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100 Hits - The Best Dance Album

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I Belong To Glasgow / How Much Is That Doggie In The Window / Down At The Old Bull And Bush - 44 (2:42) Like many self-confessed Burial romantics out there, it’s safe to say each of Will Bevan’s records resonates just a little bit differently from the next. But for myself, and a whole sea of like-minded listeners eagerly drinking in the sounds of the mysterious man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, it was ‘Untrue’ that ignited a spark of artist/admirer appreciation not found in previous Burial offerings, or indeed other more mainstream dance music works that came out at the time. After this final peak, the album had its instrumental coda in the contemplative and dub-like instrumental “Kant-Kino,” named for the Berlin club where the band were then regulars. It seemed to be a dub mix of the coda of the previous song as the two were segued together. Then came “Room,” the lurching finale to the challenging and ultimately rewarding album. The lyrics hinted of blood, razors, and murder in the most oblique way possible, while the music had dizzy dub interludes where the foundation of the song lost its stability while ultimately regaining its composure for the placid fade out. Elsewhere, the seed of their future were sown when Ross Stapleton of Virgin Records was in a German club and heard “Premonition” slinking out of its sound system. Three weeks later, he saw them live at the Lyceum in February of 1980 and became determined to sign this band to his label. The band weren’t meeting with much success with Arista at this time. Their label were so over Simple Minds that they would only press up their third album in small batches of 15,000 copies at a time, leading to shortages in the shops. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy of doom, even after Arista returned to the till another two times after the first and second pressings had sold out. Clearly, some people were hearing Simple Minds… and liking what they’d heard. The first vocal interlude, was a woman reciting French words [actually from the pen of Russian writer Nicolas Gogol – “La Perspective Nevski”] over the rhythm bed while the saxophone of Charlie Burchill accentuates the bass rhythms with what sound like subtle peals of laughter in the mix. The result was nightmarish, yet somehow exhilarating. It sounded like a kind of Beat Jazz gone terribly wrong. After several measures of this, then Kerr’s vocals replaced the French dictation in the mix. Kerr recited [rapped?] a methodical, seemingly free-form flow that acted as a form of percussion to the already melody-free music. Then, it started again and repeated, with the French recitation followed once again by Kerr. The jarring sequence was repeated a third time before the song finally ended abruptly with a slurred, reverberated halt.

Twist/Run/Repulsion” was a breathtaking, almost chaotic number with almost no melody to speak of that took the already extreme repetition of the album into new realms of radicalism. The song was built on a circular bass line that dropped out of the song for a measure at a time with Burchill’s guitar reduced to a single chord, played strictly for rhythmic impetus. The tempo was a return to the freneticism of “I Travel” with none of that song’s positivism. This was a song of frayed nerves and extreme anxiety that consisted of two separate vocal lines juxtaposed over the busy rhythm bed. If You're Happy And You Know It/The Wheels On The Bus/How Much Is That Doggy In The Window - 28 (3:34)Kerr sounded like a man possessed here as he intoned the unsettling and abstract lyrics that fully managed to convey the sense that something terrifying was happening and the listener was powerless to stop it. His delivery of the lyrics was just as repetitive as the music and he brilliantly repeated and refracted the lyrics to fit the meter of the music. I was twenty, and I looked around me. We had the talent always to be in the place where the neo-Nazis exploded another bomb. Bologna, a synagogue in Paris, a railway station in Munich. Don’t tell me anything like that could leave you unmoved.” – Jim Kerr We've experienced not only a wealth of incredible electronic music over the last 40 years or so, we've seen it spur on cultural movements and define the lives of generations. From the Summer Of Love, where acid house and ecstasy reigned supreme, to the birth of techno in light of political and social oppression. How can you forget UKG rearing it's mischievous, bumping head or even that behemoth they call EDM taking over the minds of millions around the world. I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire / I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter - 29 (3:02)

Whatever your preference, we've been truly spoiled and when it comes to albums, there have been some true cornerstones of relevance that have not only got us dancing, but inspired and influenced the next wave of artists to bring forth something, new, exciting and progressive. It’s hard to believe it now, but Peter Gabriel was so impressed with “Real To real Cacophony” that he asked Simple Minds to be his opening act for his 1980 tour behind his astonishing third album so that they were touring “Empires + Dance” while the headliner was pushing his equally uncompromising and expansive breakthrough album on the same bill. I can hardly believe that it was once possible to see and hear two such acts who were at their respective artistic peaks simultaneously! What I would have given to have seen either act in the Fall of 1980! Constantinople Line” continued the theme with the most explicitly rail travel oriented song in this collection. Kerr’s lyrics were as dramatically straight forward as they had yet ever been here, with the lyrics consisting largely of dialogue between a bourgeois traveler [possibly a Western journalist] and the wait staff of the train he is riding, in flight from a possible political revolution. The whiff of the Soviet Union and the Domino Theory hung over this unsettling number like a pall of red smoke. Kerr masterfully matched the meter of the music with the lyrical coda below. After that monumental and breathless opener, the energy level of the album dialed down to build a monolithic arc of dread and decay, redolent of statue on the record’s cover. “Today I Died Again” featured Derek Forbes on fretless bass predominating the methodically paced number that bristled with the dread echoed in Burchill’s droning guitars that were absolutely static, in spite of the song’s shambling rhythms. Kerr’s phased vocals on the chorus never quite managed to penetrate the membrane between him and the rest of the song, resulting in ghostly echoes that mirrored the song’s preoccupation with the wheel of karma.The first thing noticeable about the album is its distinctive cover that literally shows the sun setting on the signifier of an empire. The stolid RAF colonel had seen better days. His attempt at dignity was undermined by the large chips missing from his head and hat. His very British upper lip was still stiff [being stone, how could it be otherwise?], but he’d be lying if he didn’t know that his days were somehow numbered. The typography was clean and modern; Gill Sans Regular, but with the letters “N” and “R” reversed, lending the design more than a hint of a Cyrillic, Soviet underpinning.

Here we present the 50 most influential dance music albums of all time, no easy task to compile as you can imagine. We called upon our bursting pool of contributors from over the years and our trusted members of staff to give an accurate representation of electronic music's evolution over the last four decades.

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