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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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: […]
Continue reading RECORD WHEEL #7: DISCO FEVER
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 would […]
Continue reading PATTI JO: YOU GOT TO BELIEVE
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 the […]
Continue reading KARRIEM: HOW LOW CAN YOU PASHLO?
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 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 …it’s […]
Continue reading WAR: THE WORLD IS A DISCO
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 damn […]
Continue reading SSO: GETTING FADED
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. ↩
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 […]
Continue reading LAMONT DOZIER + RICHIE HAVENS: BACK TO THEIR ROOTS
(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 way, […]
Continue reading 93 TIL + MORE
This isn’t some grand insight but what I find remarkable about the career of the late Donald Byrd was his ability to span so many different phases of jazz. For a cat who started in the bebop era, he bridged from there into post-bop, dabbled a bit in free, became one of the giants of the soul jazz era, and then became a massive force during the heyday of fusion. The vast majority of artists – of any genre – have trouble transitioning between even micro-changes in musical styles. Donald Byrd stayed relevant for at least 20 years. That’s as impressive a feat as I’ve seen by any artist above or below the platinum line.
The following playlist is absolutely not meant to be comprehensive. There’s dozens of songs I could have included but opted not to, either because they seemed so obvious to replay them would be redundant or, more to the point: they weren’t my favorites. But even this modest sampling gives you the idea of the astonishing range of Byrd’s musical genius.
Continue reading THE MANY FLIGHTS OF DONALD BYRD