I dare say there might be a fair few old codgers out there who would maintain Oceanic’s Top 5 hit from 1991 never qualified as rave. After all, it probably soundtracked more Malibu regurgitations than it did warehouse parties. But it qualified as “chart rave”, at the very least.
I mean look at the evidence from this Top Of The Pops performance – you’ve got two nondescript blokes on keyboards (one of whom is sporting the requisite smelly ponytail), plinky synths, lyrics about “dream tripping” and being taken “higher”, two rather naff dancers and a middlingly attractive female singer. PLUS key changes. What else would you call it?
Keep an eye out for Loose Women‘s Jakki Jackie Brambles sounding all posh at the start, too:
Stuart Waterman on
Wednesday April 22nd, 2009 at
The thing with these gonzo, highly illegal happy hardcore constructions is that you’re never quite sure who’s behind them. A large part of society would probably like to slice off the “artist”‘s hands for creating such a travesty, but you know that if it plays in some field somewhere thousands of gonk-eyed loons will go absolutely mEnTaL to it.
And why not? “Take a sad song and make HAAARDCORE!” What’s not to love?
Pssshhhhhhwwwww-super-super-super-pppssssssshhhhhhwwww. Etc. Ganja Kru’s classic drum n’bass floorshaker might not strictly be rave in the white gloves n’whistles sense of the term, but it has a similarly mentalizing effect on a dancefloor. Ah, I remember hearing this in a London club back in 19**. My bowels ruptured due to the bassline. Terrible mess, it was. Good times.
Tell you what I didn’t realise – when Felix’s “Don’t You Want Me” was a huge hit in 1992, the guy behind it was only seventeen years old.
That guy was Francis Wright, about whom very little else is known – although Wikipedia does helpfully tell us that “his sister Rebecca Wright starred in an advertisement for the soft drink Irn Bru.” When I was seventeen I was wasting my time at stupid school and working in Currys on the weekend. Puh.
I wonder if Francis retired on the earnings made from his worldwide dance hits. He sure didn’t spend too much on videos, as you’ll see over the page.
If you’re familiar with SL2 at all, it’s probably more for “On A Ragga Tip” than this number. But as good as that was, I always preferred “Way In My Brain”. Always seemed a bit more jaunty, if early 90s breakbeat rave can be described as such without inviting ridicule. It can’t? Cuh.
SL2 featured legendary DJ Matt “Slipmatt” Nelson, who I was all set to see at some bar in Canterbury once, but he never showed up. Crushing it was, at the time. Pretty sure I caught him at Bagleys some other time, although my memory of the occasion is hazy, to put it mildly. Anyway, time to flail your arms around before putting them in the air for the piano bit, I reckon…
What was it about the early days of rave that prompted so many young men to cultivate slightly manky-looking ponytails? Another question: Why am I looking for logic from a movement powered almost entirely by MDMA and nerve-battering breakbeats?
Here are Bizarre Inc showing just how reckless they were back in the day by dancing on top of a load of TVs. They weren’t quite so happy when they woke up the next day, as they found their warranty from Comet to be VOID.
I’m pretty sure Liquid’s “Sweet Harmony” has been remixed and / or re-released every other year since it originally appeared in 1992. Maybe that’s my mind playing tricks on me though – it could be one of those hands-in-the-air classics that’s always just been around. If you’ve had a heavy weekend and you’re trying your hardest to hold onto the fast-receding memories, this one might put a smile on your face. Or make you weep at the fact that it’s Monday again. Um…
It’s interesting to remember just how dangerous the whole rave thing seemed when it first came to widespread attention. It was so feared that the Sunday People had an Acid Rave Correspondent, for goodness’ sake! Don’t believe me? Check out the report on the phenomenon from 1988, below. Then click over and see boiler-suited loons Altern8′s “Activ-8″ from a few years later, showing that not only was the rave scene not going away, but it was fully intent on messing up your beloved Top 40.
Just in case you were under the impression that Crazy Frog-type ringtone bollocks was a new phenomenon, check out Urban Hype’s preposterous contribution to the “toytown rave” genre from the early 90s. It hardly needs saying that the video contains a fair amount of gurning.