Telstar’s Best Of Dance instalment for 1995 saw the compilers increase the track quotient to a whopping 44. Nine of them were designated “NR” [new release] and the title had the word “Mania” appended to it. It was released on their Pure Music offshoot – just like a number of other Dance Mania compilations released during the year. There was no standard Best Of Dance ’95; instead this release would fill the gap and you’ll note that the typeface is identical to The Best Of Dance ’94. A far cry from the original of the species, The Best Of Dance ’91 which just contained “32 hottest club hits”. Are you still there?
Disc one leads with a sequence of tracks that I’ve already written about several times over the last few weeks. Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise which is not about Gang Starr. Or Galliano. Bobby Brown revenge anthem Two Can Play That Game melts into Livin’ Joy’s Dreamer and The Original’s I Love You Baby. N-Trance’s Set You Free: makes me want to smile and shed a tear at the same time. There’s old favourites like Strike’s U Sure Do and those funky Bucketheads with their bomb. Jinny’s pounding house Keep Warm is followed by the R&B sweetness of Dana Dawson’s 3 Is Family before the crude summer sweat dance from Ini Kamoze. An edited version of Billie Ray Martin’s Your Loving Arms is an unfortunate consequence of Telstar / Pure Music’s cramming policy.
De’Lacy and Hideaway; remixed by Deep Dish. Played in Sir Henry’s. The Wedding Present played De Lacy House in 1988. Put a cork in it. The tunes pound out: Jam and Spoon – Right In The Night. Ace. Not so good or nice: The Outhere Brothers – La / Hey and 20 Fingers’ brutal razor sharp Short Short Man. Faster is Felix with the amazing Don’t You Want Me ’95 remixed by Patrick Prins. Dance while the record spins, it’s Xpansions Move Your Body ’95. MTV Dance. Elsewhere the Real McCoy gets sensual on Love And Devotion while M People’s star continues to rise with Open Your Heart. From baby baby baby to Baby Baby – Corona are in the [Euro] house! To round off CD1 there’s some easy funk from MN8 and a little slice of krazy pop courtesy of PJ and Duncan.
CD2 and N-Trance Mk2. Stayin’ Alive went all the way to #2. Get fresh with Soul II Soul’s funky Love Enuff and Michelle Gayle’s delightful Freedom. There’s rhythm by R Kelly [Bump ‘N’ Grind] while Brownstone’s Grapevyne is all about the blues. Top that off with Mary J Blige’s nocturnal and narcotic-fuelled Mary Jane (All Night Along) and a reprise of Des’ree throwing down a remixed You Gotta Be. Another 1994 tune is Nicki French’s take on Total Eclipse Of The Heart. The mixed-up styles continue with Love City Groove’s urban funk and Clock’s trance induced cover of Tag Team’s Whoomph! Which brings me to The Shamen and the G-minor synergy that is Destination Eschaton. Nowhere to hide.
Nowhere to run. Liquid reprise an already immense Sweet Harmony. The night moves and the tunes get more out of control. Umboza’s superloose and ugly Cry India. Candy Girls fairytale vs nightmare Fee Fi Fo Fum keeping company with Scooter’s raucous debut Move Your Ass and 2 Unlimited’s edgy Do What’s Good For Me. Gurning in full swing as Ultra High’s Stay With Me starts but the effect falls flat for C&C Music Factory’s slow I’ll Always Be Around. Meanwhile Jinny gets a second bite on the frenetic Wanna Be With U while there’s a wonderful techno surprise from Technocat and the late great Tom Wilson, one of Scotland’s finest DJs. Psychedelic video too. We end with a pair of upbeat numbers: Antonia Lucas – Feel Good and Happy Clappers – I Believe. Praise you like I should.
Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise
N-Trance – Set You Free
M People – Open Your Heart
Felix – Don’t You Want Me
The Shamen – Destination Eschaton
Lest we forget
Technocat featuring Tom Wilson – Technocat (Dance Like Yer Dad Edit)