With the songs: Mr Vain – Got to get it – Anything – Word in your hands (remix) – Inside out – Crying in the rain – Take me away
Culture Beat is a German Eurodance project formed in 1989 by Torsten Fenslau. The act has gone through a number of line-up changes over the years; they achieved the most success whilst fronted by singer Tania Evans and rapper Jay Supreme. Their 1993 single “Mr. Vain” was a number 1 hit in at least nine European countries, and the act is thought to have sold more than 10 million records worldwide.
Torsten Fenslau had been working as a deejay at the Frankfurt nightclub Dorian Gray, when he decided to form Culture Beat. His first single, the ambient house track “Der Erdbeermund”, with a spoken vocal in German by Jo van Nelsen, peaked at number 11 in the German singles chart. Versions in English and French were also released (titled “Cherry Lips” and “Les lèvres cerises”, respectively). An instrumental version was also a club hit in the United Kingdom, where it reached number 55.
Shortly afterwards, Torsten recruited New Jersey-born rapper Jay Supreme and singer Lana Earl to front the act, and the second single “I Like You” reached number 30 in Germany, and number 6 in Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. They released their first album, Horizon, in 1991.
Lana was replaced by British singer Tania Evans in 1993, and the act took a harder Eurodance sound. “Mr. Vain” became their biggest hit to date, reaching number 1 in 13 countries including Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom. It was also their first mainstream hit in the United States, peaking at number 17 on the Hot 100. The single was certified three times Gold in Germany for selling over 750,000 units.
Subsequent singles “Got to Get It” and “Anything” were also pan-European hits, and their second album Serenity was awarded at the ECHO award for being the Best-selling German Act Abraod, with more than two million copies sold. This also got Torsten Fenslau nominated in the same year at the Echo for being the Best Producer of the Year, who also walked away as a winner.
On November 6, 1993, Culture Beat’s founder Torsten Fenslau was killed in a car accident in Messel (district of Darmstadt). His brother Frank took over the act as a manager and returned the act in 1995 with a third album called Inside Out, preceded by a single of the same name which reached number 5 in Germany and number 32 in the UK.
In 1997, Frank decided to take Culture Beat in a different, more mature sounding musical direction diverging the act from Dance genre and transitioned into Pop. He also replaced Tania with Kim Sanders, who had previously scored a hit with “Impossible” by Captain Hollywood Project. Jay Supreme remained with the act for a short time after Tania’s departure, but during recording of the next album he decided to leave the group. The album Metamorphosis was a minor chart success in 1998.