Disco Discharge - American Hot
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Disco Discharge is back! The highly acclaimed series returns for its fourth set of releases throughout March, April and May to once again lift the spirits and provide a perfect Disco soundtrack to spring 2012! As usual the winning combination of ace compiler Mr Pinks is accompanied by expert Disco commentator Alan Jones. A deadly combination with a proven track record!
We kick off with another strong volume of American Disco which once again features 2 CD’s worth of difficult to find and in-demand Disco classics all in their original full-length glory and re-mastered to perfection.
As per usual the enigmatic Mr Pinks aka David Akerman is on compiling duties and he has once again trawled numerous catalogues to hand-pick those elusive gems which are currently either underground faves or ridiculously expensive collectors items. Thus we have such gems as the Brothers’ early Warren Schatz produced classic “Are You Ready For This”, Herbie Mann’s much sought after “Superman”, Tony Orlando’s impossible to find “Don’t Let Go”, Slick’s pulsating “Sexy Cream”, Saturday Night Band’s Prelude classic “Touch Me On My Hot Spot”, Dennis Parker’s dreamy “New York By Night”, Ultimate’s “Love Is The Ultimate Medley” and Sylvester featuring Patrick Cowley’s piece-de-resistance “I Need Somebody To Love Tonight”.
Mainstream stars are also included with classics from the Ritchie Family, Randy Crawford, Andrea True Connection, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin and Donald Byrd.
Expect immediate demand as the existing 12 releases in the Disco Discharge series have now all become catalogue staples and are consistently in-demand. Disco Discharge is now the most consistently-selling premier Disco series in the world, so make sure you keep the whole catalogue in stock!
|| ||Love For The Sake Of Love (Tom Moulton Mix) 7.43|
|| ||Are You Ready For This (Original 7” Mix) 3.23|
|| ||Last Night In Danceland (Original Album Version) 4.53|
|| ||Superman (Original 12” Mix) 5.32|
|| ||Don’t Let Go (Original 12” Mix) 8.53|
|| ||American Generation (Original 12” Mix) 6.35|
The Ritchie Family
|| ||Sexy Cream (Original 12” Version) 6.42|
|| ||Love Is The Ultimate Medley (Original 12” Mix) 8.12|
|| ||Think It Over (Original 12” Mix) 6.00|
|| ||Snapshot (Original 12” Mix) 7.58|
|| ||I Don’t Wanna Dance Tonight (Original 12” Mix) 5.51|
|| ||I Need Somebody To Love Tonight (Original 12” Mix) 6.38|
Sylvester feat. Patrick Cowley
|| ||Fill Me Up (Heart To Heart) (Tom Moulton Mix) 10.03|
Andrea True Connection
|| ||Me On My Hot Spot (Original Album Version) 13.36|
Saturday Night Band
|| ||New York By Night (Original Album Version) 5.07|
|| ||Love Disco Style (12” Remix) 9.23|
Erotic Drum Band
|| ||What A Fool Believes (Original Album Version) 5.08|
|| ||Sugar And Spice (Original Album Version) 4.57|
|| ||Love Has Come Around (Original 12” Version) 7.47|
|| ||A Night In New York (Original 12” Version) 5.48|
Elbow Bones & The Racketeers
We’ve been going ages on how amazing the Disco Discharge series is and this new batch of four double CDs is no different. Split over the usual themes America, fusion, gay and (our fave, the more synthetic) Euro, it offers a compelling mixture of hits, underground club tracks and choice rarities that by no means should be overlooked. Finally the dj’s angle on disco is being thoroughly explored and it is finally possible to own on CD many of the forgotten classics which rocked the clubs before house (and in full length). This collection should be owned by every dj.
Anyone who found themselves on Twitter during BBC4’s disco night in March will have witnessed the repudiation of rock history on grand scale. The sheer joy was palpable as Friday night stay-at-homes, broadsheet columnists, ageing keepers of the flame and fascinated ingénues agreed that this stuff—gaudy, camp, ridiculous but birthed out of genuine outsider bloodymindedness—was way better than most pillars of the rock canon. “Funny how disco has lasted better than punk,” noted one self-designated old punk.
It has, but at a cost. Disco was born in ‘70s America out of rising consciousness in its gay audience, jaded post-Watergate hedonism among the straights, and aspirations towards the beautiful life for everyone—impulses as revolutionary as anything happening down the King’s Road or at CBGB’s. But since then disco has fallen into the grisly hands of the ’70s Night brigade with their rainbow Afro-wigs and tired pimp suits.
It deserves better, and the Disco Discharge series, now three years old, delivers. Each of these lovingly-compiled double CDs brings together 20 or so disco rarities which are immediate and powerful enough to feel as familiar s a Mighty Real or a Boogie Wonderland.
Most accessible of the latest four releases, the pizza-punning American Hot collection has its share of cheese (hold the Tony Orlando) but chiefly it demonstrates that this music wasn’t always frantically trying to hump your leg through its spandex Speedos. Tom Moulton, master architect of the stoned and ecstatic wing of disco, lent a stately, almost parodic grace to album opener Love For The Sake Of Love by Claudja Barry, who was briefly a member of Boney M. This was the essence of disco in its imperial period: gliding strings and opulent melodies for glossy urban fantasies. If the singer feels like a star in New York and a star in LA then maybe the listener can too.
And perhaps both parties can go star-crazy. See, for example, the ludicrously brilliant New York By Night by one Dennis Parker, otherwise known as Wade Nichols, star of such underappreciated adult dramas as Teenage Pajama Party and Boynapped (you get the picture). The record is an epic travelogue through the city’s unseemly underbelly and sounds like the overture for the great lost disco musical. Which, to be frank, all the best disco records did anyway.
The Exotica and Europa sets show disco falling in love with the synthesizer and under the thrall of patron saint Giorgio Moroder whose juddering basslines and psychedelic soundscapes set a two-decade template for Europop. Here are lubricious electro game-changers such as Klein & MBO’s Dirty Talk, epics of Eurotrash like Baltimora’s Italianate chantalong Tarzan Boy, and artists with names such as Lee Marrow and Voggue with two G’s.
The general listener will probably find that the Midnight Shift edition—with its cover shot of an oiled-up gentleman working out with a dumbbell—is a little too rich for their blood. This collection is post-disco hi-NRG at its pumpingest, least compromising and, let’s face it, gayest. But there is much to entertain, not least the suspicion that for many of these artistes English is not their first language. “I’m like a cake that wants to be baked,” sing the girls on Slice Me Nice by Fancy, a German producer and friend of Siegfried & Roy. “I’m like a pie for hungry guys.” Fantastische!
What else leaps out? There’s disco’s strange and touching fixation on the ‘20s and ‘40s, and its underappreciated and overpowering musicality: half of these records sound like urban symphonies and the rest explore mantric repetition with as much dedication as Can or Philip Glass.
Above all, these neglected records remind you of music’s real purpose. Preposterous, sentimental, tasteless and bizarre, disco still knew the only truth that matters. We were born to be alive.
Curated by the shadowy Mr. Pinks, the Disco Discharge series swells with the addition of Europa, Disco Exotica, Midnight Shift and American Hot sprawling their way across US disco, its Italo and Euro variants, fusion and Hi-NRG. American Hot is the best with star names like Claudja Barry, Tony Orlando and Randy Crawford. Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mum, lends vocals to the Salsoul-glazed Think It Over, while Aretha Franklin gives a sparkly, faithful cover of The Doobie Brother’s What A Fool Believes. The doyen of the disco edit, Tom Moulton, toughens up Barry’s Love For The Sake Of Love and polishes Andrea True Connection’s Fill Me Up. It’s a suggestive title given that its singer—known for her 1976 Top 5 hit More, More, More – turned to music after a career as a porn actress.
So So Gay Magazine
Disco Discharge, the brainchild of Brightonian Mr Pinks and released on Harmless Records in volumes of four, features a collection of ‘sure fire classics as well as some tracks never before released on CD’. Each disc comes in a distinctive sleeve and they overall cover every sub-genre of disco. The latest installment carries Disco Exotica, American Hot, Europa and Midnight Shift.
Disco Exotica kicks it all off, the perfect soundtrack to those electro sex parties when you too often don’t know what to put on. And disco it is too, authentically and brilliantly 70s. Track 7 is the disco ‘House of the Rising Sun’ – and if you’ve often thought that what the song had been missing was extra drama and the sound of a woman climaxing over 14 minutes then you’ve come to the right place. Elsewhere, Sylvia Love’s ‘Extraterrestrial Lover’ (Instrumental 12″ mix) impresses with a maniacally wayward xylophone while track 4 has a seductively dangerous guitar.
Disc 2 starts off a little softer, a decidely more sultry affair – all whispered come-ons and flirty promises. Jeanette’s ‘Don’t Say Goodnight To A Lady of Spain’ exemplifies the erotic holiday atmosphere. Track 7, Patrick Juvet’s ‘Swiss Kiss’ carries bongoes, cymbals and a whole plethora of noisy percussion. Some of the songs put you in the mind of ‘My Cherie Amour’, which is appropriate because at number 8 that’s exactly what we have, courtesy of Boney M.
Disc 2 of American Hot opens with the John Carpenter synths of ‘I Need Somebody To Love Tonight’ by Sylvester featuring Patrick Cowley. Track 2 is the kind of thing appropriate for an afternoon on the patio with a lemonade, in the hot tub with friends or in the downstairs rollerdisco, while track 3 is endearingly and wonderfully camp – ‘touch me baybay – on my hot spot!’. ‘New York By Night’ by Dennis Parker has elements of The Village People to it.
Europa begins with Taco’s ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ – easily reproduced on any keyboard – and is campy, lispy, futurisic-as-seen-in-the-80s fun. Originally released in ’83, it was named VH1′s 53rd greatest one hit wonder of the 80s, no less. A cover of the popular song written in 1929 by Irving Berlin for the musical film of the same name, Taco nevertheless chucks on a bit of ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ for the hell of it. What we’re left with is, as you might imagine, absurdly enjoyable. Radiorama’s ‘Hey Hey’ can’t but feel a little pedestrian after that.
Silver Pozzoli flies the flag for Italy on ‘Around My Dream’ and proves that no amount of dodgy pronunciation of English lyrics can impede a song of such blatant amazingness. Followed by Baltimora’s ‘Tarzan Boy’ (why have I never previously owned this?), Europa’s disc one is a stand-out.
‘Go Go Dynamo’ by Cleo on disc two definitely shares DNA with Debarge’s ‘Rhythm of the Night’, and is no worse off for the fact. The genealogy of bands like New Order and Pet Shop Boys can be traced to much on the rest of this CD.
Midnight Shift is where it gets really sexy (as if the chap sweatily pumping iron on the sleeve wasn’t already a clue). It opens with Bette Middler’s exhilaratingly silly ‘My Knight in Black Leather’; ‘This is my story and I ain’t ashamed to tell it…’, she calls to us as the first piano notes chime in. The song is coloured with shades of ‘It’s Raining Men’ and gospel, and reaches its peak near the end, when Bette recalls ‘he smelled just like a brand new car, cos everything he owned was made of leather…’ before ‘losing her shit’ altogether and breaking into a roar with ‘and the chaps – and the pants – in the rain!’. Seriously, this must be heard.
Elsewhere Hairspray’s ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ is found to have almost certainly derived inspiration from Lipstique’s bouncy ‘At the Discotheque’, while Kim Carnes clears her throat over the dark synths of the sexy ‘Voyeur’ at number 9.
There is no doubt that Disco Discharge is a fun set but there is the question of how best to consume it. It is, after all, eight discs of music, each carrying a hefty amount of listening (the average song length on Disco Exotica disc one is 7.30 minutes) - often with a long stretch of ‘instrumental’ – and there is sometimes the risk of disco-fatigue. However, these would be wonderfully suited to mixing, so DJs will consider these discs a treasure, and what’s stopping you from importing all of this into your iTunes library and assembling a definitive 18-track disco juggernaut for yourself?
Ultimately what Disco Discharge represents is a lovingly put-together compilation of disco classics (some forgotten, some lesser-heard) that would delight any fan of the (multi-stranded) genre. We humbly recommend you get down.