The Best Of Dance ’93 saw Telstar increase the track count from 32 to 40 – in line with other end of year rivals. As I’ve been listening to a lot of ’93 compilations in recent weeks, I find it a overly-familiar selection but it works well as a snapshot of the year’s dance heat.
We lead with a very strong suit – Culture Beat’s still amazing Mr Vain. Next: Haddaway’s Life [instead of the more immmediate What Is Love], Snap’s slow-burning Exterminate and Urban Cookie Collective’s energy rush The Key, The Secret. Sub Sub were Doves in another life; Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use) is a no-nonsense taut groove sung by Melanie Williams. After the primitive rhythms of Tribal Dance, The Shamen seduce with the sparkling Phorever People. On Junior Boys Own are local house project, X-Press 2 with the powerful London Underground edit of Say What! Equally urgent are Sunscreem and the banging melodies of Pressure. Next stop: Utah Saints epic Believe In Me.
1993 was a great year for The Prodigy with The Experience selling by the truckload and the seeds sown for the next phase. The edgy Out Of Space is here and bleeds into the extremely busy sound of Cappella’s U Got 2 Know and Usuru’s Open Your Mind. Then it’s back to disco roots on Evolution’s Everybody Dance before Robin S and her pleading Show Me Love. Zhane take us back to the fresh house party R&B sound on the smooth Hey Mr DJ. Fresh and princely. And Taylor Dayne returned with an awesome cover of Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love. She’s in good company as Sarah Washington gives I Will Always Love A Decent Rattle and Lula’s eternal youth continues on Independence. CD1 concludes with Sure Is Pure’s super ’93 update of Sister Sledge’s We Are Family.
CD2: It’s a boombastic start with Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince and Ace Of Base. The BPMs come down a notch on the supreme R&B goodness of SWV’s Right Here and Shara Nelson’s introspective Down That Road. Then it’s Dina Carroll’s killer jazzy monster of Express rubbing shoulders with the urban city sounds of M People’s How Can I Love You More and Gabrielle’s Dreams. Meanwhile Lisa Stansfield hits the spot with the future shock of Someday (I’m Coming Back) complete with cool sax break. The Rochdale queen is followed by Jade’s slick Don’t Walk Away and Arrested Development’s thoughtful hip hop for the homeless Mr Wendal. 3 years, 5 months and 2 days.
The mood turns to reggae with a pinch of dancehall and ragga with the next sequence. Most of the key elements are here – Snow’s Informer, Shaggy’s Oh Caralina, Bitty McLean’s It Keeps Rainin’ (Tears From My Eyes), Inner Circle’s Sweat (A La La La La Long), Louchie Lou and Michie One’s Shout (It Out). Then it’s Oui 3’s freestyle Break From The Old Routine slipping inside The Beloved’s Sweet Harmony (Live The Dream Mix). Back to London as East 17’s moody boys tackle West End Girls. And it’s a pair of disco divas for the last run; Sybil’s upfront When I’m Good And Ready before we end with Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive as remixed by Phil Kelsey. The same closing tracks on both discs as The Greatest Hits Of 1993. Both 1979 reboots: same as it ever was.
Lisa Stansfield – Someday (I’m Coming Back)
East 17 – West End Girls (Faces On Posters Mix)
Sub Sub featuring Melanie Williams – Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)
Dina Carroll – Express (West End Remix)
Sunscreem – Pressure
Lest we forget
X-Press 2 – Say What!