Club Nouveau – Lean on Me

First Hit #1: March 21, 1987

Hip hop took a circuitous to the top of the charts, with tiny elements showing up before the genre could properly break into the top position. Club Nouveau, for example, brought the hip hop beat to the equation, but used it to underline an otherwise straightforward cover of a Bill Withers original. It’s a song that acts as a bridge between old and new, bringing together a very old school vocal which doesn’t really change much about the original track, with production that is pointing towards what’s going to dominate the charts in the future. It’s kind of weird to hear the buttery smooth vocal placed over the synth and sample heavy beat, but overall it is an appealing fusion of different elements.

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One Response to Club Nouveau – Lean on Me

  1. RBerman says:

    The heavy club beat and faux-Jamaicanisms make this enough of a different songs that when someone says, “I like ‘Lean on Me'” you have to clarify which version is meant. The gentle “Fire and Rain” stylings of the original version matched the comforting lyrics, whereas the ebullient attitude of this version seems to downplay the problems and sorrows in the first place.

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