Jul 25, 2019

Fits for a Queen

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Anything that begins with pig and ends with horsemeat can’t be good for you right? This is the disco drag show of my imagination; a whole lotta Miss Thangs werkin’ it for you. The Amanda Lear is the legendary 10-minute Canadian version of her signature song. I brought it home as one of many treasures from a recent foray to Toronto which may well be the used disco shopping capital of the universe, but don’t tell anyone. For years I have been bemused by Queen of Telemundo Charytin; it never occurred to me she might have recorded passable disco. Brava! Bonnie Tyler beat Bette Midler to “Married Men,” although anyone can tell you Bette’s is better. I’m just saving her for bigger, better things later. The extended disco mix of Canadian Patsy Gallant’s “Sugar Daddy” is a complete pleasure, as is Viola Wills’ run through a patch of inclement disco. But nothing tops Mama Harper (a/k/a Vicki Lawrence) and her big disco number helmed by no less than Al Capps. She had a huge, huge hit with “The Night Lights Went out in Georgia” and then completely disappeared from the pop charts. Sure, being second banana on the Carol Burnett Show kept her busy, but still. “Don’t Stop the Music” is a very rare record, but not as rare as Gong Show Queen Jay P. Morgan’s rip through “I Fall in Love Every Day” which first surfaced as a vanity pressing. The big number from Dream Girls works surprisingly well as a gargantuan dancefloor anthem (and you and you and you… you’re gonna LOVE ME! Hey, don’t wear yourself out, lady.) We’ve cleared the way for the reigning queen of the French disco scene, Her Majesty Régine. This ain’t no Gloria Gaynor, but that wobbly syndrum-synth hook that creeps up in the last half is quite effective.

 Stereau Warmup—Miss Piggy ’82; La Cage Aux Folles—La Jeté ’83; Follow Me—Amanda Lear ’79; Para Hacer Bein el Amor—Charytin ’79; Married Men—Bonnie Tyler ’78; I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself—Cheri Lewis ’82; Sugar Daddy—Patsy Gallant ’76; Don’t Stop the Music—Vicki Lawrence ’79; Stormy Weather—Viola Wills; I Fall in Love Every Day—Jaye P. Morgan ’76; Big Noise from Winnetka—Bette Midler ’79; I Need a Man—Grace Jones ’77; And I'm Telling You I’m Not Going—Koffie ’83; Je Survivrai—Régine; Dusty Blue—Dusty Springfield Meets Horsemeat Disco

 

Jul 1, 2019

Super

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The podcast feels obligated to celebrate our throwback ’70s icon du jour, Elton Hercules John. Reg Dwight was no stranger to disco. His Thom Bell sessions make for some very palatable Philly soul, and his flat-out reviled disco album Victim of Love was not so bad as it was extremely late to the party. Neither even comes close to the wackiness of French crackpot Paul Vincent’s “Super Elton,” which doesn’t offer a single writing credit to EJ or BT. You could get away with that crap back then. There seems to be nothing to be known about our next piece of French toast, Les Filles de Sebastien. (I assume Seb’s the Gallic basso profundo mumbler.) Had Serge Gainsbourg worked with Silver Convention, it might have sounded something like this. Facebook lit up a few months back with a Eurovision-Song-Contest-on-acid You Tube performance of “Space Rescue” (“Rescate Espacial”) by the Spanish band Zoom (a/k/a Ballet Zoom). I had to work some serious magic to get an original of this. It was worth it. I think of it as “Calling Occupants (of Interplanetary Craft)” of the Ibiza set. Things get back to super again with “Moving Like a Super Star.” I had only known this by the UK’s Jackie Robinson. Choreographer Amadeo’s version is delightfully more flamboyant. I believe there’s a nine minute version of it out there I need to hunt down. Cellophane is a one-off studio creation by Latin producer Titti Sotto. “Super Queen” sounds as if it was cobbled together from left over tape snippets from the studio floor; I find it really revolutionary for 1978; of course it was mixed by Walter Gibbons. I have no sense that queens ever adopted it. Pity. Max Berlin’s (who always goes by the possessive for some reason) is a Cerrone acolyte. “Boogie in the Bush” strikes me as some kind of lost percussive workout classic.

Part two kicks off with “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” a nugget buried on the back side of one of 10,000 disco versions of “I’m a Man.” Rowley is a UK folk singer, and I can’t think of another disco version of Dlyan. (Probably not trying hard enough.) I quite like this; it would pair nicely with Grace Jone’s “La Vie En Rose.” Calhoon came out on Phil Spector’s vanity label, although I don’t think Phil had anything to do with it. This is the super-rare 12-inch version. My copy is in a hand-decorated sleeve. Trini Lopez’s muscular “Helplessly” is better than it has any right to be. Finally, the rare “Spirit of Sunshine” is one of the rarer Tom Moulton mixes out there. It would pair well with that other disco sunshine classics, “Sun… Sun… Sun…” Happy summer!

Super Elton—Paul Vincent ’77 | Sexy Sally—Les Filles de Sebastien ’77 | Rescate Espacial—Zoom ’78 | Moving Like a Super Star—Amadeo ’77 | Super Queen—Cellophane ’78 | Boogie in the Bush—Max Berlin’s ’79 | It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue—Mick Rowley ’78 | Magic Carpet Ride—Diva Gray & Oyster ’79 | Dance, Dance, Dance—Calhoon ’75 | A Little Bit of Jazz—The Nick Straker Band ’80 | Il Me Faut Une Femme—Boule Noire ’79 | Megatron Woman—Native Love ’83 | Helplessly—Trini Lopez ’78 | Hey Taxi Driver—Chantal Curtis ’79 | Spirit of Sunshine—Chuck Davis Orchestra ’77

Apr 6, 2019

Now That You’ve Got It, What Are You Going To Do With It?

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I’m not a big fan of remixes, especially ones that render the original virtually unrecognizable. That said, “Can You Handle It” is the rare remix that transforms a ho-hum album cut into something spectacular, right up to and including Sharon Redd holding a strong high note for 23 seconds (perhaps via manipulation). Right after, Johnny Mathis says, “Hold my beer” and sustains his top note for a dizzying 28 seconds (no manipulation here, by golly) in the Chic-produced “Fall in Love (I Want To).”

The opening track started as a backing track for a lefty radio deejay who did political raps. This instrumental version caught on. (You can see some crazy dancing to it on youtube.) I stuck the rap version on the end of the podcast because I think it has some historical interest. Skip Mahonney holds disco god status for his “other record,” that being his first solo single “Janice (Don’t Be So Blind to Love),” an all-time great 12-inch single that goes for wicked money if you can find an OG pressing. It’s follow up—an Elton John cover—goes for fifty cents.

I have a million theme ideas for podcasts, and one of them that may see the light is Disco Spelling Bee. Should I ever, you know Ottawan (of D-I-S-C-O fame) will lead the pack as they never met a cut where they couldn’t spell out the catchphrase, like in “Hello, Rio.” Add to it Arpeggio’s completely unexpected cover of the Bay City Roller’s “Saturday Night,” an all-time great spell-it-out song. Funny thing about this is I have owned the album that houses this track forever, and I don’t think I ever played this track or at least paid attention tp it. Perhaps because the one that precedes it—“You Killed the Magic”—knocks me out do hard, I rarely get beyond it.

Finally, “American Dream.” This is from, as far as I can tell, a test-pressing for a single that never was released. It dates to the Calling All Beatniks sessions, but it isn’t on that album, nor is it anything like those. It’s warm and funky where CAB was sour, tinny and just no fun. The lyrics could not be more apropos for today, either. Disco “Yiddishe Mamme” makes me think of ABBA—you know how they had their whole international-flavor era. As odd as it sounds on paper, I think it’s a really swell disco track. ABBA-esque as well is the Harmony Cats’ charming difficulty with English lyrics. “Singing and Dreaming” isn’t disco, but I think it makes a nice cool-down. And the crazy-quilt of tunes in this medley is delightful. It has the spirit of d-i-s-c-o and that's what c-o-u-n-t-s.

I Ran Iran - David Lampell ’79 ^ I Ran - Trade Martin  & Chip Taylor ’82 ^ Benny and the Jets - Skip Mahonney ’89 ^ Why Can’t We Live Together? - Illusion ’82 6 Can You Handle It? - Sharon Redd ’80 ^ Fall in Love (I Want To) - Johnny Mathis ’82 ^ Casanova - Easy Going ’80 ^ Hello Rio - Ottawan ’80 ^ My Yiddishe Mamme - Top Stars ’77 ^ Road to Mandalay - Harlow ’83 ^ American Dream - Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band ’84 ^ Saturday Night - Arpeggio ’80 ^ Le Petit Train - Les Rita Mitsouka ’88 ^ Call Me - Family Affair ’76 ^ Cantando y Soñando - Harmony Cats ’78 ^ I Ran Iran (Rap) - David Lampell ’79

Mar 24, 2019

Red Neck Yacht Rock

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The jumping off point for this is Kacey Musgrave’s “High Horse.” My Nashville music critic buddy Edd Hurt rightfully points out that Kacey is not country. Nor is Horse exactly disco. It isn’t “pushy” enough. What it does remind me of is that strain of late ’70s/early ’80s easy listening that crossed what we now call yacht rock with country. It’s best summed up by kickoff “Islands in the Stream” which was written, produced and warbled on by Barry Gibb. I know people out there who would argue that Islands is the best produced record of the last millennium. Lord knows that Dolly’s performance is stellar as she surfs the waves of lead/harmony singing like no other.

The whole genre of yacht rock may have gotten its start with the Bellamy Brothers, and “Let Your Love Flow” is one of those records I fall for anew every time I hear it. Am I perverse to couple these with “Tight Fittin’ Jeans,” one of the greasiest/sleaziest records ever. Way to go, Conway!

Kacey seems to be riding a wave of neo disco country that got started about five years ago. While Thomas Rhett wallows in a fair amount of MAGA party rock, “Make Me Wanna” is undeniable, and he gains extra points for showing up on Brett Eldredge’s “owed” to Robin-Thicke-macho-bluster, “You Can’t Stop Me.” Which brings us to Miley. God love her! “4x4” is among my favorite records of the last decade. Miley could do worse than grow up to be the next Scooter Lee. The queen of boot-scoot is never anything less than slick, and at her best I think she sometimes even betters the originals. Her one outright disco album is a bit of a letdown because she backs off the twang. Still “Nightlife” from it is a gas. And there’s twang-a-plenty from the late great Tony Joe White’s lost disco nugget “We’ll Live on Love” and “Local Hoedown,” jockey short Steve Cauthen’s attempt to cash in on the disco craze.

I’ve got some discograss on here. (Are the boys from Hayseed Dixie my first podcast cut w/o percussion? I’m too lazy to confirm.) There’s a crazy country one-off from Family Affair, a disco vehicle for Petula Clark comrade Tony Hatch who wrote “Country Music” if not country music. (This record is outta England which is why it sounds a little more like pub rock that the real thing, however I do find that it sticks in your ear.) The last thing represented here is that gone-in-the-blink-of-an-eye minigenre of new wave country dance that brought us a spiffy reboot on the cut that started it all, “Stone Fox Chase,” as well as nutty one-hit wonders such as Kon Kan and not-even-one-hit-wonders Rubber Rodeo, who prove that the power of “Jolene” can withstand a wall of Edgy guitar work, some kick drum and a discordant take on the melody. Such macho posturing. Cause after all that will make—huh!—a man out of you.

Islands in the Stream - Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton ’83 )( Tight Fittin’ Jeans - Conway Twitty ’81 )( Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers ’75 )( Make Me Wanna - Thomas Rhett ’13 )( Stone Fox Chase - Icarus ’86 )( I Beg Your Pardon - Kon Kan ’89 )( I Never Promised You a Rose Garden - Scooter Lee ’98 )( Jolene - Rubber Rodeo ’82 )( 4x4 - Miley Cyrus ’13 )( High Horse - Kacey Musgraves ’18 )( We’ll Live on Love - Tony Joe White ’78 )( You Can’t Stop Me - Brett Eldredge ’15 )( I Love the Night Life - Scooter Lee ’96 )( Local Hoedown - Steve Cauthen ’77 )( Cotton-Eyed Joe - Isaac Payton Sweat ’80 )( I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ - Hayseed Dixie ’07 )( Dizzy - Scooter Lee ’98 )( Country Music - Family Affair ’77 )( Honey Bee - Celia Yancey ’76 )( Slow and Steady - Harlow ’83

Feb 20, 2019

Disco Disses

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Who took the magic? You did! You did!! I started this episode some time ago and then other things came up that were of more interest. When I got around to finishing it, I couldn’t identify four of the artists! And, in a somewhat unprecedented move for me, I had already re-shelved the records. Of course these were all deep album cuts, so search engines were only so much help. I had a hell of a time re-identifying Teri DeSrio (a dsco newbie), Lorraine Johnson (that album cover is a fooler; Lorraine looks nothing like the woman pictured on the cover), Scherrie and Susaye (the last Supremes left standing), and Foxy (in a cut that is not at all typical of their style).

 Odyssey is another artist in my growing list of those who just don’t get enough love. I don’t think they made a dent in America after “Native New Yorker” (which many people just assumed was Dr. Buzzard anyway). Fact is few other artists in the disco era put out such consistent albums and (non)hits. I didn’t know that Hall & Oates released a 12-inch version of “I Can’t Go for That.” It hardly seems remixed, only longer, which is not bad thing. Also longer—and to my ears sonically enhanced—is the 12-inch of Joe Tex’s “Ain’t Gonna Bump.” With its blatant fat shaming, that record likely couldn’t get made today. (Well, it could, but I don’t think it would be a hit.) On the flip side, “Be Cool (Cissy’s Packin’ Razors,” a guy realizes that the woman he’s dancing with is, in fact, a man—and quite a butch one at that—which ends up garnering Joe’s respect and making this record in toto, I believe, the epochal “no fats, no femmes” disco manifesto.

I had no idea that Alice Cooper attempted disco, and you might well argue that he didn’t. You can hardly discern his vocals from the background singers on “(No More) Love at Your Convenience,” and while the song is mid-70s lush, it lacks a certain dance floor-oomph. It was produced by Bob Ezrin who did bring disco fire to Kiss.

 Our set closes with “serious” musician Adrian Munsey teaming with Sparks to provide a little disco dis to disco lovers themselves, punning off of a title by Chic. If Munsey were even one-one hundredth as good as prime Chic, we might have actually heard of him.

 And hats off to Telex for giving me my new stock answer to everything: “I was raised by snakes.”

 

Don’t Tell Me, Tell Her—Odyssey ’80 ﻞ Bad Risk—Sydney Joe Qualls ’78 ﻞ Baby, I Don’t Want Your Love—Teri DeSario ’78 ﻞ Who Do You Think You’re Fooling?—Lorraine Johnson ’78 ﻞ Sorry… Wrong Lover—Lenore O’Malley ’81 ﻞ I Can’t Go for That—Hall & Oates ’81 ﻞ Raised By Snakes—Telex ’84 ﻞ Ain’t Gonna Bump No More—Joe Tex ’77 ﻞ Dancin’ Daddy—Peggy March ’79 ﻞ Pussyfooter—Jackie Robinson ’77 ﻞ Your Lies—Vicki Lawrence ’79 ﻞ I Found Another Love—Scherrie and Susaye ’79 ﻞ Not Tonight—Macho ’80 ﻞ (No More) Love at Your Convenience—Alice Cooper ’77 ﻞ You Killed the Magic—Arpeggio ’80; Baby, I’m Leaving—Foxy ’76 ﻞ You Don’t Know a Good Thing—Michael Zager Band ’78 ﻞ Mr. Big Shot—The Simon Orchestra ’79 ﻞ  To Hell with Him—Taka Boom ’82 ﻞ No, No, No My Friend—Free Style ’77 ﻞ Dirty Ol’ Man—Three Degrees ’78 ﻞ C’est Sheep—Adrian Munsey ’79

Jan 10, 2019

Blue Rhonda ala Twerk

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I can’t hear “Desiderata” without hearing the National Lampoon’s parody “Deteriorata” (a staple on the Dr. Demento Show) that began “You are a fluke of the universe; you have no right to be here” and concluded with “and whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back. With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. Give up!” That feels a lot more like 2019 to me than “the universe is unfolding as it should.” But in the face of it all, we go on. How cool is it that there are two great funk songs called “Mr. Cool” (by Sweet Sensation and Rasputin’s Stash)—and both are the bomb! Lifestyle was a recent find. The album seems rather non-descript, but it’s 1977 gold. The killer “Katrina” is the first you’ll hear from them, but it won’t be the last. This is the album cut of “Jack be Nimble.” There’s an extended 12-inch out there I need to scrounge up as I can’t get that “burn, burn, burn” hook out of my head. I also want to know more about J. Michael Reed. “Reach Out for Love” is from a 12-inch that got lost in the shuffle in the last disco days of Casablanca. If the rest of his only album is this good, it should be a keeper, too. Jay Black who acquits nicely on a more disco version of the always welcome “Love Is in the Air” is Jay of Jay and the Americans. And speaking of recursive oldie acts, who expected anything this marvelous from Hank Ballard and the Midnighters? Boom, boom, boom!

 

Rosko Recites Desiderata ’80 ﺣ (You) Keep on Making Me Hot – Busta Jones ’79 ﺣ Mr. Cool – Sweet Sensation ’75 ﺣ Turn the Music Up! – Players Association ’79 ﺣ Freak Your Boom Boom – Hank Ballard and the Midnighters ’79 ﺣ Jack Be Nimble – Chanson ’79 ﺣ It’s Music – Damon Harris ’78 ﺣ Rock Creek Park – the Blackbyrds ’75 ﺣ Let’s Paint the Town – James Bradley ’79 ﺣ Love Is in the Air – Jay Black ’78 ﺣ Katrina – Lifestyle ’77 ﺣ See You in September – Rhodes Affair ’79 ﺣ Reach Out for Love – J. Michael Reed ’79 ﺣ Janice – Skip Mahoney ’80 ﺣ Daylight – the New Ventures ’76 ﺣ When It’s Love – Direct Current ’79

Dec 19, 2018

Stoned Soul Picnic

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Oh, I can ’s’urry alright. And I can picnic. I have had this in the works since back when it was picnic weather. But I left the cake out in the rain…. First, let’s start with Biddu: not enough love, ever. There’s not even a decent Biddu anthology out there. Maybe because he split the difference between being Eastern and Western and wasn't enough of either, or else because he often buried his real treasures on flip sides and b-sides. Jeannie Reynolds struck me as Casablanca scrambling to find a follow up to “Love to Love You Baby.” Tragically, Jeannie was gone too quickly, and “The Fruit Song” is how we remember her. It’s a life lesson on the perils of not making your fruit preferences known. Bionic Boogie’s “Cream” is one of those killer cuts that remind me of just how fantastic they are every time I play them. Isaac Hayes reminds us that to make chocolate salty balls, you need chocolate chips. Not his best, but right for this menu. And while “Soup for One” may seem out of place for something social like a picnic, you can never have enough Chic. Not sure, but I think this may be the first time they set sail without the Chic strings. It was a preview of what was to come, and it’s up there in their canon of sad songs you can dance to. Thanks to Dennis Coffey and the Rice & Beans orchestra, we have the makings for a decent arroz con pollo, although our star entrée for this picnic will be “Porkchops.” I only recently found this gem—the b-side of the much-loved “In the Forest”—and it spurred me into finishing up our repast here. Toss in the unexpected Captain Beefheart cover and simmer in some bubbling flute magic, you have a spread fit for a queen. Thought you knew I liked bananas….

 

Stoned Soul Picnic—Roy Ayres ’68 & Yum Yum—the Fatback Band ’75 & The Fruit Song—Jeannie Reynolds ’76 & You Take the Cake—the Chi-Lites ’82 & Soup for One—Chic ’82 & Chocolate Chip—Isaac Hayes ’75 & Sugar Smack—Joe Thomas ’79 & Cream—Bionic Boogie ’78 & Milkshake—the Village People ’80 & Flute Salad—Ju-Par Universal Orchestra ’76 & Rice & Beans—Rice & Beans Orchestra ’76 & Finger Lickin’ Good—Dennis Coffey ’75 & Blacker the Berry—the Biddu Orchestra ’78 & Porkchops—Baby’O ’79 & Homemade Jam—Bobbi Humphrey ’78 & Chocolate Honey—Don Covay ’75 & Was Dog a Doughnut?—Cat Stevens ’77 & Tropical Hot Dog Night—Coati Mundi ’83

Dec 7, 2018

Sample Fine Selections from our European Cheese Board

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Just in time for the holidays, a fattening selection of fine Euro-Cheese. Well, to be fair, La Mouche is one of the all-time great b-sides. But Polnareff and his b(ack) side are no strangers to cheese. Italian Rita Pavone—who, like Caterina Valente, seemingly is fluent in all European tongues—is a new discovery. I paid ridiculous money to get her (waaaaay too short) 1979 disco stomper Dame Baby Poupee, but that’s okay because I plan to listen to it forever. And if you want to delight your eyes as well, viddy her live performance of this on yootoob. Her dancing needs to be seen; my god she is all in, baby. In fact, if you decide to explore her (deep) career further, this woman gives 1000% every time she steps up to bat. And I think she’s still going strong at 105 or something like that. Anna Haigis is delightfully bonkers, and speaking of bonkers, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Sparks, who pair nicely with French duo Les Rita Mitsouko. I will always have a soft spot in my head for Sheila who, with B Devotion, are sort of the Hall and Oates of disco. (B Devotion = Oates.) For anyone French out there, I have a question: did Sheila only own the one pair of short shorts? Or maybe they were so tight, she couldn’t wriggle out of them. Supermax’s World of Today is Prince’s Sign o’ the Times a good decade in advance, complete with lyrics about babies peeing themselves. Twist UR Tongue: it’s a really, really bad idea, and I’m sticking to that. I offer it in “tribute” to the Freddie Mercury bio-pic as it makes about as much sense. And I got to slip in a goodie by the UK’s Liquid Gold—who I just learned were the smoking remains of Babe Ruth (!)—before the UK leaves the EU. To which I can only say, “Sheila, come back!”

 

Ca Plane Pour Moi – Telex ’79 %vMondo in Mi 7 – Adriano Celentano ’77 % Slow Blow – HOT RS ’77 % La Mouche – Michel Polnareff ’72 % Fingernails – Anna Haigis ’82 % From Jupiter with Love – Paul Mauriat Plus ’78 % Substitute – Liquid Gold ’79 % D.I.S.C.O. – Ottawan ’79 % Male – Raffaella Carra ’76 % Discomania – Boule Noire ’79 % Upside Down (Dizzy Does It Make Me) – Vanessa ’81 % Sheila, Come Back – Sheila B. Devotion ’79 % Dame Baby Poupee – Rita Pavone ’79 % Singing in the Shower – Les Rita Mitsouko + Sparks ’88 % Bains-Douches – Martin Circus ’80 % World of Today – Supermax ’77 % We Will Rock Me Amadeus – Twist UR Tongue ’86

Nov 29, 2018

Caravan

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A sound crosses up over the southern border—and no wall or troops or tiny-fisted Führersäugling can stop it. Well, the joke is that many of these acts aren’t even from South of the Border. El Chicano were born here; Azoto and Rafaella Carra are Italian, Two Man Sound is Belgian (and contains three men anyway); Alec R. Costandinos is Egyptian (just learned this—always thought he was Greek); Paradise and Chi-Chi Favelas are French (I think, this all gets kinda dicey after a while). Anyway, the point is if MAGAmoron has some cockamamie notion of keeping America culturally “pure,” that ship sailed a loooooong time ago. Thank God.

 

Caravana – Bebu Silvetti ’76 + Dancing Mama – El Chicano ’76 + San Salvador – Azoto ’79 + Tico Tico – Average Disco Band ’78 + Delicado – Afro-Cuban Band ’78 + Disco Samba – Two Man Sound ’77 + Back to America – Paradise ’79 + Copacabana—Alice Street Gang ’76 + Bobo Step – Rafaella Carra ’76 + Borriquito – Charo ’77 + Malagueña (Suite Espagnole) – GMT Sound ’78 + Americana – Alec R. Costandinos ’81 + Mambo No. 5 – Samba Soul ’77 + The Bottle – Joe Bataan ’75 + Black Pot – Santa Esmeralda ’77 + (Dis)Cocaine – Chi-Chi Favelas ’78 + Voce Abousou – Samba Soul ’77

Oct 24, 2018

Versus

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What was in the water in ’82-’83? I wasn’t paying attention to year when I picked or assembled this lot, and I was quite surprised when I was doing the IDs how song after song was coming out of 1983. The idea here—no surprise given what we’re currently going through—was partisanship, tribalism, factions. Disco tended to promote one big happy familyism, but it was certainly segmented and celebrated its tribes. I steered away from ethnicity here and went instead for socio-economic-genderpolitick divides. And I came up with some lulus. The snake-handling disco of Leon Patillo (a Santana associate of all things) would be unmanageable except it’s just so damn choice, especially that Bacharach-inspired trumpet at the end. And it kind of pains me to make dear Agnetha our poster girl for white-privilege cluelessness, but you, if the clog fits…. I have had a tendency to dismiss Latimore, but Redneck is a genuine keeper. I’m surprised I’m this late getting to it. A sub-theme of this podcast is copycat songs (back to ’83). Working Girl is She Works Hard for the Money writ small, so they jam together nicely and I think amplify each other. (The mansplaining of “instead of talking, tell me what to do” grates, but we still had a way to woke back then.) Given that everybody and his brother ripped off Bobby O (the mastermind behind One Two Three), I almost wondered if the Human League ripped off Runaway. Turns out HL got there two years prior, but I can’t fault BO for this swipe because I think it’s a good one. And he was owed. And dear, dear Miss Piggy. How I wanted her to run in and karate chop f*cking Brett Kavagonads in his f*cking tight little beer-loving, privileged puss.

 

Chic Cheer—Chic ’78 / Peoples Party—Gonzalez ’79 There’s a Redneck in the Soul Band—Latimore ’75 / These Signs—Leon Patillo ’79 Gotta Get My Hands on Some—Fatback ’80 / I Am What I Am—Gloria Gaynor ’83 Working Girl—Cheri ’83 / She Works Hard for the Money—Donna Summer ’83 It’s So Nice to Be Rich—Agnetha Fältskog ’83 / Runaway—One Two Three ’83 Native Love—Divine ’82 / Brainy Children—High Fashion ’82 Livin’ in the Jungle—City Streets ’79 / Fashion Pack—Amanda Lear ’79 Freaky People—Crowd Pleasers ’79 / She’s Not a Disco Lady—D.D. Sound ’78 Exercise Your Rights—Miss Piggy ’82

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