Album Reviews

Various – Anthem Classics From Clubland

UK release date: 30 August 2003


Compilation CDs are always a bit of a risky buy, with record company executives trying to tell you what the best songs from a given genre/era are, and invariably being well wide of the mark. This album is no different, except that it comes with details of how to get mobile phone ringtones for each track – a very bad sign.

Nonetheless, the first disc opens strongly, with Ultra Nate‘s classic floor filler Free. The Happy Clappers continue in such screaming vein on I Believe, while Brothers in Rhythm keep the hollering happy buzz going with Peace And Harmony.

However, a definite retro groove develops through the album, with tracks such as Rozalla, Olive and Living Joy adding to the move. We’re going party like it’s the mid-’90s it would seem. However, by track ten, the disc is already starting to repeat itself, with little being added by Tall Paul and artists like Jimi Polo and Mount Rushmore being more filler than floor filler.

Rather wearily, this reviewer changes the disc and braces himself for another 20 exhausting tracks. This stuff really wasn’t designed to be heard in the cold light of day over coffee. An excellent remix of Jamiroquai‘s classic Space Cowboy offers hope of some good music, and a dub mix of Nightcrawlers‘ Push The Feeling On offers a first for this compilation – two good tracks in a row.

The screaming set are back in evidence on Degrees of Motion‘s Shine On, while a remix of Bobby Brown‘s ancient tune 2 Can Play That Game is more youth club disco than clubland anthem. Most of the audience for this record were probably still in nappies when that first came out.

Screaming, a common feature of this CD, is back on JK‘s You Make Me Feel Good, and then things get heavy with Together‘s Hardcore Uproar. By the time Rockford Files and Sheryl Jay make an appearance, this reviewer is already exhausted and waiting for an ignorant bouncer to kick him out of the club and put him out of his misery.

Any techno fan still standing by this point will no doubt be grateful, but this reviewer has most certainly had enough. I’m sure anyone who buys this record also swears by high-energy drinks also. They will certainly need them to get through this lumbering giant techno mish-mash, even if some of the tracks are highly skippable. Anthem Classics from Clubland may come with ringtones, but it really should come with a health warning.


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