Album Reviews

Underworld – 1992-2002

(Junior Boy's Own) UK release date: 3 November 2003

Underworld - 1992-2002 1992-2002 doesn’t just tell Underworld‘s story. It traces the narrative of dance music itself, from tiny, hard to find white labels and sweat box clubs to Hollywood soundtracks and world tours. Wherever you may have checked it along the way, whichever period sends nostalgic shivers down your spine, chances are there was an Underworld track playing in the background, always evolving, never standing still.

The entire album is a cracker. It has a track listing which boasts Underworld’s best and finest, and most folk will pick out at least a couple of numbers as their all-time faves.

But the track that’s bound to receive the most attention is the remix of Born Slippy. Going back many a year to the original release of this globally adored track, I remember listening with admiration and excitement to what was then a groundbreaking and perfectly packaged piece. After listening to the new version a few times, it seemed to me that it’s not so much a reworking of the original, but more a mere extension.

It’s difficult to understand why the Born Slippy remix doesn’t reach expectations. Perhaps it’s because the majority of Underworld’s tracks (particularly Rez, Cowgirl and Jumbo) have an epic, untouchable quality to them. The Born Slippy blockbuster was an anthem for a nation of crazed youths high on life and partaking in the dance music revolution. Most people have heard it so many times the track is ingrained in their psyche.

Perhaps some things are best left as is; thankfully, the rest of the album is a joy to listen to. This is the sort of CD you can play from woe to go without desiring a change.

In summary, 1992-2002 is a perfect showcase for one of the pioneering dance groups. Those of us who’ve seen them live will never forget the experience, while their signature tune defined a moment and influenced a nation back in 1996. Not bad, eh?

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