This is turning into one heck of a jukebox/DJ mixtape! Today's musical contribution is by one of the best-known bands of what you might call the rave era...and I know just saying that will make some of you switch off (or click away) IMMEDIATELY but please don't! It wasn't all bad...it really wasn't. Some of it was brilliant...even without the drugs.
OK...a lot of the electronic dance music of the late 1980s and 1990s was and is, I admit it, a rather specialist subject...but that's not the case for all of it. I mean, some of you didn't think you liked folk music but you loved June Tabor yesterday, right? So why stop there? Onwards, soldiers, onwards! To where? To the Underworld...
The British band Underworld have made quite a lot of electronic dance music that can, I think, appeal to a huge range of listeners (if they just give it a go). One of their tracks did cross over to pop success (the track 'Born Slippy', thanks to its inclusion on the 'Trainspotting' soundtrack) but I have to say that that is one of my least favourite bits of Underworld. Much, much better is their album from the early 90s 'Dubnobasswithmyheadman'. It is full of great tracks – 'Cowgirl', 'Dark and Long' and most of all, for me, 'Mmm Skyscraper, I love you'. This track features vocalist Karl Hyde to great effect and has some fairly quirky lyrics (one of the reasons Underworld stood out from the dance crowd was their different approach to vocals). You can read the lyrics here (if you really want to...they're quite bizarre). The following video was the best version of this track that I could find on youtube and bizarrely, but interestingly, it features lots of pictures of a Frenchman who climbs up buildings for fun (Alain Robert...nothing to do with the band).
To listen to this track properly I would suggest you put on headphones and concentrate on it thoroughly - it's really not background music. Listen to it from start to finish and leave any prejudices you might have about electronica/dance music/rave/house/trance/techno aside for a minute. This is just a really good piece of music (and the words are fun too...though they don't really get going till about 3 minutes in). Try to enjoy it. Go on...just try one...
So what do you think? I love it. Always have...always will.
5 hours ago