MY FAVORITE THINGS – 2019

2019 was a good balance between new music I discovered/enjoyed vs. old tunes I’m continually finding via records. I find that raising a teenager helps with the former and while I would never try to pass myself off – these days – as having a finger of the musical zeitgeist, I think it’s valuable to stay engaged with new music coming out. Anyways…I’m going to flip this from the round-ups of the last few years and start with the old tracks I gave heavy run to last year. (Not in ranked order)

1. The Rascals: My World (1968)

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RECORD WHEEL #7: DISCO FEVER

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Been promising this one for a minute. I am, by no means, a deep disco head (that particular well runs incredibly deep) but I do respect/appreciate it. These aren’t my absolute favorite cuts but randomly selected ones that I think do a good job of showcasing the diversity of the genre.

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Playlist:

Charanga 76: Good Times (TR, 1979) Ernie Story: The E Groove (Legend, 1976) Manzel: Space Funk (Fraternity, 1977) Gospel Soul Revivals: If Jesus Came Today (Sonic, 1982) Frankie Gee: […]

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PATTI JO: YOU GOT TO BELIEVE

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Patti Jo was a teenager from Nashville when Curtis Mayfield first discovered her circa 1972.1 At this point, Mayfield had already left The Impressions to embark on his solo career and manage his label, Curtom. It’s unknown why Mayfield didn’t sign Jo directly to Curtom but instead, she ended up recording with New York’s Scepter and its subsidiary, Wand.

Jo’s first single came out in ’72: “Ain’t No Love Lost/Stay Away From Me.” However, it would be her next single, “Make Me Believe In You,” in 1973 that […]

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KARRIEM: HOW LOW CAN YOU PASHLO?

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Karriem: I Love You (Pashlo, 1979, 12″)

It’s cliche to suggest that all you need with disco is a good, repetitive groove but that doesn’t mean it’s untrue. This obscure-ish disco single out of Oakland is barely more than Karriem singing “I love you” over and over and that’s all you need. Actually, if you tried to put more on it, maybe it wouldn’t be nearly as endearing.

By the way, far as I can tell, this single was […]

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SALSOUL ORCHESTRA: STRIKE A POSE

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Salsoul Orchestra: Ooh, I Love It (Love Break) (Salsoul, 1975, 12″)

It wasn’t until I read this Shep Pettibone interview that I realized that “Vogue” was basically built around an interpolation of this Salsoul Orchestra 12″. I love that Shep was able to revisit his own production history to help mint one of his (and Madonna’s) biggest hits.

365 Days of Soul, #161

WAR: THE WORLD IS A DISCO

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War: The World Is a Ghetto (Disco Instrumental Mix) (MCA, 1980, 12″)

Until recently, I had no idea this existed: an instrumental disco remake of War’s “The World Is a Ghetto.” It was included on the groups’s The Music Band 2 album (which clearly, I never copped) and then the 12″ version I have is a shorter, 9 minute version of what was 13+ minutes on the LP. Not sure what the hell MCA was cooking up here with that but *shrug*.

Personally, I dig this […]

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SSO: GETTING FADED

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SSO: Faded Lady (RKM, 197?, Disco Soul Roots)

I never want to reduce a song to just its sample use but “Faded Lady” is put to such major effect on Diamond’s “I Went For Mine,” that it’s hard not to always think of the latter when you pump the former.

I’ve heard the players with SSO were also behind Nico Gomez, the Chakachas and a slew of other Dutch groups of the ’70s. Don’t know if that’s true but it does make sense given how […]

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SAMBA SOUL: NO. 1 MAMBO NO. 5

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Samba Soul: Mambo No. 5 (RCA, 1977, 12″)

I’m not sure there’s a better bang-for-the-buck Latin disco 12″ out there. I also like that they’re covering Perez Prado who’s been known to lace a pretty good cover now and then.1

365 Days of Soul, #112

Yeah yeah, his brother, I know. ↩

LAMONT DOZIER + RICHIE HAVENS: BACK TO THEIR ROOTS

In honor of Richie Havens, who passed away earlier this week, I’m bringing back this 2010 post. -O.W.


Lamont Dozier: Going Back To My Roots
From Peddlin’ Music On The Side (WB, 1977)

Richie Havens: Going Back To My Roots
From Connections (Elektra, 1980)

One of my best moments in a club came back in the ’00s when I was at APT during a night that Chairman Mao was spinning. I had never heard Lamont Dozier’s “Going Back To My Roots” before and I was just marveling at now just how […]

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93 TIL + MORE

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(93 ‘Til line from Hiero + Adapt)

Question from Morgan: What would you rank as the top three albums you enjoyed in the last ten years that would have surprised the guy you were back in 2003? Follow up: Same question, but for the guy you were in 1993.

Answer: The 2003-2013 question is hard to answer in the way you’re asking if only because 2003 marked an important shift in my thinking about/relationship to music. It was the year I re-embraced pop music in a profound […]

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