Essential Hardcore (Dino Entertainment, 1991)

Essential Hardcore

Essential Hardcore r

Review
Arriving just before the Christmas festivities of 1991, Essential Hardcore was marketed as containing “20 crucial dance cuts.” Setting the scene: The Love Decade’s cheesy So Real (Massive Mix); never a contender for Creation’s Keeping The Faith. After well-known epics from Rozalla and 2 Unlimited, it’s the arrival of the furious loops: SL2’s massive DJs Take Control. Quoting The Hypernaught, “I miss those days. The love and happiness. The lack of ego. People from all walks of life getting together.”

Seal’s Killer as remixed by William Orbit; the track had been re-recorded for his debut album which was produced by Trevor Horn. The music video used computer-generated science-fiction themed imagery, largely built around a partial re-creation of the MC Escher print Another World. The video was produced and directed by Don Searll and won British Video of the Year at the 1992 Brit Awards. Another memorable visual promo was Simply Red’s uptempo and addictive Something Got Me Started which was filmed in Seville. Elsewhere Sabrina Johnson’s soulful Friendship gives way to Yo Yo Honey’s nice ‘n’ chilled Groove On and 2 For Joy’s ecstatic Let The Bass Kick. Absolute belters in tow: Bizarre Inc’s Playing With Knives and Altern 8’s Active-8. “Top one, nice one, get sorted.”

Anticappella: Discogs notes that they were a mysterious band and confirms that it was a project controlled by Gianfranco Bortolotti. 2√231, an instrumental classic, which became a memorable sound during 1991. We continue to cover shared ground with Deep Heat 11 – Spirit Of Ecstasy with Shades Of Rhythm and Control. Meanwhile Lords Of Acid plough a frantic furrow on the hazy Take Control with Techno Line maintaining the BPMs on the shiny Time To Sweat. No (energy) flash in the pan, Joey Beltram’s monster creation The Omen coupled with LA Style’s austere James Brown Is Dead. The hardcore stays relentless on Pacific 231’s 21st Century Schizoid Man. Do not file under progressive rock. And to end, it’s The Shamen’s gorgeously isolationist Possible Worlds. Not sure exactly which mix but definitely 1991 as it’s got a Mr C credit.

I purchased En-Tact from Blitz Records in Waterford sometime in late 1990. Blitz was run by a guy called Liam and was located on Arundel Square near Enterprise Home Care. He once shared a flat with The Senseless Things. When the Manic Street Preachers played a 25 minute set at the Back Of The Mansion on 26 April 1991, the shop was flooded with people the next day – all looking for the Motown Junk 12″. He only had the one copy. Back To The Shamen: there are two versions of En-Tact, the original 1990 release and a remixed almost poppier version in 1991. The UK LP can be replicated digitally as follows:
Tracks 01 – 04 from the UK CD
Track 05 is Evil is Even (Edit) from the US CD
Track 06 – 09 are Tracks 05 – 08 from the UK CD
Track 10 is Hear Me from the US CD

“In the best of all possible worlds
Nothing is impossible”

Favourite tracks
Simply Red – Something Got Me Started

Lords Of Acid – Take Control

Seal – Killer (William Orbit Mix)

Lest we forget
Anticappella – 2√231

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7 Responses to Essential Hardcore (Dino Entertainment, 1991)

  1. Feel the Quality says:

    Because when I think of “Hardcore” I immediately think of Simply Red.

  2. andynoax says:

    I had this one on cassette but haven’t picked it up on CD since because I own all the tracks I really want on other compilations anyway. Simply Red’s song actually turned up on quite a few dance compilations at the time!

    I’ve never been keen on the 2nd version of ‘Killer’ – I heard a new partly orchestral one by Seal on the radio the other day that was even worse!

    Not much to say about the rest, most of the hits are good but for me a lot of the non-hits on this one aren’t so great. Nice to see that you could find the square root character on your keyboard which is more than the people who put together the inlay for this could do….

  3. Pingback: Indie Top 20 Volume 11 (Beechwood Music, 1991) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  4. Andrew Chinnock says:

    Hi Paul, just to complete commenting on the entire set of Hardcore albums, here goes…

    Sometimes the hotmixing works well on a compilation. Can I coin a phrase of softmixing for this one? This isn’t at the level of Heavenly Hardcore, which works to some extent (from Escape to Reality to the end flows incredibly well, even if the rest doesn’t). Extacy to Dance With Me is one of the worst attempts at this in the history of compilations, all the finesse of lumpy vomit.

    Always loved Johnson’s Friendship, harder piano banger than Peace. Let The Bass Kick is a bit of an undiscovered great. Not sure why, but one of my favourites of the album is their edited version of James Brown Is Dead. William Orbit’s remix of Killer is worth the admission fee here, though.

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