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Jan 16

ROGER SANCHEZ – “Another Chance”

Popular22 comments • 2,350 views

#902, 14th July 2001

Sanchez “Another Chance” is Roger Sanchez hearing something in the winsome intro of an old Toto hit, cutting it loose, and then letting this tiny scrap of song spin through seven minutes of house music. Or three in the single edit, not as effective: more of less is more. To the songwriters who had toiled to craft these soft rock hits, the use the shiny future put them to may have seemed dystopian –royalties aside, of course.

Like several dance music hits, “Another Chance” has an elliptical relationship with ‘song’, considers it an ingredient at best. There’s no progress here, just a series of gleaming, melancholy settings for the sample. But that’s the point – free of the unctuous baggage of the Toto song, the lyrics become a distillation of regret. “If I had another chance tonight / I’d try and tell you that the things we had were right” – over and over and over, a bubble of longing and missed opportunity, reaching for a resolution that can never now come. Sanchez – mainly a remixer – lets his woozy synths indulge the sorrow, draw it to the surface. Snatches of Toto’s instrumentation drop back into the song, teasing developments that can’t happen.

Against the unfulfillable ache of the loop, Sanchez sets the beat, pushing the record forward. “Another Chance” has two hooks. The one you remember – the vocal, winding its spiral path through the track. And the one you anticipate – the double drum-hit that kicks the track up a notch each time it comes, breaking the vocal’s yearning, spurring the song on. Together they mean “Another Chance” constantly threatens uplift, then backs away from it: the record is a clockwork miniature of momentum and regret.

6

Comments

  1. 1
    23 Daves on 21 Jan 2016 #

    Wasn’t the video to this – featuring a woman wandering around a harsh city with a literal “giant heart” in tow, steadily getting punished for the size of it as she goes – also a minor factor in its success? I seem to remember it was barely ever off Music Video request cable channels, and was a minor talking point (a good friend of mine became obsessed with the character in it in a sappy “I want to meet a woman like that!” kind of way).

    This is a weird track too, though. A lot of popular club music at this point didn’t really contain much of an ache, at least not so far as I could ever hear, whereas this does. It’s propulsive enough, but almost has the cold despondency of New Order about it as well. That makes it interesting, but nonetheless it’s still not something I engaged with much at the time, and I can’t imagine that will change now. There’s just not enough going on otherwise. A 6 seems about right.

  2. 2
    lmm on 21 Jan 2016 #

    At the time I found this intolerably repetitive, even at 3 minutes. These days I have broader horizons, and ironically my life has slowed down enough to appreciate this kind of thing.

  3. 3
    lonepilgrim on 22 Jan 2016 #

    the video seems more poignant now in the light of events in its not so distant future. People wandering the streets of New York to a soundtrack of obsessive regret and a desire to turn back time.
    I love the use of the sample and how it is processed – I didn’t care for the beat at first – it seemed too monotonous – but then Roger Sanchez begins to weave in other rhythms and tones to add subtle variations of melancholy and intimacy. It definitely benefits from the full 7 minutes and in the right circumstances I can imagine this being overwhelming on the dance floor – an unexpected 7 for me

  4. 4
    Izzy on 22 Jan 2016 #

    Not one I can recall hearing at the time, but I like it. Was it in the vanguard of this sort of thing (AOR plus soft distortion)? I assumed So Much Love To Give would be the ur-track, but it appears actually to be a year later than this. You can certainly hear where [bunny] or Cut Copy descend from, but maybe there are antecedents I’m not thinking of?

    (EDIT: d’oh, Discovery obviously – but even so, four months from that to this making no.1 seems rather accelerated)

  5. 5
    JLucas on 22 Jan 2016 #

    Was this the first big dance hit of the era to do use the song as template for a consciously ‘artistic’ video? I know there were ones with themes beyond somebody lip syncing to the sample – The Launch by DJ Jean springs to mind – but giving club songs storylines is a trope that a lot of otherwise faceless dance records still employ to this day.

    Yada yada yada, not my scene, but I do like this one anyway. The video elevates it and the vocal sample exudes a nice air of melancholy.

    7.

  6. 6
    AMZ1981 on 22 Jan 2016 #

    For me this was one of the more forgettable number ones of the year. It might only have got there because a) there might have been an assumption that Hearsay could easily score a second week, as it was they dropped to five and b) emo kids didn’t have enough pocket money to buy both Wheatus and OPM (both releasing far better remembered tracks, albeit one a cover).

    I didn’t even realise it was a Toto sample until the original cropped up on a Power Ballads compilation I bought a few years later.

  7. 7
    mapman132 on 22 Jan 2016 #

    Never heard of this guy – I assumed he was a European DJ, maybe even a Brit with a Spanish father, so I was surprised to find out he was American. I was also surprised the song sounded familiar as it had no impact on any Billboard chart (not even Dance), but wait, it’s an old Toto track – that explains that.

    To me, It sounds much too slight and repetitive to be a number one. Even its own video feels more like a short film with incidental background music than a proper music video. Must’ve been a slow week on the chart. 4/10.

  8. 8
    Chelovek na lune on 22 Jan 2016 #

    Ultimately, nondescript and forgettable, with hooks that fail to hook on, while the element of feeling-langour mostly-that is expressed is perhaps just too understated. It’s pleasant enough to listen to (and I can well believe the seven minutes version a late-night pleasure), but I can’t help concluding, with some regret, that this is little more than sophisticated lift music. 5

  9. 9
    James BC on 22 Jan 2016 #

    Beautiful song (track?) and one of the best number 1s of the year. Tom is spot on about that double drum hit.

    #5 JLucas: Daft Punk’s video for Da Funk from a couple of years earlier has certain similarities.

  10. 10
    Phil on 22 Jan 2016 #

    an unexpected 7 for me

    M3 T00. These are the three Rs, the three Rs…

  11. 11
    StringBeanJohn82 on 22 Jan 2016 #

    @JLlucas #5 The video is reminiscent of Da Funk by Daft Punk which was as about 5 years earlier I think?

    Anyway, weirdly this song came into my head a couple of weeks ago having not thought about it for at least 10 years. I love it but then I’m a sucker for mid-tempo melancholia, in any genre.

    Edit James BC #9 got in there first with the Da Funk similarity

  12. 12
    weej on 22 Jan 2016 #

    I find this track reminiscent of crap nights out – it was probably the place I encountered it – and the way this sort of progressive house faffs around without getting anywhere means it’s never going to really appeal to me anyway

  13. 13
    Phil on 22 Jan 2016 #

    It’s not trying to get anywhere…

  14. 14
    thefatgit on 22 Jan 2016 #

    Chalk me up in the pro column. Back then, this was like crack cocaine to me. I couldn’t get enough of “Another Chance”. I guess I’ve always had a soft spot for morose dance music, and this was a prime example. It has to be the full 7.30 mins rather than the Radio Edit so yeah, I’ll go as far as 8. I think I’ve still got the Afterlife Mix on a compilation somewhere. Lovely.

  15. 15
    thefatgit on 22 Jan 2016 #

    I have to add I turned 35 when this was #1.

  16. 16
    Rich on 23 Jan 2016 #

    #5, #9, #11: Da Funk instantly sprang to my mind too; some fun parallels there I hadn’t considered before. NYC at night. A love interest. Ultimately “No radios” and “Sorry – heart’s too big” holds them back… (Though DF has more dialogue and the video for ‘Fresh’ resolves it into a happier ending.)

  17. 17
    Paulito on 24 Jan 2016 #

    Hmmm…..it seems to me that the similarities between the two videos are superficial and arise only because one was clearly inspired – if that’s not putting it too generously – by the other. The far-superior ‘Da Funk’ video is tongue-in-cheek (I don’t think any specific meaning or message is intended by any of its visual props or events) and darkly funny. I also find it oddly queasy and unsettling, which may or may not have been Spike Jonze’s intention. By contrast, the “Another Chance” video strikes me as trite and po-faced, its visual metaphor much too bleedin’ obvious to be effective.

  18. 18
    Jonathan on 24 Jan 2016 #

    I really liked this one at the time; the Daft Punk/Chemical Brothers/Prodigy years had educated me on dance music sufficiently that something like this felt both comprehensible and yet more sophisticated to what I had been used to. (The “artistic” video and winsome tone fit particularly well with my emo undergraduate pretensions.) Nevertheless, I think this holds up; it’s expertly put together and bridges the fin de siecle French house of “Music Sounds Better With You” and “So Much Love to Give” with the more distinctly ’00s outlook of Stuart Price’s remixes. (Though perhaps this style had become rather naff by then; the entire electro clash thing had come and gone in the interim.)

  19. 19
    Steve Mannion on 24 Jan 2016 #

    Good point Jonathan, like ‘Do You Really Like It’ this is kind of a bridge – in this case between that original French Touch sound and where the likes of Jacques Lu Cont would take it.

    I was a casual fan of Roger S productions in the 90s including ‘Get Hi’ (which is essentially just a filtered loop of Brass Construction’s ‘Movin’), ‘Release Yo’Self’ as Transatlantic Soul and some of his remixes (including for Jamiroquai). I found ‘Another Chance’ too light(weight) though and preferred his earlier stab at more commercial success ‘I Never Knew’ (video contains vampires) but was glad that like Van Helden he’d bagged a chart-topper.

  20. 20
    Erithian on 25 Jan 2016 #

    I must say, I was quite intrigued. I listened to the 3-minute version and wondered whether the full 7-minute version could be equally uneventful. I mean, I can understand the notion of not trying to get anywhere, as Phil #13 puts it, but there’s a difference between hitting a groove and being bloody boring. OK, the longer version has a variation in the shape of that slow bit round about 4 minutes, but to get my interest a dance track should have more going on. Not that I hit the dancefloor that often, but with this playing I’d be looking at my watch and wondering when Newsnight was on. The drum hits are by far the best thing about it.

  21. 21
    Lazarus on 26 Jan 2016 #

    I remember the video well. Were the two leads well known actors? The man who takes her for a coffee but runs from the big heart looks especially familiar, probably from ‘Friends.’

  22. 22
    Lazarus on 26 Jan 2016 #

    Done some rummaging, well I never – who knew that music videos are on imdb now?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1874414/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_15

    Neither is especially famous, but they’ve each done a few things.

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