No one in their right mind, who lived on this planet, doesn't know this epic song.
Right Said Fred are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their 1991 chart topping hit single "I’m Too Sexy" this year. To celebrate the release, brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass are releasing a 25th Anniversary EP of I’m Too Sexy plus a brand new album. The anniversary marks an important milestone for the brother’s career – not only is this a celebration of the single but also 25 years of global success.
It's been quite some time since the single was released, so we decided to ask both Fred and Richard to break down their top singles of the last 25 years and they delivered. Scroll through their picks below and let us know if you agree or disagree.
FRED’S TOP 5 TRACKS OF THE LAST 25 YEARS
FRAZEY FORD ‘DONE’
I first saw this posted on Facebook. It’s rare I find a track that I can’t stop playing and even more rare to find a video that not only supports the track perfectly but is a joy to watch. Both the song and the video are drenched in honesty and personal experience. I’m not a fan of many current female artists, they’re over processed, little more than a convenient tool for their producers, managers and record labels. Frazey Ford has a beautiful tone to her voice, her enunciation is sketchy but I don’t care, I’m a Bob Dylan fan so I’m used to that… The band on this record are The Hi Rhythm Section who worked with Al Green for many years, the ease at which they play is not something you can be taught. "My joy, my joy, my joy takes nothing from you"
NEW RADICALS ‘YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE’
Good feel-good records that stand the test of time are all too rare. Greg Alexander is an excellent songwriter, this is a really well written and executed pop song. The hypnotic nature of the track is partly due to the use of the chords as well as the the driving piano and overdriven guitar parts. Falsetto is over used these days but his falsetto in the pre-chorus is great and it falls really nicely back to his natural voice for the chorus. The lyrics sound disposable but they’re not, they're a rallying cry and really fucking good fun to sing along with.
“you’ve got the music in you, one dance left"
AIR ‘ALL I NEED’
To be honest I could have picked any track from Air’s ‘Moon Safari’ album, it’s without doubt when of the most complete albums of the last 25 years. I first heard it while staying at a friends flat in a housing project in Wroclaw Poland. The gentleness of the song and the harshness of the surroundings weren’t lost on me. January in Wroclaw is pretty brutal. The attention to the individual sounds is astonishing. The album moves effortlessly from track to track and never misses a beat. The mix of old school keyboard sounds, the prominence of the bass lines, guitar delays and the use of vocoders makes for a truly wonderful aural trip. Every time I play this album I’m right back in the housing project looking out over a very cold Wroclaw.
Although I love Maxi Jazz’s rap I actually listen to the track for the arrangement and the keyboards. Sister Bliss and Rollo have nailed a timeless anthem with ‘Insomnia’. A lot of dance tracks only fulfil their potential when they’re played very loud through a great club sound system. ‘Insomnia’ works at all volumes in all environments, it’s construction is a masterclass in dynamics. That said I’ve heard this in a few clubs, I can thoroughly recommend it as an out of body experience. The keyboard riff that comes in on this version at 02:18 raised the bar.
PRIMAL SCREAM ‘COME TOGETHER’ (Andy Weatherall Mix)
Screamadelica was released in 1991, we were recording ‘I’m Too Sexy’ in early ’91 was followed by promo and shooting the video in the Spring, we were still skint and still working in the gym in Putney. Andy Weatherall’s mix of this was on repeat in the gym, we listened to it ad infinitum. Not only is it a great track to workout to but it’s the mix of rock music and house music that really appealed to us. Lots of percussion, filtered synths, shakers, tambourines, brass stabs, gospel vocals and even Jesse Jackson over what is essentially a rock band. We love the combination of house/dance music incorporated into the standard format of a rock/pop band.
RICHARD'S TOP 5 TRACKS OF THE LAST 25 YEARS!
JAMES/NOTHING BUT LOVE
I was mooching around in of the best outlets in London where you'll find books, CDs, vinyl, DVDs etc. They play music over the system in the store, on this day I heard 'Nothing But Love' by James. I was in Fopp just off Cambridge Circus. I had no idea who the band was initially but was mesmerised but the chorus chant, atmospheric and very, very hooky. The verses too are strong and the lead vocal quintessentially familia, local somehow. The video was less successful for me. It struck me as a little old fashioned although I did get goose bumps at the end as the two main characters embrace.
CULTURE BEAT/MR VAIN
"5 dollars please." That's how you know your no longer famous! About a year before this at the very same club in LA, not only did I get in for nothing, but I don't recall paying for any drinks either! By the next time around the second album had tanked. Yes, I was a bad celebrity. My first visit however, one year earlier was the first time I heard Mr.Vain. My reaction to it reminded me of the first time I heard ‘Relax' by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. The DJ played it round and round and round. I moved eccentrically around the dance floor (I hesitate to call it dancing!) It was so hooky, so infectious. It's a great song with or without the groove, my guess is that it would work just as well on acoustic guitar. The empty dance floor cries out to be filled and tracks like this do just that.
GOTYE/SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW
For me there's no fault to be found in either the song or the video. The song is beautifully executed, the temptation which must have been there to over do it was resisted and the final thing is much better for it. The song adopts an original and unsentimental position on a very familiar subject, the end of a love affair. It's often the case that either the track is good but the video is weak or the track is weak and the video is great. In this happy case both are fantastic. It's everything that pop can be, simple and memorable. The very first time I heard this song I thought it was Sting singing. Then I discovered it wasn't but the singer (Wouter Andrew De Backer) does have a mouth like Sting! Is there something we should know?
Written by The Zutons this great song is most commonly associated with Amy Whinehouse, which is a shame because her derivative dreary version is not a patch on the Zuton's original. What hooked me in on the original Zutons version was the riff, so hooky and mixed to perfection. The groove in the verses is a little 'lumpy' maybe but this is nitpicking, far be it from me to criticise them because overall this a great song and a great track. It would be great if the Zutons could reclaim this song for themselves it's their composition after all.
The first time I heard this track I was in a gym in Brighton, I was living there at the time but that's a whole different story. At the time of hearing 'Hey Ya!' no one I asked knew what it was, none of us had Shazam! Two things about this song knocked me out immediately, one was the prominent acoustic guitar and the second was the bar length of the opening chorus-twice as long as it felt it should be. It showed great confidence I thought. There are some fantastic ad libs and dinky little keyboard hooks too. As far as the video goes they tried too hard although the jockey outfits for the 'BV singers' are a stroke of wonderfulness!