Before writing this entry I scoured the Internet to see if DJ Sammy had ever said or done anything interesting. I drew a blank. He’s the model of a jobbing Euro-DJ, lucky enough to get one big break in his 30-year career and canny enough to ride it. In the most recent interview I could find, an Australian journalist asks him if he’s bringing any new material to tour Down Under? Yes, he replies, a new remix of “Heaven”.

Sammy’s main trick as a producer is cover versions of old stadium rock songs. There’s a tradition of this in dance music; usually I love it. In the end, a big crowd is a big crowd – the kind of songs which move it can survive a genre transition. The substitutions producers make – big blocky synths for guitars, belting female vocals for gruff male rasps, jacked-up hands-in-the-air tempos for mid-paced lighters-aloft ones – work without killing the vibe of the song.

That vibe isn’t just communal, though. House music, like disco, is a music which dissolves the precise boundaries between “I” and “We” without quite merging them, where private bliss or pain refracts through the lens of a crowd. It’s part of why there’s often such a melancholic streak in dance music – it’s not just that the moment is limited in time, it’s that you never quite lose your whole self enough to forget that. Heaven is eternal – but this heaven, the heaven of the song, and its lovers, and the dancefloor, is contingent and fleeting, and the dancers know it.

DJ Sammy is not an especially subtle craftsman, so it makes sense that his masterpiece is a song that’s utterly explicit about this evanescence: his banging version of Don Henley’s “The Boys Of Summer”, which turns Don’s sourly evocative lament for his sputtering sex appeal into a fierce and glorious defence of holiday romance at the end of the Mediterranean summer season. “Heaven” can’t achieve any comparable alchemy with Bryan Adams’ earnest pudding of an original.

What it can do is shine it up and strip it back to highlight the chorus, and with it the tenderness which is Adams’ particular gift as a stadium rocker. On Sammy’s “Heaven” the rest of the song thumps and builds so the chorus can soar with less commotion, a more tentative and intimate moment than big-room dance usually aims for.

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