Any Major Disco Vol. 2 – Pop Edition
Following the first Any Major Disco, here is a mix of non-disco acts dabbling to good effect in the genre. That is an important distinction: with the disco tsunami in the late 1970s there was a lot of cynical cashing-in, with all manner of decidedly undisco folks — Ethel Merman! — making artificial disco records, polluting the genre already poisoned by rampant exploitation.
Many established acts jumped on the bandwagon. Some did so with credibility, such as The Rolling Stones with Miss You, Blondie with Heart of Gold, or Queen with Another One Bites The Dust; others with ostentatious cynicism, such as Rod Stewart’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy. Some were decidedly controversial: I believe most Grateful Dead fans resent their band’s foray into funky basslines and that strange rhythm thing of which people speak.
I hope most of the songs here fall more in the former camp than into Rod’s domain of ridiculousness.
Not everything here is disco. Some of the songs here borrow just some elements from disco — a bassline here, a funky guitar there, maybe some disco strings or horns or falsetto, certainly a four-to-the-floor beat. Others are unabashedly disco: Barbra Steisand’s The Main Event, Demis Roussos’ Midnight Is The Time I Need You or Janis Ian’s Fly Tool High (produced by Giorgio Moroder) are disco tracks performed to good effect by singers who wouldn’t have been thought of as natural exponents of the genre.
In some instances, a producer might inspire a visit to discoland. So it was with Mud in 1976. The English group had enjoyed hits with glam songs and rode on the retro rock & roll wave. Produced by Pip Williams, whose work producing the Moody Blues and Status Quo is probably better known than his efforts with the Biddhu Orchestra and Edwin Starr, they then turned out a very good disco single, Shake It Down.
The mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. PW in comments.
1. Barbra Streisand – The Main Event (1979)
2. Electric Light Orchestra – Shine A Little Love (1979)
3. Blondie – Atomic (1979)
4. Janis Ian – Fly Too High (1980)
5. Olivia Newton-John – Totally Hot (1978)
6. Boz Scaggs – Hollywood (1977)
7. Seals & Croft – You’re The Love (1979)
8. Grateful Dead – Shakedown Street (1978)
9. The Hollies – Draggin’ My Heels (1976)
10. Orleans – What I Need (1976)
11. Carly Simon – Tranquillo (Melt My Heart) (1978)
12. Sweet – Funk It Up (David’s Song) (3:27)
13. Mud – Shake It Down (1976)
14. Chicago – Street Player (1979)
15. Alice Cooper – (No More) Love At Your Convenience (1977)
16. Bay City Rollers – Don’t Stop The Music (1977)
17. Leo Sayer – Easy To Love (1977)
18. Santana – One Chain (Don’t Make No Prison) (1978)
19. Demis Roussos – Midnight Is The Time I Need You (1975)