Archive for August, 2010

The Disco Box [Disc Four]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 310000008UTC 12 by marky7235

Disco Box

The Analysis:

Heart Of Glass [Blondie]—-Not at all what I would consider a Disco song, this finds a post-punk band breaking from the norm and producing a dance hit that resonated across the heartland of America. This is pure pop music that plays so well today…as wella as it did 20 years ago….this is not Disco….this is pure pop mastery!!!

Lost In Music [Sister Sledge]—-This Sister Act continues the dominance that they had on the underground dance floors of America in the late 70’s and early 80’s. This is a continuation of inspiring and self-appreciation songs that the family managed to produce. Heavy on bass and studio produced synths, this song still manages to contain the magic that it originally had.

I’m Caught Up [In A One Night Love Affair] [Inner Life]—-This is one of those studio produced bands that provides nothing new or groundbreaking. relying mainly on everything that had worked before, this is a lackluster event that should have never been included on anyone’s retrospective…I’m just say in’.

Got To Love Somebody [Sister Sledge]—-Again…already…..are you kiddin’ me!!!! This is much the same as anything else that you have experienced from this Sister Act. This is post Disco Funk that manages to skim on the bottom of everything else that was being released…100% for consistency!!!

Funkytown [Lipps Inc.]—-I have never considered this song to be a Disco Song! This came wayyyy after the introduction of the Genre and was much more progressive in the synth rhythms that made up the song. The vocoder vocals were way before the time and the deep bass sounds of the song made this a worldwide smash. I have such fond memories of listening week after week to Casey Kasam….just to hear that this song landed at #1 or #2 depending on the week with Pink Floyd for about 6 months straight…..the memories are worth the song alone!!!!

Celebration [Kool & The Gang]—-Another of those songs that really so not fit into the Disco genre what so ever….this was such a huge crossover hit that you cannot even consider this Dance Music….this is the emerging Urban Music that would define the underlying current of the 80’s scene as well as the almost total consumption of the pop charts in the 90’s…this started it all.

A Lover’s Holiday [Change]—-A true Disco outfit, I spent some time researching this group as it seems they pop up a lot among Disco compilations….yes…I have more!!!! This seems to be a Studio Produced group that released two releases and never contained any member of significance. The group made happy-go-lucky Disco sounds that are really  sound and border on House Music with a heavier bass sound.

I Like What You’re Doin’ To Me [Young & Co.]—-GOD!!!!  This is laden with that disco Cow Bell…tiumed to chime at just the right intervals…set to a diva style vocal that is Gang style on the Chorus…..SHIT…you could not ask for more…..this is fabulous….I love this group!!!! This is nice post Disco let down…energetic, reminiscent, but current!!!!

The Glow Of Love [Change]—-Why so much of this generic, produced crap? Why not more Donna or including some of the quality post-Disco stuff like Laura Branigan…to me this is just a waste of time.

Crusin’ The Streets [Boystown Gang]—-I think that the first time I ever really heard the full version of this song was at Traxx in Cleveland when I was attending Kent State University. Traxx was the place to go to pick up a guy or for the struggling college kid to trade his wares for a few dollars. This was so alive and vibrant…the first bar I ever heard It’s Raining Men or Gloria…truly a home to me.

On The Beat [The B.B. & Q Band]—-Ridiculous and unnecessary!!!! What………………….?

Forget Me Nots [Patrice Rushen]—-This is another of those post-Disco songs that really helped to bring the Urban sound much more to the mind of the Pop Music listener. Although much of the 80’s seem to be concentrated on New Wave, remember the Hair Metal movement that carried over into the 90′. and beyond and how the R n B scene became much more present in the White culture. The burgeoning R N B climate in the mid 80’s to the early 80’s helped to introduce Rap…which would soon take over the World!!!! This all figures in…I think…..

Get Down On It [Kool & The Gang]—-This is one of those songs that you have always loved even of you did not remember who sang it. This is a nice blend of early 80’s Soul with the post-disco instrumentation that makes it Urban yet danceable as hell. This is magnificent…the funk is low and dirty…the synths nice and bright…you decide…..

It’s Raining Men [The Weather Girls]—-Just like You Make Me Feel by Sylvester,,,,just like I feel Love by Donna Summer….just like I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross…..just like Gloria by Laura Branigan….there are certain songs that are Gay Anthems….this is one of those songs. Performed by the two remaining members of Sylvester’s posse, Two Tons Of Fun, this came out of nowhere and dominated the crossover charts for weeks and weeks in 1983. This was played everywhere, this was sung everywhere and this was a favorite for a young guy coming out in college,,,,,a huge memory and still lots of fun

Last Night A  DJ Saved My Life [NDeep]—-This is true to the genre…including some really great deep funk beats and for the first time in my memory including some rap vocals on a dance track, this has long been a favorite of mine. The beat is delicious and the rap line is so melodic and syncopated that it is almost a natural part of the song…I love this!!!!!

I.O.U. [Freez]—-This is so steeped in 80’s synth pop and the growing R N B Dance craze brought about by the opening lens of MTV, this was much more a recognizable group in the video realm than the recording realm. This was made up od lots of handsome boys and pretty girls performing a song the never sang in their lives for miscellaneous cameras…..so goes the video age and manufactured music…a perfect example of music from the mid 90’s.

Give It Up [KC & The Sunshine Band]—-Seriously….this is the one KC song that I would just die to have on a deserted island. KC manages to deliver a really nice relaxed vocal that plays so well over the Island influenced  music…this is fantastic…I rarely gush over a single track….this is quality stuff….this sounds so great at this moment.

Change Of Heart [Change]—-This is NOT Disco…this is pre-New Wave synth sounds that only serve to tell you that there was a producer who really understood where music was going in the next 5 years. Perhaps this was a bit premature…waiting six months might have made all the difference for this band. This was timely but a bit premature…souding too much like the Rockwell and Jackson beats…the batter needed to rest a bit.

Fresh [Kool & The Gang]—-I don’t really care at this point how you classify this song…this is an all time favorite for me. I love the phrasing in this song as well as the heavy bass sound that is provided by by a nice synth beat as well as a nice funk guitar. The vocal is so comfortable…the phrasing is incredible and the feeling is sexy and fun..who could ever ask for more…this is a masterpiece of a song!

**** 1/2 out of 5

The Disco Box / Disc Three

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 310000008UTC 12 by marky7235

Disco Box

The Analysis:

Shake Your Groove Thing [Peaches & Herb]—-This husband and wife team managed to score a few top 40 hits..all inside the Disco genre and the top 40 pop genre. Although this is steeped with many of the classic characteristic Disco sounds, I more consider this to be a more Urban release than a simple Disco song. This has survived time and changes…and still sounds wonderfully fresh even today.

Y.M.C.A. {The Village People]—-This studio manufactured group has managed to outlast the disco era, the AIDS era and the general trend away from dance music with incredible energy. Still touring with different members, but the same energy, this is a mainstay of the memories of the excess and innuendo of the Disco movement. This is about as gay as you can get, but managed to capture the attention of the entire world…nuff said.

Le Freak [Chic]—-I hardly consider this song to be a Disco song per se…instead, this was a worldwide phenomenon that captured the music audience form edge of the world to the other. Chic…stteped in a rather deep bass funk sound managed to incorporate the waning Disco sound with the new invigorated Urban sound and created a hit that encapsulated Worldwide Domination. This is still fun and listening back to it now brings a huge feeling of euphoria and fun, This was not necessarily disco, but the beginning of a real Dance movement.

I Will Survive [Gloria Gaynor]—-Perhaps one of the defining songs of this entire genre, this song still plays incredibly well today and still manages to be relevant. Gaynor delivers a vocal that is just incredible…full of all the necessary emotion and mood…telling an actual story and in extended play delivers a dance rhythm that will keep you dancing for a nice 165 minutes or so. The piano adds to the depth of the song and the build up is magnificent. This is pure Disco…a song that still defines the genre and manages to stay alive despite it!

Livin’ It Up [Friday Night] [Bell & Jaymes]—-This is another of those miscellaneous jams that literally defines Disco. Steeped in  the full urban feel that also includes many of the Disco characteristics, this is still a really nice song to listen to. The orchestration that lies underneath the heavy synth beats must have been expensive to produce, but the result is another timeless classic.

Instant Replay [Dan Hartman]—-A classic song that has been remade numerous times since we lost Hartman to the AIDS crisis. This is superb…full of energy and a classic dance floor element that helped to define this moment in time. Hartman managed a really nice vocal that was so accessible…I miss that vibe…although Irather adore the version by Bros……Thanks Allan!!!!

You Make Me Feel [Mighty Real][Sylvester]—-Perhaps a defining movement in moving the whole disco movement into a Gay movement, Sylvester hit the scene with this song…combined with Patrick Crowley’s  synth lines to move the entire thing from the mainstream into a club thing. This song is so full of energy and enthusiasm…synth heavy and accentuated by the remarkable vocal of Sylvester…you will remember this forever.

I Want Your Love [Chic]—-Another of those songs that really served as a crossover hit on the American charts, Chic set a standard and never faltered from their vision. Nile Rodgers and his bass became a trademark for many of the future Urban bands that were to come after this masterful song. This is brilliance and the standout fact is how wonderful it sounds to me now…all of these years later.

Knock On Wood [Amii Stewart]—-I almost had forgotten about this song until it surfaced on this compilation. Stewart had a magnificent voice that seemed really out-of-place in the Disco movement but found a wonderful home in this song. This is brilliant…the synths, the energy and the vocal all add up to a bona fide hit!!!

Disco Nights [Rock Freak] [GQ]—-Joyful, spirited and full of every Disco synth that you could find, this is a sure listen if you are seeking nostalgia. The vocal is so smooth and full of funk that you are sucked in from the onset. When the whole group joins in on the vocal, you are lost in the wonderful enveloping of the song. This is magnificent…a pure lost classic.

Love & Desire Pt. I [Arpeggio]—-For me, this falls into that cliché  sound of 70’s Disco…full of gang vocals that trade back and forth from male to female…without ever going anywhere. To me this was a waste of time…the female vocal is downright annoying.

He’s The Greatest Dancer [Sister Sledge]—-Really one of the first all girl groups…later they would  permeate the 80’s sound, Sister sledge had that nice combination of funk and disco that plated very well on FM radio. This still sounds fairly fresh today…all of these years on. This  reminds of so many things…mnost of them really good…thanks to you Sister Sledge!

Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now [McFadden & Whitehead]—-One of my very favorite songs from this genre, this track includes classic Disco sounds and swirls with a feel good music that took over the airwaves in the early 80’s before New Wave became the phenomenon. This is full of breaks and rhythms that would later permeate our musical history. This still sounds as remarkable to me now as it did when I first heard it!

Ring My Bell [Anita Ward]—-Distinguished my the mechanical bell sound…supplied by a drum program and a remarkable less than conventional vocal, Ward scored a HUGE hit with this song. It still sounds magical and fun to me…this is Disco personified!

Bad Girls [Donna Summer]—-By the time this single emerged, Summer and moroder were the King and Queen of disco music…this only further cemented the reputation as the duo produced yet another single that was full of sexual innuendoes and a classic synth line that would define the careers of these artists. this is classic, unforgettable and comfortable.

Born To Be Alive [Patrick Hernandez]—-This song is so full of classic disco sounds…the song travels at an amazing speed. The sentiment that is displayed in the lyrics makes this song one of the most powerful Gay Anthems that has ever been recorded…I find it a bit distressing that it has been forgotten so easily. This should be blaring from the stereos of every State Legislature as we battle for HIV funding and marriage rights…this is a true anthem!!!!

Good Times [Chic]—-Yet  another song that I personally don’t think belongs in the whole disco genre, this song capitalized on the burgeoning funk movement of the early 80’s, Chic appealed to mass audiences everywhere…not just those who were dancing at Studio 54 style clubs. This is slow, seductive and displayed mass appeal…perhaps displaying the genius of Nile Rodgers and his staying power in the stream of popular music.

Don’t You Want My Love [Debbie Jacobs]—-This is nice and fast….Sylvester type fast disco…full of low and seductive lyrics and a fun sexy style that inspires hedonism and abandon. The vocal is classic…full of back drop singers that beef up the feel of the song and adds layers of sexiness to the already seductive feel of the song. The synth swirls around your head and brings a euphoria you thought impossible…the true mission of Disco Music!!!

H.A.P.P.Y R.A.D.I.O [Edwin Starr]—-This is just slop……..

 I Shoulda Loved You [ Michael Narada Walton]—-A name that turned up in the later 80’s as a production credit, Narada delivers a song that is steeped in classic funk/disco sounds that played very well in the later part of the 70’s after the crowds began to abandon the dance floors of Club 54 in search for a more real Urban sound…Narada delivered this with a playfulness that still appealed to the Disco mad audience that DID NOY burn their records at the infamous I HATE DISCO  rally.

We Are Family [Sister Sledge]—-This is a true anthem for the Gay community that still plays very well and pronounced at rallies to this very day. this speaks of unity and the need to come together ad one…you cannot deny the underlying meaning of the song…tis was meant as a battle cry…one that we need to shout to this day!!!!

**** out of 5

The Disco Box [Disc Two]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 300000008UTC 12 by marky7235

Disco Box

[Shake Shake Shake] Shake Your Booty [KC & The Sunshine Band]—-Things seldom change…I like this band no more on this disc than I did on the last. This is just to extended. The lyrics are constantly repeated and the horn section plays with such wild abandon that it gives me a headache.

Get Up And Boogie [The Silver Convention]—-Defying the one hit wonder curse, this group makes the second appearance on this retrospective with a track that was larger and better than the first. This is brilliant…the strings that run through the song march up with the deep bass funk so well. This is a nice romp through excess and wild abandon.

A Fifth Of Beethoven [Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band]—-Perhaps one of the best known disco Instrumentals ever made, this song is still instantly recognizable to people when they hear it. It helped to start a revolution…in my opinion. with out this song you would have never had the cheesy Stars On Long Play. This is masterful…the dance synths are all over the place and you find yourself wanting to jump out of your seat. Magnificent memories.

Play That Funky Music [Wild Cherry]—-Not really what I consider to be a true Disco song, this was more one of the founding funk songs of the 70’s…this helped bring ethnic music more to the forefront. the bass heavy and laid back relaxed feel of the song still sounds remarkable as i listen to it now. This is a true slice of American Pie…this is not Disco!!!

Car Wash [Rose Royce]—-Really one of the true signature songs of this genre’, this helped to move the Disco movement from the dance floor into the Top 40. I believe this was also on the soundtrack from Thank God It’s Friday…this is magnificent. The track has that swirling synth sound and a nice seductive female vocal on the refrain…off set by the gruff sounds of the rest of the band on the chorus. This is magical.

Don’t Leave Me This Way [Thelma Houston]—-A magical piece of music that has survived for almost 40 years without any problem. Walk into any gay bar on a Fri or Sat and you are sure to hear this blaring from the speakers at one point or the other. Houston delivers a strong as hell vocal full of emotion and set to music that you can dance to. this is magnificent…setting up drag queens for success all over the world for years to come.

The Best Disco In Town [The Ritchie Family]—-This is a track that I am really not that familiar with. This seems like one of those huge studio manipulated and created groups that were cashing in on the whole disco movement. This is not bad, nor is it stellar…this is acceptable and danceable as hell.

Disco Inferno [The Trammps]—-Groups like The Trammps fully embraced the disco movement and managed to cash in on them big time. This is a huge anthem that still is played around in clubs today and sampled by huge modern-day artists. This is one of those tracks that defined this genre…swirling synth beats, huge bass, intermittent horns and gang vocals that brought about a loss of composure and made you dance your ass off.

Boogie Nights [Heatwave]—-This is literally full of swirling synths before the masterful funk riffs kick in. this is another of those songs that fall much more into the funk realm than the disco sound. although you can dance to this, this was a big part of the emerging Urban music landscape that would become very popular in the later part of the 70’s decade. This is fantastic!

I Feel Love [Donna Summer]—-Perhaps the one song and the one artist that truly defines the disco movement, Summer along with the mastery of Giorgio Moroder helped to create a movement. this took the funk tinged Disco song and made it into a true dance floor phenomenon. This is a true piece of history. The Moroder synths still play remarkably well today and Summer is still cranking out great music all of these years later. This is historical.

Keep It Comin’ Love [KC & The Sunshine Band]—-Not sure what it is about all of the KC stuff on this boxset…to me it all sounds the same….next……

Dance With Me [Betty Wright/Peter Brown]—-Not really recognizing this track from the title, it was rather familiar once i heard it. this is magnificent…alluding that all of your problems will be forgotten if you just hop on the dance floor and move…perhaps this led to the cocaine decadence of the decade. This has a nice funk element to it, but the swirling synths put it right into the realm of disco without a problem. This is really nice.

Everybody Dance [Chic]—-One of the defining bands that survived the Disco era and still managed to garner hits afterwards, Chic is a landmark and groundbreaking group of the late 70’s and early 80’s. this is a nice combination of guitar oriented dance music that includes programmed synths and a gang style vocal that makes you feel good no matter what is going on in your life. This is magnificent!

Shame [Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King]—-This has always been one of my favorite songs from this time period and I was really amazed back in the early 90’s when the quasi-rap group Kriss Kross sampled this track. This is empowering…fun and full of beats that you can both dance to and relate to. I would love it if this were in the extended version, but this will do for now. This is a great memory for me…combining both Disco sounds as well as cross over Urban sounds…this is still wonderful.

Boogie Oogie Oogie [A Taste Of Honey]—-Another defining track from this genre, this is true Disco to me. the synths sworl…the guitars are bass heavy and the laden beat is all over the song. the vocal is a classic example of studio session players put together in a big room with lyrics and lots of jam time…sometimes you get this as a result. this is delicious…full of every single cliché of the genre that you could hope for. This is just classic!

Gett Off [Foxy]—-I really am not familiar with this track….but let me tell you that it is great fun. Featuring some nice manipulated lyrics and a heavy funk beat, this is wonderful. The chorus and the refrain are composed of a nice set of session singers that sound huge….this ooh,ooh,ooh’s became a trademark in the early pot-disco 80’s dance songs…this is classic. I love this shit.

I Love The Nightlife/Disco ‘Round [Alicia Bridges]—-I just love this chicks voice!!! There is a certain hoarse quality that runs through the entire thing that gives it a level od seductiveness that you cannot ignore. The mucis is organ heavy and the swirls are less obvious…sounding like there are more real instruments on this track. I never, ever get tired of hearing this song. This for me. is a defining moment in the history of this genre…this is pure and less manipulated and studio generated. Truly a favorite….GUSH!!!!

In the Bush [Musique]—-Produced with session singers and a heavily manufactured beat, this is still a favorite of mine. I love the energy and all of the sexual overtones…I’m sure this set the floor on fire at Studio 54 in the late 70’s when people were living with abandon and carefree. This is a pure piece of history…perhaps the Museums should have a room dedicated to this phenomenon….this was a movement.

Hot Shot [Karen Young]—-To me…..for me…..this is crap!!!!

Got To Be Real [Cheryl Lynn]—-Another of those classic songs that still manages to grace the playlist of many DJ’s to this day. I love the way she phrases her words…that is where the magic is for me. Despite the simple fact that she can really belt out a nice note here and there. The way she drags out her words makes this song more seductive than it was meant to be…this is masterful.

**** out of 5

The Disco Box [Disc One]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 300000008UTC 12 by marky7235

Disco Box

Disco is a genre of dance music whose popularity peaked during the middle to late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, gay, psychedelic and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Disco was a reaction by New York City’s gays as well as black and Latino heterosexuals against both the domination of rock music and the demonization of dance music by the counterculture during this period. Women embraced disco as well, and the music eventually expanded to several other popular groups of the time.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] In what is considered a forerunner to disco style clubs, in February 1970, the New York City DJ David Mancuso opened The Loft, a members-only private dance club set in his own home.[18][19] Most agree that the first disco songs were released in 1973, though some claim Manu Dibango‘s 1972 “Soul Makossa” was the first disco record.[6] The first article about disco was written in September 1973 by Vince Aletti for Rolling Stone Magazine.[20][21] In 1974 New York City’s WPIX-FM premiered the first disco radio show.[22]

Musical influences include funk, Latin and soul music. The disco sound has soaring, often reverberated vocals over a steady “four-on-the-floor” beat, an eighth note (quaver) or sixteenth note (semi-quaver) hi-hat pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat, and a prominent, syncopated electric bass line sometimes consisting of octaves. The Fender Jazz Bass is often associated with disco bass lines, because the instrument itself has a very prominent ‘voice’ in the musical mix. In most disco tracks, strings, horns, electric pianos, and electric guitars create a lush background sound. Orchestral instruments such as the flute are often used for solo melodies, and unlike in rock, lead guitar is rarely used.

Well-known late 1970s disco performers included Donna Summer, Amanda Lear, The Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, Chic, and The Jacksons. Summer would become the first well-known and most popular disco artist, giving her the title ‘The Queen of Disco’, and also played a part in pioneering the electronic sound that later became a part of disco (see below). While performers and singers garnered the lion’s share of public attention, the behind-the-scenes producers played an equal, if not more important role in disco, since they often usually wrote the songs and created the innovative sounds and production techniques that were part of the “disco sound”.[23] Many non-disco artists recorded disco songs at the height of disco’s popularity, and films such as Saturday Night Fever and Thank God It’s Friday contributed to disco’s rise in mainstream popularity.

According to music writer Piero Scaruffi the disco phenomenon spread quickly because the “collective ecstasy” of disco was cathartic and regenerative and led to freedom of expression.[11] Disco was the last mass popular music movement that was driven by the baby boom generation.[24]

An angry backlash against disco music and culture emerged in the United States, hitting its peak with the July 1979 Disco Demolition Night riot. While the popularity of disco in the United States declined markedly as a result of the backlash, the genre continued to be popular elsewhere during the 1980s.

Because the term “disco” became unfashionable at the start of the 1980s it was replaced by “dance music” and “dance pop” which described music powered by the basic disco beat.[25] In the decades since, dance clubs have remained highly popular, and the disco beat has informed the sound of many of music’s biggest stars. Disco has been influential on several dance music genres that have emerged since, such as House, Nu-Disco, Hi-NRG, Italo Disco, Eurodisco, Disco-Funk and Latin Freestyle.

The Analysis:

Love’s Theme [Love Unlimited Orchestra]—-Although the title to this gem may not ring bells with many people, this is perhaps one of the most familiar disco oriented singles to ever be released. with lush arrangements and the type of beat that screamed Disco, this makes you feel immediately warm and nostalgic. Make no bones about it…disco is alive and well, they just call it by different names now. this is incredible. After all, this WAS written by Barry White!

Dancing Machine [The Jackson 5]—–One of the defining singles from The Jackson brothers, this was clearly a nice cross over hit that opened up this family to a whole new pack of listeners. Taking them from their urban, Motown setting and landing them on the dance floors of NYC, the Brothers delivered a track that fit the mood and the energy of the newly minted dance scene known as Disco…which knew no color or boundry…people just wanted to dance…this song allowed them to do so.

Rock The Boat [Hues Corporation]—-Although I never really considered this song to really be what you would call a bona fide Disco hit, this reminds me of certain parts of my childhood that revolved around the burgeoning world of FM radio and the feel good sounds of Summer. The horns on this track are incredible and the whole Disco vibe is alive and well I must admit…listening back to it now. This was an incredible song and still really plays well today.

Honeybee [Gloria Gaynor]—-One of the Queens of the disco era, Gaynor found a home in the Disco community and had a very difficult time finding her way back out. This track, full of annoying synth sounds, finds Gaynor delivering seductive vocals over a huge pulsating beat that reminds me of the very early days of my Gay life…this is classic stuff…full of backdrop singers that beef up the vocal and gives you the feeling of complete abandon as you hit the dance floor. Full of subtle sexual overtones, this is classic Disco!!!

Doctor’s Orders [Carol Douglas]—-One of the 100’s of generic vocalist that cashed in on the disco era money machine, this is just classic. The melody that runs through this song is so damn addictive…the sentiment is the same…he left me, come back and dance with me. This is wonderful…full of that danceable orchestration with a nice manufactured vocal that is addictive and sticks in your brain for hours. Wonderful!!!

Get Dancin’ [Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes featuring Sir Monti Rock III]—-Heavy on horns and bass [SURPRISE], this really has never made much of an impression on me. This is a studio manufactured band that cashed in on the need for extended 12″ singles to fill the dance floor. I suppose that it worked at the time, but to me this is a dismal waste of recording.

Shame, Shame, Shame [Shirley & Company]—-This has that wonderful sound that makes you think right away of Diana Ross…the vocal is clearly aimed at that crowd. The energy is lackluster and the chorus really never develops the way I wanted it to. None the less, the recipe was well executed…combining a nice male.female trade off…the funk is a little too heavy for me though.

Never Can Say Goodbye [Gloria Gaynor]—-One of the first Divas to deliver this song, it is not one of my favorites, but you can not deny the power of this womans voice. the song is a classic…even today. Some things live on and on, regardless of the stigma…this is one of those songs. Delivered in the age before HIV/AIDS, the NY scene was full of abandon and fun…drug use and casual sex…this makes me yearn for the old days…but only a bit. This is a classic….never gets old for me.

Get Down Tonite [KC & The Sunshine Band]—-I must admit, I have never been a big fan of this band. All of the horns and extended jam sessions somewhat alienated me from embracing them fully. The amazing thing, is the longevity of this band. KC still tours with his band, in one incarnation or another, to this day and still draws impressive crowds. This is a memory, but one that I could live without.

The Hustle [Van McCoy & The Soul City Orchestra]—-This is one of those magical tracks that really helped to define this entire genre…the sound is steeped in a natural soul feel that is set up against a slow shuffling beat that inspired groups to dance together….heralding in more forms of the Electric Slide. This is great fun and still….when listening to this now you will not be able to prevent yourself from moving you feet, head or entire body.

It Only Takes A Minute [Tavares]—-Steeped in classic Disco synths, this also pays a nice homage to the burgeoning R n B scene that was happening at the time. This is so smooth and classy, the horns are present but understated and the track has a nice variety of vocalists. The chorus is this huge affair that makes you feel happy and care free…I love this stuff…this is classic!

Fly, Robin, Fly [The Silver Convention]—-Another really quality release that could be heard on FM radio everywhere at the time of its release. Although many of these groups were what in the 80’s became known as one hit wonders, this group left an indelible mark on the history of Disco. This can be heard at Disco Parties all over the world at any given time. The bass os fantastic and the female vocals are peppered with synth strings and an easy beat that you could lose yourself in with only a moments listen.

I’m On Fire [5000 Watts]—-I really can’t ever recall hearing this song before I came upon this compilation. The vocal is acceptable but really does not stand out. for me, the remarkable part of this song is the speed of the whole damn thing. This travels well at 150 BPM’s…maybe even more. The pace is incredible and I find it hard to believe that many people were actually dancing to this.

Love Machine Pt. II [The Miracles]—-Another of those classic songs that helped to define this entire genre’. The vocal is so damn smooth while the backdrop of the music seems to defy the relaxed delivery of the vocal. The whole group joins in on the chorus and the synth swells envelope you and you are swept up in the remarkable energy. This is exquisite!

You Sexy Thing [Hot Chocolate]—-This is pure funk…plain and simple. Although the backdrop of the song has a nice danceable beat, the vocal is delivered in that classic deep funk full of sexiness and innuendo. This is pure magic…it is amazing to me how great the song sounds all of these years later. This is superb.

Boogie Fever [The Sylvers]—-This song is loaded with cliché’ disco songs from every corner. Combining a nice form of sex, funk and story telling, this is amped up further by bass and a beat that is easy to get lost in. This is the quintessential Disco classic…it is hard to forget this one…or the Sylvers who managed to score a number of hits during the Disco era.

That’s The Way [I Like It] [KC & The Sunshine Band]—-Continuing his reign as one of the only cross over White artist to really score big during the disco era, KC delivers another track that still is alive and well in 2010…who could have imagined? There must be some quality to this slop that I am missing, but this band just gets on my nerves….next!

More, More, More Pt. I [Andrea True Connection]—-Porn vixen Andrea True scored a huge hit with this sex laden track that leaves little to the imagination, but gives you lots to dance to. The track is so full of overt sexual innuendos you can’t help but get lost in the seductiveness of the whole thing. The voice is breathy and seductive and the beat reeks of sex…magnificent!

Young Hearts Run Free [Candi Stanton]—-With the pre-requisite horns all over the song from the very onset, Stanton made a huge splash with this track…she was much bigger overseas than here, but this played well on the floors of America. The vocal is not incredibly spectacular, but contains a soulfullness that gets into your head and stays there…long before Divas felt the need to scream and holler. This is smooth as silk and plays as well.

Turn The Beat Around [Vicki Sue Robinson]—-A bona fide smash from this time period, Robinson still tours on the power of this song alone…as well as having it covered by Mega-Star Gloria Estafan. This plays really well today…combining a nice Cuban beat with that classic horn section that was everywhere in the disco age. This is truly a defining moment in the era.

**** out of 5

Soulfly / Omen

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 280000008UTC 12 by marky7235

Omen

Soulfly are an American heavy metal band formed in 1997. Soulfly are led by former Sepultura guitarist and frontman Max Cavalera, who formed the band after he left the Brazilian group in 1996. The band has released seven studio albums, one tour EP, several singles, and one DVD video. Their seventh album Omen was released on May 25, 2010.[4].

Soulfly incorporate many styles of metal with Brazilian tribal and world music. The band has had all six of their studio albums debut on the United States Billboard 200, with a peak position at number 32 for their second album, Primitive.[5] Their debut album, Soulfly, has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.[6]

The band has gone through numerous line-up changes, with the most recent loss being bassist Bobby Burns, who is currently being filled in for by Cavalera Conspiracy bassist Johny Chow.

The Analysis:

Bloodbath & Beyond—-Barely giving you a second to prepare yourself, the pummeling begin with in the first seconds of the release. This is nice…aggressive and full of a really great drum track, the guitars are a bit pushed to the back of the mix, but the aggression suffers none from that fact. the vocal is gritty and demonic…driven and delivered with a nice sense of purpose. This is stellar.

Rise Of The Fallen—-With a much more pronounced melody line and some nice synth sounds, this song is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The brutality of the band suffers little from the melody thanks to the driven and powerful vocal. This has a nice chorus that inspires risen blood pressure and an enthusiasm I can’t control. This is incredible.

Great Depression—-Again, jumping right into the brutality that is familiar with this band, the vocal is pure spitting and vehemence. This is still loaded with a nice melody line that runs through the song and some nice musical and vocal breaks that make me think of fear factory. This is incredible…I love the slight static that runs through the underbelly of the song…giving it a sound different from anything else of the release. This is great!!!

Lethal Injection—-For me, this is Slayer quality music….the sentiment is just as brutal as anything the iconic band has displayed in recent years. The vocal is remarkable…delivered with a slight disgust and power that sucks you right in. This is still very melodic and carries an immense bass line. I love this stuff…you can’t deny the talent or the brutality…7 releases in, this band just gets better and better.

Kingdom—-Again, from the very onset this has a nice sense of melody and chord changes that keep your attention. Once more I impressed by the drums on this track and wonder why drummers in bands do not get the kind of attention that they deserve. The track has a huge bass line that runs through the entire duration of the song…this is tremendous…delivered with an energy that never ceases and an integrity that speaks for the bands love of this music.

Jeffery Dahmer—-Like Macbre, Soulfly finds it necessary to deliver a tribute to the serial killer from chicago. This is a pure and intense delivery…reminding us if the sickness and the mass hysteria that he produced during his killing spree. This is pretty great though…delivered with an intensity that runs through the entire song and examines the masterful way that this man entranced his victims before destroying them for his own perverse reasons. A nice reminder to be wary of strangers!!!

Off With Their Heads—-This is nicely melodic, but rather simplistic as far as lyrics go. even the band seems to be missing through some of this song. When given the chance to really play, the band comes through though. The bass delivery is fantastic, but this seems like just filler to me.

Vulture Culture—-Coming at you through one headphone for the first dew seconds, the band kicks in and literally kicks your ass. the lyrics are those kind that makes a huge arena crowd go crazy…hands in the air and the mosh pit 15 people deep. This is aggressive, but when the leads kick in with the bass guitar, you have a classic Maiden sounding track that takes you back to the early days of the band. You worry about the vocal…begging him to clear his throat before he has no voice left…istead the brutality continues…leaving you exhausted by the end of the track. Incredible!

Mega-Doom—- Coming out of your speakers and growing louder and louder, the song finally hits a pace with a nice melodic lead and drums that seem to be pushed to the front of the mix. this is nice…aggressive but delivering a fairly accessible sound. The song is accentuated with bit and pieces of soundbites that make things more interesting…meanwhile the vocal continues on as brutal as ever. The song has some really nice musical changes…speeding up and slowing down at what seems like a moments notice…this is well practised band and it shows.

Counter Sabotage—-Delivered in a nice gang style vocal that will make crowds go crazy all overt the world, this was built for those arenas where mosh pits and smashing reign supreme. The vocal is delivered with an intensity that inspires aggression and violence…who in the hell could ask for more. This is superb.

Soulfly VII—-Rounding out the release with the trademark instrumental, the band is able to show exactly what they can do. This is a nice study in magnificent musicianship…the song at times has an almost jazz style to it…at other times it opens up into an almost adult contemporary style that would be accessible on any AOR FM station. This is superb…I could not dislike this even if I tried…this only shows the true talent of the band….magnificent!!!

**** out of 5

Jorn / Dio

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 280000008UTC 12 by marky7235

DioJørn Lande is a Norwegian rock singer who has sold over 2 million records world wide.

Dio is the seventh studio album by Norwegian rock singer Jørn Lande, (released under his stagename Jorn) released in July 2010. The album was recorded as a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio and consists of covers of songs from Dio, Black Sabbath and Rainbow, with one original composition written for Ronnie James Dio. Lande describes the album as a “fine collection of songs that present the music of the Man and the Artist, with a unique twist” and a “sincere and heartfelt “thank you” to a great and influential Artist” who “has affected my life and career in such a way that without his presence, I would not have become the artist I am today”.[1] A music video for the song “Song for Ronnie James” was released on Youtube. [2] The announcement of the album didn’t pass off without critique however, as some fans accused Lande of exploiting the death of Dio. [3] Frontiers Records President released a statement in which he denies those accusations and explains that the albums has been in the works since spring of 2009.

The Analysis:

Song For Ronnie James—-Coming from the quiet with an ominous hum, the song comes to further fruition in a nice quiet acoustic manner as the introduction further develops. The voice enters…sounding rather sedate and remarkably American. The track is not one spawned of joy or energy, but rather a true sadness seems to pervade through the entire composition. When the electricity does enter the song, it is overblown and delivered with almost trademark Dio guitar chords and energy. Jorn makes numerous references to song titles and lyrics…but through the entire 8 minutes of this tribute, I become convinced that this guy just adored Ronnie…this is nice, heartfelt and feels real to me.

Invisible—-Between the remarkable similarities in voice and the great musicianship, this song is pretty much true to form. I think I could almost play this for my friends and they would not really realize who this was singing. There are times when the voice does not quite reach the effortless apex, but for the most part, it is obvious, that this man has studied the music of Ronnie and truly appreciates it. This is pretty great.

Shame On The Night—-Long one of my favorite Dio tracks, I was very interested to hear this. I was not disappointed…this is true to form and the uncanny resemblance is remarkable. The music is spot on…even at times appearing to me almost more powerful than Ronnie’s own band. This is orchestrated and overblown…just the way I like my Metal. Superb.

Push—-The beginning of this track is so muscular and mighty that I was blown away. I feel the need to investigate this guys music some more…just based on this release alone. The vocal is great…the range is nice..although the histrionics are kept to a minimum, the range and the tone are outstanding. I remain very impressed by this release. A fitting tribute to a giant.

Stand Up And Shout—-This even retains that older 80’s Metal mentality without a fault. The vocal is so energetic and pumped up that you question at times whether this is Ronnie. This is tremendous….the energy of the music takes over your entire being as you relive your favorite Ronnie live moment in your mind’s eye. This is just fantastic….as good as the original.

Don’t Talk To Strangers—-Another very favorite song of mine, this is again heavily steeped in that classic 80’s Metal sound. The intro is fantastic although the vocal falters a bit for me. The wind sounds and the swirling guitars are fantastic…when Jorn finally lets loose with his best Dio shout it is pretty impressive….as the song opens up you are impressed once again. This band of his is pretty damn tight…the precision is pretty impressive. I have yet to be disappointed by this release. Let the naysayers state what they will….I love this.

Lord Of The Last Day—-Fantastic…that deep sludge is reproduced masterfully…the bass is fantastic and the drawn out words on the vocal fits that Sabbath sound remarkably well. This is impressive all the way around…the drums are stellar on this track as are the soaring leads that rise up above the heavy bass delivery. This is great!

Night People—-Again,  I am impressed by the love and the care that was taken in reproducing most of these songs. I truly believe that Jorn idolized this little giant. This is heartfelt and delivered with every ounce of integrity that I feel this man has in his body. This is fantastic…the music is even a bit more aggressive than the original, taking you back to the time when you played air guitar in your bedroom with abandon to your heroes. This is a huge and heartfelt tribute.

Sacred Heart—-Another favorite song of mine that never got the appreciation or adulation that it deserved. This is tremendous…bringing back all sorts of memories for me. The rendition is true to form on almost every note…only allowing you to remember and appreciate. This is wonderful…causing me to go in search of this release so I can hear the original again and again throughout the afternoon. Great!!!

Sunset Superman—-Yet another of those songs that never got the attention that is deserved all those years ago when it was released. This song, for me, is huge. The guitar intro is just classic Dio style music…the shout that comes from Jorn is spot on and the ensuing song is a nice reminder of how much I loved this song. This is classic stuff…reminding me of all of the quality stuff Dio produced that people never paid attention to….shame on you!!!

Lonely Is The Word/Letters From Earth—-Electric and full of that classic Dio way of writing music, this is deep and ponderous. I love the true to form delivery of the vocal…the mood carries a nice air of mysticism and mood…this is wonderful. The chorus is magnificent…te added keyboards that add the synth sounds of space are nice and I truly feel that Ronnie would nod his approval at this release. We miss you so much Ronnie!!!

Kill the King—-Coming through your speakers with a remarkable sense of mood, it is only seconds before the music kicks in and knocks you on your ass. the drums on this track are absolute and fantastic. This song is even larger than the original…traveling at a speed that is pretty impressive. I am just blown away by the truism that makes up this release…this is superb…I don’t care what anyone else thinks.

Straight Through The Heart—-Delivered in a live setting, this song suffers a bit because of that. The sound and the production lacks a bit in clarity and timbre. but overall, this only goes to show you that this guy is well versed in Dio-ism and truly considered him to be a personal hero. This is fantastic…depite the deep recording sound. Overall…this is a pretty damn good release.

**** 3/4 out of 5

Misfits / Collection 2

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 260000008UTC 12 by marky7235

Collection 2

The Analysis:

We Are 138—-A landmark moment in the career of this band a favorite song among Misfit fans everywhere, this song is a bit more pared down as far as speed of delivery goes, but the clear production quality is a nice rarity and the vocal is so familiar and comfortable. This is classic stuff. Shame on me for asking…”What’s 138 mean?” LMAO!!!

Attitude—-Again, the production quality on this song is so good…the vocal is not much different from the things that Glenn is turning out now. This is brief and freakin’ energetic as hell. Danzig sounds so clear and almost possessed with his vocal delivery. This is much more upfront Punk rock…the type that inspired crowds to go insane at live shows…this is exquisite.

Cough/Cool—-Another of those songs that I count as my favorites in this bands catalog, the music is much slower and delivered with a deep sound that reminds me of current day Danzig. I love the darker edge to the music…the slower pace of the song allows you to really concentrate of the wonderful instrumentation that this band was capable of producing. This is fantastic!!!

Last Caress—-One of the most famous of this bands songs, Danzig delivers a vocal that is full of graphic and vivid lyrics. The music is pared down to a slower pace, but never loses any of the intensity that the band is known for. This is classic stuff and still remains a very favorite of mine and Misfit fans everywhere.

Return Of The Fly—-This is nice…the music is layered and delivered with a really nice energy…but it is clear..as the progression of the band developed that Glenn was leading the direction of the sound and pace of the band. It seems to me that the music became secondary to the vocal and the vocal presence. The band does join in on the chorus a bit, but overall the melody is provided by Glenn alone.

Children In Heat—-This is much fuzzier and delivered with a faster and dirtier sound. Danzig seems pushed to the back of the mix…the guitars are really loud on this track…the music is energetic as hell and that remarkable melody runs through the entire song. This is superb!

Rat Fink—-This is so deep in sound and so poorly recorded that you lose almost half of the song due to the deep sound of the recording. You hear the drums and the voice and that is about it…the guitars seem to be missing almost all together. None the less, you recognize the wonderful melody and the gang style vocal that turns this into a nice barn burner despite the sound quality.

Horror Hotel—-This is great!!! The sound is much better and the track has a live quality to it that you can not ignore. The energy is fantastic and the vocal is outstanding..I just love Glenn Danzig…that voice is one for the history books. Just remarkable….and the energy….contagious as hell.

Halloween—-Perhaps one of the band’s trademark songs, this version is remarkable. It is raw as hell…but the deep baritone of Danzig is kept well in place…showing you just how good he was at live recording. The music is blistering fast and the guitars are loaded with tons of fuzz. the chorus is magnificent and still gives me goosebumps.

Halloween II—-Not really necessary, but i guess it is important in the history of the band…especially for the completest fans. This version is so poorly recorded that you barely catch a single word that is uttered except for the repetitive chorus that is a copy cat of the original version. this is nice to have, but something that I usually skip over.

Hate Breeders—- Ahhhh….my favorite!!! Have you heard the Hatebreed cover of this song…they take things to a whole new level and you must check it out…you know where the true inspiration came from after hearing this original. This is pure, unadulterated Punk rock…delivered by some of the masters of the genre. I love every single second of this song…no negatives….ZERO!!!

 Braineaters—-This is energetic as I don’t know what. There is a certain element of humor included on this track, reminding the fan that this band had a fun side to them as well. This is fast…I love the drum track and the whole band joins in on this 59 second song that still has a beginning…a middle and an end…believe it or not!

Nike-A-Go-Go—-This is so muddled and full of bad production sound, that you lose much of the energy of the song. Glenn does deliver a pretty stellar vocal though…this has a true Punk element that shines through the deep and dank part of the song. this is nice, I just wish it were recorded with a bit more clarity.

Devil’s Whorehouse—-With a much clearer production quality, this is classic Danzig as far as I’m concerned. the music, although fast paced still reminds me of stuff that you hear being released by this guy these days. This is steeped much more in dark imagery and evil overtones rather than the playful Punk that started with the band.  The shape of thing to come!

Mephisto Waltz—-Returning to the fast paced Punk rock element, and the trade-off of vocals that provide that certain energy, the song is nice, but still just remains a blip on the radar as far as this bands catalog goes. This is nice for the energy and the rather manic vocal…the guitars shine mid way through but the sound is a bit to muffled for me.

We Bite—-This is FANTASTIC!!! Delivering a track that makes me think of Suicidal Tendencies, this is so metallic and fast that there is no way you can keep up with the pace of the song. Danzig barely does!!! This is so energetic that i am typing standing up…there is no way you can stay in your seat during this song!!!!

Queen Wasp—-this is full of guitar static and energy. Glenn sings at such a fast pace you find yourself exhausted by the time the mid way of the song happens. I still am amazed that everyone remembered where they were and what song they were playing…this is true Punk Rock!!!

Demonomania—-Clocking in at just 45 seconds, this is a mish mash of sound, speed and dementia. Classic misfits…..nuff said!

Hellhound—-This is so aggressive and noisy that I had to listen to it 3 times before I could continue on. Danzig has a vocal that is a bit muffled, but it allows the barrage of music to hit you right in the center of your forehead. This is layered and delivered with such energy…whew!!!!

Bloodfeast—-This is just classic Danzig stuff…it is no wonder that he moved on from this band…his lyrics and ideas were out maturing the band and he need to go to do as he wished. This is a clear example of the stuff that he would go on to do…masterful, dark and layered with a certain evil twist…this is history!!!

**** 1/2 out of 5