DJ Professor Dan

DJ Professor Dan

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Since the good dentist is unlikely to be mentioned ever again, I feel I have to share his two other masterpieces... his first single "Hello Africa"... why be shy, why be humble, he just came out the jungle... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3I8BISQfWc And Top 10 Hit across Europe (and Australia, but not the UK) the guaranteed dance-floor... not just filler, but everyone going absolutely NUTS... "Sing Hallelujah" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5Eyu-ks93w
One day I will write a thesis about "Sleeping Satellite", focusing on exactly why the seats are still dry (I feel Tasmin deserves to know) ... and it's a 10. "Ebeneezer Goode" is a 9 and I'm relieved that Mr C was able to sort his salmon.
"A three-chord nightmare": Rumour has it, there's only two!
"radio’s tendency to run a song into the earth’s crust" - yes, that was a solid geology pun.
But can you karaoke it? Now I’m just assuming that some/most/lots of you will have watched Netflix’s frustrating pop-history series “This Is Pop.” Frustrating because they were just a series of puff pieces that didn’t ask the hard-hitting questions: there’s this whole section of about Ace Of Base in “Stockholm Syndrome” and they don’t once mention their neo-Nazi beliefs! And don’t get me started on the Brit-Pop episode (at least not until we reach the Brit-Pop years)! But obviously we are talking about Boyz II Men and “The Boyz II Men Effect.” Half way through “The Boyz II Men Effect” episode they show a series of YouTube and TikTok videos featuring regular people singing “End Of The Road”, several of which are genuinely charming. Then journalist Kelly L. Carter – presumably not a karaoke fan – says “If someone thinks they can really sing, they attempt to sing “End Of The Road.” Don’t try and sing that song if you’re playin’. Don’t do that, ‘cause you’ll get embarrassed. SINGERS sing that song.” I call bullshit. “End Of The Road” is exactly the song you should singing if you’re playin’. Sure, it’s a song about heart break, but it’s also soooo fun. Sure you will comes off as callous and heartless, making fun of their pain (and I’m probably going to come off as callous and heartless writing about it)… but in there lies the humour. The Boyz II Men guys are already over-acting and they provide you with sooooo many bits that you can over-act as well: the bit where he cries “paaaiiin in my head, oh I’d rather be dead”, the over melismation of “giiiooeeeeuuuurl I knoouuuwwww you love me, you just don’t realiii-i-i-i-i-ise”, the bit where he breaks down and cries before he can get to the end of “don’t let me, don’t let me – sob sob sniffle sniffle– doooooowwwwwnnn.” And then there’s the spoken-word monologue! Oh boy. I know a lot of people don’t like spoken-word monologues. I understand that. But a spoken-word monologue is to me, a guarantee of an extra point (two point if you do it whilst holding a kick-arse cane!). For karaoke, purposes it’s a guarantee of three extra points… not that “End Of The Road” needs it. Because once you get to the slow-clap almost-acapella finale… well by then it should be obvious that it gets TEN OUT OF TEN MICROPHONES! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjPg9JqTxkY
It’s been a couple of months since the last C+C Music Factory hit so it must be time for another "Keep It Comin' (Dance Till You Can't Dance No More)", featuring a new rapper - Q-Unique - and a new singer - Deborah Cooper. C&C Music Factory try their hand at the new hip-hop party vibes being played at teenage parties in 1992 – the kind of teenage parties that Buffy was probably going to before she was told it was her destiny to fight vampires – you know the type of thing: “Hip Hop Hooray”, “Whoomp! There It Is”, “Rumpshaker”… “Keep It Comin’ is kind of that kind of thing… but sadly it’s not. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3wYBM2Rf3k Q-Unique has little of the hammy charm Freedom Williams and would end up in a nu-metal band. Otherwise, it’s “Gonna Make You Sweat” all over again; the same almost-rock riff, the same stentorianstrategy for getting people onto the dancefloor: ordering them to and then not letting them leave. They’d do better in a couple of years, after they’d learnt to be more friendly about it. “Keep It Comin’ (Dance Til You Can’t Dance No More) is a 6. Finally, we have Native Tongues associates Black Sheep with a song about the hazards of strobe lights, a hazard that all clubbers could relate to. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_JtkSmw808 That hazard being: seeing a honey dancing in the strobe light and she’s looking fine; her silhouette has got Dres needy. But there’s a problem. And it’s a problem that only reveals itself when she emerges from the strobe and into the light: that she may not be all that. She looks like she has a circus that she should attend, a dog that she should befriend. So now Dres has to… RUN!! Ah yes, that old chestnut. “Strobelite Honey” is an 8.
Meanwhile down at the Club… there were EIGHT Number Ones, but to save everyone’s sanity and because getting on down to that many groove might be over doing it, I covered “Rhythm Is A Dancer”, “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)”, “Love Sex Intelligence” and “Jump!” on Friday. Today however, we start our party at a UK Rave; with quite possibly the most pop sounding record ever created by a bunch of new-aged neo-hippy squatters with connections to SAW. Since our rave is most likely to be held in a muddy field, the weather is critically important. Fortunately, Opus III are telling us that it’s going to be a fine night tonight AND a fine day tomorrow! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjIPzyVlK60 Similar, in vibe, to “Little Fluffy Clouds”, “It’s A Fine Day” is full of futuristic bleeps and bops over the top of some surprisingly old-fashioned sentiments. “It's a fine day People open windows They leave their houses Just for a short while They walk by the grass They look at the sky They walk by the grass And they look at the grass They look at the sky” It’s basically your Mom telling you to stop wasting this lovely weather and go outside and play. So maybe Kirsty isn’t going to a rave; but she’s all dressed up… she’s done her hair, or maybe put on a hat?... I’m not quite sure… just a minute, I found an interview about how Opus III met, and apparently it was at a rave, up a tree. This is does not surprise me one little bit. Oh, and it’s not a hat, it’s some beads. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0mgOorkHSI “It’s A Fine Day” would be sampled for Orbital’s impossibly beautiful “Halycon On and On” and inspired the strings in Kylie’s “Confide In Me” and it’s a 9. Since we are hanging out on that side of the Atlantic, let’s pop over to Sweden to visit our old friends Clubland. This is their 3rd Number One in the Club so I think we can call them friends now. It’s “Hypnotized” and it’s a 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty2u5agnd6c
The final surprise Number One… “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byQIPdHMpjc Certainly a surprise as to what it started; that being the Cyrus Dynasty, long may it reign. Certainly a surprise to the Oak Ridge Boys who were offered to record it first, but refused to because they didn’t like the words “achy breaky.” This of course is an understandable position to take, although surely the line “he might blow up and kill this man” is the moment the song jumps the shark. Even after Billie’s mullet, even after Billie’s jaw, even after I started a drinking game when I sculled a beer for each country cliché I came across and… maybe it's the beer talking, Marge, but you've got a butt that won't quit. They've got these big chewy pretzels here *meddanrtargym* Five dollars?! Get outta here!... it’s the exploding heart death that’s possibly just a step too far. And certainly a surprise that it became the BIGGEST SELLING SINGLE IN AUSTRALIA IN 1992!!!! The Australian charts relationship with country music is odd, in that country-songs-rarely-hit-but-when-they-hit-they-really-hit, kind of way. The first ever hit record by an Australian, was a country hit. It was Slim Dusty’s “The Pub With No Beer” in 1958, just a few months after the Hot 100 was born actually. It went to Number One in Australia (Top 5 in the UK) and would be followed by lesser hits: “The Answer To A Pub With No Beer” and “Sequel To A Pub With No Beer.” Slim would go to Number One again a few decades later with another beer song “I Like To Have A Beer With Duncan, Cos Duncan’s Me Mate” (actually title: just “Duncan”). Slim really seemed to like singing about beer. But he wasn’t like a drunkard or anything; he drank in moderation, he never, ever, ever got rollin’ drunk. Slim seems like such a moderate drinker that I reckon half of his beers were shandies. They were Slim’s shandies (that was way too long a build up for such a lame joke, wasn’t it?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOML9zwoZn0 But when not singing about beer, nobody really cared about old man Slim, although he was universally agreed to be “a top bloke.” Other than that, country music was not a major force Down Under (Australia does have its own Nashville - Tamworth - which has a big golden guitar called The Big Golden Guitar), although again, 1992 does give us another exception; “Way Out West” by James Blundell which made the Top 5 about the same time as “Achy Breaky Heart” hit. I’m not sure if that should be counted however, since: (1) it’s a duet with unintelligible rock mumbler James Reyne, who was probably responsible for half the sales, (2) it’s a cover of an old 70s song by the very Aussie-ish titled rock band, The Dingoes (3) it was a charity record (for farmers, there was a drought going on) and charity records should never count https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB2fhqO2Mb4 “Achy Breaky Heart” is a 6.
The second Number One, probably shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. I mean, it’s Bobby Brown with “Humpin’ Around”, a banger with one of the all-time biggest ear-worm hooks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWfYF-XwugY And also of course, ex-New Edition, the group that Boyz II Men were modelled after. So that’s nice and synchronous. Thing is, Bobby had previously struggled on the Australian charts; with the exception of the irresistible “Every Little Step” (which got to No.8) we’d managed to largely resist everything that Bobby had offered us. So to send “Humpin’ Around” to Number One at a time when the rest of the world seemed to be over him, describing his new album with phrases such as “disappointing follow-up”, and moving onto something new – whether that “something new” was gangsta rap or Boyz II Men – does seem a little bit odd. Sometimes we’re a little bit slow down here. Then again, that hook is stupendous and it makes me bounce. Bobby had paved the way for the hip-hop takeover; if this was just his victory lap then what a victory lap it was. “Humpin’ Around” is a 7.
“End Of The Road” was Number One on Billboard for so long that we have three Number Ones in Australia… each one of them, something of a surprise. No surprise was bigger than “Amigos Para Siempre (Friends For Life)”, by Jose Carreras and Sarah Brightman, aka the song Andrew Lloyd Webber had written for the Barcelona Olympics (Australia came 10th in medal tally; not too shabby… for us) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj4NUOcf6iU In 1990, Andrew Lloyd Webber – in response to a joke bet from his wife that he couldn’t have a Number One– forced an even-worse-than-the-original version of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie” into the ears of the good people of Britain and onto the top of the charts. Saint Nothing has already covered this story. But now, in 1992, it was time for Australia to go absolutely Andrew Lloyd Webber crazy, for the Australian charts to reached peak-ALW. It appears that, for at least a few months, everyone in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth would pay to see Andrew Lloyd Webber. So much so that we have him a Number One, with a song whose success was such a surprise, such a shock, that radio did not know what to do. It was so daggy, so inconceiably uncool, that Take 40 Australia refused to play it, even when it was Number One. This may be the only time Take 40 Australia refused to play a song because it was too unlistenable. They had previously refused to play N.W.A.s “100 Miles and Running” for completely different reasons, and I’m assuming they probably didn’t play “Detachable Penis” when it made the Top 40 the next year, but by then I had stopped listening. “Amigos Para Siempre” was so big that a parody version made the Top 40 too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep8FHim97dw I could try and explain to you what you just watched, but it would just take far too long, and I suspect it still would not make any sense. The Andrew Lloyd Webber chart takeover went even further than that; Michael Crawford had a Number One album with “Michael Crawford Performs Andrew Lloyd Webber” and shortly after that fell from the top spot, an all-star Australian cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar” topped the chart. Regular readers of Meanwhile In Australia will not be surprised to learn that Jesus was performed by John Farnham, Mary Magdalene by Kate Ceberano, whilst Jon Stevens, lead singer of anthemic-rock band Noiseworks, got the role of Judas Here they are, altogether, with “Everything’s Alright”, a Top Ten hit. Is it sacrilege to suggest that Judas is 100% correct in everything he says? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQshi-xPK2g “Everything’s Alright” is a 4, 3 of which are for Kate. John and Jon will have to share the remaining point, if Jon doesn’t give it to the poor first (The Poor will have a Top Ten hit in about a virtual year, but I probably won’t bother to cover it) I guess what I’m saying is, you may complain – and I’m sure many of you are – about the end of the times that was “End Of The Road” but there’s always some-country who has a Number One that is much, much worse. “Amigos Para Siempre” is a 1. There’ll be another Olympic-themed hit coming up in a couple of virtual years.
I would NOT have guessed that "Midlife Crisis" was about Madonna. But what synchronicity!
But can you karaoke it? Not really. The main problem with “TUTBMP” (an acronym that is so much more fun than the song itself!) is that, as Madonna reminisces, she constantly seems to be distracted and starts going on tangents. First Madge is thinking about the playground, then suddenly she it occurs to here “why do they always say, ‘don’t look back’?” and so she starts rushing down that rabbit hole for a couple of lines before coming up short and shrugging “well that’s too much to ask.” “TUTBMP” is not so much a song as it is Madonna’s rambling inner monologue… she has a thought, then another thought and another… random thoughts and random memories keep crowding in, and each one seems to have its own random melody. And whilst all of that is kind of interesting, a karaoke classic it doth not make. “This Used To Be My Playground” gets six out of ten microphones.
Now all of that was just a warm-up for main event. It was just to get your blood flowing and your muscles loose for the epic work-out that is “Jump!” Please notice that this is clearly not Kris Kross’s “Jump” as Kris Kross’s “Jump” did not have an exclamation mark. This indicates that this “Jump!” involves ever more jumping! But be warned… this is “only for the hardcore, strictly for the head strong.” ARE YOOOOOUUUU REEEEEADDDDDYYYYYY?!!?!?!?!!?!!!?!?! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZCS4O1mb1g “Jump!” may not be my favourite song in the world, but it’s quite important to me. At about this point in our story, I had moved from the medium sized country town of Berri (famous for Australia’s favourite brand of orange juice, and the neighbouring town to the town that invented cask wine… we are so proud) to the medium sized city of Adelaide, to go to university and also to clubs. Sadly my boarding college’s local club was balls and this was about the only “club” song they played. But they didn’t play the normal version. We were university students, the greatest minds of our generation, and we liked our songs to contain maximum quantities of swearing… we were some jumpin’ muthafuckers. So… ARE YOU MUTHA FUCKERS REEAAADDDDYYYYY!!!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3CH5lN2Shc So for us, “Jump!” was basically a “Killing In The Name Of” you could dance to, if the only words to “Killing In The Name Of” was “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me, fuck you I won’t do what you tell me, fuck you I won’t do what you tell me, fuck you I won’t do what you tell me.” And so on. And without any of the political undertones. Did “Jump!” have political undertones? Were The Movement a political Movement? It seems unlikely. I have to say “Jump!” was a lot more fun than I remembered and it’s an 8.
Now here’s The Shamen with their pop masterpiece “LSI” which quite obviously stands for Love Sex Intelligence (there is absolutely nothing obvious about this song, or anything about it that makes sense either) and it’s comin’ on like a seventh sense (see what I mean?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DzGgIURySI Clearly what they needed was a house diva - Jhelisa Anderson – to take all that nonsense and make it transcendent, to make it all that I require, my heart’s desire. Nonsense like: “L.S.I love sex intelligence Coming on like a seventh sense LSI define the pleasure principle To make mind body soul invincible L.S.I getting high like adrenalin Pure as diamond - cool and crystalline L.S.I love sex intelligence Coming on like a seventh sense” I have no idea what any of that is about, but they are clearly geniuses. Gurus. Shamens even. And “LSI (Love Sex Intelligence)” is a 10.
If there is any 1992 dancefloor anthem bigger than “Rhythm Is A Dancer” it’s Rozalla's "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI42hQHfbi8 Part of that trend of relentlessly optimistic post-Cold War dance anthems in the early 90s, a trend that peaked in 1991. “Everybody’s Free” was originally released back in those heady days, but it took a whole year to become the Number One Jam In The Land in the US… whilst she was supporting Michael Jackson on his “Dangerous” tour. What everyone was free to do exactly was never quite explained: free to live in a liberal democratic state? free to love whomever you wanted to? free to take lots of drugs? I'm pretty sure that different groups of people thought Rozalla was referring all three of those things... and maybe she was. “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” should be every nation’s national anthem (except probably for Russia, because that would be a lie). "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good" is a 9
Meanwhile down at The Club… technically there was not a new Number One in the single week that Madonna was reminiscing about her playground, but since the only other option is to cover EIGHT bangers on Monday, let’s discuss a few of them now. And I’m going with the biggest bangers, because it’s the weekend! Let’s start with arguably the biggest banger of them all, arguably the biggest dancefloor banger of all of 1992. Let’s start with "Rhythm Is a Dancer" by Snap! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMPM1q_Uyxc Poor Turbo B. Sure, he may have been a homophobe, whose entire public persona was based on frowning at stuff, and being generally unpleasant (an impression that his feud with C+C Music Factory – complete with a diss track! – did nothing to dispel), but he deserved better than to be constantly ridiculed for one line: “I’m as serious as cancer, when I say rhythm is a dancer” Particularly since he was basically paraphrasing Rakim – “I got a question, it's serious as cancer/ Who can keep the average dancer” from “I Ain’t No Joke” – and everyone thought HE was a poet! The ”serious as cancer” line was not the only confounding thing about “Rhythm Is A Dancer.” The whole concept of the song got English-speaking heads a-scratching. “Rhythm Is A Dancer”, what does that even mean? So hilarious does that line appear – and particularly the earnestness with which Turbo pronounces it – that we tend to ignore the line that precedes it, the line that shows just how serious Turbo is: “if the groove don’t get ya, the rifle’s gonna” HOT DAMN TURBO B! YOU ARE SERIOUS AS CANCER! None of this takes away from the fact that “Rhythm Is A Dancer” – musically – is a funky masterpiece. Those echo-ing drums! That Baroque piano solo! That ominous bassline! HOT DAMN! “Rhythm Is A Dancer” is a 10. As for the Snap! diss track; the song that comprised the Snap!/C+C Music Factory feud in its entirety (Clivilles and Cole didn’t bother to respond, they clearly thought it was beneath them), here it is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU1jrhfLKUw
Meanwhile in Australia… we were still trying to figure out the murder mystery that was Richard Marx’s “Hazard”, which was still at Number One (why was it taking us so long, clearly it was the Sheriff), with KWS’s version of “Please Don’t Go” (it’s a 4), George Michael’s “Too Funky” (it’s an 8), Ugly Kid Joe’s “I Hate Everything About You” (it’s a 7) and Sophie B Hawkins “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” (it’s a 10) not far behind. And Yothu Yindi – the biggest Aboriginal band in the land, basically the only Aboriginal band most people knew – were racing up the charts with their follow up to the protest-rock-turned-protest-house-anthem “Treaty” with “Djabana (Sunset Dreaming)”, which – presumedly to save time and cut out the middleman – they re-recorded a sort of house-y version to begin with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMX2PrHPXzY A rock version had originally been released in 1989, in the video of which, Yothu Yindi are dreaming about Australian sunsets whilst mucking around in the American snow. There’s also a quick demonstration of how to make a didgeridoo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqCab1GI7XQ “Djabana” is less obviously political that “Treaty” – although there is a section where they beg the children not to follow the white man ways, and another section asking the white man why he ain’t fair – and contains more lyrics in Yolngu. I remember “Smash Hits” magazine wanting to print the lyrics to “Djabana” but needed to get permission from the tribal elders, for the chorus wasn’t just a pop song, it was a millennia old funeral song (I also remember a proto-Karen, possibly a neo-Becky, once requesting it at karaoke and then getting angry with me because the words weren’t in English!). And thus 90s pop culture found itself face-to-face with 40,000-year-old Indigenous traditions. And visa versa. Want to know more about Yolngu culture, and particularly that of the Gumatj clan to which Yothu Yindi belong? Well, the name Yothu Yindi itself is Gumatj for “child-mother”, a principle that underlies the Gumatj worldview of unity in diversity and looking after the land (I’m getting this from a Conversation article, I otherwise would not have a clue) “Djabana (Sunset Dreaming)” is an 8.
Lelaina : I know that, all right? But it's gonna be OK, you know? I know it's gonna be OK... "Melrose Place" is a really good show.
Meanwhile at No.8 is this the closest thing that the riot-grrl revolution got to a big pop crossover moment? Probably! It’s L7 waking up and smelling the coffee and most certainly not saying no to individuality. In other words it’s “Pretend That We’re Dead” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAdlZ2F-fs8 “Pretend That We’re Dead” is a 9.
Electronic - I may like this one even better than "Getting Away With It", okay maybe not. But it's close. It's a 9. Smart Es - as soon as the toytown techno trend began, there was only one way it could possibly end. It's a 7. Prince - I wasn't a big fan of his rapping, but I was a big fan of his microphone gun. It's a 7 (although at the time - in the middle of my Prince obsession - I probably would have given it a 9)
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