- 12 Mar 01
Mark Kavanagh on how the relatively unknown Mark McCabe beat the most famous person in the world to the top of the Irish charts.
Several weeks back, independent Dublin dance label Abbey Discs scored its first number one hit with its thirteenth release, which had entered the previous week's Irish singles charts at number two.
But despite the fact that Maddie's label, Warner's, spent #10,000 on Irish advertising to ensure she flew straight to the summit, Abbey Discs' unadvertised - and very cheaply produced - cover of the Michael Sembello smash 'Maniac' beat the most famous chameleon in the world to the top. The minnow that beat the mighty is owned and run by record emporium manager Billy Murray, and the track is credited to Mark McCabe. In the words of the infamous TV show - how did they do that?
To tell the story of 'Maniac' accurately, one must first go back six years to 1994. That was when a young Simon Fitzpatrick and his band 4 Rhythm approached fledgling Irish dance label Red Records with a poppy dance remake of 'Maniac', the incredibly infectious Michael Sembello hit, first featured in the massive '70s movie Flashdance. 4 Rhythm's equally catchy update had dispensed with Sembello's verses and inserted a more contemporary rap. All that remained from the original lyrics was the 'she's a maniac, maniac on the floor' chorus, sung on 4 Rhythm's version by an unknown American vocalist from an aspiring Dublin rock combo.