Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Mixed Bag

I guess hard-core disco lovers will hate my selections, as I love messing around at the fringes of the genre. But I reckon if something's danceable, it doesn't have to sound like disco to get included here.

Hence the first two entries in this selection. Late 60s pop really, but who could not like Madeline Bell - a singer who had yet to make her mark when she recorded this unsuccessful single in 1968. Biljo by Clodagh Rodgers is catchy, though not her biggest success by a long way. As so often on Clodagh's earlier recordings, the lyrics seem almost nonsensical, but I love the general sound.

I'm not a huge fan of African influenced disco, but find the Manu Dibango track at No 3 pretty powerful. More borderline disco from Sniff'n'the Tears next - in fact this is one of my favourite examples of rock disco.

The most unlikely people got into disco in the 70s - as witness track No 5 from the Glitter Band - and this was a recent discovery for me, as was Idris Muhammed at No 6.

We break the dance mood slightly at no 7 with the Polish Radio Orchestra. Time to pour a Bacardi (or perhaps put the Ovaltine on?).

Shakatak don't even seem to be retro cool these days. A forgotten sound of the early 80s, I suppose, but a good record of the jazzy influences around in those times. A classic from George McRae at track 9 - one of the sounds that really started the disco explosion back in '74.

This seems to flow nicely into the Don Ray track - apparently a Frenchman named Raymond Donnez in reality - and then we have Syd Dale's Disco Tek which is sleazy and cheesy all at once! Finishing off for once with an uptemp number - and pretty classic disco at that from Carrie Lucas. This is the 1980 remake of her 1977 success. Never quite clear why it was remade as not much changed apart from the title!

1.00:00Madeline Bell - Thinkin'1968
2.02:33Clodagh Rodgers - Biljo1969
3.05:32Manu Dibango - Dikalo1972
4.09:29Sniff'n'the Tears - Driver's Seat1979
5.13:05Glitter Band - Makes You Blind1976
6.18:57Idris Muhammed - Could Heaven Ever be Like This1977
7.27:18Polish Radio Orchestra - Pondering1974
8.30:11Shakatak - Night Birds1981
9.34:26George McRae - Rock Your Baby1974
10.40:40Don Ray - Garden of Love1978
11.45:06Syd Dale - Disco Tek1973
12.47:50Carrie Lucas - Keep Smilin'1980

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