The previous release in the Back To Love series was a closing of the chapter from '89-'91 and it was an amazing finish to that era and so I was excited to see what 92-96 classics featured on the next instalment. I was neither blown away or horrified by this selection for the simple reason that the album is predictable and safe.
On disc one you have the beautiful vocals of Barbara Tucker with 'Beautiful People'. From there, there are sure-fire classics from Kim English, De'Lacy, Lovetribe, Bucketheads and Basement Jaxx.
Disc two includes some of my personal classics from Njoi, My Friend Sam and after months of trying to find 'Perfect Motion' in it's entirity it ends up on this collection, which I have to take my hat off to HK for. To my surprise 'Who Keeps Changing Your Mind?' was FADED OUT after only 4 mins!!! That raised my eyebrows, especially after it said full 12" mixes on the front cover. Rounding off the album are some great end of the night belters from X-Press 2, Alcatraz and Grace.
I've been ever increasingly worried about the quality of the compilations coming out of HK towers of late. Both the Mix 2006 and this release have been slightly uninspired and it seems the Fierce Angels crew are giving them a run for their money, both in quality of the packaging and music. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top!
I was really looking forward to this one because it includes one of my favourite house tunes: "Who keeps changin' your mind" by South Street Player.
Sadly the anouncement on the cover sticker "2XCD Full 12" Versions" is not true. The track fades out after 3.50 minutes although the full 12 "Sure is Pure Mix" is about 8 minutes long . A great disappointment for me!!!
If like me you are a Hed Kandi lover, then you may well have a collection of Back To Love CDs, if so, don't bother to buy this one because you will probably already have about 90% of the tracks as they are all repeated on this one! SORT IT OUT!! Typical Ministry of Sound rinsing old tracks and rebranding, repackaging them as "NEW" compilations. WE ARE NOT STUPID!!
However, if you don't already have any of the latter, then this will probably be OK for YOU!
This is only MY personal feedback as a regular BUYER of their CDs. Probably for not much longer I hasten to add!
p.s. If you think by reading this that I am a Hed Kandi hater, then you will be wrong, cos if you read the feedback I gave The Mix 2013, it was very good, however this one is pants due to the reasons stated!
HEARD IT ALL BEFORE! Sure I know its 'back to love' and I have almost all of the other offerings but, there are so many 'oldskool tracks' that I have never heard mixed that I am thinking I might do one myself. Its of course full of classics but when you have 'all the classics' it's time to hear some others. I could have hand picked enough tracks over a 2 day period to fill this without even going back to these tracks again. And when they say 12 " records I expect it not tracks that end abruptly. Come on Hed Kandi get your act together!
I have been a fan of the Hed Kandi series since the beginning and own various compilations under their umbrella eg Disco Kandi etc.
Up until now the "Back to Love" series mainly focused on classics from '88 to '91, this release looks at circa '92 to '96, a time when I have fondest clubbing memories since my first steps onto the dancefloor in 1993.
In addition to the change of era, the music genre has altered to just house music instead of a mix of styles that encompassed the previous releases.
Tracks that stand out for me are "Movin On" by Roach Motel, "Fire Island" by Fire Island and "Muzik X-Press" by X-Press 2, all tracks from the Junior Boys Own record label which was prominent at the time.
Excellent vocals come in the form of "Beautiful People" by Barbara Tucker (one of house musics best vocalists), "Nite Life" by Kim English (not the Armand van Helden mix which is usually span) and "Not over Yet" by Grace.
There is a good mix of earlier tracks such as "Can you feel it" by Mr Fingers and "Anthem" by N-Joi and later club monsters "Hideaway" by De'Lacy and "Give Me Luv" by Alcatraz.
On the downside, and as mentioned in previous reviews, Hed Kandi are renowned for obtaining full 12" versions but some tracks on here are edits; "The Bomb!" and "Who Keeps Changing Your Mind" are two that immediately sprang to mind upon first listening and here are unfaithfully provided in shorter format.
I question whether "Bingo Bango" by Basement Jaxx warrants an appearance amongst such tracks but hey thats just my opinion.
Overall the album is a good mix of predominantly well known club tracks. This is the first extract from that era and there is a large pool of club classics to choose from, maybe Hed Kandi are spreading it about, I hope the next release has some of the more unsung, hard to find classics, don't get me wrong its a good start but it could be much better.
I were only a wee small lad when these tunes would have been doing the rounds, and yet even listening to them now, I can say that they are some of the best I have heard. The first CD is the best in my opinion, and is packed to the brim with the full length versions of some very feel-good house tunes, from the excellent "Kickin In The Beat" by Pamela Fernandez through The Fog's "Been A Long Time" and the (apparently perviously unreleased) "Celebrate" from Degrees Of Motion. Simply put, and excellent reminder of the roots of modern funky house. Sadly the second CD isn't quite as good, as it is a bit of a mish mash of different styles from hip-hop, to old fashioned disco and everything in between. This is explained in the sleeve notes, but it just doesn't seem to hold together as well as the first CD. Still, every track is excellent in it's own right, my favourites being the opening "Love's Taken Over" by Chante Moore, NWA's "Express Yourself", "Can I Kick It?" from A Tribe Called Quest, and "Thinking About Your Love" by Skipworth & Turner. Like I said, the only real problem is the lack of continuity on this disc which spoils the compilation (but only a tiny bit). So, yeah, these tracks are over 10 years old, but if you are a dance music fan then you owe it to yourself to pick this up, cause many of the tracks put more modern efforts to shame. Just get it in, and prepare to shake it old-skool!
This CD encompasses many of the really big dance anthems from the last decade. The fact that each tune is a full dance mix really takes you back to the club days of DJ's like Graeme Park who would regularly play these tunes in his sets at The hacienda, Manchester. A real pleasure to hear a proper anthems album.