Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Everything Starts with an 'E'

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Covid-19
Recorded  1989
Label  More Protein
Genre  Acid house
Released  31 July 1989 5 March 1990 (re-issue)
Format  12" maxi single, CD single, digital download
Length  3:38 (single version) 7:13 (12" version)

"Everything Starts with an 'E'" is a song by E-Zee Possee featuring vocals from MC Kinky. It is considered by many to be the anthem of the acid house movement of the late 1980s, with the "E" in the title widely understood to refer to the drug Ecstasy (MDMA).

Contents

The song began life as an instrumental interpretation of Jeremy Healy and Simon Rogers' idea of house music after a trip to Ibiza which upon being presented to Boy George had vocals added to it by MC Kinky, Boy George and Eve Gallagher. This vocal version charted #15 on the UK Singles Chart, and although a music video was created for it, no-one played it due to its offensive lyrical content. Retrospective critical reception for the song was scathing.

Background

E-Zee-Possee was a group compiled by Jeremy Healy of Haysi Fantayzee fame. It uses a different vocalist for each record owing to his experiences producing the Business Mix of Boy George's "Live My Life" with extra vocals with street rapper MC Cyndee.

"Everything Starts with an 'E'" was initially produced as an instrumental dance record with assorted samples by Jimi Hendrix, Lost in Space and from classical music. It was written by Healy immediately after his first trip to Ibiza, where the acid house movement was in full swing, as Healy's and Rogers' interpretation of house music at the time having taken heavy inspiration from the music being played there. The title, "Everything Starts with an 'E'", originated from a Ronald McDonald LP which contained the line and was subsequently sampled in the song. Healy then presented it to Boy George, who suggested they use MC Kinky, a white female raggamuffin toaster who had previously featured on his song Kipsy. She then used the song to write what according to her was an anti-drug rant. Boy George and Eve Gallagher both provide backing vocals for the record. It was rejected by every label George went to and eventually he opted to front the money himself, pressing a thousand copies with the intent to get it played in the clubs. Its first play was in the Hacienda in Manchester, and after becoming a theme for many of the raves, Virgin Records surrendered and signed the band. Although BBC Radio 1 initially banned the song due to perceived offensive lyrical content, it was performed on the Sky1 show Hits International, and would later chart at #15 on the UK Singles Chart, remaining the flagship for George's More Protein label as well as an anthem for the entire acid house movement of the late 1980s. It later appeared on E-Zee Possee's album The Bone Dance alongside follow-up singles "Love On Love", "The Sun Machine" and "Breathing Is E-Zee" as well as on Now That's What I Call Music! 17. After the earlier ban, the song was played on BBC stations at various times in 2010 and later.

Promotion and release

"Everything Starts with an 'E'" was originally released on 31 July 1989, and peaked at #69 in the UK Singles Chart, leaving the top 75 chart after only one week. However, the single was re-released less than a year later, on 5 March 1990, and climbed to #15 on the UK chart. It remained in the chart for eight weeks, making it the longest chart running for the band.

A music video was made for the song after the song cracked the top 20. Despite this, the band were not allowed on Top of the Pops to promote it, and the song was not broadcast at the time on music video channels. It features MC Kinky rapping to the song as well as Marc Massive and George Long dancing alongside her.

When the song achieved mainstream success, MC Kinky didn't have a manager or an agent, and as such received many calls to her landline requesting that she perform somewhere. These performances often took place in obscure locations off the M25 motorway around London, at acid house raves with "hundreds of thousands" of attendees. She recalled that she often had to curl her hair in the car and put on reflective clothing inside pub toilets, and that "when the screechy guitar on 'Everything ... ' began, the crowd would roar like a football stadium." Once she had performed, she used to start dancing inside the crowd, during which she would find herself bombarded with people claiming that she had changed their lives.

Looking back in 2001, Simon Cantlon of AllMusic gave the song a negative review, noting that the song "had not aged well" although conceded that the track "is considered a classic by some". In 2015, Antipathti judged that "making reference to a then controversial drug does not make this any less of a novelty track than Mr Blobby or Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh. At least one of those is better than this fake patois part time rave nonsense."

PROCD 1

  1. "Everything Starts with an 'E'" (Edit) – 3:36
  2. "Everything Starts with an 'E'" (12" Mix) – 7:10
  3. "Everything Starts with an 'E'" (Sir Frederick Leighton Remix) – 7:49
  4. "Everything Starts with an 'E'" (Beats) – 6:47

PROT112

  1. "Everything Starts with an 'E'" (Renegade Soundwave Mix) – 5:23
  2. "Everything Starts with an 'E'" (Renegade Soundwave Dub) – 3:27

PROTR112

  1. "Everything Starts with an 'E'" (New 12" Mix) – 7:13
  2. "Everything Starts with an 'E'" (Instrumental) – 5:18

References

Everything Starts with an 'E' Wikipedia


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