Club Underworld

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When Cerrone recorded Club Underworld in 1984, rap was getting bigger and bigger. Some of the R&B and dance-pop artists who emerged in the 1970s dismissed rap as a passing fad -- they were dead wrong, of course -- while others embraced it. Cerrone acknowledged rap's growing popularity with Club Underworld, which wasn't a major hit but did enjoy some exposure in dance clubs. This infectious 12" single isn't hardcore hip-hop; rather, the tune offers a sleek, glossy blend of rap and dance music. Club Underworld wasn't aimed at the street kids and b-boys who were into Run-D.M.C. and the Fat Boys in 1984, so you can't judge the tune by hardcore rap standards. But from an urban contemporary/dance-pop standpoint, the song is brilliant -- not to mention highly infectious. If you frequented dance clubs in 1984, it would have been hard to sit down when Club Underworld was playing. And that was exactly the sort of response that Cerrone was hoping for; the French producer/composer's roots were Euro-disco, and even though Club Underworld isn't very European sounding, it is definitely dance-oriented. In an ideal world, this gem would have been a major radio smash instead of strictly a club hit; regardless, Club Underworld is one of Cerrone's best singles.