I’m often asked to name some of my favourite tracks. I’m often asked what my Top Ten Modern Jive tracks would be. Of course there are hundreds of great tracks we dance to but I’ve come up with a list that I hope will get some approval. My criteria for choosing a track are that I must have heard it in at least three different venues and it should be at least 5 years old. The list is in no particular order and my fourth choice is Always Have, Always Will by Ace of Base.
On the day of judgement, when the Great Modern Jive DJ in the sky asks for a public vote on the Top Twenty Modern Jive tracks, I hope you will vote for this innocent pop song. I doubt if any person over 16 would admit to buying or even downloading this track: it is after all a portrayal of romantic love through innocent eyes, but we never know when we are going to fall in love and one day the lyrics might have a whole different meaning to you.
What makes this song so easy to dance to is without doubt its gentle bouncy rhythm and a very catchy chorus. For this reason its particularly popular on dance class nights; indeed it accompanied me through my struggle to string together a sequence of moves that would fill a three minute dance track. I wondered if it was just a particular favourite of the DJ at my class night and my love of it was because of its association with my modern jive initiation. I then heard it at other class nights but it was propelled in to The Modern Jive Hall of Fame when I watched four hundred people dancing to it in the Main Hall at a Southport Weekender.
It catchy introduction is very Billy Ocean-esque giving it instant dance appeal. The opening piano and string orchestration also has a Motown feel and its not hard to imagine the Four Tops launching into ‘Sugar pie honey bunch’ on cue. However the song quickly creates its own identity and you can’t help connecting with the catchy melody and simplistic beat. Tracks with a well defined beat and easy going melodies are perfectly suited to class nights but they are also invaluable in freestyles as they offer a break from more frenetic tracks.
I can’t help wonder how this track became established as a modern jive favourite. It was released back in 1998 and I suspect after it fell out of the charts it lay in the vaults until someone thought about giving it a spin – but who? In researching the background to this track I came across another of Ace of Base’s hits Life is a flower. Give it a listen and wonder why this track from the same 1998 album still lies buried in the music vaults while its less successful little sister gives us so much pleasure on the dance floor.