Monday, May 06, 2013

Work Out: Over 60 Minutes of Continuously Mixed Dance Music | Remember 90s Dance Music!

Work Out was put out by Out Magazine on Atlantic Records in 1997 and is at first glance, a collection of dance music and remixes for “working out,” and appears to be targeted to mainly the gay community, though straight folks who enjoy dance music won’t have any trouble enjoying this CD. Following this theme, you have your shirtless gym guy on the cover of the album, the back of the album and for the inside sleeve, you get to watch the gym boy go through several exercises. Actually, the information provided is a full body work out that has a generally higher intensity than what you may be typically doing in the gym on a daily basis. Personally, I have never followed through on the entire workout, but some of the exercises are ones that I have done or currently do. I’m not sure Out or anyone else expects that you would follow the workout while you are exercising, but it is a useful addition and provides some useful information.

What about the music I hear someone saying, I’m getting to it. The CD has over an hour of continuously mixed dance music. This is great for when you are listening to the CD, but isn’t the greatest thing when you are trying to rip songs off the CD, you can’t get a clean start and finish to each song. The music is high intensity and is great for working out, jogging or playing at a party (another plus on the continuous mix). Just remember that the album was released in 1997, so don’t expect today’s type of dance music.

The album opens with Armand Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix of Tori Amos’ Professional Widow. For you Tori fans out there, this is not like the original cut of Professional Widow, but for a Tori dance track (which are fairly few and far between, eg. Blue Skies), it’s quite good. The remix of Tori provides a great opening for the CD and is a good combination of Tori’s vocals and remix.

For the rest of the CD you have:

Full Length 12” Vocal Mix of America (I love America)
A quieter mix after Professional Widow, America moves us more into the vocal side of dance music.

Tony Moran Club Mix – For the Love of You
For the Love of You moves us into the vocal side of dance music all of the way, and if I might add, is quite gay at the same time. I have this vision of a bunch of drag queens performing this song in a club (which, by the way is not a negative thing – I’ve seen plenty of great drag shows)

Original Mix of The Bomb!
A very danceable mix as we slide back away from pure vocals on the dance tracks.

E-Smoove 12” Mix of Heartbeat
Not one of my favorites of the album. The falsetto voice on the vocals I find annoying, but once again, I know this song would be a hit in certain circles.

Close to Trance Remix of Close to You
A remix of a Fun Factory classic, this is on of my favorite songs on the CD. The mixture of the beat, the vocals and the use of what I can only describe is the sound of one of those Andean flutes mix together and make the song.

Ken Lou 12” Mix of The Boss
Very reminiscent of bad disco…I’ll leave it at that

Def Mix of Once in a Lifetime Love
A quick and enjoyable mix.

The Basic Mix of Make My Body Rock (Feel It)
Not bad and not great, it’s another that will be playing in the background. Not eminently danceable to me and quite slow compared to the other songs on the CD.

Junior’s Deep Factory Mix of Never Get Enough
I like it and part of the reason is that this mix is closer to the house mixes that I enjoy today – there’s plenty of vocals, but the song is mixed up enough to give it a different flavor to the original.

Fluid Mix of Tonight is the Night
Could we have a gay album (or any dance album compilation) from the mid-90’s without Le Click and this song? This mix isn’t all that much different from the originals (except that it’s mixed into the preceding and the following songs). If you enjoy Le Click and this song, you’ll like it, if you don’t push next.

Back in the Days Mix of Everybody be Somebody
Strangely slow ending to the CD with a somewhat annoying mix at times.

So buy it for the pictures of the cute boy on the cover, or for the dance remixes, but either way, you’ll be enjoying the music on Work Out, one of the better earlier “gay” dance compilations (some were really bad and somehow my “pride” made me buy them all). But don’t let Out’s backing or the gay overtones scare you off if you aren’t gay, if you enjoy this type of dance music, you’ll enjoy this CD. I think in the end, one of the biggest pluses for this album is it’s continuous mix status, which makes this a great CD to put in and leave alone and you don’t need to worry about any of those annoying breaks in the music. No single song will probably make you stand up and say “wow,” but taken together, the album is a cohesive unit of great dance music.

This CD can be a challenge to find nowadays - dance music on Amazon is probably a good place to start.

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