Though I am not a huge fan, I was offered very good tickets to Madonna's concert in Toronto tonight, so it seems I'll finally be seeing my first Madonna concert! Which somehow got me thinking of Peter Rauhofer, one of her premiere remixers. Which got me thinking about his albums released under the moniker of Club 69 (a very provocative name to go with the provocative album covers!). Rauhofer was born in Vienna, Austria. Always on the lookout for a fresh new sound in music-starved Vienna, through the radio he managed to tune into the emerging dance music scene and loved it. This enthusiasm led to a job at a record store and then a gig with GiG Records, which specialized in and imported underground house and dance music from around the world. Rauhofer would share these songs as a DJ, and soon moved into production. His first release was the deep house "Unique" under the pseudonym Danube Dance in 1991, which featured American vocalist Kim Cooper, who happened to be living in Vienna. The success of the song encouraged him to create another deep house song with Cooper, the saucy "Let Me Be Your Underwear". The song became so successful that it was picked up for distribution worldwide by FFRR Records, and it became a huge dance hit everywhere, even reaching #18 on the Billboard Dance Chart. Coasting on this success Rauhofer decided to move to New York to pursue his music career. He began work on his first album as Club 69, newly signed to Tribal America. He brought Kim Cooper along as his lead vocalist (her vocals were primarily spoken word), though he tested the waters with different singers on a few other singles released on GiG during the album's recording, namely "Take A Ride" featuring Connie Harvey in 1993 and "Sugar Pie Guy" featuring Annette Taylor and "Pleasure" featuring Leee John in 1994. The album was released on GiG in 1994 and finally on Tribal America in 1995. The first single in America was "Diva" which managed to reach #47 on the Billboard Dance charts. This was followed by a re-release of "Sugar Pie Guy" backed by a remake of The Normal's "Warm Leatherette". Though these failed to chart they still got play in clubs and led to a second album for Club 69, though label Tribal America had transformed into Twisted America after some difficulties. The second album was released in 1997, preceded by the double single "Much Better / Drama", which ended up being Club 69's biggest success, reaching #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. While "Drama" again featured the spoken word vocals of Kim Cooper, "Much Better" featured up-and-coming singer Suzanne Palmer, and she helped Club 69 get their only Billboard Hot 100 hit, with the track reaching #95 in 1998. The next two singles also featured Palmer, and both reached #18 on the Billboard Dance Chart - remakes of Diana Ross' "Muscles" and Urban Soul's "Alright". (Of special interest to Isle devotees is the album track "I Look Good", which features the chorus from Isle postee Bernadette Cooper's semi-hit of the same name.) The same year Rauhofer released an album as Sizequeen, which featured less vocals and deeper underground beats (and will likely be featured here in the future), and he also became a much sought after remixer. In 1998 alone he remixed tracks for Madonna, Deborah Cox, Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode, and Cher, and his remix of her comeback hit "Believe" earned him a Grammy for Remixer Of The Year in 2000. In 1999, along with the release of a Style remix album entitled Re-Styled, Rauhofer also started his own label, Star 69 Records, which has been going strong since, releasing dance hits by club divas including Suzanne Palmer and others like Celeda, Amuka, and Inaya Day, and also released a Club 69 "Best Of" in 2004. Though Rauhofer releases his own music under different monikers on occasion, his focus has primarily been on his label and DJing and remixing, and he is still one of the most in demand DJs and remixers out there, this year alone having remixed Scissor Sisters, Toni Braxton and Kylie Minogue.
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