Not every classic release gets adorned as gloriously, remaining as a lesser known hit that is nonetheless fondly remembered. Happening to coincidentally finding today’s throwback last week, which I first listened back in ‘08 but didn’t catch its title due to lack of immediate resources back then (yes, internet was still at its infancy back then, trust me). Chicane’s hypnotic record “Don’t Give Up”, featuring the reputed rock singer Bryan Adams, is an electronic gem that I believe is plenty underrated. Hence this write-up.
After having released “Saltwater”, which would turn out as piece de résistance for the veteran Irish producer, his sophomore album “Behind The Sun” acquainted everyone with the said song. Chicane is known for dreamy and arresting sequence of instrumentation, and that wasn’t excluded here. The singer-songwriter Bryan Adams (Summer of ‘69, Heaven) gave a heartfelt performance, though heavily modulated and robotised in post production. Some critics fixated on this as their silver bullet for mixed reviews, yet I can see the Belfast based act’s futuristic vision to take a creative decision like this to lean towards the niche of electronic music (perhaps visually reflected through the official music video that came later).
Basing itself around the progressive fringes of then House music, the track brings in the almost obscured and hazy vocals laid out in a bed of delicate chords, with dash of funky guitar licks in the backdrop (influenced by peaking Disco House style at the time). A serenading arpeggio appears right before the main chorus, rightfully merging with the rest to deliver the memorable hook which most listeners reminisce about this record.
Obviously, three hundred or so words isn’t enough to present my attachment to “Don’t Give Up”. It is lushly nostalgic, yet somehow one step forwards and indicative of the dance music that would follow.