If you asked anyone born before around 1990 where they were when they first found out about the terrible events unfurling in New York on September 11th 2001, they’d most likely remember. Those images of the World Trade Center’s North Tower burning will be ingrained in people’s minds forever – alongside the horrible realisation that this was no accident when the southern tower was hit a short time later.
Nearly 3,000 people perished that day – tighter security in airports and the war in Afghanistan were just two things that followed afterwards. Earlier this week, the 22nd anniversary of that dreadful day went past – and for those who lost relatives or friends, the pain never seems to quite go away.
There will also be many in the dance music world who remember the day vividly – the scene has a long history within New York, after all. Back on Monday, Danny Tenaglia was retelling the story of how he spent the evening of September 10th in 2001 finishing up his notorious remixes of “Finally” by Kings of Tomorrow and vocalist Julie McKnight. It’s a story he has publicly shared a few times previously…
However, there’s just one problem with Tenaglia’s story – mainly that it doesn’t make sense. According to the long-running Juno Records listings from the time, the two Danny Tenaglia remixes of “Finally” were released on Defected in the UK on 14th September 2001 – although some online listings, including by Defected themselves, state 17th September 2001 as the date.
Let’s also remember that this song came out during the vinyl era. Back then, records had quite a long promotional period before release – sometimes running up to several months. Even in the analogue age, vinyl was an expensive product to press up and distribute – labels wanted to ensure maximum coverage to ensure their music would sell.
In addition to this, another revenue stream was the compilations business. Companies like Ministry of Sound would pay significant money to licence music from other labels for their own albums – for example, Club Nation 2001 included a Danny Tenaglia remix of “Finally” and was released on 23rd September 2001 in the UK.
Here are those aforementioned Juno Records listings from the time…
At the time, Ministry of Sound and Defected had a close working relationship – in exchange for Ministry loaning Simon Dunmore some £250,000 to start up his own label, he gave them access to his label’s music for their compilations. These same compilations were recorded several weeks before release to the public – a source who worked for Ministry of Sound at the time confirmed to Ears To The House that they were recorded “anywhere between four and eight weeks before they came out”.
If time to licence the music for these compilations was also factored in, this means the Return To Paradise version, at the very least, must have been available no later than the opening days of August 2001 – some six weeks before Tenaglia claims to have finished work on his remixes. Let us also consider the process involved in getting from remix to release.
Tenaglia would have had to finish his work and save it to a DAT tape. This tape would have to be posted from New York to London – a process taking several days in itself even if he was paying for premium postage. Next, Simon Dunmore would have needed to listen to and approve of the remixes before sending them for mixing and mastering – if Dunmore approved those masters, they would be sent off to the vinyl pressing plant for test pressings to be completed.
For those uninitiated, a test pressing was a limited edition vinyl release to see whether a record sounded right. These would usually be handed to a small pool of DJs to test out – they would report on any issues with sound quality, alongside how they were received in nightclubs. If any issues were discovered, they would need to be mastered again.
Once the pressing plant received word that the masters were good, they would complete a full order – often printing up sleeves and everything else as well. This doesn’t even begin to take account of the process of getting the vinyl out into stores – another headache in itself.
So is there any explanation for all this? Amidst the mystery, Ears To The House reached out to Danny Tenaglia for comment – at the time of publishing, we’ve yet to hear anything back…