Peak UK Chart Position: #10 in April 1991.

Hailing from Bristol, Gary Clail was a roofer until he became a warm-up man at gigs for On-U, pioneers of dub music in the early eighties. He started recording and releasing his own music as early as 1985, but it wasn’t until 1991 that he gained mainstream recognition when “Human Nature” became one of the earlier releases on the Perfecto label – and it was Perfecto’s Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne that remixed the track to success. Further singles included “Escape”, and “Who Pays The Piper”, Clail’s only other top forty success in 1992.

The track’s vocal refrain “there’s something wrong with human nature” was originally sampled from the Reverend Billy Graham, but said sample was replaced with Clail’s own vocal due to threatened legal action. Elsewhere, the lines “let the carnival begin, every pleasure, every sin” are performed by Grimsby-born Al Pillay, who started out as a drag queen before becoming transsexual Lana Pellay. She released “Pistol In My Pocket”, produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, which made the top forty in Australia and New Zealand. She also starred in Channel 4’s The Comic Strip Presents, as well as movie “Eat The Rich”.

“Human Nature” was at number 12 in the UK on this day in 1991, still two weeks away from its peak chart position. Its first Top of the Pops airing was on March 28th, hosted by Bruno Brookes, which was to be repeated a fortnight later. Clail’s most recent album “Nail It To The Mast” was released in December 2014 credited to the Gary Clail Sound System. On-U Sound records are still very much active, with their next promoted club night at the Jazz Café in London on Friday 21st April featuring Adrian Sherwood (who produced the “Human Nature” track), and a “special DJ set from Mr Vic Reeves”…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *