1990, Music

Gonna Make You Sweat (1990) by C+C Music Factory

There’s something about Martha Walsh almost shouting the hook to the title track of this record that just captures a very particular moment in time. I was 9 and I didn’t know what dance music was, let alone house. But I knew this song, like the rest of the planet. It was just inescapable. And everything about it – the production, the rap – is just so 1991.

I also remember “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…”, though I don’t associate it as closely with a very specific moment in music history. I vaguely remember “Here We Go” and “Just a Touch of Love” too, but I can’t decide whether that’s because they get played on ’90s stations now or whether I actually heard those songs as a kid.

Though four tracks are the first four tracks on this album. So whatever else we might want to say about it we can say it is sequenced horribly: it is about as front-loaded for a hit album to be. And it’s over an hour long if you include that bonus track, so this is a curious decision, perhaps made out of concern that not everyone had CD players yet and couldn’t skip through the rest of it to find the hits.

Anyway, nothing has the urgency of the title track, even the singles. Though the two I remember are at least memorable to me now, if only because I remember the hooks from when I was a kid. (I don’t like “Here We Go”, at all, though.) The rest of it just feels like a pale imitation of the singles. And there is a lot of “the rest.”

And then there’s the other thing: the thing that I absolutely didn’t know at the time, even though it probably made the news to some extent: one singer, the “attractive” one, was used in the videos (and on the cover) to imply she was the only singer. This is icky, to put it mildly. And it’s interesting to wonder whether or not it would have gotten less attention had the Milli Vanilli thing not just happened. (I don’t remember how much attention it go but apparently there was some public acknowledgement.) I’m not sure that this stupid decision does anything to my perception of the music, as it’s music I don’t like due to what it is and how dated it sounds. But it certainly doesn’t make me look fondly upon the people in charge.

Whatever else it is, it’s the product of its time. That is the dominant impression I’m left with.


I mean, it could be worse.

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