Album Reviews

Underworld – 1992-2002

UK release date: 3 November 2003

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

The entire album is a cracker. It has a track listing which boastsUnderworld’s best and finest, and most folk will pick out at least a coupleof 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 adoredtrack, I remember listening with admiration and excitement to what was thena 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 withoutdesiring 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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