I’ve been listening to a lot of soul and dance music to lift my spirits the past week or so and this one never fails to make me feel better even 35 years after I bought the 12″.
I might not be keeping the versions of the record straight here, but it was first released as “Let’s Start The Dance” in 1978 and then as a remix called “Let’s Start II Dance Again” in 1981. This version from the same year has a confusingly similar title and sounds closer to the original. I think maybe the drums and bass are a bit punchier but I really don’t want to sit down and analyze it too closely, this sucker is made for dancing.
The World’s Famous Supreme Team are, um, world famous for bringing Hip-Hop culture and scratching to the masses for the first time with Malcolm McLaren on “Buffalo Gals” in 1982.
Their 1984 single “Hey DJ” sounds like another stab at mainstream success with its glossy production by Stephen Hague who’d go on to work with New Order and Pet Shop Boys. It wasn’t a hit though which is a surprise as it’s catchy as hell and has a good groove.
I don’t know if it was because things were so grim that people needed cheering up more, but there were a lot of novelty hits in the 1970s. 99.9% of them were terrible, but this one was marvelous and “My chiffon is wet, darling!” is still one of my favourite lines in pop.
“Disco Tex” was a fellow called Sir Monti Rock III and the group was the brainchild of The Four Seasons’ producer/writer Bob Crewe. This was a hit in 1974 before Disco went overground and became a cultural juggernaut so it was ahead of that curve, and its camp flamboyance was ahead of Sylvester and The Village People in being a hit that came out of gay club culture — both Rock and Crewe were gay and the record was made to sound like a live performance in a gay disco. Which just shows that even the silliest novelty record can have some sociological significance.
Keeping the (unintentional) dance music theme going this week. It’s a toss-up between this and “Lost In Music” for my favourite non-Chic Edwards/Rodgers production. Few records are this sublime and silly at the same time.
Right, that’s me done for the year. I’m taking the last bus out of Blogtown and heading home for the holidays. Hope you and yours have a good one and I’ll leave you with this funky gem from the classic Ze compilation A Christmas Record.