Few singles encapsulated the exuberance of the early part of the millennium than Maniac 2000, released on 11 February 2000 – twenty years ago this week.
Reportedly the fifth best-selling single of all time in Ireland (take that, Westlife!), the Mark McCabe-helmed version of the track hit the top of the charts on 4 March of that year and remained there for ten weeks; achieving musical immortality both for its hyped-up beats and now-famous ‘rap’, written in conjunction with FM 104’s Al Gibbs.
“She walked across the dance floor that night
She was dressed to kill
She was a sexy lady
She had to get her thrill…”
It hit the top of the charts on 4 March and stayed there for ten weeks – an incredible achievement for an ‘on the hoof’ recording at Clontarf Cricket Club the previous November.
“It’s so badly produced and so badly recorded,” McCabe told The Journal in March 2015.
“It’s everything a record shouldn’t be; but it just goes to show that people like to forget where they are for seven minutes on a Friday night when they are out.”
As Simon Fitzpatrick and Tim Hannigan, who put together the original (and superior) reworking of the 1983 Michael Sembello track for short-lived Irish pop group 4 Rhythm, later recalled, there were few differences between the 1995 release of Maniac and the version that would go on to storm the charts… other than the presence of McCabe.
“Maniac 2000 was a 4 Rhythm production – just like the 1995 versions that preceded it. The difference was that Maniac 2000 featured a different artist on vocals — Mark McCabe,” Fitzpatrick told Buzz.ie in 2018.
“One of the reasons why Maniac was so popular in Ireland in 2000 was undoubtedly the MC’s ‘call & response’ aspect,” Hannigan added.
That same Buzz.ie article features a potted history of Maniac in all its various guises, which makes for interesting reading (click the image below to enlarge).
But in terms of capturing a moment in time, and a collective feeling – Maniac 2000 deserves its place in the pantheon of pop classics.
All together now… “Five, four, three, two one… Take this house to the maximum!” 🙂
Share your own Maniac 2000 memories in the comments below…