Before he was shouting "lager lager lager!" on that song wot became famous cos it was on a film soundtrack ('Trainspotting', lest you forget), Underworld vocalist and nutjob Karl Hyde was actually able of singing some genuinely touching songs.
Underworld's 1993 debut album was groundbreaking in the dance music scene. It takes the bass-led acid twists (see: Alabama 3, without the country bits) into - gasp - tuneful epics, dancefloor fillers and nonsense lyrics (see: 'Cowgirl'). From the opening 'Dark And Long', with backing synth line nicked from disco hit 'I Feel Love' (a trick they repeated years later), it was clear from the word go that Underworld had the ability to do something few 'acts' manage in the world of music snobbery - they made a crossover album. An album indie kids and pop kids could like as well as the electronic elite, whist the band retained their credibility.
Ten years down the line and 'Dubnobasswithmyheadman' doesn't seem to have aged. At the end of the day, the tune is king, and 'Dirty Epic' still stands out as one of the great, inspired and soulful tracks of the 1990s - a track that, like fine wine, has even improved with age. Or maybe it stands out now cos dance music has splintered into so many genres and sub-genres, Underworld took the chords which would trigger the emotions in the right places, and didn't need a genre to lump it in so the chin strokers at '7' mag would get it.
At time of writing, this CD is available for £3.99 in HMV. If you've never heard it before, you know what to do.
10Adie Nunn's Score