The Story of Pop: 1999 (Chapter 39)

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Packed with more UK chart hits from two decades ago than a Y2K party popper, this is The Story of Pop: 1999. This week: a reggae music legend is bought onto the dancefloors of the new millennium…

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A long standing icon in the world of reggae music, Bob Marley, with his band The Wailers, had first recorded ‘Sun Is Shining’ for the Lee Perry produced album ‘Soul Revolution’ back in 1971. Subsequent recordings were also done in 1973 and 1978, but all the while it had been one of his less well known songs during his lifetime.

Fast forward nearly 30 years to 1999, and almost 20 years after Marley’s death in 1981, and Danish house music producer Funkstar DeLuxe had discovered and fallen in love with Marley’s music whilst playing keyboards in an amateur reggae band. He radically reworked the lilting, summery track into a reggae infused floorfiller, giving rise to the reggae fusion genre.

He was the first producer to be granted official clearance from the Bob Marley estate to produce and release remixes of his songs, and as demand for the track from clubbers who’d been partying in Ibiza and other European holiday hotspots grew that summer, it was clear a hit was in waiting.

The new remix of ‘Sun Is Shining’ eventually became a hit in no less than 20 countries upon release, including the UK, where it soared to a #3 peak and debut, and topped the dance charts in America. Funkstar DeLuxe subsequently remixed another Bob Marley track, ‘Rainbow Country’, becoming another top 20 hit the following January. But for now, we’ll leave you with both ‘Sun Is Shining’ and a teaser – both this week and next week’s featured hit are about the sun shining…

Don’t forget to follow our playlist on Spotify – updated weekly so you never miss a song from the story of pop in 1999. And you can leave your memories of the songs below in the comments or Tweet us, using the hashtag #StoryofPop1999.

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