Now Dance ’97 (EMI / Virgin, 1997)

Now Dance 97

Now Dance 97 r

NOD 17 marked the return of the Now Dance series after a two year absence – the first since Now Dance – Summer ’95. We were back to double CD releases with a 43 track selection of hotly-mixed tunes. The green / orange colour scheme was so in that autumn. NB – there’s a number of edits here, check the Discogs entry for the timings.

The Spice Girls begin phase #2 with Spice Up Your Life, heavily influenced by both salsa and samba. It’s followed by Bellini’s stormer Samba De Janeiro which samples Airto Moreira’s 1972 song Tombo In 7/4. After Gala’s Freed From Desire, it’s a double sex feast: N-Trance and Rod with Do Ya Think I’m Sexy plus Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing. The Full Monty era. There’s some familiar R&B grooves from of Eternal, Backstreet Boys and 911 before George Michael digs deep into Older for another funky bomb, The Strangest Thing. Rosie Gaines’ Closer Than Close melts into spring’s Who Do You Think You Are.

After 2 Eivissa’s deep house Oh La La, trance is the flavour with Sash! and Rodriguez. Then it’s DJ Quicksilver who also gets two tracks: Bellissima and Free. Poppers presents Aura and Staxx’s updated Joy are banging slices of prime superclub tuneage. Meanwhile Chicane and Power Circle’s Offshore ’97 is ambient progressiveness. And Louise in her most hardcore role to date, the Rated PG Club Mix of Arms Around The World – sadly trimmed by about 40 seconds or so. Still breathless. CD1 then concludes with two of the year’s biggest anthems: Flash and Passion. Both 12″s were caned on my KAM decks; a time when Muzik and Mixmag purchased every month without fail.

Disc 2 gets a different route. Moby’s re-imagining of the James Bond Theme. Skip the petulant and privileged narcissists of Chumbawamba and dive straight into the Chemical Brothers’ Block Rockin’ Beats, The Blueboy’s Remember Me and another reboot of You Got The Love – all smashes from Now That’s What I Call Music 36. Eternal pop up again with some hard-edged beats, Angel Of Mine while Coolio throws down Ooh La La. Pitch up to +6 for Boris Dlugosch’s Hold Your Head Up High and the frantic vibes of Coco’s I Need A Miracle. Stay positiva/e for Laguna’s busy Spiller From Rio. Shake in fear for it is Brainbug’s deeply sinister Nightmare. Shades of Goblin and the horror of Suspiria.

There’s a real mix of styles that mirror my dance purchases of 1997. Big beat time: Fatboy Slim’s Everybody Loves A Carnival. AKA a 303. Slip past The Prodigy’s relentless Breathe and see that Trainspotting’s influence continues on the PF Project’s Renton-sampling Choose Life. Elsewhere Johnny Harris’ killer 1970 tune Stepping Stones gets remixed and onto a Levi’s advert. Tin Tin Out’s Strings For Yasmin is Leeds United’s lead-out tune. And the glorious Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out, Channel 4 favourite of their Greatest 100 etc. Also check out Tall Paul and the semtex shaking Rock Da House. Lastly, Diddy’s Give Me Love and finally some glorious drum ‘n’ bass courtesy of Adam F’s Circles. Green cross.

Slacker’s Scary: a euphoric pill pounder. The samples:
Girl talking is from a 1966 album just called LSD- a promo vinyl album featuring Timothy Leary. Track 3 The Lost Generation (Excerpt).
Breakdown eerie synth – Peter Gabriel & Ravi Shankar – Of These, Hope – Reprise from the Last Temptation of Christ Soundtrack.
Guitar loop is Harold Melvin – Don’t Leave Me This Way.

Favourite tracks
Spice Girls – Spice Up Your Life

Bentley Rhythm Ace – Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out

Tall Paul – Rock Da House

Adam F – Circles

George Michael – The Strangest Thing ’97

Lest we forget
Slacker – Scared

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10 Responses to Now Dance ’97 (EMI / Virgin, 1997)

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  9. Andrew Chinnock says:

    That Rated PG mix of the Louise track is a belter. This was a fantastic compilation in everything but delivery. It had come from the hotmixing of Best Dance Album 7 and Club Anthems 1997.

    Properly compiled, this was a classic.

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