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.


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Friday, February 12, 2016

Smart E's - Sesame's Treet (1992)

Surprise!!  Finally, a new post after forever.  Luckily I have a spare moment, and thought you all deserved a little Valentine's Day "treet".  While most of you likely remember the theme to the children's show Sesame Street, how many of you remember the rave remix by Smart E's? In 1992 their song "Sesame's Treet" hit #2 on the UK charts and managed to hit #60 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying in the charts for 16 weeks. The group was formed by DJs Christopher Howell (aka Luna-C) and Tom Orton (aka Mr. Tom) and producer Nick Arnold.  The three were heavily into breakbeat hardcore music, the music of choice at raves, which were huge at the time.  The boys decided to take samples from the film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and put them over a breakbeat track, releasing "Bogus Adventure," backed with "Fuck The Law", which took samples from the film Nightbreed.  "Bogus Adventure" caught the attention of local DJs and this encouraged the trio to record another sampled novelty track, this time using the theme from Sesame Street.  This was one of the first "happy hardcore" tunes, which focused on upbeat and childlike themes and samples, which appealed to the drug fueled rave crowds.  The song quickly caught fire and ended up debuting at #2 on the British charts, which was a first at that time.  The boys were snatched up by Big Beat Records and quickly put together an album.  Most of the album maintained a similar vibe to their previous tracks, using fast techno beats and many samples.  They also enlisted vocalist Jayde to add diva vocals on some tracks, including the next single "Loo's Control". The album failed to capitalize on "Sesame's Treet"'s success, however, and it was largely panned by critics as garbage.  It also led to many copycat acts who used samples from various child-centric sources, and the influx of similar tracks is said to have hurt the rave scene as a whole.  They did release one other song from the album, "Love Is Blind," though this was released under the moniker Echora, likely to distance themselves from the Smart E's name.  Also, the track was quite different from the rest of the album, as it was a straight-forward house number featuring the soulful vocals of Jayde.  It was also given many R&B remixes to appeal to the urban market.  It didn't do well on the charts, however.  The group split after this and all went their separate ways, though they all continued to release their own spin on dance music.  Howell probably had the most success, both with his solo music as well as numerous releases under different aliases, and also ran his own record labels.  Arnold released music under several aliases as well, the most successful likely being the happy hardcore group Bang!, who released two albums.  Initially Orton assisted with Bang! and then also went on to release tracks under different aliases and as part of various groups.  But they will all likely best be remembered for "Sesame's Treet," for better or for worse.

Video for Sesame's Treet

Video for Loo's Control

Download Sesame's Treet

1 Apollo (Lunar Mix)
2 Magnificent
3 Make It Happen
4 Sesame's Treet
5 Love Is Blind
6 The Law
7 Charlie
8 Loo's Control
9 A Most Excellent Choon
10 Intruder Alert
11 Bizzarely Odd
12 Time Out
13 Beautiful Noises

5 comments:

  1. Yay! Its been a while :)

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  2. Thanks for posting this; I've been curious about hearing the full album since a couple of people have posted on my youtube upload of 'Loo's Control' how good the album was. I've uploaded a slightly better (no watermark and not stretched horizontally) copy of the 'Sesame's Street' video here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7uVVImPhdY . I never would have guessed it charted in the US, as I didn't think rave music crossed over to the US charts at all.

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  3. Listening to the album now... it's interesting that 'A Most Excellent Choon' contains a sample of the 'woah-oh' that was later used in JX's 'Son of a Gun' from 1994, and 'let the beat control your body', which was later used (re-recorded, I presume) on 2 Unlimited's 'Let the Beat Control Your Body'.

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  4. I forgot all about this one! Thanks so much for sharing ... and for heading back to the Isle.

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