From the DEF II TV series, Dance Energy 2 was released in summer 1991 and contains “19 massive dance hits.” On first glance, it was initially disappointing only to get one CD – its predecessor Dance Energy was a consistently great double disc affair – we’re treated to a quality selection of winning dance tunes along with some interesting sleeve notes. Sorted.
“A preachment, dear friends, you are about to receive on John Barleycorn, nicotine and the temptations of Eve.” We take it right with the opening track, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, a fresh update of a swinging ’60s tune. The spoken intro was previously sampled by The Hombres for Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out) and originally dates to the 1947 novelty recording Cigareetes, Whuskey and Wild, Wild Women by Red Ingle & His Natural Seven. The Daisy age is dead: hear De La Soul sample the 1981 Whatnauts track Help Is on the Way on Ring Ring Ring while the lyrics and melody are lifted from the Curiosity Killed The Cat song Name and Number. And it’s here where you’ll find the slammin’ 7″ mix of Massive (Attack not yet in full effect) Unfinished Sympathy. Or is it Symphony?? Kudos to Nellee Hooper. In the wake, Frances Nero and her Detroit soul anthem, the ace Footsteps Following Me coupled with Candi Staton’s seminal and timeless You Got The Love.
808 State had now moved onto a higher plane, “embracing earlier flirtations with hip-hop and industrial music.” Bjork features on two tracks, the oblique Qmart and the divine single Ooops, featured here – stunning freestyle delivery. Next, Mr Wendell (Williams) and the flowing So Groovy blending into LL Cool J’s name drop Around The Way Girl. Crossing over: Chapter & Verse with the angry Black Whip. Parting the dancefloor like the Red Sea are The KLF with Last Train To Trancentral. Top marks for including the less common Iron Horse mix from the CD single. Lip-syncing all the way to the bank, Black Box’s subtle Strike It Up while Katherine E drops a sweat bomb on the colossal banger I’m Alright. Facing off are C&C Music Factory and the frantic Gonna Make You Sweat.
1991 was an era when the clubs and specialist record shops like Abbey Discs were flooded with Italian 12″ singles. One of these was Club House’s seriously uplifting Deep In My Heart. Remember them on Chart Hits ’83 Do It Again / Billie Jean. Meanwhile Diana Brown and Barrie K Sharpe bring a ’70s funk sensibility to Love Or Nothing. Then there’s the Young Disciples’ anodyne Apparently Nothin’ with their rather pretentious manifesto about envisaging themselves as a collection of writers, clothes designers, photographers, cappucino addicts and skilful football players. Taking up a notch, Scritti Politti and Shabba Ranks’ wicked She’s A Woman. End: some Balearic goodness from Boy George’s Jesus Loves You and their rather melancholy Generations Of Love. “It’s an odd mix of sounds (the flamenco type guitar, accordion and African sounding rappers – I’d no idea they were actually white people) but it works so well. Sad and hypnotic.” (Aerial Kate)
808 State – Ooops
Jesus Loves You – Generations Of Love
Lest we forget
The KLF – Last Train To Trancentral (The Iron Horse)