Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 23/02/99

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Slave to the lack of rhythm

One of the consequences of my ongoing obsession with Wham! and my insane desire to collect cover versions of material by musicians I'm into is that my CD collection has some truly dire material in it. One classic example of this is a disc entitled Slave To The Rhythm: 16 Greatest Dancing Hits, by the London Starlight Orchestra, which features tacky synthesised cover versions of hits from the mid-80s. Nestled amongst dire versions of 'When The Going Gets Tough', 'Nikita' and the title track is a lame-o cover of 'I'm Your Man', so naturally I was forced to purchase it for the somewhat generous sum of $2.

However, the most amusing thing about this CD isn't the music on it. It's not even the rather tacky cover image. Rather, it's the liner notes, which hilariously attempt to justify what is ultimately just a cheap cash-in on the success of people with actual talent. They are reproduced in full below for your reading pleasure:

The light entertainment music always got along fine with dancing. We restrict our story to this century's popular music from the United States. This music spread all over the world and often the combination of music and dance led to an actual rage. The most important dancing-rages ofwere the charleston in the twenties and the swing in the thirties. 20 Years later rock 'n' roll caused a powerful dancing-explosion. Bill Haley, one of the kings of rock 'n' roll, was certainly right when he said, 'Whatever may change in popular music, young people will always like dancing and will always prefer to do so to their own music and their characteristic rhythms'.

In the second half of the seventies the disco-dance sound appeared. Originally in underground disco's it expanded enormously thanks to John Travolta - in the movie 'Saturday Night Fever'. Since that time disco rhythm is an undissoluble part of the international hitparades and hundreds of artists and groups have used this exciting dance rhythm in uncountable variations for their songs. This compact disc, 'Slave To The Rhythm' includes 16 disco-worldhits. It is not only a pleasure to listen to this music but also a particular enjoyment to dance to them.

'Slave To The Rhythm' has been programmed for everybody's taste -- from the fierce funk rhythm in the titlesong and 'Night Shift' to the slow rock rhythm from 'Broken Wings' and 'Take My Breath Away'. By the way, Lionel Richie's 'Say You, Say Me', Elton John's 'Nikita' and Phil Collins 'One More Night' certainly deserve an honourable mentioning.

It is not amazing that The London Starlight Orchestra, the orchestra performing the 16 Dancing Greatest Hits on this compact disc, has placed the widetoned and warmhearted synthesizer in the spotlight so perfectly. Synthesizers, first appearing in the popmusic from the sixties, captured a steady place in the popscene in the next decade. The synthesizer can give the disco and other dancing-music very special colours, that together with the always emphaticly present rhythms, have contributed to the popularity of contemporary dancing music.

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