BLAME IT ON THE BOOGIE – It’s coming up to that time of year folks when we start thinking about the allusive ‘Christmas Do’ as us Geordies call it. Why do we put ourselves through it? In fairness I’ve had a few decent ones, but also some awful disasters. When I was younger I had a Saturday job at a supermarket and I will never forget my first staff Xmas do. The venue was the Rainbow Rooms, the Old Co-op, Newgate Street. Who remembers them? Ha-ha. It was a 50/50 band and disco. They dished up a school dinner type meal to us and we all sat in paper hats from our crackers. My friends Dad was guitarist in the band that had been hired to play that night, their name ‘Frankie Goes To Haltwhistle’. Ahh, those were the days! The thing that makes these do’s and functions in general is the music, good music for dancing too. But goodness there is some awful dance and disco records aren’t there, but some people seem to love them. As I’ve said before don’t knock it, each to their own.
It’s the one area of music when you can go from good to bad, to dire in the spin of a disc. Some great dance, funk, disco songs out there and equally as many tragic ones. I love a party and love dancing as anyone who knows me will confirm, however there is a body of songs I refuse to cooperate with, I call these my ‘Loo Songs’. Basically it’s the time of the night I go to the loo to avoid dancing to them. Favourite hates include anything that has actions to it. ‘Agadoo’, ‘The Time Warp’ from The Rocky Horror Show, ‘YMCA’, and my ultimate hate ‘Oops Upside Your Head’, I mean for goodness sake it’s not even standing up. My sister in law loves these songs and always makes me feel like a right party pooper when I sit them out. Hence the loo breaks.
Some may say disco is old fashioned and dated, but let’s face it without it we would have no party music. There are some bloomin good records out there to shake your tail feather too. The origins of dance music mostly come from Disco. Disco comes from the word ‘discotheque’, that itself sounds dated. It was a term used to describe the nightclubs people went to during the 1960s and 70s. Disco music is to entice the listener to the floor to dance. The music became faster over the years and then funk was introduced by the mid 70’s. The release of the mega hit film Saturday Night Fever in 1977 saw the biggest impact on dance music and ultimately gave it mainstream success. Its soundtrack featuring the Bee Gees became the best-selling album in pop music history. Disco songs by the 80s had lost their appeal and dwindled but made a comeback derived and renamed garage, house and hi-energy.
There are so many artists that cashed in on that so called Disco sound, Rod Stewart, Blondie to name but a few who altered their sound to suit the dance floor. There are lots of songs I hate but there are more I love so this week I’m playing 5 of my favourites, so dust off your dance shoes and prepare your Tony Manero strut and let’s see those moves on the floor, alreet I get carried away I know……enjoy
WILD CHERRY – PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC WILD BOY
Wild Cherry was an American funk rock band from Ohio. Several records before “Play That Funky Music” were released under their own label during the early 1970s, including “You Can Be High (But Lay Low),” date unknown, and “Something Special On Your Mind,” in 1971. The music at this stage was pure rock music, not funk. Wild Cherry eventually gained a record contract with Brown Bag Records. Several demos and singles on Knight’s Brown Bag label distributed by United Artists were produced including “Get Down” (1973) and “Show Me Your Badge” (1973).The band broke up when a disillusioned Parissi left the music scene to become the manager of a local steakhouse. Rob quickly realized that the steakhouse gig was not going to cut it. As his enthusiasm for the music eventually returned, Rob decided to give the business one last shot.
Play That Funky Music Wild Boy is a funk song wrote by Rob Parissi and recorded by Wild Cherry. The song hit no1 on the billboard charts in 1976 and certified platinum for it sales of over 2 million records. There is an edited version of this song within the words ‘white boy’ that was released for radio airplay around the Boston area, as the original version was banned in that area upon its original release. Instead of ‘white boy’ the words ‘yeah funky music’ were substituted. This version is now a collector’s item. I love this song and I think we had the record at home when I was younger. Great funk sound to dance too.
ROSE ROYCE – CAR WASH
Rose Royce was an American disco, soul and R&B group. They are best known for several hit singles during the 1970s including “Car Wash,” “I Wanna Get Next to You,” “I’m Going Down”, “Wishing on a Star”, and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”. They had great success with their initial hits but
“Car Wash” is a hit disco song performed by Rose Royce and written and produced by Norman Whitfield, it was the group’s first single and one of the most successful records of the disco era. I was produced by the band’s main producer Norman Whitfield. “Car Wash”, the theme of the 1976 film Car Wash, was Rose Royce’s most successful hit single and the lead single from their first album, the Car Wash soundtrack. Reaching number one in the United States on the Billboard pop and R&B charts and number nine in the UK singles chart in February 1977. The song was later covered in 2004 by Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott, who released their version as the single for the ‘Shark Tale’ soundtrack.
Personal favourite this song, mainly because I love Rose Royce. Silly lyrics but a great dance track and always gets me up.
DEEE-LITE – GROOVE IS IN THE HEART
Deee-lite was an American house and club/dance music group met and formed in New York City. The group formed in 1990 and released their first album ‘World Clique’ which was a top 40 hit in many countries. ‘Groove is in the heart’ was a huge hit. That song notably featured funk musician Bootsy Collins, a fan of the group. Deee-Lite scored six number-one hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart over their history. Upon their break-up, the individual members have worked independently as DJs, with Lady Miss Kier regarded as a style icon by publications such as Vogue.
“Groove Is in the Heart” was their biggest hit, released as a single in late 1990. Slant Magazine ranked the song second in its 100 Greatest Dance Songs list, adding: “No song delivered the group’s world-conscious Word as colourfully and open-heartedly as “Groove Is in the Heart,” which flew up the Billboard charts and an immediate smash in nightclubs in the UK. The song was accompanied by a psychedelic music video, with Deee-Lite, Q-Tip, Maceo Parker and Bootsy Collins superimposed over a cartoonish 1960s-style background of various shifting shapes and colours. The video opens and closes with quotes by the band: Lady Miss Kier has an opening dialog consisting of “faux-French” originally spoken in the song’s AA-side, “What Is Love?” and the ending features Collins saying, “Don’t forget, groove is in the heart, and Deee-Lite have definitely been known to smoke… on stage, that is!” and Lady Miss Kier exclaiming “Deee-groovy!” Totally over the top fab video love the psychedelic theme and great dance track from my youth.
NIGHT FEVER – THE BEE GEES
The Bee Gees were a pop music group that was formed in 1958. The group’s line-up consisted of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were successful for most of their decades of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success, as a rock act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, also as prominent performers of the disco music era in the late 1970s. The group sang recognisable three-part tight harmonies, Robin’s clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry’s R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the late 1970s and 1980s. They wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists. Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England, until the late 1950s, and formed the Rattlesnakes. The family then moved to Redcliffe, in Queensland, Australia, and then to Cribb Island.The Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. Following Maurice’s death in January 2003 at the age of 53, Barry and Robin retired the group’s name after 45 years. The trio’s contributions to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack album pushed sales past the 40 million mark. It also reigned as the top-selling album in history until Michael Jackson’s “Thriller – an album that Jackson acknowledged was inspired by Saturday Night Fever – surpassed it in the 1980s.
‘Night Fever’ was written and performed by the Bee Gees it remained the number one Billboard Hot 100 single for over two months in 1978. It would be the third of six consecutive #1s for the band, tying the Beatles for the record for most consecutive #1 singles. Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1978. The song is listed at number 38 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100.Recorded in Miami, it put the Bee Gees at the forefront of the disco movement, which their work on the sound track album of the film Saturday Night Fever (1977) would popularise and define.
Well I couldn’t have left them out could I?
MICHAEL JACKSON – BILLY JEAN
Michael Joseph Jackson born 1958 – 2009, was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. Called the ‘King of Pop’, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1964, and began his solo career in 1971. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. The music videos for his songs, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller”, were credited with breaking down racial barriers and with transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped to bring the then-relatively-new television channel MTV to fame. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous hip hop, post-disco, contemporary R&B, pop, and rock artists. Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. Jackson’s personal life, including his changing appearance, personal relationships, and behaviour, generated controversy. While preparing for his comeback concert series titled This Is It, Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled his death a homicide, and his personal physician Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson’s death triggered a global outpouring of grief and a live broadcast of his public memorial service was viewed around the world.
“Billie Jean” is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It is the second single from the singer’s sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). It was written and composed by Jackson and produced by him and Quincy Jones. There are contradictory claims to what the song’s lyrics refer to. One suggests that they are derived from a real-life experience, in which a female fan claimed that Jackson (or one of his brothers) had fathered one of her twins. However, Jackson himself stated that “Billie Jean” was based on groupies he had encountered. The song is well known for its distinctive bassline by guitarist David Williams, and Jackson’s vocal hiccups. The song was mixed 91 times by audio engineer Bruce Swedien before it was finalized. The song became a worldwide commercial and critical success, it was one of the best-selling singles of 1983 and is one of the best-selling singles worldwide. The song topped both the US and UK charts. Michael Jackson has sold an estimated 400 million records worldwide. Love him or hate him, you can’t argue with those statistics.
Before I go, I also wanted you to see this clip of the ‘Godfather of Funk’ Mr James Brown check out the moves in this footage, especially the lady at the back ….hot!
I seemed to get it right last week with the BLUES I’m so glad you enjoyed it and once again can I say I always listen to all of your recommendations. I bloody love sharing music
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