Hmmmm... You thought you didnt like disco? Thought it was all about the BeeGees and Saturday Night Fever? Wrong. That was bullshit. Disco was an underground counter culture party movement that changed the world. It was open minded, open armed, psychedelic, and just about every good thing you can think of. It certainly didnt matter what you wore or how rich you were. Anyway, to learn more read Tim Lawrence's book, Love Saves the Day, A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979. In the end, it's all about the music. Here are 10 classic jams. Click on the song title to hear them.
1. I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl) (Larry Levan Mix) by Instant Funk
Between the deepness of the bass tone and the kick drum, lies open space that propels the tune into sonic perfection. This is funk. Deep dance music. If you listen to the original, then Larrys mix, you will realize the danceloor genius of Levan.
2. Let's Start The Dance by Hamilton Bohannon
Lets start the dance. This song will make people move no matter what. Unbelievable vocals, crazy arrangements, i dont even know what to write. Just an estatic tribute to life.
3. Disco Circus by Martin Circus
How the hell did he make this music? There are so many voices and melodies it sounds like raving maniacs escaped the circus to make a dance record... When the famous, sampled many times over, da da do do do voices come in, watch out. Psychedelic in a merry prankster way. There is a rare 14 minute version out there somewhere but this is the 8 minute Francois K edit.
4. Thinking of You by Sister Sledge
My favorite track off an amazing record that gave us some of discos most famous tunes like We Are Family and He's the Greatest Dancer. Thinking of You is a ballad, a very funky and beautiful ballad. Chic does the music and the Sledge sisters get super soulful. My favorite love song ever.
5. Try It Out by Gino Soccio
Not sure what to write about this one either. Its got a great message, an incredible bass line, horns, and arrangements. It has never left my record bag since I bought it and I always reach for it whenever the party is at its peak.
6. Let No Man Put Asunder by First Choice
To hear a record like this that was recorded so well to tape in the seventies played on vinyl on a good sound system is an experience you won't soon forget. It sounds so fucking good. If you have only heard recordings like this that have been digitized, come over and let me play this for you. Recorded at the classic Sigma Sound Studios in Philly.
7. Somebody Else's Guy by Jocelyn Brown
A slow groovy jam about being cheating on. She has such an incredible voice that can also be heard on Cerrone's classic Hooked On You. The thing that gets me is when the chorus of different voices sing with her. This is a remix version on Prelude.
8. Don't Make Me Wait by Peech Boys
Also known as NYC Peech Boys, after legal threats from the Beach Boys, this Larry Levan produced group made a number of classics like Stay With Me and Life Is Something Special. I included this mellower tune because it shows the sublety of the nuanced groove that Levan was producing in the early 80's.
9. Stand On The Word by Joubert Singers
This was a gospel tune by The First Baptist Church Of Crown Heights that Tony Humpries either added music to or re-recorded everything for his mix. The first version was first circulated by legendary mixer Walter Gibbons. Pure joy. Best Song Ever. Almost makes me believe...
10. Keep On by D-Train
This is what is up. A loft classic. An anthem. "The sky is the limit and you know you can have what you want, be who you want..."