lördag 15 oktober 2011

"Can't shake this monkey of my back..."

Culture Beat - Serenity
Released in june 1993

Label: Dance Pool

Culture Beat was formed in the late 80's and gained a fair amount of success during this period of time with a couple of hit singles and an album released in an european version and in an US version. However we had to wait until 1993 when the group revolutionized the whole eurodance world with their immense hit single Mr. Vain. Now up until this period, eurodance was still connected with a some what underground scene. Rhythm Is a Dancer by Snap, made an example of what could come and artists like 2 Unlimited, Captain Hollywood and DJ Bobo did what they could to spread the sound of eurodance. When Mr. Vain was released, they didn't have to fight any longer.

Mr Vain climbed the charts all over the world gaining huge success were ever it was released. The powerfull melody with the strong lead sining act by Tanya Evans and the characteristic rap part by Jay Supreme took the world by storm. No questions asked, just pure energy from the very first second. During the summer of 93 the group, that a side from Jay and Tanya also featured the producers Torsten Fenslau, Nosie Katzman and Peter Gräber, grew in to one of the biggest eurodance acts of the current time. The album came out in june 'bout the same time as Mr Vain was released. Got To Get It came out in september and Anything got released in december.

The album containes all the hit singles in various versions. The version of Mr Vain that was featured on the album is probably the most known version of the song despite the fact that it never got released on a single. The version on the album is 05:31 long and the version in the music video is an shorter and edited variant of that very same version. However the lead track of the maxi single is a 04:17 minutes long version called Special Radio Edit. Why the album version never got released on a single is a question that remaines to be answered. The album version of Got To Get It is also a unique version that didn't reach the maxi single. The versions on the single endures of different strings/organs and a different bass sound. The third single Anything also got a couple of changes. The album version is similar to the Introless version of the single however there is a slight difference in the length of the songs and in various instruments. For instance the album version features a simple bass while the Introless version contains a rolling bass line.

The Serenity album is very unique in many ways. A side from the fact that none of the hit songs reached an actual single release, the album containes songs in many different styles of electronic dance music. Rocket To the Moon would definitely fall under the style of trance during the early 90's and Adelante is a pure house track. Just two of the tracks are under 5 minutes long. When I listened to the album back in the 90's, I actually didn't like it all. When I put it on today, I enjoy every second!

("Can't shake this monkey of my back..." is a line taken out of the rap part in Got To Get It)

2 kommentarer:

  1. I always found it funny that all tracks that eventually became single (or were already singles before the album release, whichever) got their own versions for the album. I've originally known Mr. Vain for the "Vain Mix" (original extended version) and getting to know this version didn't seem that strange to me since it was still pretty similar, minus the convenient mixing parts, which were absent from this version (useful to have as a DJ). I do like however that most songs are over 5 minutes long, and that they're unique to the album. I'm usually way repulsed on buying an album which contain nothing but radio versions. As a DJ, this doesn't seem like a profitable buy to me. Might as well spend a little more and get the singles separately! But in the case of "Serenity", I actually like it.

    On a side note, I completely despise the "Special Radio Edit" of "Mr. Vain". Why the guitars at the beginning?? Why the oh so recognizable riff doesn't appear until after the first verse? Have the producers planned a sneak attack on listeners, like they were thinking "oh, we'll trick you into thinking you're listening to something else, but NO, you'll have been listening to Mr. Vain ALL THIS TIME, MUHAHAHAHA!", uh?)

    Ok, I'm just rambling, but that's just a thought here! Thanks for another excellent critique. :)

  2. 1993 was a very expansive period mainly cause of the digital elements entering the music business. From month to month, the producers found new ways to tweak and modify their sound and if an album were released in the spring and a single release planned in the fall, these 5-6 month were as 2-3 years today in the developing areas. That's why artists changed so much from an album release to a single release. Also, there were huge profit in cd-maxi sales, and if an maxi single were unique, it probably got more sales!

    I like both of the versions of mr vain, but the album version is the one that I have most memories to ;)