19. Shut Up And Dance – I’m Ravin’ I’m Ravin’

How many times has a melody stalled on the tip of your tongue? Na-nur-na-nur NAH-ah NAAA. Dammit, what is it? Where on earth is that from? Na-nur-nah wee-woo-WEEEE-urr-wooo. You can’t remember what comes next, but if someone could *just* give you the first bit of the chorus you’d surely be able to hum the whole thing, even though you don’t know what the song’s called. Or who it’s by.

Picking the catchiest bits of a melody and magpie-ing it into a new track is one of the hallmarks of rave (as we’ve seen with Utah Saints and Urban Hype). Shut Up And Dance’s original mix was a fairly straight rework of Marc Cohn’s ‘Walking In Memphis’, with Peter Bouncer providing some more
suitable vocals (“Put on my ravin’ shoes” etc). This was cruelly rejected by Cohn’s army of lawyers, who clearly preferred Scooter’s effort four years later, and the proceeds from the SUAD single went to charity. Hence the version of ‘I’m Raving I’m Raving’ on Rave ’92 contains no trace of the original tune whatsoever. Brilliant!

I vastly prefer the Cohn-less remix – not just because my childhood dislike of Cher would have put me off (come on – she was TERRIFYING!), but for the detective story I got to play. Even as an eleven-year-old I *knew* that the hook came from somewhere, but the tune was different AND the words were different. I finally narrowed it down to the phrasing of the chorus (“I’m-Something-And-Something”) and kept an ear out for the familiar tune that would match it.

I love spotting these unobvious similarities in pop music (for example, the recent Beyoncé number 1
If I Were A Boy‘ is now inseparable in my mind from Joan Osborne’s ‘One Of Us’ despite not really sharing any immediate properties) as I’m sure do many other music fans. I was *so* pleased once I had worked out the origins of ‘IRIR’ without anyone actually telling me directly – it was even more satisfying than figuring out on my own that Gilbert & Sullivan were quite different to Gilbert O’Sullivan. The reward of avoiding looking like an idiot is a sweet one, and also fuels plenty of righteous indignation when you discover that Mick Hucknall has a full writing credit for ‘Fairground’ when at least some of it should clearly go to The Goodmen*.

If I spent as much effort making videos as I did feeling smug about my music trivia skills then this entry would have been posted some weeks ago! But I finally got round to it – you can watch my hand-crafted video to ‘I’m Ravin’ I’m Ravin’ below:

*Or better yet, Sergio Mendez’s ‘Fanfarra’, whom the Goodmen originally sampled on ‘Give It Up’ yet Hucknall didn’t credit either.