The Best Of Dance ’97 (Telstar, 1997)

Best Of Dance 97

Best Of Dance 97 r

Telstar’s Best Of Dance ’97 contains 44 tracks or “The year’s greatest dance anthems.” You’ll have already read my thoughts on many of these tunes in previous reviews:
The Best Of Dance ’96: Tori Amos – Professional Widow.
Smash Hits Mix ’97: The Prodigy – Breathe.
Now That’s What I Call Music 36: The Blueboy – Remember Me, Sash – Encore Une Fois, DJ Quicksilver – Bellissima, The Source featuring Candi Staton – You Got The Love, B.B.E. – Flash, Robert Miles – One On One.
New Hits 1997: Apollo 440 – Ain’t Talkin’ About Dub.
Now That’s What I Call Music 37: Brainbug – Nightmare.
Pure Hits ’97: Conner Reeves – My Father’s Son, Clock – You Sexy Thing, Byron Stingily – Get Up (Everybody), Basement Jaxx – Flylife.
Fresh Hits 1997: Olive – You’re Not Alone, Rosie Gaines – Closer Than Close, Backstreet Boys – Everybody.
Now Dance ’97: Gala – Freed From Desire, The Course – Ready Or Not, Staxx – Joy, 2 Eivissa – Oh La La, Chicane – Offshore ’97, N-Trance featuring Rod Stewart – Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Moby – James Bond Theme.
The Greatest Hits Of 1997: Erykah Badu – On and On, N-Tyce – We Come To Party.
Huge Hits 1997: Dario G – Sunchyme, Coolio – Ooh La La.
Now That’s What I Call Music 38: Sash featuring La Trec – Stay.

Rock on: Blackstreet’s Fix is a real treat as it features Fishbone, as well as a rap by Ol’ Dirty Bastard and ad-libs by Slash. Guns ‘n’ Roses return to Slane Castle today. More than this: Carrilo’s banging take on Samba De Janeiro. Never gets old. Moving on: Stretch ‘n’ Vern’s crucial Get Up! Go Insane in which house music meets the intensity of big beat with a hip hop attitude. The names have been changed to protect the innocent: Silvester Stretch (Stuart Collins) and Jules Vern (Julian Peake). Grooves – Michelle Weeks’ lung-busting euphoric soul Don’t Give Up and Mama Mystique’s illsick Tremendous; Q Ball and Curt Cazal in the mix. +8: Livin’ Joy’s long forgotten Deep In You, a nice slice of mellow magic.

1997 was the era of the superclub; the peak year for magazines like Muzik and Mixmag. Flashback to 1989: in late 1996, Coldcut and Lisa Stansfield’s People Hold On was remixed by British producers Dan Bewick and Matt Frost AKA The Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It charted higher than the original version. Heavily inspired by Armand Van Helden’s radical reworking of Tori Amos’ Professional Widow. No skool like an old skool – Red 5’s epic I Love You. . . Stop is the sound of numerous all-nighters. Sing it back. Equally nostalgic, the ’97 update of Jaydee’s classic Plastic Dreams. That mega David Morales sound. Elsewhere Show Me Love from Robin S also gets a reboot with a funkier twist.

Roy Davis Jr featuring Peven Everett – Gabriel. Has stripped-down soul ever sounded so wonderful? A timeless spiritual creation that will make your house vibrate. We get the Live Garage Edit (the video below is the full version). Another garage classic comes from TJR with Xavier – the sublime Just Gets Better. Camden Palace days. And for those who prefer some speed with their garage I give you the twisted grooves of the Fabulous Baker Boys’ Oh Boy. Dope on plastic. Grime forever. Meanwhile there’s the murky sound of the Funky Green Dogs’ Fired Up before the hardcore climax from the Porn Kings – Up To No Good. National joyriders’ anthem. Everybody needs a 303.

Favourite tracks
Roy Davis Jr featuring Peven Everett – Gabriel (Live Garage Edit)

TJR featuring Xavier – Just Gets Better (TDR Dub Radio Edit)

Fabulous Baker Boys – Oh Boy (Ramsey and Fen Remix)

Red 5 – I Love You. . . Stop

Stretch & Vern – Get Up! Go Insane

Lest we forget
Porn Kings – Amour (C’mon)

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6 Responses to The Best Of Dance ’97 (Telstar, 1997)

  1. andynoax says:

    I’d forgotten just how many tracks were unique to this compilation in amongst the more familiar fare. And weirdly, it’s not one that turns up in charity shops / car boots / 2nd hand shops very often either.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      You’re right – a fairly decent “hit rate” of unique tunes on this. Haven’t seen it in the wild for a while – Amazon Marketplace will have it for pennies though.

  2. Pingback: New Hits ’98 (Global Television / Sony / Warner ESP, 1998) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  3. Pingback: Smash Hits Summer ’98 (Virgin, 1998) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  4. Andrew Chinnock says:

    Hi Paul, a few thoughts on this. This was released under the Telstar/Univeral alliance umbrella and it was one of the best ‘Best of Dance’ they did. Dance compilations in 1997 were a bit scarce and so the odd release threw up quite a few unique tracks. Now Dance 97 did the same.

    Typical Telstar, quite a bit of editing to fit 22 tracks on each disc. Nothing severely butchered but lots of subtle cuts.

    Glad to see you’re a fan of Red 5’s ‘I Love You… Stop’. Their follow up, ‘Lift Me Up’ I’ve always thought was an even stronger track, yet barely features on any compilations. When I look back to the early 90s when dance compilations were two a penny, where plenty of tracks that never made the charts appeared just to fill out compilations, there are years like 1997 where we’ve missed out on lots of dance music on compilations.

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