Here To Stay

Run Wild < Here To Stay > Player In The League

24 Hour Party People. What a wonderful book and movie, and 10 years on from those dark days of 1992 when Factory went under it was terrific to see the resurgence in interest. Having published the original online Factory Discography* across those years, I remember being inundated with information requests from magazine editors, members of Winterbottom’s production team, and various people and band members from the inner orbits of the label itself. A highlight was chatting with Tony himself who gave me a signed copy of his book; now a much treasured item. RIP Tony.

It was such a period of reinvigoration, and I could wax lyrical about how much I enjoyed the movie; half-truths and hyperbole notwithstanding. The label’s arc from post-punk pioneers to purveyors of Madchester™ is such an important and inspirational tale, and here it was told with great humour and tongues firmly in cheek. I loved it. John Simm – already one of my favourite actors – worked a treat in Bernard’s shoes, and his onstage appearance in the 511 / Finsbury set was an ironic masterstroke… “Where’s Ralf Little” indeed!

Which brings me neatly to Here To Stay. It seemed the perfect time for a perfect plan; have the Chemical Brothers – fellow Mancunians and reigning big beats premiers – ‘pay their dues’ to the band which was of such influence to them and indeed ‘pay back’ Bernard’s appearance in their Out Of Control release a few years earlier. Here To Stay is excellent: techno riffs, an homage to the Blue Monday choral sound, sparkling acid-like arpeggiations, cavernous snares, and – my favourite part of the track – the stripped down verse sequences of deep bass + chattering drum loops + vox. Its herein where the track has real depth, because I do find in other parts of the song that the track seems compressed into the mid-range; very typical of Chemical Brothers, and possibly why I’ve always slightly preferred Orbital. Nevertheless the ‘Chems bring some wonderfully quirky programming to the party, with lots of slip beats, unusual patterns, ear worm riffs, and a solid intake of New Order’s signature guitar work. For me Here To Stay is on par with Shellshock and Confusion as a quality collaboration-driven dance single in New Order’s canon.

Remix-wise, I’m not super-excited by either the Felix Da Housecat or Scumfrog offerings; neither of which are a patch on the original. The ‘Housecat Extended Glitz Mix is driven mainly by a bassline variation and some brassy synth flares, which give good atmosphere but otherwise don’t really keep me interested. The Scumfrog Dub Mix bears only a passing resemblance to Here To Stay, with only the extracted vocals tying it to the original; otherwise it’s a fundamentally different beast, albeit quite an OK standalone production with a driving D&B groove. Finally there is the Extended Instrumental, which follows the original in most aspects, but offers clarity in the mix so that you can better pick out the tones & sequences and better appreciate what the Chemical Brothers brought to the table. The Instrumental also offers some alternate breakdowns, which – in combination with the original – would make for a decent Razormaid-style re-edit. Note to self…

So: dance track… ✔, inspired collaboration… ✔, wonderful context… ✔, an improvement on much of Get Ready… ✔, and a high degree of (what Wilson would describe as) coolness quotient… ✔. But above all it’s the “we’re here to stay” affirmation which brought the biggest smile to my face; ringing true of the band and the label, both of which will stay firmly – like a bright light on the horizon – in the Manchester (and beyond) consciousness forever.

* For which I apologise has been left fashionably fallow since 2005 🙂

Rating: xxxxi

Radio Edit avilable on: Singles

10 thoughts on “Here To Stay

  1. Another top review. I must admit i could not contain my excitement when i first heard about the collaboration between my favourite band and the Chemicals. Out of Control was sublime – an amazing record and i followed all the Chemicals albums. But i have to admit i was disappointed with Here To Stay. Seemed a bit like going through the motions and really expected a bit more. Felt like ‘New Order by Numbers’ to me. Find the sound a bit tinny with the guitars strings sounding a bit too tight. I do love the ‘We’re here to stay’ part at the end! But…it is still a good song – but i was just expecting a bit more i guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the fact that this is exactly that, New Order by the numbers, is why I really love this track. Funny, isn’t it? Sometimes familiar trumps innovative. I just remember how much I adored this track when it played at the end of the film, which is the first time I heard it. New New Order that sounds like old New Order! I was in heaven. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I guess Out Of Control won’t get reviewed here, which almost seems a shame. As much as I love that track I’d also love to hear Bernards version before the Chems chopped it up. Am I the only one?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dennis, for all your “defending” of Get Ready, your obvious joy at reviewing this track shines through in the descriptions: “sparkling acid-like arpeggiations…deep bass + chattering drum loops…”. And I felt much the same at the time of release. My heart positively leapt that it didn’t sound like another GR plodder. Imagine if the Chems had produced GR; it could have been a very different beast.

    I also agree with you about the remixes. I completely ignored the Extended Instrumental at the time of release (it wasn’t on the CD single in Europe). So it was a welcome addition to Retro. Love the exposition of the delicate guitar work in the breakdowns.

    I didn’t realise you were a ‘source’ for 24HPP. Perhaps this explains how you ended up having dinner with Gillian & Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a great song but like others have mentioned – it’s so damn tinny. Barneys guitar sounds like it was recorded using a pair of Apple earphone a instead of a Marshall or Peavey amp. And Hookys Bass sounds funny and feable too.

    There’s too much mid eq and al the instruments are fighting to be heard.

    Such a shame as it could have been truest outstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely love this track.
    One of my top 5 post-80s tracks, along with Regret, Crystal, Restless & Singularity.

    I think the lyrics are magnificent.
    I’m not sure why, but have always suspected that they are about Ian. Maybe the video, with its 24HPP imagery, led me to that theory.

    A wonderful song, IMHO.
    Like a bright light on the horizon…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a moment hearing this track was after expecting more Get Ready-ish stuff. I took it as a statement of intent -‘we’ve done Get Ready, now we’re doing this, we’re here to stay’.

    Ho hum

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with Sudipta in part – I was expecting ‘Out of Control II’ and my initial thought was ‘is this it?’ There was an NME review that said ‘had it, lost it, ain’t ever going to get it back’ and I half agreed. But it’s grown on me over the years, not least because it’s stonking live. And I’ve got a soft spot for Thee Extended Glitz mix, particularly the 8 minute version.

    Liked by 2 people

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