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Jun 13

THE OUTHERE BROTHERS – “Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle)”

Popular53 comments • 4,856 views

#718, 1st April 1995

The Great British Public has a long and warm relationship with smut – stuff that is somehow about sex without making anyone actually want to do it. A part of our national psyche is forever a 12-year-old boy. As times and manners change, the balance between cheekiness and directness has tipped, from seaside postcards and George Formby to Judge Dread and Roy “Chubby” Brown. The itch remains the same – show us something naughty. So it’s not that surprising that the Outhere Brothers (debut single: “Pass The Toilet Paper”) wind up with two number ones.

If the urges the Outheres appealed to were age-old, the ways radio dealt with them had changed. Blackouts and bans were counter-productive, and left the station on the wrong side of most arguments. The preferred solution? Radio edits – or, as in this case, full radio remixes. Which led to the odd situation that the record on the radio and in the chart wasn’t at all the one people had been hearing in the clubs and buying. That hefty call-to-arms of “Wiggle Wiggle!” aside, the original mix and the radio edit are strikingly different*, and if all you heard was the hit, the track’s filthiness might come as a wicked surprise.

The differences between the mixes go further than cleaning up the lyrics. The “Eskimo Nell” style call-and-response on the full version – “Put your lips on my face!” &c – is the track’s most unusual, though crudest, idea: the UK radio edit drops it for more wiggling. Its directness gets replaced by an in-your-face blurt of a synth riff, an addition which shifts the track into more familiar, ravey territory. Unfortunately that comes at the expense of the original’s clicky, chunky, nicely loping house beat, which was the best thing about it.

The worst thing about “Don’t Stop” remains whatever the version: Keith Mayberry’s hoarse, range-free bellow. It’s all strain, no fun – it’s just a man yelling at you about genitals. For that first ten seconds or so it’s effective – a foghorn cutting through anything else on the airwaves. But that’s all the song does. Or to put it another way, “Don’t Stop” shoots its load far too quickly and ends up an awkward mess.

*Very Boring Clarification: I didn’t hear this on the radio, so I’m assuming the version played is the 3’06” “Townhouse Radio Edit” that was Track 1 on the UK CD and ended up on Now 30, which leaves off the call-and-response verses. There is also a full but clean version, which keeps the verses but switches “pussy” for “kisses”. And of course the original version, which I heard played out. I expect we’ll have more ambiguities like this as Popular picks its way through the CD single age. Meanwhile knowing the different version of Outhere Brothers hits is my cross to bear.

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Comments

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  1. 1
    Tom on 2 Jun 2013 #

    I was trying to work out why the beat on the original mix was likeable, and I have – it reminds me of Deep Dish’s production on De’Lacy’s “Hideaway”, which only got to #9 but is probably my favourite single of 1995.

  2. 2
    thefatgit on 2 Jun 2013 #

    I only know the radio edit to this. Further research necessary.

  3. 3
    Tom on 2 Jun 2013 #

    The naughty mix is quite hard to find on YT – the cleaned-up kisses one is the one on the (presumably) official OB account.

    Obviously I may be quite wrong about the impetus behind it doing well in the charts – but definitely the dirty version was the one I ‘heard out’ so to speak.

  4. 4
    thefatgit on 2 Jun 2013 #

    Further research completed (watches video on YouTube). It’s “I Wanna Be Your Drill Instructor” with the addition of boxing glamour models and baby oil. I’m surprised a song about cunnilingus got to #1 as early as 1995. Unless somebody knows different of course.

  5. 5
    Steve Mannion on 2 Jun 2013 #

    The ‘smut-craving Brits’ idea is worth more probing as it suggests other sexually explicit dance tracks could’ve done as well between this and ‘French Kiss’ (which is a bit of a different thing again what with no actual sexual swearwords uttered) – particularly in Hip Hop.

    But hardcore content usually came with hardcore or less compromising music and I guess ‘Don’t Stop’s bouncy house tempo and somewhat misleading cartoon video gave it more commercial appeal over 2 Live Crew and the like (although apparently ‘Me So Horny’ did reach #1 in the Netherlands?) pulling people in initially unaware of its lurid underbelly. It took me a few weeks after it reaching #1 to hear the latter too so was puzzled by its popularity at first.

    re #1 ‘Hideaway’ one of my favourites of the year too. 1995 is the year I threw myself into US House properly beyond just the hits so it was fun getting into these things weeks and months before they hit the charts thanks to, in particular, listening to Kiss 100 constantly (including in the stockroom on Saturdays working in the local branch of Iceland) plus Tongy on Friday nights and my favourite read at the time the newly launched Muzik magazine.

  6. 6
    weej on 2 Jun 2013 #

    Another case where I was baffled by the track’s popularity when it came out, only this time 18 years has done nothing to clear up the mystery. That bellow is just a horrible, unpleasant sound, and I have no desire to hear it again and again and again.

  7. 7
    pootle on 2 Jun 2013 #

    I don’t rate this much and I actually like goofy stadium house (heh, and guessing at dance categories is always risky). I didn’t know it had a Naughty Lyrics side.

    “French Kiss” is brilliant, though (and the random guessometer hits “minimalist techno”)

  8. 8
    Tom on 2 Jun 2013 #

    #5 Dunno if “French Kiss” quite fits my impromptu definition of ‘smut’ – mind you the lines of intent and effect are always terribly blurred with sexy music: one man’s oyster is another man’s Partridge.

  9. 9
    flahr on 2 Jun 2013 #

    Haven’t listened to it yet but good Christ that sleeve is dismal.

  10. 10
    hectorthebat on 2 Jun 2013 #

    Sample watch- this track contains samples of: “I wanna rock” by luke and “wiggle wiggle” by disco rick and the wolf pack.

  11. 11
    enitharmon on 2 Jun 2013 #

    #4 Whether it got to number one is a moot point (those who were there at the time know damned well it did!) but I’m pretty sure that Please Please Me was a thinly-veiled “I licked your fanny now you suck my dick” song. Just the sort of thing that Lennon would try to get under the noses of the prim.

  12. 12
    flahr on 2 Jun 2013 #

    “hoarse, range-free bellow”. Spot on. Ugh. [3]

    I can’t believe the original lasts four-and-a-half bloody minutes.

  13. 13
    Steve Mannion on 2 Jun 2013 #

    #8 Yeah I made the comparison just cos of the similar explicit factor really – French Kiss seemed more like an unintended smash hit than this although I doubt the O Bros had planned on making an impact this big this quickly either. They may have had 2 In A Room in mind as an antecdent and anticipated at least hit on the level of ‘Wiggle It’.

    Like the smut definition tho – applies to a lot of both US and European dance ‘about sex but not sexy’ (including T-Spoon’s ‘Sex On The Beach’ from ’98 – the Dutch at it again).

    Maybe this ties in with UK takes on disco. Behind it all is the wider question of why the sexually overt or explicit in pop has never really been mined successfully (both commercially and lyrically – ie sans ‘smut’) in British pop (by anyone regardless of class or ethnicity) where most people’s exposure to such things in the last 25 years comes primarily from uninhibited US Hip Hop and R&B.

  14. 14
    Chelovek na lune on 2 Jun 2013 #

    Terrible, terrible, record. Although there may be something more recent I don’t know, or something remarkably dull from the 1950s that had escaped my recollection after having heard it as part of a Popular-inspired Number Ones Binge, I am really hard pressed to think of a more…unnecessary (would be one adjective) number one than this, 1952-2013.

    Not sure when I discovered the difference between the radio version (which, in fact, has a certain, bouncy, charm, basically because much of the content of the track has been removed) and the “real” version, which is one long stream of unpleasant, unnecessary things, one after another. Gosh, he said “pussy”! The “I Wanna Be Your Drill Instructor” chanting, the hooting, the uncharming tunelessness. A very inferior relative of “Me So Horny” crossed with “Wiggle It”: and at least NWA, when they were being both sexually crude (e.g. some lyrics in “Gangsta Gangsta” and, and also, in a slightly different way, “Just Don’t Bite It”) at least, sometimes, demonstrated a sense of humour, which is completely lacking here. Oh, he just said “pussy” again. Are You Being Served, sir?

    Given the general British tendency to present much to do with sex in the most unsexy way possible, it’s a little odd (and from a different genre of music, but I think the discussion probably fits better here rather than with something more stylistically related later in the year) that the German (?) group E-Rotic (speciality – indeed their only trick: inane, and inanely rhyming, lyrics loosely referring to sex over a no less inane beat) made next to no headway, at least commercially, in the UK. (In nightclubs? I have no idea.)

    I was living in South-Eastern Europe: Romania, then Ukraine, from the summer of 95 until the summer of 96, and their music was unavoidable on the radio there): In fact, “Max Don’t Have Sex With Your Ex (It Will Make Your Life Complex)” is the soundtrack to a key part of the groundbreaking 1997 Russian gangster movie “Brat” (“Brother”)…and that seems to be used as a subtle comment on the infiltration of elements of Western culture into post-Soviet Russia… (A drunk Russian harasses a French man at a party, telling him “this American music” is shit, and Russia will take revenge on America soon, occasionally getting a bemused response in French). I suppose its hopelessness made it a little bit more charming than the Outhere Bros’ mindless aggression. Oh, he said “pussy” again. What a man.

    And then, also from round about this time, there was “Sin With Sebastian, the Golden Boy” and “Shut Up And Sleep With Me. “Your body I like, your mind not so much”. Also very big in Eastern Europe. And kind of hilariously naff, and far more worthy of listening to than the bloody Outhere Brothers.

  15. 15
    Billy Hicks on 2 Jun 2013 #

    I remember reading about this online about a decade ago, knowing none of the actual content of the song but hearing it had “explicit lyrics”…I was so confused when I saw the music video, with its completely clean Townhouse Radio Edit, and spent the next few minutes wondering what on earth 1995 listeners felt so shocking about lyrics such as “Don’t stop moving baby, all you’re doing is drive me crazy”, and, indeed, “Energy! Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle”, basically the only two lyrics in that edit of the song. It’ll potentially prove highly confusing/misleading for anyone researching old #1 hits just by listening to their radio edits, or just Now That’s What I Call Music albums.

    I don’t really have a desire to hear the explicit version but I’ve always quite enjoyed said Townhouse edit, a fun if simple bit of mid-90s Eurodance. Certainly wouldn’t have got #1 without the ruder edit though and probably wouldn’t have charted higher than about #26, unlike a future Outhere song it’s not quite got enough hooks for the clean version to truly have a life of its own…

  16. 16
    lonepilgrim on 2 Jun 2013 #

    both the record and the controversy passed me by at the time but I don’t mind this. His voice sounds processed in the versions I’ve watched which makes it part of the texture of the song. 5 for me

  17. 17
    thefatgit on 2 Jun 2013 #

    #11 Rosie, The Beatles were being awfully coy, but yeah I get the gist from PPM’s lyrics there was a favour for a favour required.

  18. 18
    Mark G on 2 Jun 2013 #

    #11 and #4, yeah was going to add that one..

    Did anyone ever ask Lennon about that one? Then again, I doubt he’d deny it even if it wasn’t true..

  19. 19
    swanstep on 3 Jun 2013 #

    According to Revolution In The Head, PPM’s lyric was “widely interpreted as an exhortation to fellatio” and this was largely what led Capitol in the US to reject the single (it got a release there through some small Chicago label and for that reason didn’t chart in the US until after the dam burst for the Beatles in 1964, at which point it went top 5 – indeed it was #5 in the sainted week of April 4 1964 when The Beatles held all top 5 singles in the US).

    Outhere Brothers: bloody hell. Makes 2 Live Crew’s Kraftwerk/dick record seem like a beast by comparison.

  20. 20
    Cumbrian on 3 Jun 2013 #

    If this is the sort of thing cunnilingus inspires, even the most generous of lovers must be given pause for thought. Horrendous.

  21. 21
    punctum on 3 Jun 2013 #

    I do not remember any great call for a fusion of 2 Unlimited and 2 Live Crew in 1995, but Chicago’s Outhere Brothers broke through, or broke in, with a link which may have been better left missing. There was the predictable controversy about “naughty lyrics” although how “naughty” could be deemed interchangeable with “tiresomely offensive” when it comes to lines like “Girl you got to suck my dick/And you got to suck it quick” is beyond me.

    For radio the track was reworked to such a degree that it became a virtual instrumental, its uninteresting purloined “Tainted Love” riff hammered into foursquare dance treadmill fascism, topped by a dog whistle chant of “Don’t Stop Movin’ Baby Only Booties Drive Me Crazy” and repeat ad nemesis for the next three minutes. Where “Relax” winked to us to come and join in, and the Beastie Boys of Licensed To Ill were patently and astutely aware of their own geeky absurdity, “Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle)” (in the wake of “Wiggle It” by 2 In A Room) was pretty much the “Ernie” or “The Streak” of its day. And, ghastily, this wasn’t the end of it, or them; “For all you motherfuckers who get enough,” they sneer, “We’re coming back” – and they were as good as their word.

  22. 22
    James BC on 3 Jun 2013 #

    Massively influential. LMFAO in particular owe these pioneers a huge debt.

  23. 23
    weej on 3 Jun 2013 #

    Is there any other example of a US act having two number ones here while failing to have any kind of chart success at home? (one bunnied single at #65 and no other chart entries)

    I’d be interested generally to hear an American perspective on the Outhere phenomenon – have they heard of them? Do they understand the appeal?

  24. 24
    thefatgit on 3 Jun 2013 #

    #22 Only partly, although there’s the green shoots of Ghetto House/Juke poking out of the soil with this song. I don’t know why US frat-boys didn’t go nuts for this (or if they did, they made no dent in the Billboard Chart with it).

    Like weej @23 says, we need some American perspective.

  25. 25
    mapman132 on 3 Jun 2013 #

    #23 Funny you should ask. I can think of a lot of American acts with one UK#1 and little success at home, but I’m having trouble thinking of someone with two UK#1’s. I’m sure there’s someone though – the “popular overseas, not at home” phenomenon seems to be more common going eastward than the other way around (Trivia fact: The Escape Club are the only UK group with a US#1 without ever having a UK hit of any kind).

    As far as the Outhere Brothers go, I have some recollection of the clean version of the bunnied single getting US airplay (not a lot though), but no version of Wiggle. I would definitely say they’re not well known here. I watched the music video of the clean version of Wiggle for the first time a few days ago, and I have no desire to listen again, nor hear the dirty version. I’m no prude, but being raunchy just for the sake of being raunchy without putting any effort into the actual music just doesn’t do it for me.

  26. 26
    Patrick Mexico on 3 Jun 2013 #

    Nine years old at the time, much more familiar with the radio edit, far superior to the clean/dirty versions with the lolloping house beat (oddly I’m also a big Hideaway fan), but still sorely lacking in charm and a sense of free-spirited abandon compared to the absolute, ahem, BANGERS on this album I got for my tenth birthday 18 years ago this week (though it also contains some of the most pointless tracks of all time.)

    I’ll talk more about this later; though obviously the Norman Cook track shouldn’t have been Pizzaman but Freak Power – Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out… what’s not to like about acid jazz meets War’s Low Rider by way of the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

    http://www.discogs.com/Various-Dance-Heat-95/release/358811

    Only realised yesterday the lyrics aren’t “All you do is drive me crazy” but “All that booty drives me crazy.” I’ll knock a point off it for that. Oh, do piss off back to MTV Spring Break. Maybe I’m being a bit unfair on the Outhere Brothers – everyone deserves a second chance…. :laughs like Muttley:

    2.

  27. 27
    Lazarus on 3 Jun 2013 #

    The sleeve is indeed dreadful, but it’s still better than the song. I only ever heard the radio edit and had no wish to investigate further. The sort of Number One which, though its reign was mercifully brief, made me wonder whether I was getting too old to listen to the Top 40, or to Radio 1. A 2, and that’s only because the weather has put me in a good mood.

    Bit of a retro feel to the Top 20 around this time, incidentally, with the Beatles charting with ‘Baby It’s You’ from the ‘at the BBC’ album, and new hits from the Human League and Simple Minds.

  28. 28
    glue_factory on 3 Jun 2013 #

    ‘Ever read the comments on Freakytrigger and think you must be listening to a different record to the other posters? Well in this case I was, namely, 2 In A Room’s Wiggle It, a slice of charming of pop-rave which beats both the clean and dirty versions of this track. I’m surprised that it’s only taken until 1995 for a record’s rise, stay at the top and descent to pass me by entirely.

    Another vote for Hideaway, a record I only really “got” one Saturday afternoon, after hearing it on the Dry bar’s (no doubt ruinously expensive) soundsystem.

  29. 29
    Mutley on 3 Jun 2013 #

    #23 and #25 The Walker Brothers were an American act with two UK number 1s in the mid 1960s, but with little chart success in the USA.

  30. 30
    leveret on 3 Jun 2013 #

    The explicit version of this was doing the rounds of my secondary school months ahead of the clean version’s chart-topping feats. Away from the rock and indie fans, the most popular sounds of the time in this school on the outskirts of Glasgow were home-made compilations featuring plenty of rave/tartan techno by the likes of QFX and Ultrasonic. This seemed to be popular with the same crowd and there was much sniggering about the lyrics in the corners of the playground. It was a bit like the musical equivalent of a few pages of a discarded jazz mag someone had found under a hedge.

    After the initial fad passed, I expected never to hear anything of it again, as the music favoured by the techno tape afficianados never troubled the charts (presumably much of it was originally taped off vinyl as it was a complete mystery to me at the time where much of it came from). Alas, the neutered version arrived in the charts eventually.

    Since the Outhere Brothers album(!) had alredy been released in 1994 I wonder how the school cassette tapers originally picked up on this? Compared to the emerging trend of the time for slicker marketing, straight in at number one singles etc. this seems an old-fashioned slow emergence from pop’s sweaty underbelly in comparison.

    I’m now almost 33 years old and haven’t been brave enough to re-listen to this yet.

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