Number 176 – Major Dancefloor Tune Alert!
Lopez (Hard On) – 808 State featuring James Dean Bradfield – Chosen by SWC – Taken from Single of the Same Name (1997)
So we had an idea – we contacted some fellow bloggers and asked them to review some of the songs from our Top 200. A recipe for disaster….? Here’s JC to talk you through todays entry….
Sometimes I really should engage my brain before I open my mouth…..or in this instance hit certain keys on the pad of the old laptop.
I love S-WC and Badger. They’ve done so much to make my own site much more attractive and eclectic in nature over the years that I didn’t hesitate to say ‘YES’ when they asked if I could assist with the series they are doing on 200 essential songs. But me being such a gobshite, I had to take it further and volunteer my services for a series of songs with the numbers (except one) being picked at random by the dynamic duo. I was asking for trouble…and it duly arrived.
My first required contribution is for 808 State. Now to the majority of folk who hang around this corner of the blogosphere, and indeed probably round my own parts, this would not be a problem. Indeed, it would be regarded as landing four of a kind on the fruit machine thus guaranteeing a decent return on your original investment. But you’re dealing here with someone who, in a vinyl/CD/digital collection of something approaching 40,000 songs, owns nothing by 808 State other than a couple of tracks that have come on compilation efforts.
It’s an age/circumstances thing. This were a lot who burst onto the scene in 1988, as 808 State did, at precisely the time when I was giving up on music and looking to settle down to married life. Readers of T(n)VV will know it was a case of best laid plans and all that, and I won’t bore any of you with gory details. Let’s just make do with the fact that, for the most part, I was ignorant of much new music from 1988 -1990; I have been lucky enough to fill many of the gaps thanks to a good mate making me up all sorts of compilation cassettes a few years later but for some reason, and I guess he felt that I probably wouldn’t have been a huge fan, he only occasionally put on anything by 808 State; the problem was exacerbated by the fact that these C90s were inevitably filled with such great indie-type tunes which I would rave about (pun intended) that 808 State didn’t really register in our conversations. I didn’t mention them ergo he didn’t go out of his way to include them.
It’s my loss an can be confirmed by spending even the shortest time on wiki will indicate. An act who over the years has worked alongside such rich and diverse talents like Bernard Sumner, Bjork, James Dean Bradfield, Ian McCulloch and Paul Morley must be doing something right.
S-WC and Badger have asked for some thoughts on Lopez, a track originally from the Don Solaris album released in 1996. The version that they consider an essential keep however is one that is found as an extra track when it was released as a single
Oh great….the mix is from another act that folk with taste talk up a lot but who are little known to your humble scribe. So it’s a case of listening without prejudice….
First up. It’s one of the big name guest vocalists and the first few seconds make you think you’re listening to a Manic Street Preachers number. Then it goes that way that of so many electronic records with a slowed down bent-note intro that you just know is leading into a big hardcore beat. And this remix doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The drum is near identical to Firestarter by The Progidy. But if anything this is even more catchy as James Dean Bradfield is a singer and not a shouter…..and his delivery of the chorus ‘Joy it gives me my last regret’ really sticks in the brain.
It then does that thing where I really wish I was listening to it in a club with a decent sound system and not via a laptop. My feet are tapping and my head is nodding….but just as I’m getting into a groove it slows down but only for a short time. The next instrumental section is rather splendid with the sort of wah-wah guitar that I first appreciated on Precious by The Jam with the bent-note intro now coming to the fore as a big part of the tune. I’m loving it. I’d have been larging it if dance music and clubbing had been my scene in those days of old. And then I ask myself…..why wasn’t this included on the Trainspotting soundtrack? It would have been a perfect fit…..especially when you consider the lyric in the chorus.
To close things off, I do my internet research again.
Lopez hit #20 in the UK singles chart in February 1997 on its first week of release. It then dropped to #46 the following week before disappearing altogether. The thing is, it was in the charts at the same time as Breathe by The Prodigy which not only do I remember but is a CD single I bought at the time. Strange how one tune had an impact on me at the time while I was oblivious to the other.
Verdict? Good call boys on having this on your list.
SWC Adds – Big Respect for JC for volunteering his services, over the next few months there will be six more entries from him – the next one being towards the end of July. 808 State are worth investigating if you are not that familiar with them – and this is kind of the point of this list – I suppose. Oh and we will publish anything that features the word ‘Gobshite’ its a terrific word. Look out for other bloggers soon. If you want a go, get in touch, email us – with a number between 21 and 175 and we will do the rest.