Ride on Time

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"Ride on Time"
Black box ride on time.jpg
Single cover featuring model Katrin Quinol.
Single by Black Box
from the album Dreamland
B-side "Remix"
Released 19 July 1989
Recorded 1988
  • 4:35 (album version)
  • 6:27 (original version)
Label Groove Groove Melody
  • Dan Hartman
  • Mirko Limoni
  • Daniele Davoli
  • Valerio Semplici
Producer(s) Groove Groove Melody
Black Box singles chronology
"Ride on Time"
"I Don't Know Anybody Else"
"Ride on Time"
"I Don't Know Anybody Else"

"Ride on Time" is a song recorded by Italian dance band Black Box. It was released as a single in 1989 and later included on their debut LP Dreamland in 1990. The song was a chart success in many countries and a number-one hit in the UK[5] and Ireland.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The song was written and produced by the Italian production team Groove Groove Melody, consisting of DJ Daniele Davoli, programmer Mirko Limoni and musician Valerio Semplici. The team worked with French model Katrin Quinol, who was the face and image for the group Black Box.[6] In the video and in live performances Quinol lip-synced to the original vocals.[7]

The song sampled Loleatta Holloway's 1980 disco hit "Love Sensation" (written by Dan Hartman) and attracted some controversy for the uncredited use of Holloway's vocals from that song.[8] Holloway's counsel engaged in a press attack on Black Box, successfully securing a settlement that paid the singer an undisclosed sum; the group had legally cleared the samples with Salsoul Records, who had released the original track, but Holloway was in arrears for advances from the label and thus was not recompensed by Salsoul.

A re-recording of the song with uncredited vocals by Heather Small was released in the second week of September 1989, and the original Holloway version was discontinued from distribution.[9] This version was released as the "UK Remix" and contained the same three mixes as the original, but with Heather Small's vocals in place of Loleatta Holloway. The Original Mix, Garage Trip Mix and Pianopella Mix became Massive Mix, Epsom Mix and Ascot Mix respectively.

The song's title derives from a sample of Holloway singing the lyrics "Thank you baby, 'cause you're right on time". Daniele Davoli explained in Channel 4 documentary Pump Up The Volume that, owing to his limited knowledge of English and the song being sung in an American English accent, with t-flapping so that "t"s sound like "d"s, he thought that Loleatta Holloway sang "ride on time" instead of "right on time".

Music video[edit]

The music video of "Ride on Time" was directed by Greg Copeland and Judith Briant.[10]

Impact and legacy[edit]

In 2011, The Guardian featured "Ride on Time" on their A history of modern music: Dance.[11]

Chart performances[edit]

"Ride on Time" became a massive hit in Italy and then worldwide, after legal rights were obtained in all territories. The song spent six weeks at No. 1 in the United Kingdom, ultimately becoming the biggest selling single of the year.[12] It fared less well in the United States, where it failed to chart as a pop record, although it did reach No. 39 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. It was the first high-profile example of an Italo house record. The genre is noteworthy for extreme amounts of "borrowing", usually in single phrases, sometimes in couplets, the lyrical "hooks" from other compositions.

Track listings[edit]

UK CD maxi & 12" maxi (1989)
  1. "Ride on Time" (massive mix) – 6:37
  2. "Ride on Time" (Epsom mix) – 5:25
  3. "Ride on Time" (Ascot mix) – 2:57
German CD maxi & 12" maxi (1989)
  1. "Ride on Time" (the original) – 6:27
  2. "Ride on Time" (garage trip) – 6:05
  3. "Ride on Time" (piano version) – 2:53
UK 7" single (1989)
  1. "Ride on Time" (massive mix) – 4:10
  2. "Ride on Time" (Epsom mix) – 2:57
German 7" single (1989)
  1. "Ride on Time" (the original) – 3:55
  2. "Ride on Time" (piano version) – 2:53
German CD maxi (2003)
  1. "Ride on Time" (radio cut) – 3:06
  2. "Ride on Time" (extended club mix) – 5:54
  3. "Ride on Time" (Voltaxx dub remix) – 5:57
  4. "Ride on Time" (original version) – 6:27
  5. "Ride on Time" (exacto mix) – 6:38
  6. "Ride on Time" (Snapshot remix) – 6:38
  7. "Ride on Time" (Jay Jay radio cold mix) – 3:45

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Swing the Mood" by Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers
UK Singles Chart number-one single
3 September 1989 – 14 October 1989 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"That's What I Like" by Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers
Preceded by
"Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx
Irish IRMA number-one single
28 September 1989 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Sweet Surrender" by Wet Wet Wet

Preceded by
"Mistletoe and Wine" by Cliff Richard
UK Singles Chart best-selling single of the year
Succeeded by
"Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin (1999). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (1st ed.). Virgin Books. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7535-0252-5. This in turn predicted the wave of Italo-house hits (Black Box's 'Ride on Time', Starlight's 'Numero Uno', Mixmaster's 'Grand Piano') that dominated the 1989 dance scene. 
  2. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (1996). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-6797-5574-6. Italo house largely relied on diva disco samples, cut up and rearranged by Italian producers to create new vocal tracks, such as Black Box's "Ride on Time." 
  3. ^ Ardenghi, Daniele (29 July 2013). "Una hit planetaria per la Time Records". Giornale di Brescia (in Italian). Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Lester, Paul (8 February 2008). "No 271: Sam Sparro". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2014. he also grew up on Italian house (...) as well as Euro-dance hits like Ride on Time 
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External links[edit]