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Freeez – I.O.U. (Ultimate Club – Vocal Mix)

Number 20 in my list of top 20 12" Remixes of the 1980s that have had an effect on my lifetime

Chart Number


Track Length – 06:02
Released on City Beat
Format – 12″
Year of Release - 1987
1pCD Rating –
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Produced by Arthur Baker
Remixed by Arthur Baker,Jay Burnett,Latin Rascals,Raul Soto
On chart(s) - Top 50 12"s of the 1980s

Freeez – I.O.U. (Ultimate Club – Vocal Mix)

In 1983, the British band Freeez released a song that would become a defining anthem of the era, “I.O.U.”

The magic behind this track was largely due to the creative genius of Arthur Baker, who not only crafted the song but also took on the task of remixing it alongside Jellybean Benitez. Their collaborative efforts paid off spectacularly, catapulting “I.O.U.” to the forefront of the international music scene. It quickly climbed to the runner-up position on the UK Singles Chart and dominated the US Billboard Dance/Disco Top 80 chart, claiming the top spot.

This single achieved a remarkable feat for Freeez, marking their only appearance atop any Billboard chart and earning the distinction of being the 18th best-selling single of 1983 in the UK.

This success stirred quite the conversation within the clubbing scenes of the UK, which was at the time more inclined towards sophisticated jazz-funk sounds. The song was met with mixed feelings; some applauded it as a clever move towards the burgeoning electro music trend and commercial appeal, while others criticized the band for simplifying their sound. The music video for “I.O.U.” further broadened the song’s appeal. Featuring kids on skateboards and BMX bikes, it tapped into the New York hip-hop culture, attracting a younger audience that might not have been familiar with Freeez’s earlier work.

My personal favourite is the “Ultimate Mix – Vocal Version”, originally released in 1986; the song saw a revival with new remixes released by the US-based Criminal Records and a reissue in the UK in 1987 under the Citybeat label as “I.O.U. (The Ultimate Mixes ’87).” Additional remixing duties included The Latin Rascals and Jay Burnett, with their signature scratching. Although this reissue only reached number 23 on the UK Singles Chart, it did little to diminish the song’s standing as a timeless classic.