In the annals of dance music history, few tracks have had the impact and enduring legacy of A Guy Called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray. Released in 1988, the track arrived at a time when the UK club scene was experiencing a seismic shift, as the Second Summer of Love swept across the nation, bringing with it a new sound that would come to define the era. At the heart of this exciting moment was Voodoo Ray, a track that quickly became a staple at the legendary Haçienda club in Manchester and a symbol of the emerging acid house scene.
Despite being recorded over the course of just two days, its impact was immediate and long-lasting, selling out its initial run of 500 copies in just one day. The track’s popularity continued to grow throughout the late 80s and early 90s, as it became a defining moment of the Madchester scene.
Yet, Voodoo Ray’s influence went beyond the confines of Manchester, inspiring a generation of musicians and DJs across the UK. From Leftfield and Orbital to Happy Mondays and Sasha, the track had a profound impact on a wide range of artists, drawn to its infectious rhythm and haunting melody. For Sasha, in particular, Voodoo Ray was one of those records that defined the era, and he reminisced about the days when he “craved those records so much that when I finally got hold of them, I wore them out.”
As we look back on the history of dance music, it is clear that A Guy Called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray had a significant impact on the genre. Not only did it help to popularise acid house, but it also became a symbol of a time and a place, capturing the energy and excitement of the late 80s and early 90s in the UK. Decades later, the track remains a beloved classic, cherished by a new generation of music lovers and continuing to inspire artists around the world. Voodoo Ray will always be a true icon of the music scene and you can hear it played often here on Housemasters radio.
Written by: HMR