Sannie – How Long
Isn’t it funny how some songs and sounds stand the test of time, while others go off faster than a Saturday night takeaway?
And Whigfield’s Saturday Night is, coincidentally, one of those songs that feels every one of its 22 years old. I remember sitting in the back of my dad’s car as a boy of tender years and merrily bopping away to the definitive Eurodance hit of the mid-90s, at a time when I didn’t yet understand the meaning of the term ‘homosexual’. It was a Costa del LOL package holiday of a song, a proto-Macarena, a warning from the Ghost of Las Ketchup yet to come: cheap, cheesy and impossible to forget, no matter how hard you try.
It’s the song that taught a million awkward youngsters to dance, but now it’s the reserve of naff DJs struggling to get the dancefloor moving at achingly uncool weddings. I remember being at one such occasion and the collective eye roll from 30-somethings across the venue the moment ‘DI DI NA NA NA’ tinnily leapt out of the speakers; you can almost feel the walls groan.
No, time has not been kind to Saturday Night. But the same cannot be said for Whigfield, who is back in 2016 at the age of 46 to release new music under her given name, Sannie. First up in February was this decidedly fresh slice of deep house, How Long.
Now, given our previous explorations of the music industry’s far-reaching ageism that means the likes of Kylie, Madonna and Gwen Stefani can’t buy radio airplay for love nor bottomless pit of money, it’s hardly surprising that almost nobody has heard this track before.
But at this point, two decades on from her career peak, airplay and chart positions are clearly not the aim for Sannie. It’s not try-hard edgy like much of what Madonna’s produced since Hard Candy, but instead has some of the self-assured cool of the Pet Shop Boys’ latest work. It’s easy to tell when an act is liberated from the spectre of a chart run – and it shows in this track.
Other stars in the same age bracket as Sannie would do well to take a leaf out of her book. The charts – and songs like Saturday Night especially – are proof that crap tracks frequently sell, and missing the top 40 is no condemnation of the quality of a song. This very blog is proof that great songs are often only discovered by music nerds who find themselves lost on the internet’s outer edges; it’s amazing what you’ll find there.
Entered chart: did not chart
Who could release this today and have a hit? Tricky to say who could turn it into a chart hit in its current form, but I’d love to hear a Clean Bandit spin on this with Beth Ditto on vocals.