The Word

December 12, 2014


This started out to be epistolary disco, but I opened up the lens a bit.  Now we have Shakespeare disco and gossip disco and alphabet disco, too.  So, I’m just calling it “The Word.”

Agony… Ecstasy – Kid Creole & the Coconuts ’87 Romeo & Juliet – Malcolm McLaren ’90 Alphabet – Amanda Lear ’77 C Is for Cookie  – Cookie Monster & the Girls ’78 Skywriter  – Wright Brothers Flying Machine ’78 The Letter  – Queen Samantha ’78 Johnny, Johnny  – Claudja Barry ’77  Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)  – Boys Town Gang ’81 Substitute – Gloria Gaynor ’78 Telegram of Love – The Hues Corporation ’77 Send It – Ozone ’81 Romeo & Juliet (Side Two – Alec R. Constandinos & the Syncophonic Orchestra ’78 Wordy Rappinghood – Tom Tom Club ’81 Kiss & Tell – Bryan Ferry ’88 The Gossip Song – Lipps, Inc. ’80 Letter to My Mother – Cerrone featuring Jocelyn Brown ’81 P.S. – Dolly Dots ’81

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Real Men

November 26, 2014



No quiche eaters here. Our centerpiece songs are Macho’s “Mother’s Love”—what little sense it makes is certainly unhinged—and Easy Going’s “I Strip You” which seems to be saying, “Okay, girl, if you think I’m gay, well then, I’ll just be gay.”  And then there’s the phone call section of “Don’t Give a Damn,” which just cracks me up.  This is basically a Cerrone song (writer, producer, perhaps vocalist) by another name. I wish the Pink Floyd cover was as funny as both the concept and the band name (of course I’m going to include Snatch on a podcast called Real Men; what do you take me for?).  However, they play it way too straight.  I do think it’s funny that they feel enough civic responsibility to backpedal each time they sing “We don’t need no education.”  Finally, it’s worth your time to look up the album cover for Roll, the second album from Macho (and source of “Mother’s Love”).  (Okay, I’ll do it for you.)


I almost used it for my image here.
  I think what makes it is the hair pulling.

Do You Want the Real Thing?—D.C. LaRue ’78 ʡ Don’t Give a Damn—Revelacion ’79 ʡ Another Brick in the Wall—Snatch ’80 ʡ One Chain (Don’t Make No Prison)—Santana ’78 ʡ I’m a Man—Star City ’78 ʡ Pumpin’ Iron—Larry Wood ’83 ʡ I’ll Cry for You—Kumano ’80 ʡ Janice, Don’t Be So Blind to Love—Frank Wilson ’14 ʡ On the Road Again—Rockets ’78 ʡ I Strip You—Easy Going ’79 ʡ Mother’s Love (Mama Mia)—Macho ’80 ʡ Still the Same Man—Love Twins ’82

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November 3, 2014


Last episode (i-pod-sode?) featured cuts that blurred the lines between disco and the strains of r&b that came before.  I’ve gone to the other end of the spectrum this go-round to feature cuts that blur the lines between disco and the hi-NRG that followed, ruling as it did for a big part of the 1980s.  I’ve never been a big fan of that music because I find much of it cold and rather soulless. (What can I say? I miss my strings and horns!) Also, I think not being coked up probably limits my enjoyment, too.  I do find much to admire here, however.  The Ramming Speed track is a bit of a holy grail for me, given that Jackie DeShannon’s original may be my favorite rock ’n’ roll record.  And I think Slingshot possibly beats AC/DC’s time with their cover. American thighs, indeed!

Take a Chance – Queen Samantha ’78 * Queen of the Witches – Kano ’83 * Feels Like I’m in Love – Kelly Marie ’81 * When You Walk in the Room – Ramming Speed ’84 * Where Did Our Love Go? – Amii Stewart ’81 * Dance to the Music – Telex ’80 * Sex Object – Kraftwerk ’86 * Babe We’re Going to Love Tonight – Lime ’82 * You Shook Me All Night Long – Slingshot ’83 * Fear—Easy Going ’79 * Donnez Moi – Dusty Springfield ’82 * Where Are You Now? – Cerrone ’83 * To Hell with Him – Taka Boom ’82 * Tender Force – Space ’80 * Sunset People – Donna Summer ’79

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Old Style

October 24, 2014


A forwarded internet article on the early days of disco called Jerry Butler’s 1972 cut “One Night Affair” the first disco record (it wasn’t, not by a long shot), but it sent me in search of the track that I didn’t know. That led me to pull together a collection of some early disco that blurs the boundaries delineating dance music, Philly soul, Miami funk and other strains of r&b in the air at the time. It’s a sound I really adore. My goal was to restrict this podcast to cuts no later than ’76, however I made a few exceptions, most notably Ralph Graham’s “What Am I to Do?”, a gorgeous throwback to an earlier sound that also features an astonishing extended breakdown, and Chuck Jackson’s 1979 remake of Executive Suite’s “When the Fuel Runs Out” from 1973. It’s worth the price of admission just to hear Chuck make a meal out the word “fuel.”


(Call Me Your) Anything Man – Bobby Moore ’75 } Move Me Baby – Gwen McCrae ’74 } Love is Everywhere – City Limits ’75 } Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel – Tavares ’76 } One Night Affair – Jerry Butler ’72 } Pity the Poor Man – George Tindley ’70 } Queen of the Disco – Ruby Andrews ’77 } I Caught Your Act – The Hues Corporation ’76 } Penguin at the Big Apple/Zing Went the Strings of My Heart – the Trammps ’75 } Undecided Love – the Chequers ’76 } Someway, Somehow I’m Keeping You – the Tymes ’74 } What Am I to Do? – Ralph Graham ’77 } Where Is the Love? – Margaret Singana ’75 } Something for Nothing – Carl Bean and Universal Love ’74 } When the Fuel Runs Out – Chuck Jackson ’79 } Right Back Where We Started From – Maxine Nightingale ’76

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October 7, 2014


Sultanis Party – Phil Dufix ’80; Anambra – Ozo ’76; Exuma, the Obeah Man – Exuma ’70; Grand Illusion – Donna Summer ’80; Wild Safari – Barrabas ’72; Indiscreet – D.C. LaRue ’76; Zodiacs – Roberta Kelly ’77; Good Morning Starshine – Disco Spectacular ’79; Tahiti, Tahiti (Instrumental) – Voyage ’77; Legend of Thais – Asha Puthli ’78; Journey to the Moon – Biddu Orchestra ’78; Race Babbling – Stevie Wonder ’79; The Hills of Katmandu – Tantra ’79; Forces of Light – Chromium ’79

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Average Joe

September 28, 2014

AJ.jpgDisco had its stars, but I love it as the domain of the every man, where a street corner crooner from Jersey or Philly or Canada or Ohio or Italy or Illinois could have his moment to shine in front of an orchestra’s sweep riding the sweetest beat.  This one goes out to the man I crown as the King of Average Joe Disco, Benny Troy, whose magnificent “I Wanna Give You Tomorrow” is the epitome of the genre and will always be in my disco top ten.  Much love as well to recent discovery and podcast new comer George “Boots” Clements, whose epic disco take on “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky” is ripe for rediscovery.  Take it away, fellas!


The Boogie Man - Martin Mull ’77 # Disco Train - Jerry Rix ’76 # Love Across the Room - Paul Delicato ’82 # Dancer - Sea Cruise ’78 # You Got It - Kumano ’80 # Baby Gets High - Peter Brown ’83 # Not Tonight - Macho ’80 # Steppin’ Out - Ray Dahrouge ’79 # Two Ships in the Night - Benny Troy ’76 # Get Up & Do It Again - Bob McGilpin ’79 # Lady - Montreal Sound ’77 # Dance My Life Away - Dennis Tufano ’79 # Sunshine Superman - Eclipse ’77 # (Ghost) Riders in the Sky - Boots Clements ’81 # I Wanna Give You Tomorrow – Benny Troy ’76

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Disco Mbobulation

September 15, 2014


No theme for this set. No real organization principle here at all.  In fact, I’m not even sure these tracks even go together very well.  And so, DISCOmbobulation! 

Suspicions – Lenny Williams ’80 ҂ Small Talk – Al Hudson & the Soul Partners ’78 ҂ Together – Cameron ’80 ҂ Let’s Get Serious – Jermain Jackson ’80 ҂ Money is the Root – Jesus Wayne ’79 ҂ Shake It Down – El Coco ’82 ҂ Keep Holding On – Ace Spectrum ’75҂ Bernadette/Reach Out I’ll Be There – J.T. Connection ’79 ҂ Never Gonna Be the Same – Ruth Waters ’79 ҂ Washing Machine – NCCU ’77 ҂ Beat of the Night / Work Me / Treat Me Right – Fever ’79 ҂ Theme from Mork & Mindy – Cake ’79

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Love Is…

September 2, 2014


I Fell in Love Last Night at the Disco – the Whispers ’77 ♥ Let Me Love You Once Again – IOB ’77 ♥ Lovers – Bruni Pagan ’79 ♥ I Want Your Love to Last – Hi-Gloss ’81 ♥ Love Thang – First Choice ’78 ♥ Love Is You – Carol Williams ’76 ♥ Love Me – the George K Band ’77 ♥ Baby I Love You – Easy Going ’79 ♥ I’m in Love – Nana Love ’78 ♥ Gimme Your Love – Alma Faye ’79 ♥ I Love You – Donna Summer ’77 ♥ Love Insurance – Front Page ’79 ♥ Gimme Some Loving – Cerrone ’79 ♥ I Got Your Love – Stratavarious featuring Lady ’76

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Boogie Lessons

August 19, 2014


This installment is another loose collection of stuff hanging around the edges of my listening piles. I’ve fallen for the Kenny Nolan–penned “Take Your Mama/Daddy for a Ride.” Jim Gilstrap and Lulu both released it in 1975. I suspect Jim beat Lulu to the punch if only because Nolan contirbuted most of the cuts on Gilstrap’s Swing Your Daddy lp. Mizz is a disco girl group who put in an 11th-hour appearance during Casablanca’s last days of disco.  They offer a terrible cover of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and a credible version of Leslie Gore’s housewife-rock torcher “Love Me By Name,” but the real keeper is the psychedelic flute work on “Gotta Get Next to You.”  I love the gender switch on Denise LaSalle’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” but the cover to die for here is Enoch Light’s take on “I Feel Love” (!!!!).  Stripped of much of the electronic gimmickry that defined the original, this version reminds us anew of the song’s brilliant construction.  And I’d love to hear the Kenny G sax at the end of this on the original.  I can’t find much on Livin’ Proof who put out an early disco lp on the Ju-Par label, but their super-perky “Disco-Boogie” sounds like a long-lost classic, and the female vocalist’s hilarious exhortations to learn how to boogie inspired the title for this week’s episode.  Cheryl Barnes is best remembered as the actress who tore into “Easy to Be Hard” in the film version of Hair.  The Ray Dahrouge (who???) track is one of those delightful cuts that (likely unintentionally) never resolves its stance—is he more into  the guy or the girl in this copulation fantasy of his? IOB stands for Impact of Brass and it’s an early effort from the always reliable Gregg Diamond.

Take Your Daddy for a Ride – Jim Gilstrap ’75 Grease – The New 50 Guitars Gotta Get Next to You – Mizz ’80 Da Ya Think I’m Sexy – Denise LaSalle ’79 I Feel Love – Enoch Light and the Light Brigade ’77 The Real Thing – Daddy Dewdrop ’79 Hold On, I’m Coming – Karen Silver ’79 Disco-Boogie – Livin’ Proof ’78 Say Goodbye – IOB ’77 Save and Spend – Cheryl Barnes ’77 I Can See Him Making Love to You, Baby – Ray Dahrouge ’79 Don’t Be So Mean in Your Jeans – Bruni Pagan ’79 Wear Your Red Dress Tight – Timothy Wilson ’78 Midnight Ride – Barbara Pennington ’78 All This Love I’m Giving – Gwen McCrae ’79

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Bangers and Mash (English Disco - Part 2)

August 11, 2014


Part two of my English Disco series.  Enjoy!

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Les Reed Orchestra ’78 ϕ Take Your Mama for a Ride – Lulu ’76 ϕ Drive Me Crazy (Disco Lady) – Gloria Jones ’76 ϕ Doin’ That Crazy Thing – Jeff Lynne ’77 ϕ Miss You – the Rolling Stones ’78 ϕ Wooly Willy Tango – Rick Wakeman ’79 ϕ Kitty Sittin’ Pretty –Kokomo ’75 ϕ Standin’ in the Shadows of Love – Rod Stewart ’78 ϕ Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Tom Jones ’81 ϕ Boogie Nights – Heatwave ’76 ϕ That’s the Kind of Love I’ve Got for You – Dusty Springfield ’78 ϕ Drownin’ in the Sea of Love – Ringo Starr ’77 ϕ Love Bite – the Richard Hewson Orchestra ’76 ϕ Band of Gold – the Armada Orchestra ’75 ϕ Family Man – Fleetwood Mac ’87 ϕ Let’s Dance – David Bowie ’83 ϕ I Just Love What You’re Doing – Hot Chocolate ’79 ϕ The Eve of the War – Jeff Wayne ’78

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