Pandemic Moments They’d Rather Forget – Part 1

For the next few days, Ears To The House is running a little series, simply because we can. It’s going to be all about things which happened during the pandemic – which we accept isn’t over, before anyone asks – that the dance music world would probably rather forget. In this opening chapter, we discuss an ill-advised idea Trax Records had early in the pandemic on how to spread a message about safety…

It was 8.30pm on 23rd March 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared on TV with an announcement to the British nation. “You must stay at home”, he said, imposing the biggest set of restrictions on UK citizens since World War Two. Aside from a few very limited exceptions, staying in would be the new going out for a while.

Other countries had similar announcements too. Adverts on TV were about washing your hands frequently and practising social distancing when you did have to go out. The world of music, in the meantime, resorted to live streaming to keep the culture going – nightclubs in much of the world were not to open again for quite some time.

Trax Records were amongst those to embrace streaming online to their fans. The label had a terrible start to the pandemic when founder Larry Sherman died of heart failure on 8th April 2020 – and later the same month, they were due to engage in crimes against music, too.

Just two days later, they released a song called “Stay At Home (Move Your Body Anthem)” – which came with Wash Your Hands and Stay At Home mixes. After a few days, news of the release began circulating on social media – and the reaction was pretty bad. The instrumental was taken from Marshall Jefferson’s “Move Your Body (The House Music Anthem)”.

And as for the vocals? Most of them were by label boss Screamin’ Rachael – it’s unclear who did the male vocals. The release was as much a surprise to Marshall Jefferson himself as anyone else, who had to intervene on Facebook to say this…

A person called Scott Kay responded to the original thread with some tongue-in-cheek suggestions for other pandemic themed songs. They included “We’re Locked Inside The House” by Adonis, “Bring Down The Curve” by Robert Owens, “(Get Inside Your) House Nation” by Housemaster Boyz, “This Is Covid” by Maurice – and, of course “On And On (With The Stupid Conspiracy Theories” by Jesse Saunders.

Jefferson’s assessment of the situation – “it’s not that serious” was correct, although his assertion it would be “forgotten in a week” hasn’t been quite borne out…

TOMORROW: the farce that was Tour Managers Not Touring.

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