After giving Escort a listen, CD Project follower HERC has declared today to be Disco Friday. Who am I to argue?
As I've written here many times: God help me, I love disco. Sure, it's formulaic, calculated, and predictable, but for me the fun, danceable mindlessness is part of the allure. However, you can only listen to so many disco movie soundtracks, compilations, and greatest hits packages before you feel the need for something new. Escort certainly helped with that, as did my embarrassingly recent discovery of the We Are Family album. My search for new disco led to this compilation of tracks I didn't recognize by name. It's a wonderfully sequenced disc of 20 tracks from 1972-1980, full of lots of high-hats, wah-wah guitar, and string arrangements. In almost every track you can find something that makes you think, "So THAT'S where that sample came from!" Or, in the case of Let's Start The Dance, you think, "So THAT's where C&C Music Factory shamelessly lifted that!"
Allmusic nitpicks a little bit: "A mistitled CD, while some cuts are rare, others can be found easily," but later admits that "these 20 movers are more than enough to spark any party." If I were to nitpick, it would be about the muddy sound of the disc mastering. There is a trade-off worth noting: more tracks means that most tracks are the 7" singles, not longer album cuts. But I'm glad I picked this up. In most of the tracks, disco's roots in funk and soul music is evident. It's not new, but it's new to me. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do the bump.
Tracks: Before picking up this gem, I wasn't familiar with of any of these songs save the cover of If My Friends Could See Me Now by Linda Clifford. I had previously heard of a few of the groups here (Hues Corporation, The Trammps, The Main Ingredient, and Gil-Scott Heron) and Hamilton Bohannon was famously name-checked in Genius of Love, but everyone else was a new (and welcome) discovery for me. While I recommend listening start to finish, my favorites today are Overnight Sensation by Jerry Knight (formerly of Raydio), Happiness Is Just Around The Bend by The Main Ingredient, This Will Be A Night To Remember by powerhouse Eddie Holman, Down To Love Town by The Originals, and Ten Percent by Double Exposure.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None as this CD was acquired last month. Volume two was easy to find on the retail market; volume one is proving to be a challenge.