Song Of The Day 7/10/2016: Black Box – “Ride On Time”

British Hits, American Misses II – The last of our #1 British hits that didn't make it across the Atlantic is from "Italo house" group Black Box. "Ride On Time" went on to become the biggest selling single in the UK in 1989. The original version apparently borrowed a whole lot of elements from Loleatta Holloway's 1980 disco hit "Love Sensation." Well, to be honest, the original version pretty much lifted direct samples from "Love Sensation," including Holloway's vocals. While Black Box went about getting those samples legally, Holloway's camp (as well as writer Dan Hartman) wasn't exactly content with the arrangement, especially since Holloway owed a lot of money to the label that put "Love Sensation" out in the first place. They worked something out, but the "UK mix" of "Ride on Time" took Holloway's vocals out of it altogether and replaced them with those of UK vocalist Heather Small. But that's not Small you see in that video, or the picture above. That woman is French model Katrin Quinol, the "face" of Black Box, lip-synching to the vocals. I've listened to a couple versions of this song, one billed as "featuring Loleatta Holloway" and the other as "featuring Heather Small," and I can't tell the difference that easily. Frankly, I don't know who's singing on this track, I just know is the woman in the video doesn't sing a note, but gyrates well.

I'm not sure why I found this celebration of repetition and raspy belting compelling enough to put up here, except for the wildly, comically pitch-shifted samples. This was right around the time advertising a song's artificiality was becoming an aesthetic option. Next thing you knew Milli Vannilli was making lip-synch battles moot (or mute, ha ha), the Commodore 64's at the record labels started crapping out all at the exact same time and Nirvana saved us from any future lapses of judgement. And now we're all better.

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