Dancing up a Sweat

Sunday, April 01, 2018

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IT was the second rung in the ultimate comeback. Sweat (A La La La La Long) by Inner Circle, released in 1993, was a rocking song that had partygoers jamming from Montego Bay to Monaco.

Written by brothers and founding members of the group, Roger and Ian Lewis, Sweat was initially released in Europe by Warner subsidiary WEA. It went number one in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland.

Sweat peaked at number three in the United Kingdom and 16 on the Billboard pop chart. This gave Inner Circle — which languished in obscurity for many years — a second hit song in the 1990s, after Bad Boys.

In a 2015 interview with the Jamaica Observer, Roger Lewis said he and his bandmates were inspired by a reggae classic when they cut Sweat in north Miami. The song is driven by John Holt's A Love I Can Feel, recorded at Studio One in the late 1960s.

“Always, always love that song. We never sampled it, we played our own track. but it had the keyboard part of A Love I Can Feel,” Lewis recalled.

Sweat (A La La La La Long) and Bad Boys are on Bad Boys, the album that won Inner Circle the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1994.

Sweat is a must-play for the band whenever they perform. Inner Circle, still led by the Lewis siblings, are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year with a world tour and new album.

— Howard Campbell

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