Saturday Flashback: Interactive – Forever Young

“I’m fairly sure even I dance better than that.”

Tim: Remember a few days ago, when I said that it was sad that John De Sohn didn’t give us a dance version of this song? Well, guess what I’ve found! I said when we covered the One Direction version that it sounded exactly like you’d expect a One Direction cover of it to sound like; Interactive were a German dance group active in the mid-nineties.

Tom: And, you’ll probably not be surprised to learn, I know this track well.

Tom: …or, apparently, I don’t, because apparently I’ve always heard a remix of this that added a Proper Thumping Techno Bass. That was confusing.

Tim: Confusing perhaps, but also FABULOUS. It has everything you need in there, and nothing you don’t need. Sure, it’s a bit disappointing that at the start you get just a few syllables before cutting off to a seemingly unrelated dance tune, but aside from that I love this.

Tom: Full marks for the music video just being whatever dancers they could get in front of a green-screen, though. Are any of them actually the vocalist? No idea, don’t care.

Tim: Doesn’t matter in the slightest. And since you mention them, I am ALL HERE for the Greg James look-a-like in the red shirt, because I’m fairly sure even I dance better than that. As I write this, I have a bajillion and one things I need to do, and I was feeling a bit lazy, but this has got me RIGHT GOING. Put me in a club, get this on the speakers, and I’ll be ON THAT FLOOR, because with this track in mind, we can be whatever we want to be. We can, basically, absolutely be forever young.

Saturday Flashback: Alan Walker feat. Gavin James – Tired

“The white guys are magicians or something, showing how mystical things can happen, and presumably improve lives by making everything look fancy, with the power of Alan’s logo?”

Tim: OKAY THEN so let’s have a look at this, following up from Wednesday’s post. I thought we’d covered all of Alan’s tracks, so it surprised me when I discovered this existed; it made me happy, partly because it’s a good song and partly because it goes some way towards explaining exactly what’s happening in the other videos.

Tim: At least, a tiny bit of the way. We’ve what is definitely a scientifically plausible extinction level event happening, and also a building’s exploded, and there are a lot of people working underground to survive, or at least preserve whatever’s in those boxes, and she seems to have changed sides at point or another because is there another group of people also trying to survive? To be honest I kind of wish the pair of them had just stayed in bed together while it all happened and accepted it, because then I could make a brilliant joke about at least one of them going out on top HERE ALL WEEK, TRY THE VEAL.

Next we’re up to All Falls Down, the official first part, and let’s watch the video because we didn’t actually mention it when we reviewed the track.

Tim: Society is on the way up again, and I think they’re digging up one of those boxes, and opening it up with a circular saw even though there doesn’t seem to be any electricity anywhere else on the planet, but never mind that, because we’ve got some nice merchandise and cult material in there, but then people get bored because there’s nothing to actually do with them, until is that now the other group coming along to educate them? Anyway, now at least we know why they were trying to save what was in those boxes, slightly, because they do look proper fancy.

Part two, now, and let’s put the video here again for simplicity’s sake.

Tim: And…and no. I give up, I really have no idea. The white guys are magicians or something, showing how mystical things can happen, and presumably improve lives by making everything look fancy, with the power of Alan’s logo? God, I hope part three explains stuff.

Tom: Reader, I’m going to be honest with you: I got about two minutes into the first video and just gave up, so I handed this post over to Tim.

Tim: No one blames you. Starting to wish I’d never got involved, to be frank.

Saturday Flashback: Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory (Cahill Remix)

“Ten years since the release of Just Dance”

Tim: I realised the other day that April marked ten years since the release of Just Dance, the debut single that catapulted Ms Gaga right to the top of music and everything, which seems worth celebrating and I’m surprised there wasn’t more of a thing about it tbh. Coincidentally, I also heard this remix.

Tim: And oh my days, it’s good.

Tom: It is: but let’s not forget that’s partly because it’s building on the original track and, despite adding instrumentation, it’s still letting those spectacular vocals shine through.

Tim: For all we talk about her frequently re-inventing herself, as far as I’m concerned she never really bettered what she began with the re-issue of The Fame, as The Fame Monster, which added tracks like Bad Romance and Alejandro, and was then followed up by Born This Way, one of the finest albums of the century. On it were fabulous tracks like Born This Way, Judas, Marry The Night, and, of course, this. One of her best tracks, and easily the best remix of a Gaga track. LOVE. THIS.

Tom: The Manhattan Clique remix of Boys would like a word.

Saturday Flashback: Alex Ross feat. Dakota, T-Pain – Dreams

“Oh, it’s that Dreams!”

Tim: Funny how coincidences happen: yesterday we discussed Jonas Blue kickstarting the tropical-covers-of-classic-pop trend, and yesterday afternoon I heard this for the first time in bloody ages.

Tom: Oh, it’s that Dreams! I thought it was going to be a Fleetwood Mac cover. Or a Cranberries cover.

Tim: In fact, probably the first time since it was a first released last March, actually, since who the hell jumps on a bandwagon six months after everyone else has stopped, launches a summer track in the middle of flipping March and then expects it to get played? Well, Alex Ross, apparently.

And credit where it’s due it’s not a terrible rendition of the song, at least given the questionable target it’s aiming for.

Tom: Interesting choice adding T-Pain in there, too; this didn’t need his middle eight, but I’ve got admit it actually improves what was originally a fairly dull song to cover. You’re right: this hits the target.

Tim: We may not approve of that target (nor, indeed, may anyone else in their right mind), but since FastCar came along it’s right there and ready to be hit. In fact, if I’m perfectly honest, if I were to remove my ‘tropical covers are unnecessary and frequently awful’ blinkers, I might even approve of it as a remix.

Tom: I think I’m with you there. I think I might actually like this?

Tim: Because it does sound nice and summery; it’s a listenable enough version of the track; it’s entirely inoffensive; and occasionally if it comes on in the background you’ll think “huh, this is quite nice”. At least, that’s what I did yesterday.

Saturday Flashback: Nakatomi – Children of the Night

“I could RAVE ALL NIGHT to it.”

Tim: It’s mid-90s Dutch happy hardcore!

Tom: YES.

Tom: I listened to the intro of that, and thought “where have I heard that before”? The answer: this exact song, which has dredged up a huge amount of memories from when I was a teenager. (Also, a load of other places, because that’s a really obvious chord progression, but still.)

Tim: So I’ve Shazammed this twice in the past fortnight, partly because I’m forgetful, but also because it’s somehow ended up on the list of tracks that my work’s HomePod thinks we all really enjoy so plays it a LOT, and I LOVE THAT.

Tom: I haven’t heard any happy hardcore tracks in so long, and I think it’s going to be the soundtrack for my entire workday today.

Tim: Aw, good good. It never really troubled the charts over here, though it hit number 2 there on its 2002 re-release, so it’s not all bad news. I think, for me, it’s the delightful mix of ludicrous beats with an attempt at meaningful lyrics that I love so much, and the backing choir of kids at the end is the wonderful cherry on top. I could RAVE ALL NIGHT to it, and to be honest I would really quite like to.

Tom: Someone’s got to be doing retro raves these days, surely?

Tim: You’d think, wouldn’t you? But I honestly can’t find anything. I’ll let you know, though.

Saturday Flashback: Chicane – Saltwater

“Presumably taking inspiration from Scooter’s Back In The UK.”

Tim: Why? Because I heard a sample of it on an advert of a Ministry of Sound compilation CD, and remembered it’s bloody brilliant.

Tim: Also, musical education time: the foreign language vocal is a sample from a TV show theme tune, with Chicane presumably taking inspiration from Scooter’s Back In The UK.

Tom: I don’t think… you know what, sure, yes, okay, fine, let’s go with that.

Tim: The show in this case was Harry’s Game, a drama about Northern Ireland in the 1980s…

Tom: Yes! And if their sound is familiar, it’s because Enya was part of their group until she went solo.

Tim: When the theme was released as a single itself in 1982 it became (and remains) the only song ever to have charted in the UK sung entirely in Irish Gaelic. and was for several years the song that U2 closed every one of their live gigs with. TRUE STORY.

Tom: By which you mean they played it after the lights came up and the crowd were leaving. Bono didn’t suddenly go falsetto. Although that would’ve been great.

Tim: It really would.

Saturday Flashback: Tom Walker – Leave A Light On

“As heard on the Sony Bravia OLED TV advert”

Tim: Now, thanks to one particular romantic TV show, I’ve started watching proper TV recently, with adverts and everything.

Tom: Event television is still popular, and when all your friends are talking about it online and in real-time, sometimes it’s necessary.

Tim: And there’s one single that’s getting advertised a lot, slightly weirdly. Because BACK IN MY DAY, tracks were advertised as “the number one hit” or “platinum-selling”. Not really, like this one is, as “as heard on the Sony Bravia OLED TV advert”.

Tim: Good LORD, I’m fairly sure that’s by far and away the most obscure reference ever made on this side. Good work.

Tim: Good song, though. And, now I’ve looked it up, not a bad advert. I’m thinking I need a new TV, Tom. Do I need a new TV?

Tom: No.

Tim: I need a new TV.

Saturday Flashback: Melanie C – I Turn To You

“TOTAL. BANGER.”

Tim: So a couple of weeks back some random on Twitter posted that

Tom: The thankfully forgotten Gym & Tonic by Spacedust.

Tim: Oof, blimey.

Tom: Yeah, never mind. What did you get?

Tim: This TOTAL. BANGER.

Tom: I had forgotten quite how much NINETIES SYNTH there was in that. Actually, I’d forgotten most of it, but especially the NINETIES SYNTH.

Tim: Isn’t it fabulous? Now, depending on how you frame it, you can logically make a case for several of the Spice Girls to have had the most solo success, with the possible exception of Mel B.

Tom: Harsh. Judge on America’s Got Talent, presenter in Australia, television host in the UK? In terms of how many people around the world would recognise her in the street, I reckon she’s probably in the lead right now.

Tim: Ooh, hmm, maybe a bit harsh, then, I guess.

Tom: How about the others?

Tim: Geri Halliwell had the most number 1s, Victoria Beckham’s married to, well, David Beckham, and Emma Bunton’s got a steady gig on Capital Radio. On the other hand, Mel C has three of the top 5 best-selling solo singles, and came out with Northern Star, an album with one of the best killer:filler ratios ever; it is LOVELY, with the title track being criminally underappreciated at the time.

Tom: Or, you might say, even now.

Tim: And then there was this, a BRILLIANT dance pop number that I just couldn’t get enough of at the time, and to be honest still can’t now I’ve started playing it again. YES to this defining my life.

Saturday Flashback: Ultrabeat – Use Somebody

“Use Somebody, in it’s original form, is One Of Those Tracks.”

Tim: So after that Scooter gig I mentioned last week, Ultrabeat came on and did an after show DJ set, which was flipping brilliant, including as it did songs along the lines of Shooting Star, Heaven and Every Time We Touch.

Tom: As if I wasn’t envious enough already. That’s not an ironic statement, I’m genuinely envious.

Tim: What can I say – you get road trips round the world and being invited to fly with the Red Arrows, I get to go to Scooter gigs. Ultrabeat also played a couple of their own tracks: Pretty Green Eyes, obviously (and twice, which I think could be frowned upon), and this one, which I’d not heard before and initially thought was a remix.

Tim: So, I’m all for a dance cover. When it’s well done and it sounds good like this, no problem. Except, there’s one big problem I have with this: Use Somebody, in it’s original form, is One Of Those Tracks.

Tom: You’re going to have to be more specific.

Tim: It’s Mr Brightside, it’s All The Small Things, it’s Livin’ On A Prayer. It doesn’t matter what the crowd is, or whatever genre of music they typically like, or however sober they are, or even if they’re curled up in the corner of the club getting off with a new friend…

Tom: The voice of experience, there.

Tim: …it will, without fail, get 90% of the crowd off their seats and on the dance floor. And they want to sing along. And what they really, really want to sing along to is the “WOOA-OOOOH-OHHH WOOA-OOOOH-OHHH WOOA-OOOOH-OHHH”. And so they will sing that even if there’s more important stuff happening. Like, I don’t know, a dance breakdown that’s the backbone of what you’ve contributed to the song.

Tom: That’s fair. And I suspect that’s why it might be hidden so deeply in the background: they know the crowd will provide it anyway.

Tim: So sure, do a dance version of it. Fill it in with synths, make it more suitable for a dance pop party. But don’t, whatever you do, make it sound very very similar to the original except for adding the dance bit exactly where the “WOOA-OOOOH-OHHH WOOA-OOOOH-OHHH WOOA-OOOOH-OHHH” is. Because not a single person will notice, and that will be sad.

Saturday Flashback: Scooter – Mary Got No Lamb

“A lovely gentle Boyzone romantic number”

Tim: Tom, I’ve a confession to make. Thing is, much as I love Scooter, and everything H.P. Baxxter stands for, I’ve been pretty poor at keeping up with their latest releases. As such, when I saw them on their COMPLETELY AMAZING 25th anniversary tour a couple of weeks ago, there were a few tracks I didn’t recognise.

Tom: But that could you still RAVE to?

Tim: Well, duh. Of all of them, though, this one kind of stuck in my head.

Tom: Oh. Oh dear. That’s… well, yes, that is textbook Scooter, isn’t it? I mean, much as I like them, that’s basically pushing all the way into self-parody.

Tim: So when I’d finished laughing, I kept on RAVING and then at the end of the gig I realised I shouldn’t have been that surprised at all. We’ve had a Supertramp song, a song from a musical for kids, even a film series theme being reworked – why not a song that, at least according to Google, is a lovely gentle Boyzone romantic number that was covered by Sutherland Brothers and Quiver twenty years earlier?

Tom: …you know, I’ve never replied with a GIF before here, but

Nathan Fillion

Tim: The rest of it, of course, is absolutely classic Scooter – lengthy drum build with H.P. shouting over the top.

Tom: And shouting even more nonsense than usual!

Tim: Amazing, isn’t it? The first bit alone we’re talking about cherries not being important, and in the shouting verses proper we’ve a particular highlight of “Got no lamb, but that’s okay, I’m into chicken anyway”. Then we RAVE again before the return of that beautiful romantic chorus. Regardless of (in fact, partially because of) lyrical stupidity, this is brilliant.

Tom: You’re not wrong.