of the week

There was a time in the 90s when DJ’s, like me, would be out working and someone comes and asks for ‘old school’ and we knew that meant 70s & 80s disco, that was until we got halfway through the 2000s decade and, all of a sudden, ‘old school’ then meant 90s dance anthems. For about five years in the mid 90s, the clubs and chart were awash with dance tracks under various sub-genre names, which, sadly, many are forgotten today. There are, however, a dozen or so dance tunes which have never, and probably will never die. Robin S’ Show Me Love, Ce Ce Peniston’s Finally, The Original’s I Luv U Baby, N-Trance’s Set You Free, Living Joy’s Dreamer and, this week’s choice, Let Me Be Your Fantasy by Baby D are perfect examples.

Baby D is a group not a person and were initially put together as an outlet for the song’s writer to perform under. In the 80s, Phil Fearon led the disco group Galaxy and had the Top 10 hits Dancing Tight, What Do I Do?, Everybody’s Laughing and I Can Prove It. When the hits dried up in 1986, Phil set up his own Production House record label the following year. He signed acts like Jazz & The Brothers Grimm, Acen and Baby D which comprised Phil’s wife, Dorothy on vocals, Floyd Dyce (under his stage name, Dice) on keyboards and MC Nino (born Terry Jones) who only performed at live shows.

In my 2004 interview with Floyd, he told me how the song came about, “I was the in-house producer for Production House and I also wrote and performed as The House Crew, DMS and Xstatic. I was the main songwriter and I formed Baby D as a vehicle for some of the songs I was writing. It was the whole rave scene, which I was heavily involved with, that inspired me to write Let Me Be Your Fantasy in 1992. I asked Dorothy to do the vocal and it became the follow-up single to Daydreaming, which was a massive hit on the underground scene, but didn’t cross over to mainstream pop. We needed a name for the group, so it was Raj at Production House that came up with the name Baby D. It wasn’t a reference to Dorothy, It didn’t actually stand for anything.”

When the song was released in 1992, it failed to ignite. It was possibly ahead of its time because this type of dance music hadn’t taken off yet. It was thanks to Kiss FM that it got a second bite at the cherry. They had polled their listeners to vote on the best dance record of the decade and Let Me Be Your Fantasy got the vote and so the record company re-issued it.

It hit number one in the UK in November 1994 and spent three weeks there before being dethroned by East 17 who claimed the Christmas number one with Stay Another Day. Baby D followed it up the following summer with a raved up version of The Korgis’ 1980 ballad, Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime, mainly using the line ‘I Need Your Lovin’, which got to number three. Two further singles, So Pure and Take Me To Heaven, followed as did the Top 10 album Deliverance.

What happened to Baby D after the hits, “We fell out big time after that,” recalled Floyd. “I’m still writing and producing and run my own Redmaster Record label. Dorothy and Terry still perform Let Me Be Your Fantasy on stage somewhere.”

In September 2000, Let Me Be Your Fantasy was given a make-over by the remix team, Trick Or Treat and went to number 16. But it’s the original that will always remain a club favourite, although it had become a millstone around Floyd’s neck for a while because Production House owed him money in unpaid royalties. He finally got all his money in 2004 after a seven-year court battle.

The song received further accolades because in 2011, the Sky channel MTV Dance compiled a list of The 100 Biggest 90’s Dance Anthems of All Time and put Let Me Be Your Fantasy at number 13.

During the Covid pandemic in 2020, Dorothy became an advocate for mental health and shared a post from her garden in which she spoke about World Mental Health Day saying, “Hey, don’t keep things to yourself and don’t suffer in silence. We all have times of despair, sharing and talking is always the best way forward and always remember that.”