100 Greatest Tracks of the 90’s #16 Leftfield – Song of Life

Released : 1995

You could say Neil Barnes and Paul Daley were the raver’s ravers. The latter had a long history on the London party scene, starting out as a DJ at the notorious Wag club before graduating into production by the end of the 80’s. Barnes had worked previously with The Brand New Heavies and Primal Scream; together the duo set about creating Leftism, a record of dance music to which disenfranchised rock fans could relate.

Leftism was heavily influenced by cavernous dub and the pair’s live sessions were infamously loud and bass-heavy, but it was roping in John Lydon for Open Up which provided the pathway to mainstream success, the Mercury nominated album eventually going double platinum in the UK despite Britpop being at it’s apex.

The downside of their profile was being saddled with the ‘progressive house’ tag, but Song of Life came from somewhere between Detroit and a Goa beach, it’s mystical chants and hard punching kick drum eventually giving way to punishing main room techno.

Spotters note : the mix in the video is the extended one, which isn’t available on streaming platforms. Sorry about that.