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Not to be confused with Hard-NRG, which is somewhat intense, Hi-NRG is a genre of electronic dance music first appearing in the UK largely influenced by the disco and pop movement of the late 1970s, gaining it’s height in the 1980’s.
Instantly recognisable by its distinguished style, its Euro-Dance-esque euphoria together with a bass-line of multiple sequences built around it to give you its signature sound. It usually has a 4/4 beat, with catchy loops, high hat patterns and tambourines – some would argue that modern pop music owes itself to the Hi-NRG period.
It wasn’t until the late 1980’s when Pete Waterman took some of the existing Hi-NRG productions that were popular only among a niche few in seedy back door gay clubs to his own label, PWL, that Hi-NRG was available to the masses.
Hi-NRG has developed somewhat over the years and some might say that the music that sits in this genre today is a world apart from what Hi-NRG originally was.
To this day Hi-NRG remains popular with the likes of Almighty Records
and Pumpin’ UK
still producing music in this genre. Modern remix engineers and music producers such as Jon Dixon (7th Heaven), Jon Musgrave (Club Junkies) and even
Anton Powers (Cahill) keep the genre alive with their factories of original releases and commercial remixes.
Recent commercial releases that can be tracked back to the Hi-NRG genre include The Saturdays ‘Ego‘ and Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl (In The World)‘. Whilst these aren’t Hi-NRG tracks per se, they are in a format that may never have come about if it wasn’t for the aficionado’s of the day keeping it going beyond its underground roots.
There are countless albums and mega-mixes available online featuring classic Hi-NRG tracks, but here’s my take on some that seem to have been missed out that fit the genre. Some are classic anthems that go without saying, such as ‘High Energy‘ by Evelyn Thomas. This track topped charts around the globe back in 1984 and it’s singer Evelyn Thomas became known as the ‘Queen of Hi NRG’, selling an astounding 20 million copies worldwide! This track literally gave the genre its name.
Some of the other tracks included in this mix aren’t traditionally associated with the genre, but seemed to fit the bill just right, and to keep this particular mix fresh and original from the aforementioned countless other mixes available online, I decided to make this a little different.
- Sunshine In The Rain (Italo Mix) – BWO
- High Energy (Almighty 12″ Definitive Mix) – Evelyn Thomas
- Don’t Turn Around (Almighty Mix) – Quartzlock
- Don’t Stop The Train (Almighty Definitive Mix) – Phyllis Nelson
- Eat You Up (Almighty 12″ Definitive Mix) – Angie Gold
- A Walk In The Park (7th Heaven’s World Has Changed Mix) – Conways Feat. The Nick Straker Band
- Turn It Into Love (Illusive Mix) – Almighty Showgirls
- Shattered Glass (Starlab Club Mix) – Natalie Powers
- A God That Can Dance (ft. Lonnie Gordon) (Matt Pop Club Mix) – Northernbeat
- Got To Get To You (Almighty Club Mix) – Charade Feat. Norma Lewis
- Brother Louie (Metro Club Mix) – Modern Talking
- Reflections (Almighty Club Mix) – Evelyn Thomas
- Only Yesterday (Club Mix) Jenny Sinclair