Eric Prydz always seems to be in the news. All of the positive buzz around his EPIC 4.0 shows centered around Opus, the 19-track journey that was a while in the waiting, his Eric Prydz x Cirez D showcase during Miami Music Week or countless other headlines that he has made.
An intriguing story popped across my feed from a Thump writer who tried tracking down the cast from Eric Prydz’ “Call On Me”. Now, this tune, which was made in all of 30 minutes, has a very interesting back story. Based on a sample of Steve Winwood’s 1982 song “Valerie”, Prydz brought the track to Winwood and he was so impressed with the work Prydz had produced, he re-recorded the vocals to have the samples fit the track better. Unfortunately, there is a good chance you will never hear Prydz play this one out live, as he hasn’t dropped it since 2005.
With it’s cultural significance not to be forgotten, a feature length aerobics DVD was later released by the Ministry of Sound titled Pump It Up – The Ultimate Dance Workout, featuring the “Call On Me” dancers from the video performing aerobics routines to various popular dance music songs. That’s not all. It also spawned spoofs by cancer charities, the Royal Marines, and a terrible metal band. Even a follow up video was made, only featuring Deanne Berry and Juan Pablo Di Pace from the first in “The Hughes Corporation” house remix of Irene Cara’s 1983 “Flashdance… What a Feeling”.
In his search for the original cast, Josh Baines finds Huse Monfaradi, the director was put forth to create the vision for the music video job by a friend working at Ministry of Sound. “The commissioner from MoS was a friend of mine,” Huse tells me down the phone, and he said, “look this is a good opportunity, it’s going to be a big track, you should do it.” I wrote a really throwaway idea, about sexual aerobics. It was that simple.”
With how dirty and sexual the entire music video comes off as, the final product wouldn’t have turned out the same or as memorable without the cast of dancers that had been assembled for this future classic. Australian dancer Deanne Berry, British dancers Laura More, Franky Wedge, Laura Jayne Smith, Rosy Hawkins, Laura Bowley and Argentine dancer Juan Pablo Di Pace were all hired to do just one task: look and act sexy, sultry and a lot of the time, just downright raunchy.
Going on to become one of the most significant pieces of public art of the 21st century, “Call On Me” is a perfect example of physical anonymity. As no one is named, the camera makes its way around the work out room, taking its time as it slowly focuses on each individual’s breasts and buttock, almost leaving out the faces entirely. This is rather important because of how it portrays the participants as purely sexual and physical objects, devoid of any personality, in turn showing the natural tendency of our species to be stimulated just by the simple act of viewing our own in the flesh.
Coming to a dead end after speaking with the director, all the bread crumbs lead to Music Video Babes, a website whose sole dedication is to catalog the women who’ve appeared in music videos over the years. The final resting place for most of the “Call On Me” cast lies in this website, but the cast will always be remembered for coming together to move people both physically on the dance floor and emotionally. Every time this song pops on the radio or on random in your MP3 playlist, those hot and sweaty bodies virtually air humping floor and space around them will continue to invade your mind.