1997 Nominations

NOMINATED SONGS IN 1997:

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Number One
Alexia
Our friend from Italy once again scores heavily in our year end charts with this hit from back in March/97. Robyx continues his incredible production, and the sweet voice of Alexia just tops it off. While visiting Toronto in April, she did a few shows which were exceptional, including even a few of the tracks which she did as the vocalist of Ice MC. Actually, in the summer, she had even a nicer track out, "Uh La La La", but it was more of a downtempo, almost R & B track. While it was good, I truly hope she keeps true to her roots, Euro.
reviewed by ( Joe Quaranto )
Barbie Girl
Aqua
Gasp, shock, could it be that I am actually nominating AQUA's "Barbie Girl" ? Yes, it is true indeed! I have many reasons in which to choose AQUA. First, they were an unknown band from Denmark, who took a chance with a very "unique" look and sound, that usually NEVER goes over that well here in the USA. However, AQUA had a brilliant marketing strategy and went with it. The more hype "Barbie Girl" received the better the single did. AQUA came out of what seemed like nowhere and set the world on fire with their campy look and "unique" sound. It was pretty much a given that "Barbie Girl" would take off like a rocket because of the strong novelty of BARBIE, however, AQUA aren't just a few kids who are wet behind the ears trying to sell a dance record. I think they deserve alot more credit for executing an idea that just happened to work. It was more a strength of wills than a fear of failure that has gained AQUA a permanent place in dance culture, kind of like the Maccarena, but on a much different level. "Barbie Girl" dares us to laugh at life and ourselves.
reviewed by ( Nivek Tek )
Super Hero
Daze
I think it is quite amazing that the same producers as Tiggy & AQUA ( to name a few) have released such a great euro/NRG track. Once again, "Superhero" is quite a crossover track and actually stands apart from their other projects like AQUA despite the similarities. I think that "Superhero" has the ability to climb the charts in the US and hit the radiowaves too. I would like to say that not only is it the best track of 97, but it will fare well into 98 as well.
reviewed by ( Nivek Tek )
Shadows Of The Night
DJ Bobo
As far as traditional Euro is concerned, DJ Bobo currently holds top prize for this larger-than-life track. Along with the pounding Eurobeat and vocals of the continually stunning Lori Glory, we are treated to an expertly conducted, fully staffed LIVE orchestra... the Vienna Symphony Orchestra to be exact. Not since the Dieter Bohlen days of "Romeo & Juliet" have we been witness to such perfection, with the angelic strings moving frantically to keep up with Bobo's seasoned use of modern music technology. No wonder this Euro-NRG wunderkind continues to win Switzerland's top prize for dance musician year after year.
reviewed by ( Troy Matthews )
Prisoner Of Love
Tanya Evans
The former vocalist for Culture Beat does not let us down here at all. Nice song, but Tanya's vocals totally make the track. Spent 2 weeks at #1 on my own chart, and scored heavily on radio and clubs in Canada. Can't wait for follow up.
reviewed by ( Joe Quaranto )
Can You Keep The Secret
First Base
Aggresive! Impressive! First Base return with this hard-core euro track that destroyed the Toronto club scene. The intro to this track brought chills down my spine and brought gooseflesh to my arms - it's that good! Vocals and lyrics work very well; the song's chorus (and integrity) could have been lost had the lyrics lacked any meaning. At 144 bpm, you can't help but move to the groove of this track. If a great intro, good lyrics, high bpms and excellent synth work weren't enough, the song has a great hook that feircely latches onto your ears and doesn't let go. It's too bad that this talented group don't release singles more often.
reviewed by ( John Dafos )
Wings Of Love
Imperio
A great piece of eurodance that sweeps you off your feet and takes you away to "wonderland"!. I love the fact that you hear the children in the background during the wonderful chorus and the hook. It gives the song something special, something to be cherished. It's a song about innocence and wonder, a very important theme to surround a eurodance track around.
reviewed by ( John Dafos )
Angel
Joee
Flawless. Formerly with Toronto's Intonation, Joee is now on his own and continues where previous Euro hits like "Almost Suicide" and "Feel It In the Air" left off. This track sends you to a place where few Euro-NRG songs can... a place filled with heart-stopping emotion and 'tear-in-your-eye' beauty. The lyrics present are equally as important as the pizzicato accentuated backdrop... THE totally signature Euro sound for 1997. Joee sings with such honesty... meaning, when you listen to what he's saying, you can literally feel what he's feeling at the same time. "Angel" is a result of the tragic death of his younger cousin in the summer of '97, and although Joee has already had several hits prior to this one, "Angel" will likely be THE song to catapult this young Canadian to international stardom.
reviewed by ( Troy Matthews )
Open Your Eyes
Koko
1997's version of "Give Me the Light" by Ice MC... yet sung with sparkling female vocals and a little lighter musical backdrop than Ice MC's masterpiece from 1996. What's really surprising is that this fantastic Euro-NRG entry hails from the UK, yet sounds SO German! You'd think so because of the impeccably well programmed use of everything from the charging percussion, and the dynamic mix of vocals, rhythms and melodies which German Euro-NRG artists seem to pull off so effortlessly.
reviewed by ( Troy Matthews )
You Won't Forget Me
La Bouche
You Won't Forget me is the latest collaboration from Melanie and Lane of on of the most powerful groups by the name of LA BOUCHE! La Bouche once again has everything that a Eurodance group would be expected to have (excellent synth's, a good beat, a powerful vocalist). Although the song is Eurodance, there are hints of groups like Sash!, DJ Quicksilver and B.B.E., but it gives the song extra power. This song has mega energy, but the only thing that this song is lacking right now is a North American release. Definitely La Bouche's best song yet
reviewed by ( Peter J )
Call Me
Le Click
This has to be one of the nicest success stories I have seen in a long time. Sometimes when a vocalist does alot of session singing for one genre of music like Melanie Thornton did, it is bound to eventually cause some friction when they decide to sign exclusively to one act. Kayo had her work cut out for her (needless to say). It was quite a feat to have to follow in Ms. Thornton's highly talented footsteps as Kayo has had to do first with "Tonight Is The Night" and then with an original "Call Me". Kayo had to prove to fans of Thornton that she ( though not Thornton) could take the bull by the horns (so to speak) and successfully take Le Click out of the La Bouche pigenholing that it fell into, and pull it out by showing that the new face of Le Click can hold it's own and has no plans to try to copy Melanie's unique sound. "Call Me" was a turning point for dance cover ups where they just replace the original vocalist and hope for the best! I like the strenght and catchy hooks of this track, and the overall triumph that Le Click received with this record with fans both new and old.
reviewed by ( Nivek Tek )
The Night Of The Raven
Magic Affair
The magic one's are back with this strong euro-NRG track. It has powerful vocals by Anita Davis and superb rap by Raz-Ma-Taz (once the rapper in E-Rotic). The track is well arranged and the vocals are great. This is definitly one of the best songs they've made so far.
reviewed by ( Niklas Adolfsson )
Breaking My Heart
Orlando
It's near impossible to choose a best single of the year, as there are always so many favourites, and there are always reasons to say that anotherrecord is better. This offering from Orlando maintains the high standard of song which we have come to expect from him. It contains all the essential elements of a good Euro NRG song; an intro, continually building to a climax before the verse (introducing a good old fashioned yearning love song) which continues to build, pushing on and up into the chorus. The close harmonies and the female vocal in this passionate chorus all adds to create that extra special song, together with an excellent production. The final push which gets my number one vote is the choice of mixes; 2 very different mixes! The factory Team Dance Mix giving it the driving, galloping treatment, and the Chicago Version providing us with a 128 bpm 'treasure', with cascading piano riffs as the Italians do better than any, contrasted with the rhythmic organ chords and rolling arpeggios.... this is the track which I can listen to over and over again without it's impact fading. That is why I put it at the top.
reviewed by ( Mike Coppock )
Temple Of Love
Pharao
An exhilirating piece of hi-energy dance by one of euro's best groups. By far ther best work since "There is a Star." While the rap is gone, Kyra's vocals carry the load well. The song is about "peace and harmony," and Kyra's vocals bring that message home. The synth work is creative - makes you feel as though you're on a rollercoaster of positive high energy, which is what "peace and harmony" are all about.
reviewed by ( John Dafos )
Calling You
Princessa
This song is the follow-up to Princessa's previous hit "Vivo". On this song she has collaborated with one of the biggest producers in the eurodance genre, Alex Christensen (the man behind U96). This track is very well done. It's a true energy dance hit with beautiful vocals and a superb melody with a spanish flavour in it (Princessa is from Madrid, Spain).
reviewed by ( Niklas Adolfsson )
Di-Da-Di
Radiorama
Totally dynamic powerhouse cut from the world's new "Hit Factory" - SAIFAM...this is the Italo/Euro hybrid track of the year - EASILY appealing to both camps. Hot deep, dark swirling synth lines echo memories of a major hit for me "Only One" by WIENNA (1995). ..not since then have I heard driving energy like this - obviously influenced by the heavy-duty German-style euro that has such a HUGE following worldwide (think MASTERBOY with Farina lyric sensibilities). Lyrically this really hit home to me - listen closely - you'll get a REALLY good idea how this style of music makes me personally feel...and what made me such a devoted fan of the genre. Feeling 'lost in music' is the mesmerizing atmosphere that is created here . Trippy sound and reverb effects twist the mind...even if mine came that way! I must say this is a case of primetime, peak-hour eurodance. The sample "Di-Da-Di" plays similar to "Dub-I-Dub" by 'ME & My" ... but FAR less sugar-coated. I must say I am extremely impressed by this release, and EASILY my favorite track this veteran ensemble has released in years. Truly an audio experience - my advice ... EXPERIENCE IT VERY, VERY LOUD! Let the party begin!
reviewed by ( Jason E. Davis )
One More Time
Real McCoy
Exactly what I expected from Real McCoy. No surprises, just pure, straight ahead Euro. As usual, great production and vocals. Spent 3 weeks on Top of my chart back in March/97. I also had the pleasure of meeting and seeing the Real McCoy on June 30/97 in concert with a live band at Canada's Dance Music Festival, the Hot Rush. They headlined and brought the house down during their one hour set.
reviewed by ( Joe Quaranto )
If You Are Not In It For Love
Real McCoy
Remixed by Xenomania (Brian Higgins & Matt Gray), this is pulsing euro-energy laced with Vanessa and Lisa's harmonious vocals. This track does well in its use of dark atmospheric synths during O-Jay's throaty rapping. The formula still works well regardless what many may think. Even though it may sound a bit too much like Crush's "Jellyhead," the other synths work excellently to give it a '93-'94 eurodance spirit. The intro brings gooseflesh to your arms and hooks you to the stereo. A worthy cover of Shania Twain's country classic.
reviewed by ( John Dafos )
Encore Une Fois
SASH!
Probably the song that had the biggest impact on eurodance this year. It use the same instruments that Faithless used in Insomnia (a house/underground track) back in 1996, but the beat and bass are different. The song use one of the eurodance pattern for the beat and bass. It's not the best euro-Hi-NRG track of the year, but it has created a new eurodance genre that is now called euro-progressive or if you prefer, eurogressive. Most of the artists are new releasing eurogressive mix on their eurodance tracks thanks to SASH!
reviewed by ( Frédéric Renaud, WiLDLiFE )
No Tears To Cry
Whigfield
I never thought I would be nominating her ( them). Don't get me wrong I am a big fan of Whigfield's work, but I never thought that they would ever change their sound so drastically. I really was taken back by the magical union of Whigfield's trademark vocals with this fresh new musical approach that borders on the best of euro-NRG and speed house. It too many people would seem that Whigfield has just sold out to the Faithless/SASH movement, but strong production in a higher level of energy vein proves that theory moot! I wish I could say that they will pump out another surprise treat that won't soud like Part 2 of this or Part 5 of Saturday Night, but I will say that I want to enjoy it while it lasts!!!
reviewed by ( Nivek Tek )
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NOMINATED ARTISTS IN 1997

ALEXIA First we got to here her as the vocalist in ICE MC, and she continues her string of hits as a solo performer. In 1997 she showed us she can deliver the Euro hits with "Number One", but also can change the pace up with the R & B leaning, "Uh La La La", and the ballad, "Because I Miss You". Simply a great artist.
reviewed by ( Joe Quaranto )
AQUA The group Aqua has had a great deal of controversy over them throughout the year. They entered the music scene this year with Roses Are Red. Then they hit home with My Oh My. Their third single is still eclipsing these songs as well as newer releases after several months on charts. They released their worldwide hit Barbie Girl, and they received a law suit from Mattel Toys a few days after the American release. Their forth hit Lollipop (Candyman) is currently flaming up the charts.
reviewed by ( Peter J )
DJ BOBO Although the "King Of Eurodance" is giving us less euro-NRG songs than he used to, he still deserves to be the main candidate for the best euro-energy performer. The magnificent euro-NRG track "Shadows Of The Night", great performances in numerous TV shows and spectacular World In Motion Tour '97 justify his flattering title in every field of show-business. So, is he still going to be a king without a crown, is up to you.
reviewed by ( Kreshimir Herceg )
DR ALBAN Hear his latests albums (Best of Dr. Alban and Believe), both released this year and you'll see why he should be in the Top 5 this year. Good rap that doesn't get on your nerve like other tracks, always a lot of different versions on his singles, from Eurodance to euro-progressive to R'n'B, every dance music lover can enjoy his tracks.
reviewed by ( Frédéric Renaud, WiLDLiFE )
FIRST BASE An immensely talented eurodance group that really should put together a full-length album! Aggression is the name of the game withthis group; their powerful use of hard-driving synths and melodious female vocals. They successfully borrow many of the elements that have made Culture Beat so successful. From singles like "Love Is Paradise" to "Heavenly" to this year's bomb "Can You Keep A Secret," First Base have proven that they aren't just one hit wonders. They are a group to be reckoned with.
reviewed by ( John Dafos )
LE CLICK Since "Tonight Is The Night" released in 1994, I was waiting for Le Click's songs. In 1997 my wish came true twice! First with "Call Me" a marvelous track and after with "Don't Go" another great production. I believe this group will grow very much next year and hopefully they will be on my Best Performer list in the first position in 1998.
reviewed by ( Marcos Suzaki )
MASTERBOY No euro-energy list would be complete without Masterboy. Although they did not have contributed much to dance music in 1997, they did release a single that is truly a great piece of work. They should be honoured for their continued success in the world of dance music. They have been producing hits steadily since the beginning of the 1990's.
reviewed by ( Arek Sycko )
OUTTA CONTROL After "Sinful Wishes", "Together In Eletric Dreams" and their latest release "For You I Will", this group can be considered a revelation although they just covered all their 3 songs. But when I hear the original version of each one of the tracks and the Outta Control version, I realize that they just keep the lyrics from the original tracks. The female vocalist Kimberly Wetmore has a very pleasant voice, specially in "For You I Will". They really know how to make music.
reviewed by ( Marcos Suzaki )
REAL MCCOY There's no other Euro-NRG band in 1997 that's had more than one BIG hit other than Real McCoy. Starting off earlier in the year with "One More Time" and followed later by a kickin' cover of Shania Twain's worldwide hit "(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here", Real McCoy show once again that they're the best thing Euro-NRG has going for it on an international scale. Also, their full length CD "One More Time" is THE most vibrant collection of Europop from '97, worthy of MUCH more marketing & promotion than BMG ever gave it. Let me harp on this one for a second, as a HUGE mistake was made on the record company's part to release "I Wanna Come" as the second single ... then basically giving up on the band after poor sales/recognition of the song. Real McCoy would have sold a LOT more of their albums if BMG/Arista would have released "Love Almost Faded", "Tonight", or the Moroder-esque "Love Save Me" as singles. But what do I know? Suffice it to say that they offered the best quality Euro-NRG of the year, and if you haven't got a copy of their album get one. There's untapped gold in them thar hills!
reviewed by ( Troy Matthews )
SASH! A great Remixer. After the success of It's my Life - Sash ! RMX 97 he did his first song called Encore Une Fois . This song has started something really big, the eurogressive sound, which is a blend of organ and eurobeat. Most of eurodance artists are now using his great intuition (and some his talent like Dr. Alban) to benefit their carreer. That song Encore Une Fois might not be considered has a eurodance track for some, but if you take a look at the eurodance scene today, you'll see that most eurodance songs released in the second half of the year have an eurogressive sound, at least one version.
reviewed by ( Frédéric Renaud, WiLDLiFE )

NOMINATED LABELS IN 1997

ALMIGHTY (England) Continually providing outstanding product, experimenting with, and incorporating new sounds, while remaining faithful to the Euro style. Both quantity and quality are the trademarks of this perenial label, providing us this year with Abbacadabra's new album, Definitive 3, Now & Then 2, Their first mixed album, Discovered, and a host of singles from, Bianca, Obsession, Who's That Girl, Jackie Rawe, Deja Vu, Rochelle, Delicious, Natalie Browne....
reviewed by ( Mike Coppock )
BMG/ARIOLA (Germany/Canada) It has to be. Real McCoy, First Base, Le Click, La Bouche. The list goes on and on. Scores high in everyones Top 10, as they not only release tracks, but develop artists with albums, and then get the artists to promote their albums.
reviewed by ( Joe Quaranto )
DWA (Italy) They're always releasing good eurodance tracks years after years. In 1997, Alexia was probably the most popular artist from this label followed by Double You. The man behind that label Robyx is always using the current tendency and put a little of his own to make great tracks.
reviewed by ( Frédéric Renaud, WiLDLiFE )
EAMS (Germany) EAMS has quite the ear for good talent. The big hits this aggressive German label has given us for '97 stand out as among the very best. "Shadows Of the Night" by DJ Bobo, "Wings Of Love" by Imperio, and "Long Time Ago" by Dr. Alban are among the few gems in the traditional German Euro style. Also, full length CD's like Bobo's "World In Motion - Winter Edition" remix album and Imperio's "Return To Paradise" show us that EAMS have carved a solid niche for themselves in the Euro market which many other labels have abandoned for the current popularity of Techno based dance music in Europe.
reviewed by ( Troy Matthews )
21 Century/SAIFAM (Italy) This label ranks tops without a doubt. Resting comfortably under Mark Farina's SAIFAM umbrella of dance labels, 21st Century continues where Asia Records from the 80's left off... and has been responsible for a large number of hits for 1997. With artists like Radiorama, Ken Laszlo, Wildside, Orlando, Ian Lex, Wienna, Kikka, Dante, and many others, this label holds top place for representing the contemporary Euro-NRG style of dance music worldwide in '97. More importantly, this popularity is finally starting to be recognized in the 'hard-to-break' US, where indie Euro-NRG labels like Interhit out of LA are grabbing up increased amounts of 21st Century product for sale to the US dance populace.
reviewed by ( Troy Matthews )
NOTE: Given descriptions were compiled from all submissions made by the members of Nominating Committee. Their list with URL addresses is presented in The 1997 Nominating Committee Page

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