Now Dance ’91 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1991)

Now Dance 91

Now Dance 91 r

Now Dance ’91 saw the start of a new direction for the series. The previous six volumes had concentrated on 12″ mixes; now it was time to ditch that approach and give us the same number of tracks (20) as 7″ edits. The end result was a hotly-mixed 77 minute CD while vinyl fans had to be content with a single platter. I’ve never heard it but can only imagine how bad it sounds. Is there anybody out there that can clarify?

The first of our 20 blissful grooves is PM Dawn’s floaty Set Adrift On Memory Bliss. Two young brothers from New Jersey – DJ Minutemix and Prince Be. A flowing rhythm with the vocals softly following the sound of the song. Perfect sync with the beats. True. Zoë made it second time lucky with the positive vibes of Sunshine On A Rainy Day. All thanks to Youth’s tweaking. The Incognito project pitted Jean-Paul Maunick [Bluey] and Jocelyn Brown together for the upfront Always There. The barometer steps up a notch with Cathy Dennis and her first big solo hit, the endlessly catchy Touch Me (All Night Long). Also making a big splash that summer were Heavy D and The Boyz. Now That We’ve Found Love is the bomb – a boss hip hop classic. You can’t touch this.

It’s a family affair: the Fairbrass brothers, Fred and Richard joined up with guitar virtuoso Rob Manzoli for the gleeful anthem I’m Too Sexy while the super-fresh Do You Want Me saw Salt ‘N’ Pepa back in the UK top five. Grease-samplers De La Soul made it seven top 30 hits with the joyous A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays”. Promote the hustle, make ill use of The Mighty Ryders’ Evil Vibrations and cut loose with a marvelous intro. Time for the electro oddity People Are Still Having Sex. LaTour is the dude. “Nothing seems to stop them”. Meanwhile D’Bora and Dream About You was just getting ready for a mainstream release having ruled the clubs during August ’91. This crucial cut was written and produced by Steve “Silk” Hurley.

Essex techno wizard Liam Howlett was the main man behind The Prodigy. Charly announced their arrival that summer. It sampled one of the Charley Says BBC Public Information Films from the 1970s. This went on to inspire a rush of copycat rave tunes that also relied on samples from children’s programmes. The version here sounds like a slightly shorter edit of the Alley Cat Mix. Elsewhere the ohms fry harder with with the Utah Saints’ Eurythmics + Gwen Guthrie-laden hypnosis of What Can You Do For Me. The KLF presented the third and final part of their Stadium House Trilogy – Last Train To Trancentral. Needless to say it was jubilant, frantic, wholly self-referential and was accompanied by a seminal and mind-blowing Top Of The Pops appearance. The crowded stage, the football scarves, the uplifting string-orchestrated break, the Mu Mu! chants, white robes and horns. Utterly magnificent and I don’t think I’ll ever see their like again.

Rozalla’s uplifting Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) and Frankie Knuckles’ innovative house groove that is The Whistle Song continue this anthemic vibe. Unknown at the time of release was the intriguing break-laden Breathing Is E-Zee from Jeremy Healy’s E-Zee Possee. Tara Newley [daughter of Joan Collins and Anthony Newley] on vocals. It’s followed by the coolly devastating Apparently Nothing by The Young Disciples before DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince drop their shimmering heatwave classic Summertime. We ease into a relaxed blissful mood with Quartz and Dina Carroll’s classy remake of Carole King’s It’s Too Late. Last man standing is classically trained British singer Omar Lye-Fook. His time in the limelight came with a remix of nu-soul stepper There’s Nothing Like This. A somewhat prophetic tune and a fine jazzy conclusion. Bryter Layter.

“Ecstasy the word of the night”.

Favourite tracks
The KLF – Last Train To Trancentral (Live From The Lost Continent)

Cathy Dennis – Touch Me (All Night Long)

De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named “Saturdays”

Lest we forget
Omar – There’s Nothing Like This

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7 Responses to Now Dance ’91 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1991)

  1. Feel the Quality says:

    I can’t see Omar now without thinking of his great appearance on Buzzcocks, when Mark Lamarr ripped the piss out of him and he actually appeared on the ID Parade a few weeks later. Back when NMTB was essential viewing.

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