There’s something strange about Canadian music that has a strong connection with me as some of my favourite bands and artists come from there, Rush, Neil Young, Cowboy Junkies and Lime. They have something pretty unique in the Canadian water that produces this one of a kind type of sound.
Lime are the first band who were chiefly responsible for getting me into Dance sounds via my Cousin who was like a much older brother to me and a gay older brother to boot. Through him, I first heard “Your Love” and my mind was blown and my life changed forever. Lime introduced me to Electronic Dance sounds and the Hi-NRG scene which, in the UK, was a predominantly gay scene.
During the 70’s and 80’s gay people really reaped the benefits of the long overdue de-criminalization of homosexuality and they enjoyed the first strands of liberation in the UK. Their clubs and dance scenes developed with greater and more open prominence than ever before.
Ironically, as a straight male, that also benefited me in a great way. I actually achieved liberation through gay music and culture and I have that scene to thank for that. Much of my early (under-age) clubbing life was spent in gay clubs with my older cousin and his numerous boyfriends where the music was far superior, the crowd much friendlier and less drunk and the women much, much prettier. Subsequently I introduced a lot of my other straight friends into the gay clubbing scene. My best mate at the time (a foreign student from Finland) and I would spend our weekends at the gay clubs dancing until we dropped. It was a liberating time for me, away from the constraints & predicability of other clubs and also some of the best years of my life.
After I had discovered Lime, it led me on to other discoveries like Yello, Bobby O’, The Flirts, Pet Shop Boys, Mike Mareen, Fancy and the whole Italo Disco & House scene too.
I still have a vast collection of Hi-NRG music on vinyl stored away. I use to buy it from the only gay record store I knew about in my city. Each time I’d go in and the guy there called Funky Dunc, who use to spin in the gay clubs, would play me a bunch of new stuff from all around the world that just use to blow my mind. We‘d spend all or money in that store picking up the latest Hi-NRG, Italo Disco & House records. That scene is still one of the best scenes in the world to me. I love the people, the culture and I still love the music.
The first thing that got me about Lime was the feel good & uplifting factor of their music, it was so catchy and emotional and you could dance to it and get lost in it all, pure escapism. I’d never heard stuff like that ever before in my life, it was and still is truly unique! It was Denyse LePage’s falsetto trills that gave me the butterflies in my stomach, One commentator said that she sounded like a “…yippy chihuaha doggie with a lit firecracker up her ass”. You either loved it or hated it but I LOVED it! I fell in love with her; I think I’m still in love with her. Then you had Denis LePage’s deep raspy, gravely tones that Divine ripped off. All underpinned with the most gorgeous melodies, the melancholia and the up to date advancements in music technology, synthesizers, drum machines and the BPM. Records were always categorized by BPM’s back then!
There’s an Urban Disco myth that Denis and Denyse were in fact the one and same person and that he sang both the deep vocal and the falsetto, it’s not true but added to their mystery back then. They never toured either but used to hire younger and apparently more attractive couples to do the tours in their place, to appear as them with backing tapes whilst they did the vocals themselves. I caught them live once at some gay club in the UK and I was so disappointed that it wasn’t the LePage’s themselves as the vocals were nowhere near like they were on the studio recordings.
I’m still amazed that Lime are not looked upon in the same way as some of the other Electronic pioneers like Kraftwerk, Moroder, Yello and Depeche Mode. Ok, maybe they were not as experimental or ground-breaking as those artists but their music still stands up, even today, it’s basically timeless and genius! However, there were 2 sides to Lime, a great genius side and a not so good cheesy side but the genius side triumphs over all for me.
If you’ve never checked them out, it’s never too late. One of the greatest dance acts EVER in the world for me and their music still moves me just like it did all the way back when……In fact, upon revisiting their music recently, I am even more mind-blown by their genius, over 30 years has not diminished it one bit. I discover something new each time I listen and that only happens if the artist is truly GREAT. Their sound is timeless!
So here is a mix of some of my favourite Lime tracks, music that still sends shivers down my spine! Some absolute classics on here like “Your Love”, Unexpected Lovers”, “Guilty”, “Babe We’re gonna love tonight” and “Angel Eyes”. Some of my personal faves too like the incredibly underrated “Give Me Your Body”, “I don’t want to lose you”, the Arabic inflected “Agent 406”, “Gold Digaaaaah” and a track called “Reconciliate” that they released as LePage as it was considered too dark to put out as a Lime record. The BPM’s are all over the place, often changing multiple times on the same track, making old skool manual beat-matching quite difficult and that’s another surprising thing about the genius that is Lime!
Download the Mix!
1. Your Love
2. Unexpected Lovers
3. Agent 406
4. Babe, We’re Gonna Love Tonight
5. Come and Get Your Love
7. Angel Eyes
8. I Don’t Want To Lose You
9. Take It Up
10. Give Me Your Body
11. Cutie Pie
12. Gold Digger