Monday, 27 October 2014

Neneh Cherry 'Buffalo Stance'

Chart Peak: 3
Neneh was born in Sweden and used to be in the band Rip, Rig & Panic... 'Buffalo Stance', the scratch/rap/house record produced by Bomb The Bass, became her first UK hit making No. 3 in January 1989.
Disc Two kicks off in a change of mood from Simple Minds. The internet is awash with different explanations of exactly what a Buffalo stance is, but what I do know is that this song is a reworking of
'Looking Good Diving With The Wild Bunch', itself a B-side remix of a 1986 song by Morgan McVey, a duo that included her future husband. At the time, though, to those us unfamiliar with the flipsides of singles that missed the Top 100, this arrived as something very fresh and different. Remarkably, it still rather feels that way 26 years on; it's one of a lot of tracks that I sort of rediscovered when I developed my habit of buying old compilations in charity shops. In fact the first compilation CD I got with this track on was scratched, but I was pleased to find it on another soon enough, enabling repeated listens with adult ears. Also. posterity has connected me with a cassette of her debut album Raw Like Sushi, which opens with a longer version of this track, and also adds a remix as a tape bonus track.

But enough about me, what of the song itself? I'm always reluctant to praise a record for having "attitude", because it's not only a greatly overused word but one that often seems to connote less than admirable qualities. Indeed it often feels like a euphemism for music that actually has little or nothing going for it but that has to be praised anyway. Still with this track it's hard to avoid because Ms Cherry really is all over this track, brimming with deserved confidence and seemingly trying on voices, melodies and ideas for fun. In fact it's interesting to hear the original track because this sounds so spontaneous, though in fact most of the sections are adapted from that B-side. In fact I prefer this 7" edit to the album track because the shorter running time makes it feel like they've packed as much as possible into this track and creates an energy it's hard to resist joining in with.

Also appearing on: Now 15, 16, 18, 29 [with Youssou N'Dour], 30 [with Cher, Chrissie Hynde and Eric Clapton], 35
Available on: Now That's What I Call 80s Dance

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