Now Dance ’98 (Virgin, 1998)

Now Dance 98

Now Dance 98 r

The 18th entry in the Now Dance series is just credited to Virgin Records with their commercial marketing arm working with Ashley Abram’s Box Music Limited. Please note that the following tracks have already been discussed in previous reviews:
Smash Hits ’98: Bamboo – Bamboogie.
New Hits ’98: Cornershop – Brimful Of Asha (Norman Cook Remix), Run DMC Vs Jason Nevins – It’s Like That.
Now That’s What I Call Music 39: Janet Jackson – Together Again, Tin Tin Out – Here’s Where The Story Ends, Spice Girls – Stop, Camisra – Let Me Show You.
Smash Hits Summer ’98: The Tamperer featuring Maya – Feel It, Perpetual Motion – Keep On Dancin’ (Let’s Go).
Fresh Hits ’98: Tzant – Sound Of Wickedness.
Now That’s What I Call Music 40: All Saints – Lady Marmalade, Billie – Because We Want To, Lucid – I Can’t Help Myself, Fatboy Slim – The Rockafeller Skank, Barbara Tucker – Everybody Dance (The Horn Song).
Big Hits ’98: Steps – One For Sorrow, Love Station – Teardrops, Alexia – The Music I Like, Energy 52 – Cafe Del Mar.

In an unusual move, we get two mixes of the same track – Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You. A coming together of producers Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk), Alan Braxe (who dropped Vertigo on the Roule label in 1997), and singer Benjamin Diamond. It uses a sample of Chaka Khan’s Fate and is one of the greatest house tunes ever and owned the summer of 1998. Utterly sublime. Memories of moving into Belgrave Square and caning this over my morning coffee and cigarette. Disc 2 also has the DJ Sneak Mix, a fine deep house effort. The music video is directed by Michel Gondry, is set in Texas and depicts the story of a boy building a model airplane while his parents argue. He watches a music show on television and Stardust appear during the top 5 countdown. Analogue / digital love.

Bus Stop serve up another 1970s reboot in the form of You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet featuring the original’s singer Randy Bachman. It’s no Kung Fu Fighting and not even the rap can save it. Meanwhile Fatboy Slim blow up the joint with the explosive big beat thrill fest Gangster Trippin’ which samples Ann Robinson’s You Did It, DJ Shadow’s Entropy, Dust Junkys’ Beatbox Wash and the X-Ecutioners’ Word Play and The Turntablist Anthem. Next comes Billie’s Girlfriend and in a nice touch, the D*Influence Real Live Mix which was on the second CD single. Great jam. Happiness reigns for Ace Of Base on the endlessly upbeat Life Is A Flower while T-Spoon’s Sex On The Beach is ultra catchy. Even 911’s disco by numbers version of More Than A Woman can’t scorch the positive vibe.

Jennifer Paige’s debut single set the charts and most of Los Angeles’ radio stations on fire. While it’s a fine pop song in its own right, the harder-edged Dance Mix with its sweet bass groove is the one to own and is thankfully included here. Ibiza favourite On Top Of The World (credited to producers Diva Surprise featuring Georgia Jones) and Baby Bumps’ feverish Burnin’ keep the house fires alight. Closing out the first half is DJ Quicksilver with the sunny side up trance of Timerider. I remember it blaring out of Abbey Discs on a scorching hot day that summer. This short version is taken from the promo CD single.

Disc 2 starts with a bang – Sash! featuring Tina Cousins with the evocative EDM of Mysterious Times. Equally rush-inducing is Nalin and Kane’s Beachball; here we get the 7″ edit of the Tall Paul ’98 Remix. Jazz club: Touch & Go with Would You? “I’ve noticed you around / I find you very attractive / Would you go to bed with me?”. Nice. Jungle tip for Luniz’s I Got 5 On It remixed by Urban Takeover, Aphrodite and Micky Finn which became the single’s main mix. It rolls over a beefed up original sample taken from Club Nouveau’s Why You Treat Me So Bad. In tandem, the wicked Cutfather and Joe Remix of Sexy Cinderella by the late Lynden David Hall plus Rosie Gaines’ squelchy I Want U.

Let’s go. Binary Finary equals Matt Laws and Stuart Matheson. 1998 is a trance banger, another tune that had endless remixes. I love the simplicity of the original radio edit. Hot on the heels of love: Storm’s eponymous epic. Also known as Jam and Spoon. After the Music Sounds Better With You DJ Sneak reprise, Marc Et Claude’s progressively dreamy La kicks in. And another belter – Blue Adonis’ insane Disco Cop featuring the delightful Little Miss Max. From obscurity to global reach: last orders are soundtracked by Vengaboys’ jaunty Up And Down.

Favourite tracks
Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You (Radio Edit)

Jennifer Paige – Crush (Dance Mix)

Binary Finary – 1998

Storm – Storm

Nalin & Kane – Beachball (Tall Paul ’98 Remix)

Lest we forget
Blue Adonis – Disco Cop

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16 Responses to Now Dance ’98 (Virgin, 1998)

  1. andynoax says:

    Quite a good selection on this one, which makes it even more strange that we didn’t get a NOW Dance album the following year. Some of the dance mixes of pop hits are, as you say, good choices and having some smaller but good hits on there like Blue Adonis makes it a measured selection.

    The Bus Stop song is pretty poor but I’m grateful for it existing because it meant that my radio station got me an interview with the legend that is Randy Bachman – I’m pleased to say that not only was he aware of Smashie & Nicey and loved it, he did me a ‘Let’s rock!’ jingle. What a guy.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Nice one Andy – Mr Bachman sounds like he was great fun! Good selection on this one. There was a Now Dance released in 1999 – came out around October 18 – but was called Now Dance 2000. Has Binary Finary’s annual update 1999 and the Cassius tune too.

  2. Steve B says:

    Another great review. Maybe it’s just me I really preferred the 89-90 format of having 20 tracks with the original 12″ mixes included, although I appreciate that alternative remixes are included in this package.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Thanks Steve, the original format was perfect (first six volumes). Now Dance ’91 was the big change. The oddest one is Now Dance ’92– the vinyl has 10 extra tracks and different mixes to the CD. Not sure what they were thinking but it was epic.

  3. Steve B says:

    Yes I had the 92 (Red cover) double cassette back in the day and it had all the extra tracks on. To be honest I had actually forgotten that this was even a double tape/LP as I now only own the CD version of the album – you really need to go on Matsermind with your knowledge of compilation albums – exceptional. Off for a few days now so will look at working on another ‘That’s Album’ during this period 🙂

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