Cheeze TM - Dancin' Queen

Cheeze TM - Dancin' Queen

Cheeze was a short-lived band that issued two singles of cover versions on the Chicago art label Bob Records in the early 90s. The singles were recorded with different lineups, often featuring band members from other groups on the same label. The ABBA cover of which Peel was fond was engineered by Steve Albini.

Links to Peel

"Near perfection I would say" (23 February 1992)
"Infinitely better than the original" (08 March 1992)
(Of "Dancin' Queen")

A fan of cover versions in general, Peel admired the group's grungy take on ABBA's "Dancing Queen" and played it a couple of times in 1992. The track featured again on the Christmas Day show that year. "One of my favourite covers of the year", was his verdict.

Having featured in shows several times in 1992, the ABBA cover enjoyed something of a revival in 2001. However, Peel struggled with the speed despite having played it correctly at 33/3 rpm without a quibble nine years earlier. Following an email from a listener he aired it again on 17 May 2001 but having started it correctly at 33 rpm, decides it would sound better at 45 rpm even though it seems patently wrong. "I prefer it at 45, I have to say", he comments on the night.

Following a listener query on 16 October 2001 asking if he ever played any ABBA tracks on the radio, Peel dug out the Cheeze single and played it two nights later when the show came from Peel Acres. He starts it at 33 rpm:

"I've got a feeling when I used to play this before on a fairly regular basis that I probably played it at 45, which made it sound kind of amusingly stupid and kind of Disneyesque. But perhaps I should have played it at 33/3 which is the speed I'm going to play it at now."

After 20 seconds: "On second thoughts I think we want it at a silly speed. Frankly it sounds altogether too depressing at 33/3" (and plays it at 45). After the record ends Peel notes that his original timing of the record, as written on the inner sleeve, is longer than the duration of the track as just played. "Perhaps I used to play it at 33/3", he muses. He then tries it in the middle of the song at 33/3 but still can't decide. "Perfectly acceptable at either speed and that's how records should be. There you go. Let's get out of it that way" he concludes.

On 24 October 2001 he played the Salma & Sabina and Cheeze versions back to back. This time he gets the speed right and says so.

A copy of the single featuring "Dancin' Queen" was subsequently found to reside in John Peel's Record Box.

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