The Power (Snap! song)

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"The Power"
SnapThePower7InchSingleCover.jpg
Single by Snap!
from the album World Power
B-side"Remix"
Released3 January 1990[1]
Genre
Length3:47
Label
Songwriter(s)
  • Benito Benites
  • John "Virgo" Garrett III
  • Toni C.
Producer(s)Snap!
Snap! singles chronology
"The Power"
(1990)
"Ooops Up"
(1990)
Music video
"The Power" on YouTube
Audio sample
"The Power"

"The Power" is a song by German Eurodance group Snap!. It was released in 3 January 1990 as the lead single from their debut studio album, World Power. The song reached number-one in Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe, as well as on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play and Hot Rap charts. On the Billboard Hot 100, "The Power" managed to reach number 2 for one week, behind "Vision of Love" by Mariah Carey.[4]

Background[edit]

Written and produced by Michael Münzing and Luca Anzilotti (under the pseudonyms Benito Benites and John "Virgo" Garrett III), "The Power" went through several renditions. The original version was first released on 3 January 1990 through Logic Records in Germany and contains samples from "Let the Words Flow" by Chill Rob G, "Love's Gonna Get You" by Jocelyn Brown,[5] and "King of the Beats" by Mantronix.[6] Despite it becoming an early 1990 hit in Germany and appearing on the Dance Singles chart in the UK,[7] none of the credited vocals were cleared, and Stu Fine, former owner of Wild Pitch Records, wanted to release the song in the United States. Rob G, who was signed to Wild Pitch, consented, initially thinking the deal could be lucrative for his career. Wild Pitch issued a stateside single and video with his lyrics from "Let the Words Flow" on 5 March 1990.[8][9] However, this version was credited under Power Jam and not Snap!

Simultaneously, Arista Records wished to release their own edition in the US, but because it was not legally possible for the label to simply reissue the original German single, it was decided to re-record the entire track with new lyrics by rapper Durron Butler, known as Turbo B, and additional vocals by Penny Ford.[10] The samples were then all legally cleared and the song was finally re-released under the new name Snap! on 12 March 1990 in the UK[11] and 6 April 1990 in the US,[12] despite the fact that Jocelyn Brown had commenced legal action because of the unauthorized sampling of her vocals.[5]

This song is written in the key of B minor,[13] and opens with the spoken Russian "Американская фирма Transceptor Technology приступила к производству компьютеров „Персональный спутник" (meaning "The American company Transceptor Technology has started production of the 'Personal Companion' computer"). "Personal Companion" was a computer-like device for the blind and visually impaired. Released in 1990, it was controlled by voice and could, among other functions, automatically download articles from USA Today by a built-in modem. It was made by Transceptor Technologies of Ann Arbor, Michigan.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Bill Coleman from Billboard wrote that "thanks to a healthy buzz generated via underground import attention, this hypnotic, street-soul jam should have no trouble duplicating its smash U.K. success. Expect big crossover action."[15] In 2017, BuzzFeed listed the song at number 38 in their list of "The 101 Greatest Dance Songs of the '90s".[16] Cash Box said that "The Power" is "set against a basic hip-hop beat, but all sorts of computer-generated enhancements are added, as well as a great bassline, soul-drenched female vocals, a male rap that sounds a bit like Heavy D, and, depending on the mix, elements of House. Yet none of it seems forced or contrived, and it doesn't sound quite like anything else that's out there right now. This one will be huge."[17] Complex described it as "a more industrial take on the hip-house scene that blew up" at that time the song was released.[18] Tom Ewing from Freaky Trigger noted that the song "juggles aggression and melancholy, and makes both immediately appealing – the juddering riff which opens "The Power" set against the slow pace and lonesome spaciousness of the production and Pennye Ford's vocals. The riff is more distinctive than the singing, to be honest, but the contrast works."[19] Pan-European magazine Music & Media commented that a "funky hip-hop rhythm, sampled from Doug Lazy's Let It Roll has been matched with some forceful rapping by Turbo B and inspired gospel vocals on the chorus. Excellent warm production by Benito Benites, John Garrett III and Snap. Could be the next big thing from the Continent."[20] The Network Forty described the track as "a very hip and cool" rap song "with a modern edge".[21] They also added that the "power charged rap-dance"[22] does "crackles and pops with enough irresistible energy".[23]

Chart performance[edit]

"The Power" proved to be very successful on the charts worldwide. It peaked at number-one on both the RPM Dance/Urban Chart in Canada and the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play in the United States. In Europe, the single went to number-one in Greece, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as on the Eurochart Hot 100. In the UK, it hit the top spot in its second week at the UK Singles Chart, on March 25, 1990.[24] It spent two weeks at the top of the chart. Additionally, "The Power" managed to climb into the Top 10 in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. Outside Europe, it also peaked at number-one in Zimbabwe, number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Cash Box Pop Singles Chart in the US, number 6 in New Zealand and number 13 in Australia. The single earned a gold record in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, and a silver record in the UK. In Spain and the US, it was awarded with a platinum record.

Music video[edit]

A music video was made to accompany the song, Featuring the rapper Turbo B and Jackie Harris, who lip-synced the vocals done by Ford. It was published on YouTube in March 2016. By September 2020, the video had more than 8.4 million views.[25]

Track listings[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Covers, samples and remixes[edit]

  • The song was covered in 2002 by H-Blockx. Turbo B featured in the song taking turns to rap lyrics with H-Blockx's then frontman Dave Gappa. Of note, Turbo B replaces the word 'Snap!' with 'H-blockx' in the line "If they are Snap! don't need the police to try to save them". The single charted at number 48 in Germany, number 51 in Austria and number 34 in Australia.[70]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at – Snap! – The Power" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  2. ^ Amter, Charlie (9 November 2010). "'Euro-hop' music invades America". CNN. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  3. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Hip-House". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010.
  4. ^ "August 11, 1990 – The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Jocelyn Brown discusses her voice behind SNAP's record "The Power" on BBC1 TV Interview". 13 August 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2014 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ Saunders, Cherie (31 March 2020). "It's Gettin' Kinda Hectic! 1990 Anthem 'The Power' Reached No. 1 on This Day (EUR Video Throwback)". EURweb. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Top Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 24 February 1990. p. 17. Retrieved 15 August 2021 – via World Radio History.
  8. ^ Chill Rob G (20 December 2006). "Chill Rob G Interview Part 1". Unkut (Interview). Interviewed by Robbie.
  9. ^ "James Hamilton Column" (PDF). Music Week. 17 March 1990. p. 16. Retrieved 15 August 2021 – via World Radio History.
  10. ^ Blatt, Wendy (12 May 1990). "'Power' Play Ensues Over Hit: Snap, Chill Rob G, Have Rival Versions" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 102 no. 19. p. 34. ISSN 0006-2510 – via World Radio History.
  11. ^ a b "British single certifications – Snap – The Power". British Phonographic Industry.
  12. ^ a b "American single certifications – Snap – The Power". Recording Industry Association of America.
  13. ^ "The Power by Snap! – Digital Sheet Music". Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. Retrieved 6 June 2021 – via Musicnotes.com.
  14. ^ Feinsilber, Mike (20 June 1989). "For the Blind, a Device That Obeys Spoken Commands and Speaks Back" (Press release). Associated Press. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Single Reviews > Dance" (PDF). Billboard. 21 April 1991. p. 69.
  16. ^ Stopera, Matt; Galindo, Brian (11 March 2017). "The 101 Greatest Dance Songs of the '90s". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  17. ^ Hardy, Ernest (5 May 1990). "On the dancefloor" (PDF). Cash Box. p. 10. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  18. ^ Nappy (12 July 2013). "15 Songs That Gave Dance Music a Good Name". Complex. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Snap! – "The Power"". Freaky Trigger. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Previews: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 24 February 1990. p. 12. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  21. ^ "Top 40: The Next 40" (PDF). The Network Forty. 25 May 1990. p. 31. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
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  23. ^ Galloway, A. Scott (11 May 1990). "Crossover: Urban Jams" (PDF). The Network Forty. p. 50. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
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  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Snap! – The Power" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  28. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 7978." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1321." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  30. ^ "UK, Eurochart, Billboard & Cashbox No.1 Hits". MusicSeek.info. Archived from the original on 14 June 2006.
  31. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  32. ^ "Lescharts.com – Snap! – The Power" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  33. ^ "Top 3 Singles in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 26. 30 June 1990. p. VII. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  34. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Snap!". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  35. ^ "Top 3 Singles in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 30. 28 July 1990. p. VII. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
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  41. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
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  47. ^ Kimberley, Chris (2000). Zimbabwe : Zimbabwe Singles Chart Book. Harare.
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  56. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles: 1990" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 51. 22 December 1990. p. 36. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
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  65. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Snap; 'The Power')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  66. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Snap – The Power" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter The Power in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  67. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
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  70. ^ "australian-charts.com – H Blockx feat. Turbo B – The Power". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 May 2014.