Songs from the Vault – ’97

It’s been a good while since the last installment of Songs from the Vault, so it’s time for some new, old offerings.  For some reason, I thought it might be fun to revisit some tunes from 1997, which was a good year for dance music: a year in which Daft Punk released their first album; Bjork released her classic, Homogenic; drum and bass won the Mercury Music Prize in the from of Roni Size and Reprazent.  So let’s not waste any more time…

Come to Daddy by Aphex Twin is not only a great tune but one of the all time great videos.  If you thought Thriller was scary (and I certainly did in 1983), then this will make you have nightmares…

I can’t remember paying too much attention to the second track on the Come to Daddy EP but it’s a great track and worth checking it out.  It came to my attention again many years later via the jazz trio, The Bad Plus, who covered the tune on their great album, These are the Vistas.  Here’s the original…

I’m cheating a little with this next tune.  While Daft Punk’s album Homework came out in ’97, Da Funk, one of the tracks on the album, was actually released in 1995.  Like Come to Daddy, not only is Da Funk a great tune but it comes wrapped in a great video, directed by Spike Jonze, who directed the movie Being John Malkovich.

Drum and Bass (or should it be ‘Drum ‘n’ Bass’?) moved closer to the mainstream in the mid-90s with the release of Goldie’s Timeless and with Roni Size winning the Mercury Music Prize.  However, while individuals like Goldie started to receive celebrity status, most D&B artists failed to receive similar recognition.  Regardless, some great music was produced, including this track by Photek.  Ni Ten Ichi Ryu can broadly be translated to ‘two heavens as one’ or ‘two swords as one’ but I’m sure you’d have got that from the video…

I can’t remember why I bought the CD single of Sugardaddy by Jimi Tenor.  Quite possibly I saw a good review of it in one of the dance magazines of the day, e.g. Mixmag or Muzik.  Regardless, I’m glad I did.  It sounds like the bastard offspring of Suicide and Laurie Anderson and as cool as it did back in ’97…

I’m going to finish up on a more upbeat tune.  Masters at Work is the production team of “Little” Louie Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez, and Nuyorican Soul the album they released in ’97.  It featured some great dance floor classics including I am the Black Gold of the Sun, and a cover of Runaway.  The highlight for me, however, was the last track of the album, You can do it (Baby), which features George Benson.

For many, Benson is synonymous with cheesy tracks such as In your Eyes and Give me the Night.  Benson, however, is a fine jazz guitarist, influenced by Wes Montgomery, and this track shows off both his vocal and guitar talents…

As ever, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.  I’ve got more themed Songs from the Vault in mind, so keep your eyes and ears open!