Now Dance 903 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1990)

Now Dance 903

Now Dance 903 r

Review
And then there were three. Just in time for Halloween 1990, Now Dance 903 continues the high standards set by Now Dance 901 and Now Dance 902.

Technotronic crowned a very successful year with the release of their Megamix at the end of September. It fuses Pump Up The Jam, Get Up (Before The Night Is Over), This Beat is Technotronic, Rockin’ Over The Beat and Move This into a fiery cauldron of molten hip house and new beat. We get the extended version; if you want the 7″ mix then look no further than Now That’s What I Call Music 18. The same can be said for Betty Boo’s underrated Where Are You Baby – the 12″ is a quality Rhythm King production. Upbeat, positive, fun and doesn’t have an ounce of fat. Next up are Twenty 4 Seven featuring Captain Hollywood. I Can’t Stand It (Club Remix) is the work of Bob Forest and plays like an epic odyssey complete with a sample of Kraftwerk’s Robots.

That Man (He’s All Mine) saw the return of those latter day Detroit spinners, Inner City [Paris Grey and Kevin Saunderson]. It’s cut from the same cloth as the Paradise material but isn’t as immediate. Time for a US #1 now – Glenn Medeiros’ hard-bitten She Ain’t Worth It which includes a cool rap from Bobby Brown [“a diss and a goodbye“]. Way better than Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You. Set the controls for the heart of the bass: Fascinating Rhythm was conceived in a London launderette when remixer-about-town William Orbit met vocalist Musgrove. You’ll get goosebumps when it kicks in. Late summer 1990: London, Dublin and Waterford. A wicked time was had by all.

What Time Is Love? became one of The KLF’s central tracks, dubbed their “three-note warhorse of a signature tune” by Bill Drummond. This was a reference to the three-note bassline which, together with a high-pitched refrain on two notes (B bending to F#), characterises the song. It started with a Pure Trance version in 1988; the 1990 remix – known as Live At Trancentral – is effectively a self-administered cover. The first of the Stadium House Trilogy, a techno reworking of the original. Added are vocal samples, a new bassline, a new house rhythm and a self-proclaiming rap which was performed by Isaac Bello. All the way to #5 on the UK chart.

Stevie V followed by Dirty Cash with Body Language (Hot Mix). It roars out of the speakers and comes with a great bassline and immaculate production. It’s followed by Monie Love’s inventive re-working of The Spinners’ 1970 hit It’s A Shame. A vocal beatbox; positive rap vibes. A real New York feel despite the London stamp. Let’s get Red, Hot and Blue. This project was launched to 1989 with the purpose of tackling AIDS misinformation and to educate people about the disease. A bunch of happening artists got together to cut some Cole Porter covers from which, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, was given a fruity makeover by Neneh Cherry complete with a stern opening rap. This Brixton Bass Mix features additional production by Blacksmith.

“Cover me in ecstasy”.

The second half gets underway with Blue Pearl’s Naked In The Rain (12″ Extended Mix). That’s Durga McBloom and Youth from Killing Joke. A big tune with a killer beat. To some super heavy bass – LFO were one of Warp’s early signings; two blokes from Yorkshire. Jez Varley and the late Mark Bell. It stands for Low-Frequency Oscillator and such was the depth of the said frequency that some club systems could register the bass sound. A #12 hit in July 1990, the album Frequencies would follow in 1991. More memories of London; caned on a late 1998 visit to Streatham. On the discman, on the stereo. An unforgettable IDM track and a salute to those people who say fuck you.

Dream E forever: The Soup Dragons jammed the indie disco dancefloor rush with their cover of the Rolling Stones’ I’m Free. A new version of Lovegod LP track Mother Universe was the hedonistic follow-up. The extended version is a blast; baggy overload, backing singers a la Primal Scream and wildly euphoric.
“Glow with all the colours of the rainbow”.
We keep snorting the Madchester spirit with the next track, The Farm’s Groovy Train. A Terry Farley remix propelled this to #6 in September. Electribe 101’s chilled beat classic You’re Walking follows; a drop-dead vocal from Billie Ray Martin.
(Electribal) Memories are made of these.

“Sort your life out”.
I wasn’t expecting Loose Ends to still be around in 1990. The group who gave us the glorious Hangin’ On A String (Contemplating) and Magic Touch only had Carl McIntosh left from that 1985 line-up. The extended cut of Don’t Be A Fool is a surprisingly effective house party R&B jam. It’s a London thing. Innocence’s Let’s Push It is a little more uptempo that the relaxed Natural Thing but retains a jazzy feel with some massive beat action and Gee Morris’ relaxing voice. Meanwhile the Young Disciples joined forces with Bobby Byrd’s daughter Carleen on the soulful Get Yourself Together while Beats International had their third hit of the year with Burundi Blues. Janet “Silly Games” guests on the latter which also comes with a sample of Jesus On The Payroll by the Thrashing Doves. See Balearic Beats – The Album Vol. 1.

Together comprised Jonathon Donaghy and Suddi Raval. They met at a rave organised by Blackburn’s Hardcore Uproar. The track of the same name was pressed as a white label with the intention of getting some airplay in the Hacienda. However it grew so popular that a commercial release followed with the record reaching #12 on the UK chart. It’s easy to see why – Hardcore Uproar is an absolute diamond, one of the greatest tunes of the era. Airhorn and whistles. An epic rush. Jonathon’s girlfriend Emma provided the vocals on fellow Mancunian Vini Reilly’s The Together Mix. Sadly there was no happy ending as both Jonathon and Emma died in an Ibiza road accident during September 1990 – just one month after achieving national fame with Hardcore Uproar.

“More powerful than you can possibly imagine”.

Favourite tracks
LFO – LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)

The KLF featuring The Children Of The Revolution – What Time Is Love? (Live At Trancentral)

Together – Hardcore Uproar

Lest we forget
Bass-O-Matic – Fascinating Rhythm

Missing tracks and other thoughts
These three volumes of Now Dance are a highpoint in the wider Now story. We had now reached NOD 6 but the series would not be the same again. Now Dance ’91 featured 7″ versions and radio edits and aside from one notable exception [read more about this on 5 March 2015], all remaining releases would follow this pattern.

If you were to distill the essential tracks from the group of 60 onto one CD then this would be a suitable running order:

The Best Of Now Dance 1990
01 Gino Latino – Welcome (Long Version)
02 The KLF featuring The Children Of The Revolution – What Time Is Love? (Live At Trancentral)
03 LFO – LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)
04 Lil’ Louis and The World – I Called U (Original Mix)
05 Mantronix featuring Wondress – Take Your Time (Club/Dub)
06 Dusty Springfield – In Private (Shep Pettibone Remix)
07 Bass-O-Matic – Fascinating Rhythm
08 Electra – Destiny (The Rave Mix)
09 Movement 98 featuring Carroll Thompson – Joy And Heartbreak
10 BBG – Snappiness
11 Together – Hardcore Uproar

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3 Responses to Now Dance 903 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1990)

  1. Pingback: Now That’s What I Call Music 18 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1990) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  2. Pingback: Just Seventeen – Get Kickin’ (Dover, 1990) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  3. Pingback: Now That’s What I Call Music 1990 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1993) | A Pop Fan's Dream

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