Friday, September 28, 2007
Born Alsou Ralifovna Abramova (although better known as just Alsou), she's one of the most popular singers in Russia.
With a successful career in her hometown under her belt, an English language single, "Solo" (which also placed second in the Eurovision Song Contest) was released in 2000 and became the biggest Russian single of all time only to be outdone by herself a year later, dueting with Enrique Iglasias on the song "You're My #1".
When the lead single for the proposed English album, "Before You Love Me" only charted at a disappointing #27 on the UK singles chart (although it went to #1 on MTV UK), combined with promotional issues, the album was cancelled in the UK.
While Alsou continues to record in her homeland, it seems that for now, her English releases are at a standstill after a second try for an English album failed again in 2005.
But here, her lead English single "Before You Love Me" got a great workout by remixing team the Sleaze Sisters and they produced a high NRG anthem that deserves to be heard!
Alsou - Before You Love Me (JM's Sleaze Sisters Radio Edit)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
There's good house music and then there's Deborah Cox.
Deb entered into the music industry by way of being one of Celine Dion's back-up singers but after signing with Arista records in 1995 and releasing her first self-titled CD, she was well on her way to being a household name.
Her first CD spawned a few singles and some good mixes along the way (Junior Vasquez's anthemic mix of "Who Do U Love" being my fave) but when her 1998 effort, "One Wish" came out, it was a different ball game.
Thanks to Hex Hector's brilliant and classic reworks of "Things Just Ain't The Same" and "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here", Deborah assured her spot in dance music history forever.
A string of club hits followed over the last few years which included "It's Over Now", "Absolutely Not", "Mr Lonely", "Play Your Part", "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven" (a Phil Collins remake) and her Tony Moran produced epic "Easy As Life" from the B'way show "Aida" which she starred in.
Now, in 2007, after releasing critically acclaimed jazz CD "Destination Moon" (a CD of Dinah Washington covers), Deborah's hitting the dance floors again with "Everybody Dance (Clap Your Hands)". A commercial release for this song is just around the corner, but the two main mixes that have surfaced are done by Tony Moran (which ended up on his CD "The Event") and Offer Nissim.
I do enjoy Offer's mix alot but I prefer Tony's cause it's more upbeat and it's a full vocal mix. And as such, this edit (er...really more of a mix) clocks in around 5:40... But I guarantee non-stop vocal fun!
Welcome back Deborah, The dance floor needs you!
Deborah Cox - Everybody Dance (JM's Tony Moran Radio Mix)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Billed as The Digital Diva, Suzanne Palmer has the same problem that Kristine W tends to have: They're two of the best vocalists you've never heard of.
Suzanne's big break came in the form of 1998's "Much Better" where she was the vocalist on the Club 69 track that went to number 1.
Her remake of Diana Ross' "Muscles" also did very well for her via Club 69 (check out the Razor N Guido mix!) but it wouldn't be until her cover of Kosheen's "Hide U" that would put her on the map again (check out Junior's mix of this one!).
Since then she released her second CD "Home" on Star 69 records (her first debut album never saw the light of day due to the folding of the record label, Twisted UK, she was on) where she works with some of the best people in the dance music industry.
Eric Kupper (who produced the single "Fascinated", a Company B remake), Cevin Fisher ("Luv 2 Luv" & "Eye Can See U" - The latter will soon be the next single), Dezrok ("One Day") and of course Peter Rauhofer over-seeing the whole project, made this album a varied and exceptional listen-thru.
This is what a real dance music CD should sound like.
This song, "Keep The Faith", originally produced by Rauhofer, had an exceptional mix by Offer Nissim on the CD single release. Her vocals soar through the rafters on this one and of course, Offer's beats give the song the punch it needs!
Suzanne Palmer - Keep The Faith (JM's Offer Nissim Radio Edit)
Plumb is actually the moniker of Tiffany Arbuckle Lee who originally started off as a contemporary Christian artist but has since dabbled in other musical areas as well.
I had never heard of her until recently but it turns out that aside from being a recording artist on her own, she's also written songs for Michelle Branch, Kimberley Locke and Mandy Moore. Amy Lee of Evanescence has even said that Plumb has been an inspiration to her.
In October of this year she released her 5th studio CD entitled "Blink" which is where this song, "In My Arms" is from.
Our UK friends Bimbo Jones (who are on FIRE lately) took this angelic vocal and brought it up to the next level, delivering a dance floor thumper worthy of peak hour play.
Plumb - In My Arms (JM's Bimbo Jones Radio Edit)
Born Mica Penniman in Beirut, Lebanon, Mika (who changed his name cause he said people always mispronounced it), rose to fame later in 2006 and early this year and with his distinct vocal styles (being compared to Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and Elton John among others) it doesn't seem like he's going anywhere anytime soon.
His first single, "Grace Kelly" went number 1 in four countries and top 5 in eight others.
However, this song, "Relax (Take It Easy)" is I believe his best effort yet!
His album, "Life In Cartoon Motion" has an amazing amount of pop gems but the hook of this song and lyrics are so damn catchy you just can't deny it!
Tony Moran (with a little help from Jody Den Broeder), genious that he (they) is (are), took a stab at this and created a dance floor masterpiece!!! This is one mix I never get tired of listening to and you'll see why...
Mika - Relax (Take It Easy) (JM's Tony Moran & JDB Radio Edit)
Back in 1993 Daniel Jones placed an add in an Australian newspaper holding auditions for a vocalist for his 5 piece band, Red Edge, Darren Hayes responded and was immediately asked to join.
In June of 94, Daniel and Darren split Red Edge and pursued a career on their own as Savage Garden (taken from Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles"). By the end of the year, they had written enough songs together to make a demo which they started shopping around.
By 1995 they were in the studio recording their first CD and by 1996 they released their first single "I Want You" which went to number 4 in the US and Australia and became one of the biggest selling Australian singles of the year.
Another couple of chart-toppers later ("To The Moon & Back" and their signature song "Truly Madly Deeply" which spent 123 weeks on the charts!) and one more studio album ("Affirmation" which spawned another mega hit "I Knew I Loved You" that broke their previous record spending 124 weeks on the charts), the duo had split in 2001 and Darren had begun working on his solo efforts.
Darren's first CD "Spin" (and first single "Insatiable"), while doing well in the UK failed to meet the expectations of his record label and after his second CD "The Tension & The Spark", Darren and the label parted ways.
Since then Darren has just recently started his own label, Powdered Sugar, and released his first CD on it "This Delicate Thing We've Made", which on it's own is an amazing double disc effort. I highly recommend it!
The first single was "On The Verge Of Something Wonderful" and the second single "Me, Myself & I" unfortunately failed to make any waves in the US but it's the song "Step Into The Light" (here given a wonderful re-rub from Tony Moran) that is really the stand-out track.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Darren Hayes - Step Into The Light (JM's Tony Moran Radio Edit)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Then, the dance music juggernaut "First Time" blew up all over dance floors around the world and a new sound (in the US anyway) had surfaced. The beats were tough but the vocals, courtesy of 28 year old Maya Siman-Tov, were angelic and tender.
Maya was first introduced to Yinon Yahel (Offer's right hand man) at a friends studio in Israel and fate it seemed had begun to take it's course. Yinon and Maya recorded their first song together and Yinon later introduced her to Offer.
The trio made for an amazing collaboration and I've yet to find a song by them that I DON'T like! Their first effort, "First Time" is a collection of dance tracks that just doesn't quit! I highly reccommend this to everyone! It was hailed as one of Israel's all time best dance albums.
As a DJ, Offer has an incredible amount of energy and his sets are non-stop fun from start to finish. There will be PLENTY of Offer music featured on this blog as, aside from Junior Vasquez and Tony Moran, Offer is one of my all time favorites!Offer Nissim feat Maya - Wish You Were Here (JM's Radio Mix)
Offer Nissim feat Maya - Be My Boyfriend (JM's Radio Edit)
Friday, September 21, 2007
When you get to be at a level of stature such as Annie Lennox, it's only natural to assume that dance floor friendly versions of your songs are going to arise. I mean, we've all heard COUNTLESS remixes of The Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" and Annie's label themselves has released remixes to her songs such as "No More I Love You's" and this song, "Pavement Cracks" from her 2003 album "Bare".
Knowing that, I was very surprised to learn how Annie fought tooth and nail not to have the remixes (courtesy of Peter Rauhofer and Thunderpuss) of 1999's unstoppable anthem "17 Again" released.
Who knows what Annie really wants or even if she had a say in this, but thankfully, the package contained remixes by Goldtrix, Scumfrog, Shanghai Surprise and Mac Quayle. The Goldtrix and Scumfrog ones were duds in my eyes and while I like the Shanghai Surprise one, it can be a little too happy for the substance of this song (read: Almighty). Mac Quayle, however, stepped it up with a very lush production that always makes me happy everytime I hear it.
Annie Lennox - Pavement Cracks (JM's Mac Quayle Radio Edit)
Some of the greatest vocals come from places you would never expect them to and Kane is no exception.
Formed in 1998 in Deutchland by lead singer Dinand Woesthoff and guitarist Dennis van Leeuwen, Kane released their first CD "As Long As You Want This" in 1999 and was well received by audiences, achieving double platinum sales and spawning the hit single "Where Do I Go Now"
However, it's this song, originally released in 2002 off their 3rd CD "Fearless" that found it's way here. While the original version only charted at #14, the Tiesto remix, released in 2003 charted at #6.
I love male vocals and I don't feel that there are enough of them and this is a SOLID vocal here with a stunning mix by Tiesto!
Kane - Rain Down On Me (JM's Tiesto Radio Edit)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
This is the song that took the world by storm in 2005!!!
Jonathan Peters created a masterpiece with this one and it was completely unavoidable and why would you? Everything about this track is right.
Great song. Great vocalist. Great production.
But long before Jonathan Peters had Sylver, she was making waves of her own, getting chosen in 1991 to lead the Chic reunion band. Yes, THAT Chic: "Awwww freak out! Le freak, sais Chic! Freak out!" who have been selling out shows all over Europe!
Not only that but this electifying performer also did backup vocals for dance music titan Donna Summer.
"All This Time" spent a mindblowing 20 PLUS weeks on Billboard's charts and it's no secret as to why.
Here, clocking in around 5 minutes or so, is my essential edit for this outstanding track. As my friend says "This song just soothes the soul!" Hah! And it's true.
My favorite part: "Yup. I'm fading..." Haha! Live for it!!
Keep your ears open for a forthcoming solo release from Sylver including the first single, a sweet ballad called "Can I Open My Eyes".
Jonathan Peters feat Sylver Logan Sharp - All This Time (JM's Radio Mix)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Ok, first things first. Here's a little insight into my musical taste...
If the artist looks like her, I immediately love her! Big black women are ALWAYS welcomed on my radio!
Which is why it comes as no surprise that Ann Nesby (former lead singer of gospel group Sounds Of Blackness) should end up here on my blog. Ann also happens to be Paris Bennett's grandmother, who garnered her place in the spotlight on TV's American Idol last season.
And God bless Thunderpuss for turning out an INSANE high energy anthem that does WONDERS for Ann's more than lifesize voice! And really, how can you argue with lyrics like "I can't catch no man hangin out at the discotheque. Oh, I believe in the boogie, but the boogie don't believe in me!"
Thunderpuss for me was everything that I wanted in dance music and I truly believe that they are a big part of what's missing from today's dance music. A boy can dream though. This was a very big chore to cut down but I did my best while trying to keep all the wailing I love in the song! Haha!
And back in 2000 this song earned Ann a number one spot on Billboard' Dance/Club Play charts, which made it number 3 of her consecutive top 5 songs on the same chart.
Ann Nesby - Lovin Is Really My Game (JM's Thunderpuss Radio Mix)
Alot of dance songs are of the "fuck you, die!" theme and that's why we can all relate. We've all been there.
While this one is along the same vein, it's a little bit more clever and Australian pop star Tina Arena gives this song a fantastic amount of passion and pain behind the biting lyrics: "I can't be with you again. Don't remind me of the good times that we had. I've learned alot from us since then and I never want these feelings to ever come again... You'll never hear me crying. You'll never see me trying to love you once again. Your love is so past tense..."
Add that together with superstar DJ Tiesto's incredible production and you get a dancefloor classic!
The Roc Project feat Tina Arena - Never (Past Tense) (JM's Tiesto Radio Edit)
Kristine W - The Wonder Of It All (JM's Offer Nissim Black Intro Radio Edit)
There's a few reasons why I (John Michael) decided to start this blog:
1) I love dance music and don't feel it gets anywhere NEAR the appreciation it should.
2) Because not everyone can listen to 12+ minute anthems of dance music.
3) I have SO much dance music and (courtesy of Sony Acid) love to make edits for myself and my friends
4) I thought it would be great to share them with the rest of the world.
Having considered all those things, here we are.
My friends make fun of me and say that there has to be a show I can go on and win money with all the useless (albeit interesting and fun for me) knowledge I have about (dance) music so I'll be including my own opinions and 'liner notes' as well.
Im always up for learning more about music and these artists in general, and since more often than not, information about these artists is scarce, I don't mind being corrected or informed should you know more about them than I do!
As always, comments are always welcomed!
Take care all and enjoy the music!
~ John Michael ~