I’m off to India at the end of the week, so I thought I’d leave you all with this, the second part of Anorak’s favourite running tunes, the ones I rather enjoy listening to while out over those wild and rugged moors. And yes, they really are all currently on my ipod.
TALK TALK ‘IT’S MY LIFE’ (US REMIX)
Possibly the best ever remix of any song ever. Originally released in 1983 this failed to make the top 40. The UK 12 inch mix wasn’t much cop, which didn’t help. Then along came Steve Thompson, who created a monster of a track, which was initially released for the American market. The song still failed to become a huge hit in the UK until EMI tried for a third time in 1990 (to promote a ‘best of’ compilation) when it finally hit the top 20. The 12” mix released on that occasion wasn’t much cop either.
DAN HARTMAN ‘I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU’ (LARRY LEVAN 12” MIX)
This is also one of the best remixes in the history of remixes. Seven years’ after his best known hit ‘Instant Replay’, this song hit number 12 in the singles chart in August 1984. There were two mixes issued on 12” single in the USA, of which this was the lesser known, the other being a rockier extended version of the original single version. The late Larry Leven, one of the most iconic DJ godfathers of them all created this more danceable, and likeable mix that was used on its own in the UK. Don’t buy any of those recently released Twelve Inch compilation CDs though, because they all opt for the rockier mix which is most annoying. The only problem with Levan’s mix is that it doesn’t last longer than 6 minutes…
PARRALOX ‘I AM HUMAN’ Parralox’s John von Ahlen shares a birthday with myself and fellow Oz singer Olivia Newton John. Just thought I’d share that. John himself is pretty prolific, being behind other acts such as ‘The Sound of the Crowd’. He is a huge Human League fan before you ask. Parralox first came to prominence with ‘Sharper Than a Knife, with Roxy, who was particularly all, on vocals. Subsequent releases saw the gorgeous Amy Jackson take lead vocals, and I couldn’t take my eyes off her when I saw them perform in the UK. More recently John has worked with a number of vocalists, but ‘I am Human’ has become my favourite., taken from the second album ‘State of Decay’. Incidently, if you ever buy a Parralox CD single (yes, some acts still release them) then it’s a bit like buying an album because you still get 70 minutes of music, along with lots of different, and often new, tracks on.
AMII STEWART ‘FRIENDS’ (UK 12” MIX)
Lush, simply lush. One of my all-time favourite tracks. Forget later remixes, the original UK 12” release can never be surpassed. Who says good music never comes out of Italy. If I was deserted on a desert island I would have this on repeat, I never tire of it and on occasions I’ve clicked on ‘back’ when it’s finished in order to hear it yet again. Most super.
MARSHEAUX ‘SUMMER’ (EXTENDED VERSION)
Greek duo Sophie and Marianthi have been producing fantastic electronic music since 2003, and that includes an awesome rendition of ‘popcorn’, which might leave you a bit dizzy if you tried running with that in your ears. Summer is a fine track with dreamy vocal, and appeared in its ‘extended version’ as a free mp3 giveaway on their now defunct forum. Therefore if you can’t track this down then the album version (from their third release ‘Lumineux Noir’ is only a little shorter. If you get chance, listen to their fantastic take on Human League’s ‘Empire State Human’ or their own ‘Dream of a Disco’.
PATRICK JUVET ‘THE GAY PARIS – FRENCH PILLOW TALK’Switzerland finest – what, I hear you say – but surely Celine Dion has that honour. No chance, this former model was the king of the dance-floors in the late 70s. This track is from his ‘Lady Night’ album and is over 11 minutes of pure disco exuberance. Get those flares and huge shirt collars at the ready, who cares if they look sily while you’re out running. I know I will get crucified for this one but it’s a fantastic tune to run to on a fine summer’s morning when you haven’t a care in the world.
NORTHERN KIND ‘ON AND ON’ (EXTENDED MIX)
Leicestershire’s finest electronic duo. Better than that even, let’s make that just plain ‘Leicestershire’s finest’ full stop. I first came across Matt and Sarah when this previously unissued track from their first album ‘Fifty Three Degrees North’ on the excellent ‘Electronically Yours’ compilation (UNDO records). Their third album, ‘Credible Sexy Unit’ is really quite apt and hasn’t been out long – well worth listening to.
GAT DECOR ‘PASSION’ (NAKED MIX)
Forget the reissued vocal versions, this, along with the epic Darren Emerson mix, is the one you need to be running along to. Labelled as ‘progressive house’ this mix builds slowly and takes you on a pleasant ride that helps you forget how knackered you are.
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD ‘TWO TRIBES’ (ANNIHILATION MIX)
Another great remix from the 1980s. Classic Pop magazine rated this as the best 12 inch mix of the 80s, and who would argue. There’s also the Carnage mix, and the Hibakusha mix, on separate 12 inch singles, and a remix of ‘War’ with the Carnage mix on the ‘B’ side, and a whole host of different 7” / picture disc mixes as well – in true ZTT style of course. I could spend an entire two hour run listening to FGTH remixes..and on occasion I’ve been known to do just that.
HAZELL DEAN ‘WHO’S LEAVING WHO’ (BOB’S TAMBOURINE MIX)
I almost chose the ‘Indian Summer Mix’ of ‘They Say it’s Gonna Rain’, but instead opted for this, her biggest hit, produced by none other than Stock Aitken Waterman. It’s not the longest extended version you’ll ever hear, but there’s energy from the first beat to the last and it’s definitely one of those that enables you to put in a fast mile just for the sheer hell of it.
MANDY SMITH ‘I JUST CAN’T WAIT’ (COOL & BREEZY JAZZ MIX)
Proof that Stock Aitken Waterman were more than one trick ponies. The original 12” mix was good, but this a laid back groove that would not be out of place in a modern wine bar. Not the type of track you’d really want to hear if running through town, best reserved for those quiter parts of the run where you can relax that bit more.
SISTER SLEDGE ‘LOST IN MUSIC’ (NILE RODGERS 1984 REMIX)
The legend Nile Rodgers had to appear somewhere in these lists. Already a hit once, Rodgers remixed the track he produced in the first place and added backing vocals from Duran Duran, another band he was working with at the time. The result, a smash hit once again. This mix is a lot beefier than the original and is taken from one of disco’s finest albums ‘We Are Family’.
PAMELA FERNANDEZ ‘KICKIN’ IN THE BEAT’ (DANCING DIVAZ MIX)
In the mid 90s, any track that featured a ‘dancing divaz mix’ was worth listening to. This in an era when many remixes sounded nothing like the original, a dancing divaz mix always stayed true to the original, but added a bit more insistency and exuberance that made it all the more easy to dance – or even run – to.
THE MARY JAMES GIRLS ‘IN MY HOUSE’ (12” MIX)
The late, great Rick James produced Mary Jane Girls are best known for ‘All Night Long’, but this is just amazing. I always seem to put in a fast, fast mile when this is on, full of energy and vigour amnd includes everything you would expect from the great man himself.
FIDELITY CASTRO ‘21ST CENTURY GIRL’ (MARK REEDER’S STRIDENT REMIX)
And this certainly is strident. Anything with Mark Reeder on the mix can be nothing but. This is a stand out track from the fantastic compilation ‘5 point 1’ which features a whole host of Reeder mixes and remixes. On ite even breathes new life into John Foxx’s ‘Underpants’.
SCISSOR SISTERS ‘I DON’T FEEL LIKE DANCIN’How can you not be entirely uplifted when you are listening to this one. The only problem I have with it is that at certain points in the song I do indeed feel like dancing like Jake Shears does in the video, and that wouldn’t be a particularly good thing to do on a fast downhill stretch on the road or off the side of a hill.
By the way, if you do like electronic music then the best site to visit is: www.electricity-club.co.uk (no, i’m not on commission)
Oh, and ‘Is That The 12″ Mix’still available from amazon if you haven’t bought it!