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Any Major Disco Vol. 6

December 28th, 2017 3 comments

It is becoming something of a tradition here to close the year with a disco mix to see out the old year and in the new. So don your boogie shoes and shake that booty like it’s 1978.

One track here is quite remarkable: the Boney M. song here was recorded before there was a Boney M. Schlager singer and producer Frank Farian recorded Baby Do You Wanna Bump, basically a remake of Prince Buster’s Al Capone — doing all the vocals himself, the deep voice and the falsetto. But because Farian was having as string of hits as a Schlager singer he couldn’t really release this thumping disco number under his own name, so he borrowed the title of an Australian TV series popular at the time in West-Germany, and stuck a meaningless M to it, because, he reasoned correctly, it sounded good. Odd thing is, Frank Farian isn’t the guy’s real name either; it’s Franz Reuther.

Baby Do You Wanna Bump was a hit in Belgium and the Netherlands, inspiring Farian to keep Boney M going with real band members. He’d still do the voices of two of those members, including dancer Bobby Farrell. And that is the amazing thing about Boney M: half of it was a pallid German guy pretending to be a black woman and a black dancer.

It was widely known that Farian was the voice of Bobby and Maizie Williams; the greater deception came a decade later with another Farian act, Milli Vanilli.

On the Minnie Riperton track (co-written by Stevie Wonder), check out the proto-house piano groove, played by the multi-instrumentalist and producer Sonny Burke, who also played on the albums which the tracks in this mix by Lenny Williams and Harvey Mason come from. I couldn’t ascertain that he played on those particular tracks. Let’s just imagine he did.

As always, CD-R length, home-bootyshaken covers, PW in comments. And have a Happy New Year!

1. Empress – Dyin’ To Be Dancin’ (1981)
2. Minnie Riperton – Stick Together (1977)
3. Peter Brown feat. Betty Wright – Dance With Me (1978)
4. Harvey Mason – Groovin’ You (1979)
5. Cerrone feat. Jocelyn Brown – Hooked On You (1981)
6. Deniece Williams – I’ve Got The Next Dance (1979)
7. Fat Larry’s Band – Looking For Love (1979)
8. Linda Clifford – If My Friends Could See Me Now (1978)
9. Debbie Jacobs – Don’t You Want My Love (1979)
10. Musique – Keep On Jumpin’ (1978)
11. Ritchie Family – American Generation (1978)
12. Gary’s Gang – Do It At The Disco (1978)
13. Boney M. – Baby Do You Wanna Bump (1975)
14. Carl Douglas – Run Back (1977)
15. The Choice Four – Come Down To Earth (1976)
16. Lenny Williams – Shoo Doo Fu Fu Ooh! (1977)
17. Crystal Grass – Dream On (1975)

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Any Major Disco Vol. 5

December 29th, 2016 5 comments

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As last year, we are seeing out December with a mix of disco songs, especially for New Year’s Eve. After the annus horribilis we have had — 2016 cannot piss off soon enough — we are going for pure nostalgia with the obvious classics of the genre. Even some which back in the day some of us night have thought of as naff (but how wrong we were about Boney M!).

This mix is set up for dancing — I’ve even sequenced the thing to roughly account for the BPMs — whether in a big group, or with your partner or by yourself. Just put on your dancing shoes and shake your booty to the boogie.

And if you need more to dance to, get multiple fixes of the previous four Any Major Disco mixes and the eight-volume Any Major Funk (which really was mostly disco as well). The whole lot can be found in one handy repository. As far as I can see, all links are still live.

By the way, check out which acts Germany’s Bravo magazine chose as their disco groups of 1978.

And so I wish you, as the Germans say, a good slide into the New Year. May 2017 give us respite from the ceaselessly obnoxious 2016, and may it bring you personally much to be joyful about.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-bootyshaken covers. PW in comments.

1. Kool & the Gang – Ladies’ Night (1979)
2. Sister Sledge – Lost In Music (1979)
3. Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman (1978)
4. KC & the Sunshine Band – Shake Your Booty (1976)
5. Rose Royce – Car Wash (1977)
6. Chic – Dance Dance Dance (1977)
7. The Jacksons – Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) (1979)
8. Alicia Bridges – I Love The Nightlife (1978)
9. Anita Ward – Ring My Bell (1979)
10. Gibson Brothers – Que Sera Mi Vida (1980)
11. Amii Stewart – Knock On Wood (1979)
12. Patrick Hernandez – Born To Be Alive (1979)
13. Boney M – Ma Baker (1977)
14. Amanda Lear – Queen Of Chinatown (1977)
15. La Bionda – One For You, One For Me (1978)
16. Donna Summer – Bad Girls (1979)
17. Andrea True Connection – More, More, More (1976)
18. Shirley & Co – Shame Shame Shame (1975)
19. Silver Convention – Fly Robin Fly (1975)

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Any Major Disco Vol. 4

July 14th, 2016 9 comments

Any Major Disco Vol. 4

Tuesday, July 12, saw the 37th anniversary of the notorious “Disco Demolition Night” at Chicago’s Comskey Park, a night I have discussed with Any Major Disco Vol. 1, and touched on Any Major Disco Vol. 3 (which focussed more on disco as a vehicle for the assertion of gay identity and driver for later black dominance of pop). To mark the anniversary, here is a seriously funky mix of disco tracks — the sort of disco the more discerning of the mob at Comiskey Park might have appreciated, had they opened their hearts and ears.

So, in memory of all that was good about disco, put on your dancing shoes and shake those hips — Travolta moves not required.

As always, CD-R length, covers. PW in comments.

1. Splendor – Take Me To Your Disco (1979)
2. The Whispers – It’s A Love Thing (1980)
3. Teena Marie – I Need Your Lovin’ (1980)
4. Debra Laws – On My Own (1981)
5. Gene Chandler – When You’re Number One (1979)
6. The Isley Brothers – It’s A Disco Night (Rock Don’t Stop) (1979)
7. The Miracles – Love Machine (1975)
8. Sex O’Clock USA – Get It Up Baby (1976)
9. The Real Thing – Can You Feel The Force (1979)
10. Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King – I Don’t Know If It’s Right (1977)
11. Gwen Guthrie – It Should Have Been You (1977)
12. LaToya Jackson – If You Feel The Funk (1980)
13. Front Page feat. Sharon Redd – Love Insurance (1979)
14. Crown Heights Affair – Your Love Makes Me Hot (1982)
15. Heatwave – Too Hot To Handle (1976)
16. Bill Brandon – We Fell In Love While Dancing (1977)

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Any Major Disco Vol. 3

December 28th, 2015 4 comments

Any Major Disco Vol. 3 - front

And in time for your New Year’s Eve party, or preparation for one, here’s the third Any Major Disco. Of course, if you take the seven Any Major Funk mixes as well, you could take over DJ duties — provided your fellow guests are of a certain age and disposition.

In Any Major Disco Vol. 1 I discussed how the “Disco Sucks” movement was a reaction not only to the music but also to the impact of disco on culture. Now, to be clear, I am not suggesting that those who didn’t dig disco — the music or its scene — were reactionary bigots. But if you chucked a Bill Withers LP into the Comiskey Park bonfire, I might just call you out. Hell, if you blew up a Chic record, we ought to have words.

Disco certainly had an impact against which your average bigot might wish to act. Disco changed things. In fact, it was more revolutionary in the US than punk was in the UK. But where punk was angry and uncompromising, disco was all about finding refuge in joy (and don’t we need that today?).

Disco brought black music and, to some extent, the gay scene into the mainstream. The genesis of disco can be condensed to black music being played in New York gay clubs. This was in the early 1970s, just after the Stonewall riots. Two men dancing together had been illegal in New York — now there were clubs playing great, dancable music and running vibes that were hot and free. The thing spread, and concurrently sexy music was being produced in Philly, NYC, New Orleans that fit these vibes.

In disco music — even if it wasn’t called that yet — women could be not only sassy but also sexual. Previously few women in mainstream pop had expressed their sexuality; Tina Turner blazed a trail. Now, in the mid-1970s LaBelle were directly inviting sexual encounters, and former porn star Andrea True wanted More More More. A little later, Grace Jones defined a whole new kind of sexy, and Donna Summer climaxed on a 12 inch.

And Summer’s records were part of the final piece to the disco scene: the Munich Machine/euro disco type of synth-driven dance music — the birth of electronica — produced by the likes of Giorgio Moroder and the unlikely pair of Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze, who created Silver Convention (Fly Robin Fly, Get Up And Boogie).

So disco empowered black musicians (even if the media traded a white band, the Bee Gees, as the “Kings of Disco”), and women in pop, and brought the gay scene not only out of the closet but into the heterosexual world. It was when the countercultural was absorbed into the mainstream — think Ethel Merman singing disco — that disco lost some of its power. The “Disco Sucks” movement succeeded in killing Disco— as a concept, as a thing.

But there was no turning back. Disco didn’t die. It didn’t only survive but went on to thrive, as Michael Jackson’s Thriller showed. By the mid-‘80s, black musicians were mega stars: Jackson, Richie, Prince, Houston. By the ‘90s, black music set the pop agenda — not under a white guise, as had been the case with rock & roll, but as the driver, in the form of Dr Dre, R Kelly, Janet Jackson and so on.

Thanks to disco, women in pop had become self-aware. Madonna, a direct product of disco, has been followed by many women who will grind their groin not only to turn on the boys but to express their sexual power.

And with disco, homosexuality emerged from the cultural shadows (though the AIDS crisis that coincided with the “death” of disco created some new barriers). Where Liberace had to hide his sexuality, Boy George and Bronski Beat followed in the footsteps of Sylvester, the first out pop star — at least in Britain and Europe. Of course, for all the advances that have been made over the past four decades, the fight for gay rights goes on, especially in the US. But disco helped to bring that fight out into the open.

And with that, here’s the mix to get your feet shuffling and hips shaking, with a bit of everything from the disco buffet, drawing mainly from the glory days of 1977 to the late disco era.

And a happy 2016 to you!

1. Al Hudson and The Partners – You Can Do It (1979)
2. Sharon Redd – Can You Handle It (1981)
3. Earth, Wind & Fire – September (1978)
4. Ozone – Walk On (1980)
5. Kool & The Gang – The Force (1977)
6. Karen Young – Hot Shot (1978)
7. Don Ray – Garden Of Love (1978)
8. Salsoul Orchestra feat. Loleatta Holloway – Runaway (1977)
9. Double Exposure – Ten Percent (1976)
10. Jermaine Jackson – Let’s Get Serious (1980)
11. Bionic Boogie – Risky Changes (1977)
12. Evelyn Champagne King – Shame (1977)
13. Jean Carn – Was That Was All It Was (1979)
14. Anita Ward – Ring My Bell (1979)
15. Sheila B. Devotion – Love Me Baby (1977)
16. Lipps Inc. – Funkytown (1980)
17. Supermax – Lovemachine (1978)
18. Meco – Star Wars Theme (1977)
19. Edwin Starr – Contact  (1978)
20. Sylvester – Dance (Disco Heat) (1978)

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Any Major Disco Vol. 2 – Pop Edition

October 15th, 2015 11 comments

Any Major Disco Vol. 2

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)

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Any Major Disco Vol. 1

July 16th, 2015 8 comments

Any Major Disco Vol. 1

The Any Major Funk series might have ended, but that does not mean that we must pack away our dancing shoes. So here we begin a new series of disco mixes, drawing from the various strands in the genre, using 1982 as an approximate cut-off date.

The first mix coincides roughly with the 36th anniversary of the record burning bonanza at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on 12 July 1979, which gave full expression to the Disco Sucks movement. Several students of music, such as the British journalist Simon Price, have charged that the the anti-disco movement was driven by elements of racism and homophobia. While not all who invaded the pitch in Chicago for the Disco Demolition Night (or applauded from afar or donned their Disco Sucks t-shirts) were motivated by bigotry, the charge has some merit.

The negative reaction to disco was not invariably racist, of course. For starters, a lot of disco was produced by white people; including the unlikely poster boys of disco, The Bee Gees. Just as disco was a diverse collective, so were there different reasons for rejecting it. But at Comiskey Park there was a distinct racist dimension as the mob of sonic reactionaries incinerated records not only by disco acts such as Sister Sledge and Chic, but also those by artists such as Marvin Gaye and, unbelievably, Bill Withers. Records by any black artist who wasn’t Jimi Hendrix were liable to fuel the pyre.

The charge of homophobia is more difficult to substantiate, even if some Village People albums found their way on to the pyre. Nonetheless, let me try.

Disco was a broad movement borne of gay and soul-funk clubs alike. Sartorial flamboyance, funky basslines and synth experiments tended to blend across the sub-genres of what would become known as disco. The homophobia in anti-disco sentiments was not necessarily of a gay-bashing kind, but arguably was grounded in the disco culture’s threat to the prevalent models of masculinity.

When the mob at Comiskey Park burnt Earth, Wind & Fire records — possibly while humming Emerson, Lake & Palmer — a dimension of their unarticulated objection related to flamboyant costumes worn by men who sang in feminine voices. Disco challenged the traditional models of manhood (and, in the case of the Village People, satirised them), and it subverted prevailing social (and sonic) norms. Comiskey Park and the Disco Sucks movement were, in part, a reaction to that.

A few years later this threat to conventional masculinity found expression again when many believed Prince, who already had a prodigious track-record of heterosexual behaviour, to be gay on grounds of his Purple Rain stylings. The effete Prince subverted the standard notions of masculinity. The only explanation many could find for that was to believe Prince was gay.

Across the musical fence, the camp exploits of Dee Snider and David Lee Roth, or indeed Kiss, did not cause infernos of vinyl. But these acts performed their shtick with a nod and a wink which their rock fan constituency could understand and even relate to. The same sort of fans denied, at the pain of death, that Freddy Mercury was gay, and the Kiss make-up was considered not camp but an extension of the members’ individual personae. There was nothing here that threatened concepts of masculinity in the way the unironic flamboyance of many disco stars did.

Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White and Philip Bailey defied the sartorial codes of American masculinity.

Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White and Philip Bailey defied the sartorial codes of American masculinity.

But homophobia and racism surely were not the primary incitement for the Disco Sucks movement. Disco supposedly sucked not because the music was bad (though some of it indisputably was) or because Verdine White played the bass while sporting silver flamingo wings. It sucked because, like punk, it ate itself culturally. The exclusivism of clubs such as Studio 54 caused resentment – even among those who produced disco music. Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Bernie Edwards wrote Le Freak after they were denied entry to Studio 54; the original title was Fuck Off. And yet, how could the artists be blamed for the behaviour of those who played their records? Effigies of nightclub owners, not records by the artists, might have made for more appropriate burning matter at Comiskey Park.

The anti-disco sentiment was fed by disco’s ubiquity, starting with Saturday Night Fever (a gritty film which disowns the phoniness associated with the Studio 54 culture, a message usually overlooked in favour of Barry Gibb’s sterility-inducing trousers on the cover of the mega-selling soundtrack). Disco Sucks was also a reaction to the hegemony of the genre and its culture. It was a reaction to the Saturday Night Fever poster and Travolta’s white suit, to Ethel Merman and Sesame Street recording “disco” albums, to acts like Blondie and the Rolling Stones dabbling in disco sounds, to the hedonism of the élite, and to the occasional musical horror produced by cash-in corporates which was falsely considered to be representative of disco.

The anti-disco sentiment was fed by disco’s ubiquity, starting with Saturday Night Fever

The anti-disco sentiment was fed by disco’s ubiquity, starting with Saturday Night Fever.

And here we enter the final error of the Disco Sucks movement: the false notion that disco is a single, homogenous genre. As in rock music, there are common elements. Most disco songs have a 4/4 beat, basslines tend to drive the songs, and so on. And yet, take songs like, say, Love To Love You Baby by Donna Summer and Shoulda Loved Ya by Narada Michael Walden (on Any Major Funk Vol. 3). Both fall broadly within the disco genre, but one is Euro-Disco and the other is what one might call Disco-Funk. They are as different as Sweet Home Alabama is from A Whole Lotta Rosie.

Then there was the pop-disco stuff such as Y.M.C.A. (though I’d be reluctant to call it disco), which is quite different from either Summer or Walden. Blondie’s disco stuff, Heart Of Glass or Atomic, represents yet another separate genre; it’s disco, of a sort, but not in the way Cheryl Lynn’s Got To Be Real (on Any Major Funk Vol. 1) is disco. Like rock, disco is a collective term for many sub-genres.

This series will, I hope, demonstrate just how diverse disco was as a genre — and why the Lynyrd Skynyrd fans at Comiskey Park were thoroughly mistaken: disco never sucked.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-bootyshaken covers. PW in comments.

1. Bee Gees – You Should Be Dancing (1976)
2. Vicki Sue Robinson – Turn The Beat Around (1976)
3. Chic – Everybody Dance (1977)
4. Carol Williams – More (1976)
5. Don Ray – Got To Have Loving (1978)
6. Loleatta Holloway – Hit And Run (1977)
7. Brenda And The Tabulations – Let’s Go All The Way (Down) (1977)
8. Musique – In The Bush (1978)
9. Michael Zager Band – Let’s All Chant (1977)
10. Dan Hartman – Relight My Fire (1979)
11. Santa Esmeralda – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (1977)
12. Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing (1975)
13. Patrick Juvet – I Love America (1978)
14. Grace Jones – La Vie En Rose (1977)
15. Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby (1975)
16. Rose Royce – Is It Love You’re After (1979)
17. Ben E. King – Music Trance (1980)
18. KC & the Sunshine Band – (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty (1976)
19. Andrea True Connection – What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number (1977)
20. Odyssey – Use It Up And Wear It Out (1980)

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Any Major Funk Vol. 8

June 11th, 2015 8 comments

Any Major Funk Vol. 8

It is now more than seven years ago since I posted the first Any Major Funk mix (using the word “funk” loosely); here is what I think will be the concluding mix in the series.

Some songs in this series are probably as easily classified as disco — even on this mix, the tracks by Earth, Wind & Fire or Diana Ross or Donna Summer are not foreign to the disco genre.

All the previous Any Major Funk mixes are up again, with funky covers. Of course, all of them are timed to fit on a standard CD-R. PW in comments.

1. Brothers Johnson – Ain’t We Funkin’ Now (1978)
2. Skyy – Show Me The Way (1983)
3. Earth, Wind & Fire with The Emotions – Boogie Wonderland (1979)
4. George Benson – Give Me The Night (1980)
5. Diana Ross – The Boss (1979)
6. Shalamar – The Second Time Around (1979)
7. Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne – You Get Me Hot (1979)
8. Cheryl Lynn – Shake It Up Tonight (1981)
9. René & Angela – Free And Easy (1980)
10. Leon Haywood – Strokin’ (1976)
11. Linda Clifford – Runaway Love (1979)
12. Gap Band – Outstanding (1982)
13. Slave – Watching You (1980)
14. Side Effect – Take A Chance ‘n’ Dance (1980)
15. Gary Toms Empire – Walk On By (1978)
16. Donna Summer – Last Dance (1978)

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Any Major Funk Vol. 7

July 12th, 2012 4 comments

Here is the seventh CD-R mix in the Any Major Funk series. It might have been called Any Major Disco, but that would have been (equally) misleading, with expectations of Saturday Night Fever, Munich Machine or, eek, Ethel Merman doing disco. So these mixes are not quite funkadelically funky, but the funk and the brand of disco spearheaded by Chic are the influences that dominate these mixes.

And because these mixes, all of which are timed to fit on standard CD-Rs, previously came without covers, I have homebaked a selection, a collage of which you will see at the end of the post.

I’m posting this mix on the 33rd anniversary of the Comiskey Park disco records burning action, on 12 July 1979 – as chance would have it, also a Thursday. I wrote about it previously in “The Disco Inferno”.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Delegation – Where Is The Love (We Used To Know) (1977)
2. Dee Dee Sharp Gamble – Let’s Get This Party Started (1980)
3. Rainbow Brown – Till You Surrender (1981)
4. Yvonne Gage – Garden Of Eve (1981)
5. Skyy – High (1979)
6. Shalamar – Make That Move (1980)
7. Thelma Houston – If You Feel It (1981)
8. Sister Sledge – One More Time (1979)
9. Billy Ocean – Whatever Turns You On (1981)
10. Fat Larry’s Band – Here Comes The Sun (1979)
11. L.T.D. – One On One (1979)
12. Central Line – That’s No Way To Treat My Love (1981)
13. Phyllis Hyman – You Know How To Love Me (1979)
14. Sylvia St. James – Can’t Make You Mine (1980)
15. Jet Brown – Living Together (1979)

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Any Major Funk Vol. 6

August 18th, 2011 3 comments

It has been two and a half years since I last posted a Any Major Funk mix. Most of the tracks contained in this, the sixth volume, have been languishing in the shortlist folder since then. So here are 16 more songs from the great era of dance music, stretching from 1977 to 1983.

While I’m at it, I have updated the expired links for the first five volumes.

Michael Henderson has played with the greats. Having moved to Detroit as a child, he was only 13-14 years old when he played the bass with various Motown acts as well as The Fantastic Four, The Detroit Emeralds and Billy Preston. Later he toured with Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and Miles Davis. Later he debuted as a vocalist for Norman Connors, the great drummer and producer.

It may be by subliminal decision that I sequenced a track by Norman Connors’ after Henderson’s 1983 effort. Connors has produced, played or arranged for some great acts in soul and jazz, including Billy Paul, Jack McDuff, Charles Earland and Herbie Hancock. As a juvenile he once stood in at a gig for John Coltrane’s usual drummer. He discovered Phyllis Hyman, who in 1981 recorded a duet with Henderson. The vocals on the featured track by Connors, the title track from his 1980 album, are by Adaritha, who still performs, now as Ada Dyer, and who recorded the original of Anita Baker’s You Bring Me Joy.

Rainbow Brown (singers Fonda Rae, Luci Martin, Yvonne Lewis) only ever released one LP, a self-titled effort on New York’s Vanguard label produced by Patrick Adams, a prolific songwriter for a number of soul and hip hop acts, ranging from The Main Ingredient to Keith Sweat and the Notorious B.I.G.. Adams wrote Musique’s enthusiastically banned In the Bush, a song that had little relationship with horticulture, but was a top 20 hit in gardening paradise Britain.

The bush-loving nation gave us Hi-Tension, a 12-member ensemble that is regarded as a pioneer of Brit-Funk. They were led by David Joseph, who went on to record several UK hits, including You Can’t Hide Your Love (1982) and Let’s Live It Up (1983).

Also representing Britain are Delegation, who came from Birmingham and had a UK Top 30 hit in 1977 with the excellent Where Is The Love (We Used To Know). I tend to associate them with Sunfire, for no better reason than sometimes sequencing their 1977 hit with Young And Free And Single. Sunfire were a New York outfit whose best-known member was Bruce Fisher, whose At The End Of A Love Affair should be well known to fans of Northern Soul, and who wrote the title track of Quincy Jones’ 1973 album Body Heat.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. Homebaked covers are included.

TRACKLISTING
1. War – Galaxy
2. Brothers Johnson – Ain’t We Funkin’ Now
3. Jimmy ‘Bo’ Horne – Get Happy
4. Sunfire – Young, Free And Single
5. George Benson – Turn Your Love Around
6. B.B.R.A. – Do What Make You Feel Good
7. Michael Henderson – You Wouldn’t Have To Work At All
8. Norman Connors – Take It To The Limit
9. Rainbow Brown – I’m The One
10. Shalamar – Full Of Fire
11. George Duke – Brazilian Love Affair
12. Delegation – Put A Little Love On Me
13. Hi-Tension – Hi-Tension
14. One Way – Music
15. The Players Association – Turn The Music Up
16. Parliament – Flashlight

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Any Major Funk Vol. 5

December 26th, 2008 4 comments

 

Just in time for New Year’s Eve, the fifth Any Major Funk mix. amf5As always, this is serious disco from the golden age of 1978-1983 (with two songs falling on either side of that timeframe). Joyful, funky, dancable. But not suitable for hilarious Afro wigs and Travolta dance moves. And as always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R.

The song of particular interest here is the opener, Loleatta Holloway’s Love Sensation, written by Dan Hartman and recorded with the backing of the Salsoul Orchestra. The song was liberally sampled on the big dance classic a decade later, Black Box’s Ride On Time. In the video we saw a young, lithe woman incongruously belting out the lyrics. The deception was exposed (though legally it was not fraud, because Black Box paid Salsoul for the samples off Love Sensation).

While Love Sensation hints at the emergence of Hi-NRG a few years later, Two Tons O’ Fun’s I Got The Feeling could be regarded as the first Hi-NRG hit (as opposed to its Euro Disco progenitor), or at least as a link between the disco funk of, say Chic, and the Hi-NRG sound of the mid-80s. A few years later, the group’s two singer went on to to record one of the defining Hi-NRG hits: It’s Raining Men, as the Weather Girls.

TRACKLISTING
1. Loleatta Holloway – Love Sensation (1980)
2. Two Tons O’ Fun – I Got The Feeling (1980)
3. The Jacksons – Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) (1979)
4. Cheryl Lynn – Shake It Up Tonight (1981)
5. S.O.S. Band – Take Your Time (Do It Right) (1980)
6. L.T.D. – Back in Love (1977)
7. Instant Funk – I Got My Mind Made Up (1978)
8. Phil Fearon & Galaxy – What Do I Do (1984)
9. Commodores – Lady (You Bring Me Up) (1981)
10. Shalamar – There It Is (1982)
11. Mtume – So You Wanna Be A Star (1980)
12. Teena Marie – I Need Your Lovin’ (1980)
13. Change – A Lover’s Holiday (1980)
14. Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King – If You Want My Lovin’ (1981)
15. Melba Moore – Mind Up Tonight (1982)
16. France Joli – Feel Like Dancing (1979)

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