In Dance Beat Radio's defense, I would say it was launched about one or two months ago but I wasn't even aware of it until about two weeks ago (On The Beat Chicago's B96 classics fan group page on FB, one of of the comments I read mentioned DBR). The guy running DBR isn't as skilled as Sal Amato (who brilliantly runs TheBeatChicago/WBMX.com) but does have good intentions in trying to recreate that "Killer Bee" sound and even getting Mitch Craig and others from that era to do some sweepers. He should be applauded for that. It's playlist isn't much different to how someone would create a random playlist on Spotify or iTunes.
The estimated timeline of songs being played on DBR is what you posted, though it does play some pre-1986 songs. The station also plays some of the 80s WBMX-era dance tracks too. I don't hear too many post-1998 songs. The most recent song I heard was "Better Off Alone" by Alice Deejay (from 1999 but was a pop hit in 2000). Although that song was played on B96, most dance fans around here associate that track more with the Energy 92.7 era as B96 was more focused far more on hip hop/R&B. The oldest song I heard on DBR was "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club (from 1981 but made the pop charts in 1982).
As one would expect, DBR does lean heavily towards dance (house, freestyle, Euro, etc.) with a select amount of dance-pop, synthpop, R&B, and hip hop that was also played on B96 back in the day. DBR actually doesn't play that much hip hop/urban in comparison (based on what I've heard so far) but because certain tracks are/were the explicit versions and not the clean radio edits, they tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Again, I did contact him about this issue and he replied that he plans to fix this issue. I do hear the "pop-friendly" rap of that era (i.e. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, LL Cool J, Salt n Pepa, Heavy D, etc.) occasionally on DBR. The pop rap should stay on the station if I were running that station.
As for the pop stuff, I do hear some Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson songs on DBR. So far I haven't heard any Paula Abdul, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Jon Secada etc. songs on there. I did hear the two Robyn songs from the late 90s B96 often played but not the rest of the teen pop of that era (i.e. Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, etc.). Also heard some of the Selena songs from the mid-90s. Upbeat & midtempo pop should work while power ballads should be largely avoided. The only ballad track I've heard was Timmy T's "One More Try". One ballad I wouldn't mind DBR play was the 1991 song "My Angel Baby" by Angelica. Not sure of any online station (90s pop, 90s rhythmic, etc.) that even plays that one.
I also agree with the volume range issue. That needs some adjusting as some songs are louder than others. Not sure what programming DBR uses for the station or whether or not he uses algorithms to balance out the playlist. I'll have to ask him in an email.
On a side note, I hadn't listened to The Beat Chicago's online station for a while but their Jammin' Oldies/R&B format still sounds great. It was even longer since I heard their 90s/00s dance format they do on the weekend. I had the station on while working out on my air bike. I had nearly forgotten how great it sounded with a mixture of classic B96, Energy 88, Cyber Radio, Energy 92.7 and the stuff that came after Energy's demise. The sweepers are neat and Sal doesn't hold back on how he truly feels ("Whether you listened to WBMX back in the day. Whether you listened to B96 before they SUCKED!" that latter statement is so true!)
Message Thread | This response ↓
« Back to index | View thread »