In 1988, I was 15 years old and I was two years into buying records. I had a paperroute that gave me just enough money every week for some 7″es and the occasional 12″.
House was a relatively new phenomenon in Holland. There had been some early hits by Farley Jackmaster Funk and JM Silk, but “The Party” was the first song that really showed me what house was all about. The video was on MTV, and that was new on cable in my parents’ household. It made a big impression on 15 year old me. I bought the 12″ and was hooked to the song. It sounded so alien, I fantasized about the clubs it was played in. They were weird.
The big man behind ‘Kraze’ is the Haitian born Richard Jean Laurent. Living in New York, he began songwriting and performing in 1985. The time that house was the ‘new big thing’ in underground clubs in the US. Richard Laurent’s career took off in the legendary ‘Paradise Garage’-club in New York City, where his first performances were a big succes. A few months later he formed the house-act ‘Moonfou’ and released his first tracks on vinyl. His second release “Shut Up” was an instant hit, selling 250.000 copies his first time out.
‘The Party’ became an international club- and chart-hit, selling 850,000 copies worldwide in the first release. It even made it to the pop-charts in Europe, peaking for instance at number 29 in the UK Top 40 and at number 32 in the Dutch Top 40. This was all before house exploded in Europe, which made Kraze’s ‘The Party’ one of the first house-tracks to reach international chart-success.