Jota (The Collection)

August 21, 2015

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Danceland – Carrie Lucas ’79; A Little Bit of Love – Faith, Hope & Charity ’75; Together – Odyssey ’82; Dyin’ to Be Dancin’ – Empress ’81; Disco Jam – Eddie Drennon ’78; What You Don’t Know – Charles Drain ’76; Dancin’ Kid – Disco Tex & His Sex-o-lettes ’76; You Are the Music Within Me – Barbara Pennington ’77; Solid and Cool – Tee Cees ’78; Disco Queen – Dream Express ’79; Livin’, Lovin’ & Givin’ – Diana Ross ’78; Use Your Imagination – Mud ’75; (The Best Part of) Breaking Up – Roni Griffith ’82; Phonic – Cerrone ’81; 99 Balloons – Claudia ’83

The jumping-on point for this episode was the recent discovery of Odyssey’s “Together,” a track written by Rodgers and Edwards and benefitting from the Chic touch. Had no idea they collaborated. The track strikes me as a Rosetta stone for Chic’s transition from the ’70s to the ’80s. The post-Risqué staccato, new wave rhythms join with synth sweetening, however there’s still a delicious organic string arrangement, brought to the foreground in the track’s latter half.  Another interesting hybrid is “Use Your Imagination,” a slice of early glitter disco from UK glam band Mud. I also recently uncovered “What You Don’t Know,” a nice piece of Philly disco from Charles Drain, an artist who is new to me and fairly obscure. Diana Ross’ “Livin’, Lovin’ & Givin’” comes for the first pressing of the Thank God It’s Friday soundtrack. Subsequent pressings had a longer version that featured a Euro-disco treatment. I prefer the later arrangement, but am fascinated by this rare (demo?) version nevertheless. “A Little Bit of Love” was first issued in the early ’70s as a single by Brenda and the Tabulations. It became an underground proto-disco classic and writer/producer Van McCoy gave it more of a full disco treatment when he recorded it with Faith, Hope and Charity in 1975.  Both tracks are prime.

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Disco Damage

May 24, 2015

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Get Dancin’ – the Brothers’76 ≥ A Simple Love Affair – Bill Cosby ’77 ≥ Play Children Play – Meadowlark Lemon ’79 ≥ Flintstones Disco – Universal Robot Band ’77 ≥ I Love You – Bumblebee Unlimited ’79 ≥ Topsy – Meco ’78 ≥ Mah-Nah-Mah-Nah – Lipstique ’77 ≥ C’mon and Dance With Me – Swamp Dogg ’80 ≥ Sweet Disco – Patricia White ’79 ≥ Moon Maiden – Luv You Madly Orchestra ’78 ≥ Serious, Sirius Space Party – Ednah Holt ’81 ≥ Party Line – Caroline Peyton ’77 ≥ Get Around to It – Arthur Russell ’86

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Discodependent

April 18, 2015

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Georgy Porgy - Charme ’82 + Without You I Cry - Candi Staton ’81 + Run to Me - Kelly Marie ’77 + I Didn’t Mean to Fall in Love With You - the Jammers ’82 + Hurt - Inner City Jam Band ’77 + Two Hearts, One Love - THP ’79 + Under My Thumb - Jebadiah ’78 + The Heart to Break the Heart - France Joli ’80 + We All Need Love - Ebony ’83 + Take Me Back for More - South Road Connection ’79 + Ain’t Nothing Going to Keep Me From You - Teri DeSario ’78 + Open Up for Love - Siren ’79 + Showdown - Arpeggio ’80 + Nowhere to Run - Bonnie Pointer ’79

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Soundburst

February 24, 2015

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Theme from Big Time - Smokey Robinson ’77 & Lost in Your Love - John Paul Young ’78 & I’ve Got the Next Dance - Denise Williams ’79 & Out on Fire Island - the Terrell Company ’79 & Blue Moon - the Originals ’78 & Sweet, Sweet City Rhythm/Summer in the City - Fantasia ’78 & Rock It - Deborah Washington ’79 & You Got Those Lips - Rick Dees ’78 & Don’t Hold Back - Chanson ’78 & Dance - the Impressions ’77 & I’m in Wonderland - Carol Woods ’77 & No Way Out - Doris Jones ’78 & My Cherie Amour - Triple S Connection ’79 & His Name Is Charlie - Laser ’79 & Undercover Lover - Debbie Jacobs ’79 & (Don’t Want to Dance Tonight) I Got Love on My Mind - Marilyn McLeod ’79

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Hiatus

February 14, 2015

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Shake Your Shaker - Garland Green ’77 % Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle - Cream de Coco ’76 % You Make  Me Feel Brand New - Salsoul Orchestra ’82 % Club Underworld - Cerrone ’84 % Miss Fine Lover - Flakes ’79 % Paradise Garage - Tim Curry ’79 % Billie Jean in Jeopardy - Pink Project ’83 % By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Vast Majority ’76 % Old Time Melody - Teresa ’79 % Morning Music - Siren ’79 % I Don’t Know What I’d Do - Sweet Cream ’78 % Disco Sissy - Redd Holt ’77 % Give Me Your Love - Soccer ’79 % Nina Does It the French Way - Pierre Bohé ’79

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Fusion

January 11, 2015

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The Mysterious Flying Orchestra is an amazing free jazz disco fusion group led by Bob Thiele and featuring session greats Lonnie Liston Smith,Wilbur “Bad” Bascomb  and others, plus vocals on one cut from Teresa Brewer (a/k/a Mrs. Bob Thiele).  N.C.C.U. stands for the New Central Connection Unlimited which was a school project of the music department of North Carolina Central College assisted by Donald Byrd. The Joe Simon cut is from an album produced by none other than C&W legend Porter Wagoner who, I am learning, knew is way around disco. (Tip of the hat to Edd Hurt for hipping me to the Simon-Wagoner fusion and to the MFO.)

Come Dance With Me – Eddie Drennon ’77; Car Wash – Henry Mancini ’77; Improvisational Rondo for Soprano Saxophone and Guitar – Mysterious Flying Orchestra ’77; Super Trick – N.C.C.U. ’77; Reggae Disco – Wayne Henderson ’77; All Over Me – Joe Simon ’81; Love Is Still Blue – Paul Mauriat ’76; Reggae Bump – Spiders Webb ’76; What I Did for Love – Inner City Jam Band ’77; Sweet San Francisco – Queen Samantha ’78; Take Me to Paradise – Kelly Marie ’81; Boogie Oogie Oogie – New 50 Guitars ’78; If You Really Don’t Love Me – Eddie Drennon ’77; Night Lines – Cheetah ’81; Here in the Night – Bad News Travels Fast  ’79

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50 Shades of Disco

January 3, 2015

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I’ll Do Anything for You—Freda Payne ’78 * Shady Lady—Arthur Prysock ’77 * Fever—Little Nell ’78 * Dangerous—Rumer ’14 * On Your Knees—Grace Jones ’79 * Meat the Beat—East Coast ’79 * Pain Dealin’ Woman—The Vast Majority ’76 * Spank the Baby—Fatback Band ’77 * Spank Your Blank Blank—Morris Jefferson ’78 * Free Me From My Freedom—Bonnie Pointer ’78 * Freak In, Freak Out—Timmy Thomas ’78 * Love of the Hurting Kind—Claudja Barry ’78 * Rough-Ride—People’s Choice ’78 * Chains—Bionic Boogie ’78 * Sado Maso Disco—Must ’78 * Love Is a Strange Affair—Strange Affair ’80

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The Word

December 12, 2014

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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

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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.)

 

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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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Electrolux

November 3, 2014

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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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