Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A Trip to the Early 80s

Some of the tracks in this selection show how disco started to change in the early 80s. At number 2, for example, we have Harlow, a Canadian group who made quite a splash at the turn of the decade. Disco had already started to retreat back to the underground at this time, so tracks which were big on the dance floor were no longer likely to be chart hits. As far as I know, all of Harlow's music comes from the same album called Taking Off, and they all seem to have a happy, slightly wistful quality which I love.

The D-Train track was unusual in that it was both a chart hit and a dance floor hit. Very much a sound of the changing times when it first came out, I love its chunky beat and that electronic keyboard hook!

Slightly more laid back sounds from Ronnie Dyson and Geraldine Hunt next. Geraldine Hunt was another Canadian-produced performer, from a time when Canada was a real force for change on the disco scene. Not only did she have some great dance tracks of her own, but so did her children - Rosalind Hunt and Freddie James. Rosalind went on to be form the group Cheri who gave us the annoying but catchy Murphy's Law in 1982.

A classic at number 8 from Loleatta Holloway - you know it's good when 8 minutes just flies by and you still want more!

Right back to the late 60s to finish. The Sly Stone track is among many nominations for the "first disco record". In my view Dance to the Music has a better claim to the title than many!

A slow track to finish from one of my favourite singers, Madeline Bell. She didn't have that many hits under her own name, this cover of I'm Gonna Make You Love Me being no exception. However, to quote Peter Jones from the notes to her retrospective CD collection "Doin' Things" Madeline was able to "offer personal interpretations that neither differ radically from the originals, nor particularly remind one of them either." And I take that as praise!

1.00:00John Forde - Stardance1978
2.04:27Harlow - Movie Queen1980
3.10:17Grey & Hanks - Dancin'1978
4.16:52D-Train - You're the One for Me1981
5.21:48Ronnie Dyson - All Over Your Face1983
6.27:38Geraldine Hunt - Can't Fake the Feeling1980
7.32:32Loleatta Holloway - Runaway1977
8.40:54Muscle Shoals Horns - Breakdown1976
9.44:16Sly Stone - Dance to the Music1968
10.46:53Madeline Bell - I'm Gonne Make You Love Me1968

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