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The Ritchie Family: Bad Reputation

Track List

>Put Your Feet to the Beat
>Bad Reputation
>Medley: It's a Mans World/Where Are the Men
>Sexy Man

Album Notes

Sandwiched in between 1977's African Queen LP and their stint with the Village People on that band's Can't Stop the Music soundtrack, the Ritchie Family delivered a punchy Bad Reputation in 1979. With Jacques Morali taking full control, the band broke away from both the Marlin label and longtime producer Ritchie Rome to record for Casablanca. And despite the fresh approach -- this album looks more like a Village People LP than a Ritchie Family concept album -- the band's star power plummeted. The LP didn't crack the charts, nor did any of the songs straggle in for a single in its wake. And that's a shame, because there are some delicious Eurodisco twists on Bad Reputation, most notable on the opening, seven-plus minute epic "Put Your Feet to the Beat." Packed with enough Boney M.-ish hand claps, beats, and squelchy bass breaks to have been excellent company on the dancefloor, this song may have been ignored by the mainstream, but it swaggered its way into the discos, joined by the snappy histrionics of "Bad Reputation." The supremely sassy "Where Are the Men," on the other hand, was classic, pure disco in the same vein as the band's early era output. And anyone looking for the now familiar Ritchie Family disco medley would find comfort in the 11 minute "It's a Man's World." Although there are some inspired nuggets to be unearthed here, Bad Reputation ultimately suffered in the wake of Rome's departure, as the band dramatically shifted from one groove to another, leaving their die-hard fans wondering why they never received that memo. ~ Amy Hanson



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