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Big Audio Dynamite II – Rush (90s – 74)

July 31, 2013

Or “that song with the breakdown, what was it’s name again” as uttered by several people in my vicinity during the Noughties.

In 1991 this got to number one in Australia. As someone who hated much of what was in the charts, I cheered. I wasn’t at all familiar with the Clash at the time with the exception of Rock the Casbah, so Mick Jones came to me with no baggage. All I heard was a fun assemblage of samples and with an off-kilter singer enjoying himself. The fact the follow-up single The Globe I deemed one of the daggiest songs of all time (in a good way) cemented my commitment.

At the time I didn’t realise exactly how many samples were used on the song, nor did I realise the original line-up of the band had helped popularise samples in mainstream/alternate music back in the 90s. And I’ve only just found out the now iconic “I wish I could sing like that”, dropped after Jones’ exaggerated warble, is a sample of Peter Sellers.

Later I found the band’s self-titled debut and realised Rush wasn’t the half of it. That album is one of my all time favourites. I’ve also heard the post-Rush releases and they aren’t as bad as reputation suggests – though the sound on many songs sounds strangely lightweight, like there were some multi-tracks missing from the final mix. In fact Rush is also a bit lightweight compared to 80s BAD, if you hold it up to the light, but it wins through in the sheer joy of it all.

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