The fourth in Telstar’s annual Best Of Dance series contains “40 seriously big dance hits of the year”. It came in a chunky fatbox, the last of its type. What does your soul look like?
Disc one leads with a sequence of tracks that I’ve already written about on a number of occasions over recent weeks. Everybody’s talking about D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better, Tony Di Bart – The Real Thing, the frantic sound of Corona – Rhythm Of The Night, all grown-up Kylie Minogue – Confide In Me and Maxx’s addictive breakthrough Get-A-Way. Then a Eurodance pair: Cappella’s strident Move On Baby and Culture Beat’s hypnotic Anything. Familiarity breeds contentment again for Gloworm – Carry Me Home, The Grid – Swamp Thing [slightly early fade on the radio mix], The Prodigy – No Good (Start The Dance) and M People – Renaissance. Everybody having a ball.
1994 was a year of consolidation for the reggae sound that was everywhere the previous year. The usual suspects line up like Elastica. That means a rogues gallery of oddities and eccentrics such as Aswad – Shine, Ace Of Base – Don’t Turn Around. See what the compilers did there? The inevitable Red Dragon with Brian and Tony Gold – Compliments On Your Kiss while Dawn Penn gets busy with Ken Boothe, Dennis Brown and Bounty Killer on You Don’t Love Me No, No, No, No (World A Respect Version). There’s more: China Black keep Searching while CJ Lewis sucks on Sweets For My Sweet. After the BC52s slice of prehistoric silliness, Take That and lung-buster Lulu pop up on Relight My Fire. To round off CD1, there’s a welcome blast of hangover house on T-Empo’s Saturday Night, Sunday Morning. Clubbers’ paradise: for those about to rave, we salute you.
CD2 is ushered by the gentle piano strains of East 17’s It’s Alright. Then an explosion for the next few minutes and furious rhythms courtesy of 2 Unlimited – The Real Thing, Reel 2 Real – Go On Move. Break out the beats outlaw-style on M Beat’s Incredible and DJ Duke’s infectious Blow Your Whistle. And then check out Kym Mazelle and Jocelyn Brown’s banging duet No More Tears (Enough Is Enough). Motiv8 – Rockin’ For Myself, a sizzling monster. More well-known epics: Livin’ Joy – Dreamer. Tranquility alert: Atlantic Ocean – Waterfall, Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby (Round The World Dance Mix).
After Haddaway’s tried and tested Rock My Heart, Club House drop some serious heat on Light My Fire. Carol Bailey’s Feel It is here in truncated Alex Party Edit form. Nice yet twisted and followed by more well loved tales such as PJ and Duncan AKA – Let’s Get Ready To Rumble, Salt ‘N’ Pepa – Shoop, EYC – Feelin’ Alright. Des’ree stops us in our tracks with the steely optimism of You Gotta Be. Such an encouraging song. Elsewhere US3’s Cantaloop is a fruit loop funky delight while The Brand New Heavies cut some mainstream acid jazz on the effortlessly great Dream On Dreamer. Finally we end with Galliano’s sweet-as-honey percussive gem Long Time Gone. Shine a light.
Des’ree – You Gotta Be
The Grid – Swamp Thing (Radio Mix)
Brand New Heavies – Dream On Dreamer
Maxx – Get-A-Way
Galliano – Long Time Gone
Lest we forget
T-Empo – Saturday Night, Sunday Morning
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Not much to add to this. It was a pretty functional compilation that was less interesting than Energy Rush Dance Hits 94 (probably my favourite Energy Rush despite some criminal early fades).
Have you come across It’s The Ultimate Dance Album by Telstar, released that summer? Quite a weird compilation that tried to be contemporary and also dive into the dance music back catalogue. 44 tracks, so lots of editing, including a strangely cut version of PJ & Duncan and a total hatchet job on No More Tears. The edit of Swamp Thing on there was used forever by Telstar (bar on 100% Hits). It shares 12 tracks with this album, again with a mixture of lifted edits but full length versions from elsewhere. ‘No More Tears’ appears to have come from the aforementioned Energy Rush album.
I don’t think I’ve ever played this all the way through. Now Dance Best of 94 was a significant improvement on this.
Hi Andrew – I have heard The Ultimate Dance Album; remember a few of those edits.