers cut a mean groove with the elongated Roses Are Red. Then there’s some soul seduction from Barry White on an eight minute version of Sho’ You Right while Billy Ocean is having it large with Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car. The pick of the bunch is Joyce Sims’s Walk Away with its off-key vocals and hip hop beats courtesy of David Cole and Robert Clivillés. A sleeper on Sleeping Bag. Needle to the groove.
Was (Not Was) – Spy In The House Of Love (Dr X In Full Effect)
Alexander O’Neal – Criticize (Extended Version)
Joyce Sims – Walk Away (12″ Club Mix – Hip Hop Style)
Lest we forget
Terence Trent D’Arby – Dance Little Sister (Long Version)
I haven’t forgotten about Tiffany covering I Saw Her Standing There. It’s one of the worst cover versions I’ve ever had the misfortune to hear.
I think it’s ok; the 12″ version is much better than the single mix.