Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Robert Miles 'Children'

Chart Peak: 2


Another record I found it hard to get excited about, but this one can at least claim the defence that it's not supposed to generate excitement: Miles was famously spurred to create this track by a spate of road accidents involving over-stimulated clubbers in Italy. Thus it is that 'Children' attempts to avoid any surprises, instead assembling itself methodically from a series of synthesisers, guitars, slow beats and - at least on the version that became a hit - that insistent piano riff that most of us know the track by. It's interesting to compare it with 'The Box' by Orbital which must have been recorded around the same time and collates similar elements to a very different effect. I must admit that it's the latter which interests me more.

What Miles surely can't have begun to predict was the sheer commercial success of the track. Whilst it narrowly failed to top the UK chart (held off, on separate occasions, by Oasis and Take That) it was a Number One in twelve other countries and even more remarkably for a record of this type, reached the Top 30 in the USA. At one point, indeed, there were two instrumental tracks at those heights, the other being Mission: Impossible. My own lack of enthusiasm notwithstanding, it's pleasing to see somebody profiting by trying to do the right thing.

Also appearing on: Now 36 (with Maria Nayler)
Available on:Dreamland

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