Somehow, some way...Chart Rigger
is two years old
I don't really have anything poignant or witty to say about the occasion, but I think this story kind of sums up the Chart Rigger philosophy...
Over the Christmas break, I was back in Western Pennsylvania at the house I grew up in, visiting my parents. I usually trek back there twice a year, and on the past two or three trips, I'd been looking high and low in my old closet for a box of CDs I knew I still had stashed somewhere -- the ones that sadly got left behind when I made the move to California in 1999. My Dad managed to locate a box in the attic that was like a time capsule of the years 1994, 1995 and 1996, full of Christmas cards from practically every person on my dorm room floor in '94, college class notebooks, comic books and -- Yee-haw! -- the missing CDs
I brought three of them back with me when I returned to L.A., the first of which being the single for the ravey 1990 cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever" by Candy Flip
] I remember hearing this song that summer, when I was 16, and completely, well, flipping
for it! Incidentally, the cute singer, Danny Spencer, has gone on to be one half of Soul Mekanik
, who most recently produced "Rudebox" and three other songs off Robbie Williams
' latest album.
The second one was the single for the 1994 Wet Wet Wet
cover of "Love Is All Around," which was a massive hit in England and a minor one in the States thanks to its inclusion on the Four Weddings And A Funeral
soundtrack. Not sure why I brought this one. Chalk it up to nostalgia.
But by far, the third disc I rescued from exile is the one that deserves to be remastered, reissued and bought by every fan of pop on the planet -- Black Box
, the best set of Italian house floorfillers ever.
I'd gotten my driver's license in the summer of 1990, and my parents were just starting to let me drive the car by myself when "Everybody Everybody"
] became a Top 10 hit that fall. I used to cruise around the chilly, rural outskirts of my suburban hometown with friends playing it at full volume on the radio. Their next single, "I Don't Know Anybody Else"
] was my favorite, so naturally it only went to #23 on the singles chart. Then "Strike It Up"
] went on to became a classic anthem, influencing a whole decade of dance/rap tunes by folks like Real McCoy
, DJ Bobo
and La Bouche
It was really exciting to hear these European house songs on American radio, played in between trash by Bon Jovi
and M.C. Hammer
. Feeling like I was the only kid on the planet who liked this stuff, I was just thankful for whatever miracle occasionally caused artists like Black Box to cross over here.
16 years later, on Sunday, I drove around listening to Dreamland
-- which has completely stood the test of time -- and realized that's what I was gonna write about on this site's two year anniversary. After all, Chart Rigger wasn't created to be an in-the-know news site. It's not about gossip, nor is it an MP3 blog. It's simply about music, old or new, that's probably not getting written about too much in Rolling Stone
or played on MTV.
It's a marker, a confessional recording, a hastily-scrawled diary entry about that song we all end up playing a dozen times in a row within the confines of our bedroom. It might be one you haven't heard since you were struggling with the gravity of being an adolescent in a small town, but hopefully it's one that made you feel
Labels: anniversary, Black Box, Candy Flip, D'luv, nostalgia