OK folks, I know this may not seem earth-shaking, but please bear some things in mind when it comes to this (and the next couple) of entries.
- This list was not compiled by me.
- This list was compiled in 1990, so they were kind of running short of 'world-shaking' records.
Now, let's talk about this record. The reason it's listed is because of its influence on later house/dance records and because it was of a new subgenre - Detroit Techno.
In the 1980s and '90s, a lot of dance music spotlighted female singers with thin, weak voices who seem on the verge of death. But house music has often been a home to expressive, big-voiced divas who can truly wail -- a fine example being Paris Grey of the duo Inner City. Along with producer/composer Kevin "Master Reese" Saunderson, Grey was responsible for some of the most rewarding dance music of the late '80s and early '90s. Inner City's debut album, Big Fun (titled Paradise in the U.K.), is full of house gems that enjoyed extensive dance club exposure, including "Good Life," "Do You Love What You Feel," "Ain't Nobody Better," and the title song. While Saunderson's production is decidedly high-tech, Gray's warm, passionate singing is mindful of dance music's heritage and underscores its soul and gospel roots in a delightful way. Unfortunately, Inner City never crossed over to the R&B or pop markets as Virgin Records hoped -- an irony considering that Big Fun is so much more individualistic and soulful than most of the generic efforts that dominated black radio in 1989.