Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate unknown, is the 1995 album The Rhythm Of The Night by euro dance duo Corona. Will this be the Night of your life, or your biggest nightmare? Read on…
It’s important to note that the woman on the cover, dancing and ‘singing’ in the videos is not ‘Corona’ as that’s the duo’s name, and she’s also not the vocalist on this album – she’s Olga Maria de Souza. The vocalists are either Sandy Chambers, or Giovanna Bersola (known as Jenny B). This is a tactic that was used for various acts including Black Box (Ride On Time), and is famously revealed in the case of Milli Vanilli.
The album opens with second single Baby Baby, and. This gave Corona a #5 UK hit in the Spring of 1995. It’s an absolute feel-good euro belter and a perfect place to start – ‘why can’t we just stay together?‘ vocalist Sandy Chambers asks. This deserved the success it found.
The album version of third single Try Me Out follows, and it’s only slightly different from the single, but I think it is the weakest of the four that this album would launch. The song is a nice enough euro dance romp with house pianos and powerful vocals but it sounds musically very similar to other acts of about the era including 2 Unlimited, Get Away by Maxx, and Mr Vain by Culture Beat. That probably helped it in clubs, but it wouldn’t have helped Corona in the long term. Just ‘try me out‘ Sandy pleas, presumably rather than all those others acts.
We’re now into album track territory with Get Up And Boogie. This starts with a slightly sinister bassline, before Sandy, acting as MC, introduces Corona. It’s not quite spoken-word, and not quite rap, but it does remind me of Get Up by Technotronic. There’s some awkward lyrics here; namely ‘get up, get up and boogie woogie boogie boogie woogie woogie’.
I Don’t Wanna Be A Star is up next, and whilst the single version is laden with a disco sound, this album version is not. It is really catchy though, although ask anyone to name a Corona single and they’ll rarely say this one. It was the fourth and final single at Christmas 1992, reaching #22. It gives Sandy a great opportunity to show off her vocal range, as this is far richer and lower-pitched than the other singles.
Piano and handclaps lead us into I Want Your Love, and this musically reminds me strongly of Too Blind To See It by Kym Sims. This feels like it could have been a single by Kym and not by Corona. Sadly, it just kind of stops, and would have sounded better with a big ending.
This is followed by In The Name Of Love, which tones the eurodance right down and swaps it for a mellow mid-tempo track that reaches about 1m 15s before Sandy begins singing. The vocals are soulful and deliver the loving lyrics perfectly well. This doesn’t sound like Corona either, but it’s a really nice addition.
The pace is up again for I Gotta Keep Dancin’ which has some nice euro dance meets disco moments. This song has plenty of well formed lyrics (from outside Corona) for Sandy to tackle, as well as some lovely ‘do do do do do do yeh!’ moments in the chorus.
Next up is the album version of the hit lead single The Rhythm Of The Night, which brought them huge success with a #2 UK hit, with Giovanna on the vocal duties. There’s not so much difference between this and the single version but this is a slower track than follow-up Baby Baby. Either way it’s an absolute dance masterpiece. There is nothing bad to say about this song. It puts some joy upon my face.
Baby I Need Your Love follows this which goes straight into the vocals, before the synths join in. Sandy gets some great vocals here, and the synths get plenty of space too before the verse kicks off. Lyrically the chorus reminds me a bit of Ottawan’s ‘Hands Up’ hit from 1981, but it’s only that part. There’s lots of ‘aah’ ‘ooh’ moments towards the latter part of the song and again there’s a lack of proper ending.
The eurodance bursts in for next track Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, and unfortunately it’s not an Elton John cover, which would have been a far more interesting track. This is a bit like Baby Baby – a galloping synth and repeated catchy vocals, but little else.
When I Give My Love follows this, and this is laden with drums, synths, and house pianos. It’s quite catchy and could probably have worked as a single. Again, it sounds a bit like Maxx’s Run Away, or something by 2 Unlimited or Capella or… someone else.
Sandy’s vocals are really strong on Do You Want Me, and it almost feels like a companion track to Rhythm Of The Night. It’s quite a catchy track, again with galloping synths and beats, as Sandy belts out the vocals over the top.
You Gotta Be Movin’ sees the end of the ‘normal’ album line up, and this very much echos Gat Decor’s hit Passion. The lyrics for this track are printed in the CD booklet and are amusing to see just how many ‘ooh’ they typed and printed. There’s little to this track, but it’s okay as it’s about to lunge into remixes…
The first of the three remixes here is The Rhythm Of The Night (Rapino Bros 7″ Single) and this sounds like the belter chart version that we all got to know and love. Perfect.
That’s followed by Baby Baby (Dancing Divaz Club Mix), and this is a lighter version than the single at just over 6 mins. It builds up slowly, carefully adding layers on whilst Sandy’s vocals belt out this hit.
The album closes with a third version of lead single The Rhythm Of The Night (Lee Marrow Space Mix) and this time it’s a duet with Ice MC. I’m not sure why. The ‘Lee Marrow’ named here is the pseudonym of Francesco ‘Checco’ Bontempi, the other half of Corona. Ice MC’s contribution is minimal, shouting some ‘Come On!’ call outs until he gets a very 2 Unlimited/Culture Beat sounding rap in the middle. The synth sequence is different here, and it works okay, but it’s Giovanna’s familiar vocals that bring this all together.
Over all the album is a bit of a mixed bag but mostly great. It reeks of 90s synth/vocal led eurodance, which was the major stakeholder in the UK charts in the first half of the 90s.
The singles undoubtedly shine here, and it’s a fast-paced romp through late-90s eurodance. Many of the tracks sound exceptionally familiar to other dance tracks, but it’s hard to pinpoint which ones.
Giovanna and Sandy’s vocals are brilliant, and they really belts out the hits and a handful of other tracks on here. At times, they’re let down musically by repeating sequences across tracks, or simplistic keys that jar with her vocal richness and power.
This is the rhythm of my night, but not every night.
- POP RESCUE 2020 RATING: 3 / 5
- 1995 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: #18
- POP RESCUE COST: £2.09 from an eBay seller.