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Various Artists: Disco: A Fine Selection of Independent Disco, Modern Soul and Boogie 1978-82 [Digipak]

Track List

>Hooked on Your Love [John Morales Mix] - The Fantastic Aleems - (featuring Calebur)
>Superfunk - Superfunk
>That's Hot - Jessie G.
>River Drive, The - Jupiter Beyond
>Easton Assassin, The - The Sunburst Band
>Trinidad [Special Disco Mix] - John Gibbs & the U.S. Steel Orchestra
>Disco Madness - Sparkle
>Sweet Lady (Dance with Me) - Chain Reaction
>Dance to the Beat Freakout - Wayne Ford
>You Know What I Like - Sympho State
>Movin' to the Beat - The Fantastic Aleems - (featuring Corky Hughes/Corky Hodges)
>Sexy Lady - Something Extra
>Get Up (Let's Rock) - Stwange Poweple
>Skateboard - Chemistry
>Turn This Disco Out - Cirt Gill & The Jam-a-Ditty Band/Cirt Gill
>When Your Jones Come Down - Sugar Bear Johnson
>My Man Is on His Way - Retta Young
>Fast Freddie the Roller Disco King - Little Anthony & the Imperials
>Wave - Cordial

Album Notes

The sound quality is not ideal (the Soul Jazz label likely did all they could), and the information-packed booklet has some errors (like the misspelling of François Kevorkian), but this two-disc compilation will appeal to curious listeners and knowledgeable heads alike. The companion to the 360-page book Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Art of Disco Records, it complements dozens of like-minded compilations released on labels like Harmless, Nuphonic, Azuli, Strut, and BBE, as there isn't much overlap. Crucially, a high percentage of the selections are more than mere curiosities, and there's a good balance between cuts that involve the handiwork of relatively known sources -- like the Aleems, Leroy Burgess, Jellybean Benitez, and John Morales -- and obscure one-offs. Several cuts make their first appearance on CD, including Something Extra's somewhat Pleasure-like "Sexy Lady," the Imperials' T.K.-issued "Fast Freddie the Roller Disco King," Stwange Poweple's blissfully relaxed "Get Up (Let's Rock)," and Chemistry's elegantly funky "Skateboard." It's surprising that some of them weren't digitally circulated prior to this. The best of them is Jupiter Beyond's ten-minute "The River Drive," an almost-overstuffed gem produced by Phillip Lightfoot, husband of Kathy Sledge and contributor to Sister Sledge's 1981-1985 recordings. ~ Andy Kellman



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