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Anthems 90s is a compilation put together by the Ministry of Sound and featuring dance music from the 1990s. The set consists of 3 CDs from different eras within the decade, and is an eclectic mix giving a real flavour of how dance music progressed throughout the decade. The tempo to this CD is fast from the start, and the tracks are all shorter 2-4 minute lengths, blended into each other making this a fabulous way to reminisce over my teenage years and days where I attended nightclubs.
This compilation was released back in November 2012. It first came into my awareness on Christmas day when we saw an advert for it on the TV. My husband and I looked at each other and knew that we were going to purchase it, and our chance came only a few days later when we went shopping. At that point, the box set was around £12 - now it is a completely bargainous £7 on amazon, and totally recommended by us.
We love listening to this as often as we can, and I find it is great for listening to on long car journeys where you have chance to experience at least one of the CDs in full. The fast pace is also suitable for exercising to as it gets you really motivated to move about. This is the sort of CD I would have played while getting ready to go out as it puts you in the mood for a good time. I can't help but feel positive listening to it.
I am not clear which DJ was mixing this disc, and I have tried looking online and in the booklet that came with this CD, but whoever it is has done this very professionally and you have to listen very carefully to pick out where one track ends and the next begins. The feel to it is very genuine to a clubbing experience.
This is one of those compilations where I look forward to hearing what is coming next as much as hearing the track we are currently listening to. The branding on this disc of Ministry of Sound is perfect, with the club having been founded in 1991, and this is the exact music that would have been playing at the time.
I feel the best way to give this compilation justice is to look at it one disc at a time and summarise what I think of it.
Tracks here are from the earlier part of the decade, including the sneaky addition of Ride On Time by Blackbox, which technically was released in 1989, but as the track is one I remember well as being at the start of the dance movement and its one I love, I'll let them off. The rest of the tracks all definitely do have a release date of 1990 onwards.
The disc starts off strongly with Rhythm is a Dancer, moving on through other tracks that were the theme to my tween and early teen years and on compilation albums like Now that I owned at the time. Let Me Be Your Fantasy, What is Love, The Rhythm of the Night, and The Key, The Secret.
Other tracks like Playing With Knives by Bizarre Inc, On a Ragga Tip by SL2, and Son of a Gun by JX were not tracks I knew by name, but as soon as they started playing I recognised the lyrics and music, and appreciated their inclusion in the compilation. They are distributed throughout the disc well enough so that I wasn't ever thinking for several tracks that I didn't have a clue what something was.
Towards the end of the disc you get the more surreal tracks from this era, such as Ebeneezer Goode by the Shamen and Killer by Adamski featuring Seal.
Overall, this is a strong disc, and it is difficult to pick a favourite track from it, though I think perhaps Groove Is In the Heart by Deee-Lite perhaps just pips it to the post for me, as it is a song that just sticks in my head. I can picture the music video to it whenever I hear it play. I can't think of one track on this disc that does not deserve to be there or seems out of place when listened to as a whole. I find this a wonderful trip down memory lane and I can picture school discos and a trip to France I did with school. Hearing it immediately makes me think of that time of my life.
I'd rate disc one 5*. If I were in a club, I'd dance the whole way through this one.
Disc 2 for me is the weaker disc of the three, which my husband agrees with so we would listen to the other two discs in preference depending on what sort of mood we were in at the time.
I don't know for me if it is because the music is more pop like in feel, or because personally when a lot of these tracks were released it was when I was taking my GCSE exams and had less time to check out new music, preferring to listen to easy listening tracks and old favourites while completing my revision. Its not that the tracks are awful, it just feels like there is less strength to the disc as a whole and there were much stronger tracks around in the charts at this time with Blur, Oasis and Pulp being particularly popular examples of this period.
It starts off with Dreamer by Living Joy which was a catchy tune, but always feels a little bit out of tune and a bit shouty to me. It continues with Show Me Love by Robin S, which is a bit earlier (1993) and a bit more House and a completely different sound to track one. Then back to 1995, with The Bomb by Buckethead, which apart from having a good beat is quite lyrically weak. We seem to carry on in this vein, with a weaker track, then something I was more familiar with for most of this disc.
Keep Warm by Jinny was a track I didn't recall at all, and while not awful, it doesn't help the flow of this disc for me. Similarly for Lift The Music Up by Loveland and featuring Rachel McFarlane, Passion by Gat Decore, Your Loving Arms by Billie Ray Martin, and Nakasaki (I need a lover tonight) by Ken Doh.
Out of the 20 tracks on this disc, I could recall 14, but I was only particularly fond of a few of them, and some like Things Can Only Get better by D:Ream just seem an odd choice compared to the style of some of the other tracks. Almost as if it was stuck here because it was a big song from a similar time, but its like having chalk and cheese in terms of feel to the tracks. It is however, one of my only reasons for listening to this disc - if this had been one disc on its own, I would not have purchased it.
I'd rate this one 3*. If I were still at the club, I would use this as a point to leave the dance floor and check out other facilities.
Its hard to choose my favourite disc from one and three as both strongly represent different parts to my life. I went to University in 1997, so for me, this last CD is from my true days of attending nightclubs, and this disc covers a very happy time period in my life. I find some of the inclusions in this disc a bit odd like the Vengaboys with Up and Down, but there are some absolute classics from this time that were playing constantly in the clubs like Fatboy Slim with Praise You, a song still reeled out now for things like Comic Reliefs Dance show.
To me this disc starts quite seriously with the likes of The Prodigy, Jamiroquai and Basement Jaxx. It then moves on to the more pop side of the genre, with songs like Turn Around by Phats and Small, and Horny by Mousse T. The track listing seems well thought out to me, and by the time we get to the end of this disc I kind of feel like I had a big night out. For a serious dance fan, this is probably a weaker disc than disc one, but for me, I find it highly enjoyable to listen to.
This disc for me is perhaps 4.5*. Mostly good tracks, but some seem a bit odd where they are mixed in. If I were still in the club, I'd be listening to the earlier tracks but not dancing, before getting up and having a boogie again till it was time to leave.
My overall opinion is that the 60 tracks included are a good representation of a decade of dance music. Disc Two is weaker for me than the other 2, and I think your favourite out of disc one and three will depend on your own memories and current mood. For me, I think Disc one just edges it for me with the consistency of the style of music.
For £7, I think this is a cheap way of taking a trip down memory lane, and anyone who is a similar age to myself who likes this style of music will find something that is a pleasant surprise to hear again. At least 45 of the tracks were like this for me out of the 60.
"Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Rhythm Is A Dancer - SNAP!
2 Let Me Be Your Fantasy - Baby D
3 Playing With Knives - Bizarre Inc
4 Ride On Time - Black Box
5 Pump Up The Jam - Technotronic Feat. Felly
6 The Rhythm Of The Night - Corona
7 U Sure Do - Strike
8 Mr. Vain - Culture Beat
9 Everybody's Free - Rozalla
10 Another Night - Real McCoy
11 What Is Love? - Haddaway
12 The Key, The Secret - Urban Cookie Collective
13 U Got 2 Let The Music - Cappella
14 Son Of A Gun - JX
15 On A Ragga Tip - SL2
16 Ebeneezer Goode - Shamen
17 Gonna Make You Sweat - C&C Music Factory
18 Killer - Adamski Feat. Seal
19 Groove Is In The Heart - Deee
20 Dub Be Good To Me - Beats International
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Dreamer - Livin' Joy
2 Show Me Love - Robin S.
3 The Bomb! - Kenny ?Dope"" Presents The Bucketheads
4 Hideaway - De'Lacy
5 Finally - CeCe Peniston
6 Push The Feeling On - Nightcrawlers
7 I Luv U Baby - The Original
8 Keep Warm - Jinny
9 Things Can Only Get Better - D:Ream
10 Shine On - Degrees Of Motion
11 Disco?s Revenge - Gusto
12 Saturday Night Party - Alex Party
13 Let The Music (Lift You Up) - Loveland Feat. Rachel McFarlane
14 Passion - Gat Décor
15 It's A Fine Day - Opus III
16 (I Wanna Give You) Devotion - Nomad
17 Your Loving Arms - Billie Ray Martin
18 Don't You Want Me - Felix
19 Nakasaki (I Need A Lover Tonight) - Ken Doh
20 Higher State Of Consciousness - Wink
Disc #3 Tracklisting
1 No Good (Start The Dance) - The Prodigy
2 Fly Life - Basement Jaxx
3 Praise You - Fatboy Slim
4 Space Cowboy - Jamiroquai
5 Missing - Everything But The Girl
6 King Of My Castle - Wamdue Project
7 Free - Ultra Naté
8 Don't Call Me Baby - Madison Avenue
9 Never Gonna Let You Go - Tina Moore
10 I Like To Move It - Reel 2 Real Feat. The Mad Stuntman
11 Horny '98 - Mousse T. Vs Hot ?n? Juicy
12 Needin' U - David Morales Presents The Face
13 Get Get Down - Paul Johnson
14 Turn Around - Phats & Small
15 I?m Alive - Stretch & Vern
16 Reach Up - Perfecto Allstarz
17 Better Off Alone - Alice Deejay
18 Up & Down - Vengaboys
19 Encore Une Fois - SASH!
20 You're Not Alone - Olive"