Just to let everyone know, I lost my partner at the beginning of August, and I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back into this blog, whether it be new posts or reupping dead links. I will let you know when and if I am ready to come back to this blog, but for the moment it is unfortunately not a priority. Sorry.


If you wish to download an album off of this blog and the link is dead, please request it either in the comments or the Chat Box and I will reupload it as soon as possible. :)

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Urban Cookie Collective - High On A Happy Vibe (1994) & Tales From The Magic Fountain (1995) DOUBLE POST!!

Urban Cookie Collective was indeed that, a collective of British musicians and producers who were brought together by Ronan Heath. Heath had toured with house/drum 'n' bass maestro A Guy Called Gerald. Wanting to form his own, more accessible dance act, he released a couple of singles as Urban Cookie on the Vertigo label, "Lucky Star" and "Pressin' On". Soon after, he reached out to other musicians to make his 'collective'. Among them were Mark Hadfield, who was also in the popular house group Loveland, and Neil Claxton, who was also in a popular house group, Development Corporation. Perhaps most importantly he snagged Diane Charlemagne, who had had success throughout the 1980s as the lead vocalist for soul/funk band 52nd Street. Charlemagne's warm, smooth vocals became the focal point, with the rest of the group's trancey, upbeat euro-house beats appealing to the rave crowd. The combination was so successful that their first single as Urban Cookie Collective, "The Key The Secret", hit number two on the British charts and even managed to hit the Billboard Dance Charts (it was also HUGE here in Canada). This afforded an international release for their album. Their follow-up single, the similar "Feels Like Heaven", did almost as well and kept them in the spotlight. Two more similar sounding singles followed, "Sail Away" and "High On A Happy Vibe", to diminishing success. The final single "Bring It On Home" had a more downbeat, Ace Of Base sound and did even worse. This was the end of their international success. I thought that was the end of the group as well, until years later I discovered their follow-up in a delete bin at K-Mart! Apparently their label Pulse-8 believed in them enough to give them a second album, which was still euro-house but contained more downbeat tracks. It's release was limited to Europe and Canada, and none of the singles, "Spend The Day", "Rest Of My Love", "So Beautiful" and "Witness", fared particularly well. Charlemagne left the group, but Heath managed to recruit Loveland singer Rachel MacFarlane and released a couple more singles. One of these was a remake of Oasis' "Champagne Supernova". Alas, the notoriously cranky Noel Gallagher claimed he did not give them permission to remake the song, and it was pulled. This is what Heath claims was the death knell for the group. A greatest hits and one more single, a remake of Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz", were released in 2000, and "The Key The Secret" was remixed and released to substantial success in 2004, but otherwise the group was inactive. While all of the members remain active in music, perhaps the two that went on to the greatest success were Neil Claxton, who became part of alt-breakbeat group Mint Royale, and Diane Charlemagne, who has released solo material as well as lent her vocals to several successful acts including Moby, Goldie, Juno Reactor and Joey Negro.

Video for The Key The Secret

Video for Feels Like Heaven

Video for High On A Happy Vibe

Video for Sail Away

Video for Bring It On Home

Download High On A Happy Vibe

1
The Key The Secret
2
Feels Like Heaven
3
Walk Right On
4
Yours Is The Love
5
Dreaming In Colours
6
Sail Away
7
Worldwide Reunion
8
Bring It On Home (Family)
9
Hidden Land
10
High On A Happy Vibe

Video for Spend The Day

Video for Rest Of My Love

Download Tales From The Magic Fountain

1
The Rest Of My Love
2
Feels So Good
3
So Beautiful
4
Virgin Breeze
5
Witness
6
Shoot
7
Shame
8
My Life
9
Spend The Day
10
Everybody Wants The Sunshine
11
Witness DJ's Rule
12
Rest Of My Love (Do Do Bass Burger Dub)

3 comments:

  1. Woo woo. The Key The Secret was a big hit in Australia too. Spend The Day wasn't but I remember it. I sing it to myself randomly sometimes.

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  2. I remember hearing "The Key The Secret" and "Sail Away" when I used to go out in Dallas back in the fall of '93. They both bring back great memories ...

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  3. I was searching for this album for a while. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
    .
    Michel31

    ReplyDelete