Sunday, 5 July 2015

Oliver: Cutty Ranks featuring Wayne Wonder - Lambada (21 December 1991)

This track nearly went the same way as the Peel Session version of Some Fool's Mess by Gallon Drunk, a selection which after getting on the initial list of selections, didn't do enough on subsequent listens to stay on it.

My problems with Lambada revolve mainly around the fact that the source tune is such a piece of tat.  I know it comes from the Brazilian-Portugese musical tradition and wasn't meant to become the early 90s novelty tune that it did, but nevertheless that is how it's remembered in 2015.  However, had I been making a mixtape in 1991, this version would have got on mainly due to a personal memory.

I'm getting married next month.  Out of the children that my mother's siblings had, I'm the penultimate one to get married.  25 years ago this September, the first wedding for my generation took place when my cousin, Karen tied the knot with her husband, Darren.  I was 14 at the time and for many years, my memory of the day was sustained by the copious amount of video that I shot that day.  By 1990, video cameras were reaching a halfway house phase between the hernia inducing units of the early 80s and the mini-cams of the late 90s.  The most memorable footage was shot at the reception disco.  Playing the role of "drunk uncle at a wedding" on that day was my Uncle Pat, who having got suitably refreshed through the day, took to the dancefloor with his shirt half open and cut some rug to Kool and the Gang's, Celebration.  It was incredible to watch, but he wasn't done yet.  The dancefloor eventually cleared to allow him to dance the Lambada with Dorinder, one of Karen's friends.  What no one had reckoned on was how long the Lambada was; it positively reached American Pie levels.  After 5 minutes or so, Dorinder could be heard saying, "How much bloody longer!"

Sadly, ill health means Uncle Pat isn't able to come to my wedding, so for him and Dorinder, here's Cutty Ranks and Wayne Wonder's take on the tune.  Sentiment may be motivating my inclusion of it, but Peel evidently saw more in it as it was one of his four choices for the 1991 Peelenium.

I think the wedding DJ played the 12" version of this, it certainly felt a lot longer than 3 and a half minutes.

Videos courtesy of Zuluonedrop2 (Cutty Ranks) and ClubMusic80s (Kaoma).

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