Whilst many albums appear again with 20th/25th anniversary editions some pass their mark with little fanfare, despite the fact they probably deserve it more than most. "World Clique" actually arrived with a similar lack of hyperbole. Those who'd heard its lead single thought otherwise. On first listen back in 1990 this sounded like a very otherworldly album, full of breakbeats, samples, funky grooves, house grooves, and liberal dollops of psychedlic oddness. There was something that set this apart from the rest of the pack.
Dance music back then was still quite regemented with little cross pollenation taking place. This was a record made by people who obviously listened to hip-hop, house and all manner of things they could sample and bend into something new. They seemed to have more in common with the Native Tongues collective than with dance music. In fact this album's closest relative still seems almost like it should be "Three Feet High & Rising" although it's far more of a dance album than that.
From the opening theme this record sounds irreverant. Lyrically obtuse, bordering on the silly at times it's a colourful ride. Lady Miss Kier has a decent soulful singing voice and the rest of the group clearly know how to string a melody around her vocals. From the likes of "Smile On" to "Good Beat" there's more substance to this than some other records.
Yet the reason you know this and the reason you either have, or are considering owning this record is it's lead track "Groove Is In The Heart". Tucked away in the middle of the album this track thrills from its opening featuring all the guests from Fred Wesley and Bootsy Collins to Q-Tip providing a scene stealing rap, this track still has a way of making even the coolest person sway appreciatively to this day (and probably will forever more if there is any justice). It is a weiredly addictive record thoroughly deserving its classic status.
"World Clique" should, on the strength of its biggest hit be something of a one-trick pony, yet it is a surprisingly melodic and thoroughly consistent record. For all its crazy fish-panned sounds this is still the technicoloured wonky marvel it was 20 years ago. Of its time, perhaps, yet timeless all the same. As they say themselves, "it's all about the groove" and there are some very good beats to be found here.