Two versions of a house classic, separated by 21 years. Frankie Knuckles “re-directs” “Whistle Song”

Frankie Knuckles’ “Whistle Song” came out in 1991. It was one of the favourites on my radio show “Forward In All Directions” for years and years. He’s just released a new “R-Directed” version of it. FACT posted it on Soundcloud and Pete Tong spoke with Frankie and played the track on his BBC Radio One show today. The new version still has the flute-like lead line and the whistle. The bassline is basically unchanged, but he’s pushed the beat further forward and has made it skip more.
The track is still deep and if it were released as new today it would impress, but I’ll confess to my crustiness in liking the original version better.
The new version:

The original:

To put it in perspective, I’ve added the list of Billboard Number One Dance Hits surrounding “Whistle Song”. You can hear how it stands up today. It was preceded by “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…” which was alway a bit too on the nose for me, and folloed by “Makin’ Happy”, which I liked plenty for the slightly off-key singing. Of all the tracks on this list I think that the original “Whistle Song” is the one which could credibly be played in a club today, “Finally” is probably the one which would likely get pop play (and weddings) and “3AM Eternal” ( originally released in 1988/9) would still turn your head. And yes, I would still shriek along to “Strike It Up”.

Billboard Number One Dance Songs May to November 1991
Chart date      Song       Artist

May 4 “Strike It Up” Black Box

May 11 “People Are Still Having Sex” LaTour
May 18 “People Are Still Having Sex” LaTour
May 25 “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” Crystal Waters
June 1 “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” Crystal Waters
June 8 “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” Crystal Waters
June 15 “Good Beat” Deee-Lite
June 22 “Good Beat” Deee-Lit
June 29 “(I Wanna Give You) Devotion” Nomad
July 6 “Got a Love for You” Jomanda
July 13 “Let the Beat Hit ‘Em” Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
July 20 “Let the Beat Hit ‘Em” Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
July 27 “Let the Beat Hit ‘Em” Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
August 3 “3 a.m. Eternal” The KLF

August 10 “Deep In My Heart” Clubhouse
August 17 “This Beat Is Hot” B.G., the Prince of Rap
August 24 “Such a Good Feeling” Brothers in Rhythm
August 31 “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…” C+C Music Factory presents Freedom Williams and Zelma Davis
September 7 “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…” C+C Music Factory presents Freedom Williams and Zelma Davis

September 14 “The Whistle Song” Frankie Knuckles

September 21 “Makin’ Happy” Crystal Waters

September 28 “Gett Off” Prince and the New Power Generation
October 5 “Ride on the Rhythm” Little Louie Vega with Marc Anthony
October 12 “Gonna Catch You” Lonnie Gordon
October 19 “Lost in Music” Stereo MC’s
October 26 “Finally” CeCe Peniston
November 2 “Finally” CeCe Peniston

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