|Single by A Guy Called Gerald|
|from the album Hot Lemonade|
|A Guy Called Gerald singles chronology|
"Voodoo Ray" is a 1988 acid house single by Gerald Simpson, recording under the name A Guy Called Gerald. The single was released in the UK in 1988, in the 7" and 12" vinyl formats, on the Rham! label. In an interview with Mojo in 2005, Gerald explained that "Voodoo Ray" was recorded over 2 days in June 1988 at Moonraker Studios in Manchester. Rham! initially pressed up 500 copies of the record and it sold out in a day.
"I was trying to keep it quiet from the dudes in 808 State," Simpson recalled, "because I was still working with them but wanted to do my own thing. It was fun just slipping out of their basement and taking the drum machine. They'd be like, 'Where are you going?' I'd say, 'Oh, I'm just going home to do some programming,' then nip off to another studio. I was trying to get a tribal sound and found this sample saying 'Voodoo rage'. That was originally the title but the old sampler I was using didn't have that much memory. I just about had enough for 'voodoo ra…', so that's what it became."
It reached number 12 in the UK Singles Chart, and was the best-selling independently released single in 1989. It was released in the United States in 1989 by Warlock Records. It also appeared on A Guy Called Gerald's 1988 album Hot Lemonade, and a re-recorded version called "Voodoo Ray Americas" appeared on A Guy Called Gerald's 1990 album Automanikk, which was released by Columbia and CBS Records.
The track contains samples of comedians Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, taken from the first Derek and Clive LP, Derek and Clive (Live), specifically the "Bo Duddley" sketch. "Voodoo Ray" combines a sample of Cook delivering the phrase "voodoo rage", truncated due to the recording equipment's lack of memory, and also Moore forcefully delivering the word "later!". In each case, the samples are shifted in pitch, and electronically processed. Artist Danny McCluskey titled a portrait of Peter Cook 'Voodoo Ray' in reference to the song. The vocal was sung by Nicola Collier, who had worked on other tracks with Simpson.
In 1995, Simpson re-modelled the original samples to create a new track, "Voodoo Rage", for his Black Secret Technology album.
The song is featured on the soundtrack of 24 Hour Party People (directed by Michael Winterbottom) that tells the story of Factory Records and the early Madchester scene. The song is also featured in the radio station SF-UR in the 2004 game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. A Steel Drum cover version was also used in Jeremey Dellers art work English Magic which was displayed at the Venice Bienale in 2013.
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