Chicane – Don’t Give Up

It’s funny to look back at the songs that perfectly capture a “moment” in your life.  When this song was first released, back in 2000, I was thirteen years old and at a musical crossroads.  iPods were still not out (and wouldn’t become ubiquitous for a few years anyways), and until then, most of the music I listened to came in CD form, either purchased, or approved, by my very-easily-shocked parents.  Until then, it was a steady diet of “safe” choices for a boy my age (think cringeworthy boy bands), golden oldies (played on Sundays, on 91.1, the only station that played English-language songs in the Dominican Republic at the time) or my dad’s collection of Joan Manuel Serrat, Luciano Pavarotti and Julio Iglesias albums, which he’d play while reading in the living room.  No offense to those three stalwarts of ability and timelessness, but at the time I just found it all terribly boring.  Finally beginning to know myself as a listener, and having made some money hustling on street corners (read: doing other kid’s English homework for money), I would save up and sneak away to the record stores to purchase whatever had caught my attention.  Napster was a few months away, the Internet connection was still dialup, and an album better have more than three good songs to make it worth its sticker price – those were truly the dark ages.

A good friend from school who was a couple of years older traveled to the United States quite regularly.  He had discovered “trance” music, and spoke in raving terms about artists and DJs such as DJ Tiesto (as he was known back then), Paul Oakenfold, Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten.  He obsessively bought, listened to, and shared these records.  And he shared them with me.  Trance and house were growing aggressively, and this subculture fascinated me.  One afternoon, with MTV Latin America playing in the background while my friends and I were probably trying to set fire to something, I heard a familiar voice in an unfamiliar context.  The effect was jarring.  It was Bryan Adams, who until then, I only knew from his work on Pavarotti and Friends.  Singing trance music.  And on MTV.

To this day, this song remains one of my favourites – for its sheer beauty, enjoyable lyrics, and timeless quality.  It wouldn’t seem out of place as something Kaskade or BT would produce nowadays, and that’s a testament to the enduring quality of Nick Bracegirdle (a.k.a. Chicane) and his productions.  Enjoy.