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LABEL: Club Tools RELEASE DATE: June 1, 1998 GENRE: Hard House, Trance, Celtic
// review by Jeff

$3.99/lb.

Man has been plagued, and will continue to be align=leftlagued, for millennia by eternal questions. Who exactly built Stonehenge? Does God truly exist? What is there beyond the universe? What is the meaning of life? What the heck does McDonalds put in their special sauce? In 1998, three men from Hamburg (H.P. Baxxter, Rick J. Jordan, and Axel Coon) added one more question to the annals of philosophy: how much is the fish? It's 14 years later, and they still haven't answered their own question! All they did was use it as the basis for their first single without founding member Ferris Bueller.

First up is the Radio Edit, right on time. We're immediately struck with a clanger of a melodic percussion before some new (yet not outstanding) trance synths not really used in their music before. After some more crazy H.P. shouts, we're treated to the chorus: a take on the song "Son ar Chistr" by Alan Stivell, a Celtic piece. That little ditty actually fits the song rather well. In the bridge, the Celtic instrumentation is replaced with a crowd singing the same melody. And, of course, H.P. has to ask multiple times, "How much is the fish?" Even with the strange mix of trance and historic anthems, it's a classic Scooter track to a tee. It's apparent, though, by this point that Scooter has pretty much escaped its rush-paced happy hardcore sound; this song is at a much lower tempo and that's how most future singles would sound. They did need to keep up with the times, after all.

The Extended Mix works to do exactly as it sounds: make the track longer. The Clubfish version removes the vocals and makes it much more suitable for club play. Of interesting note is right in the middle, when H.P.'s phrase, "How much is the fish?", is computerized and stretched out; that sounds awesome. We conclude with Sputnik, a chill-out downtempo number that I never really connected with, but for relaxation purposes and enjoyment of arpeggiation, it's pretty good.

"How Much Is The Fish?" gets played at every single Scooter concert. This track (and its unusual title) has come to symbolize the band as a fun-loving energetic group, plus it's a definite fan favourite. If you're looking for the Scooter experience, this is one of the best singles to check out.


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