'Big Fun' and 'Good Life' were two of the biggest dance hits of 1988... 'Good Life' made No. 4 going into 1989 and was still in the Top 75 on 19 February 1989.It'll be obvious to anyone who reads this blog regularly (if such people exist) but I've never really been at ease with club culture. It doesn't mean I can't like the music, but sometimes I find it hard to equate it to its original context and the way it was meant to be heard. With 'Good Life' though, I feel like I can have a go because there is something very seductive about the promise of a good life, particularly in the dark days of winter in the late 1980s, which I don't recall as an especially optimistic time.
It's a deceptively simple song, one which combines the sort of house/garage beats [see, I told you I didn't understand club culture] that Kevin Saunderson had pioneered with a genuinely soulful vocal from Paris Grey. It's a common idea in dance, but often seems to end up with just an instrumental track thudding away while a vocalist over-emotes on top of it. It's rarer to find a track where the two parts seem to fit together so neatly, and despite or because of the relative simplicity of what they're both doing (obviously, the title phrase is repeated with great insistence), it feels for once as if music and vocals are both pointing in the same direction, both conveying the same mood, both making the same invitation. It has a very warm, welcoming quality about it that's utterly lovable and makes me want to believe in it.
Also appearing on: Now 13, 15, 16
Available on: Paradise