Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Jacksons / Jane Fonda - "Can You Feel it" (buttocks)

'Can you Feel it" (buttocks remix) 


This is one all for the DJs and closet DJs out there. I guarantee you : any dancefloor, any place. any time, any crowd ... this song is a secret 125 bpm weapon.

“Can You Feel it” was the first hit single from the Jacksons' 1980 CBS/Epic album “Triumph”, the second album over which they had artistic control. With Michael hovering just beneath the stratosphere after the success of his "Off the Wall" album the previous year, CBS/Epic went all out with a (then) expensive, elaborate 7 min. sci-fi video, in which Michael and Co. sprinkle their fans with magic gold dust, and teach them to not be scared of eclipses.

It was the first in a decade-long series of expensive MJ video fantasises where narratively, it seems to me, he seems to gain power by first scaring someone, and then saving them (Moonwalker, Thriller) - could we call him an opportunistic saviour ?

In the video, the song itself is almost buried in laser zaps, explosions and an additional faux-John Williams orchestral layer.

Single cover, "Can You Feel It"

This wasn't to be the last time the track was buried under other sounds : Within months of its release, CBS also released the best-selling "Jane Fonda Workout Record", in which the waning Hollywood actress cashed in on the aerobics boom with a series of exercises spoken over tracks by CBS artists such as the Jacksons, the Brothers Johnson and REO Speedwagon.

"Can You Feel It" was used as the backing track for a series of mind-and-sphincter-expanding buttocks exercises, in which Fonda's cries of "Resist ... Release!" perhaps echo her earlier status as USA public enemy #1 , Vietnam resistance fighter Hanoi Jane - while perhaps "Keep it up there, keep it tight!" more reflect the 60s-style sexual submission / "free love" of her sci-fi film "Barbarella". Or as she exhorts in the cover notes : "And remember! Discipline is Liberation!"

inner sleeve detail

There's nothing quite like watching a dancefloor or a party of people when the needle drops on this - they stop in their tracks, then slowly begin to try and obey Jane's various commands of buttock clenching, stretching and lifting, while still attempting to dance standing up ...

A final strange note on the song "Can You Feel It". In 2006, UK illusionist/mentalist Derren Brown used it as a "cue" on a TV program to make four hypnotised people rob a bank. I find it inexplicable that he didn't use the Fonda version - surely any good bank robbery needs a good warmup ?

Tech notes : First, I've flattened the original slow fade-in so that this can be crossfaded at the start. I've done a slight lift around 100hz to give a bit of presence back to the bass guitar and kick, which get lost in the original track as it's at the very end of the side in those narrow grooves. Finally, I've done some detailed multiband compression in order to bring out the song itself more - the original mix favoured Jane a little too heavily, and fairly crudely 'flattened' the Jacksons track. I wanted to make this work more like the "early rap" that it could be :) - so that people can attempt, for whatever reason, to dance to it."

CAN YOU FEEL IT" - The Jacksons / Jane Fonda (buttocks version)


** Please comment or say hi **


Aretha Franklin – “Reasons Why”
Erykah Badu / Quincy Jones – “On and On” (Summer In Sydney remix)
Marcia Hines – “You Gotta Let Go”


ish said...


If only I had known about this version of the song before midsummer day I would have organized a veritable pagan orgy of butt clenching and dancing in its honor.

taro nombei said...

Hey, feel that burn!
My wife used to do aerobics at home (on our tatami floors, no less) to the JF Workout...
Sonically, the best part of the cassette tape she (and occasionally I) used, was the Sunny Ade track I added to the end of the cool-down ("Synchro System" - there you have the carbon dating)...
I shall listen to this with great nostalgia (and appreciation for her nice firm but!)

Art Simon said...

Oh God, this is good!

kevinass said...

I salute you! only a very generous, good looking and altruistic person, no demi-god, would go to so much trouble for humanity...

svend g said...

Buttocks version!?! Just can't wait.
Thanks for a great blog.

Anonymous said...

Possibly the worst remix of this song in history.

Simon666 said...

New link :

Anonymous, you have no taste at all.

jeanie said...

Hey there Simon666 - someone shared something on Jazzercise and I remembered this track from my youth (I used it on a compilation tape for a house party in 1988 if I recall - the party was fantastic, but that tape lived on for many a year, soundtrack to a few long drives)

Good work - I see its been a few months since you have posted, but wanted to say sometimes people do visit the archives!