My Twelve Inches

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.

Download: Let’s Start To Dance Again – Hamilton Bohannon (mp3)

Lucky Dip

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.

Download: Hey DJ (Extended version) – The World’s Famous Supreme Team (mp3)

Photo by Jamel Shabazz from the book Back In The Days.

Something for the Weekend

I’ve posted some great live clips here over the years and this is one of the best. This is from the 1985 American Music Awards and I think that’s The Revolution playing with her but I’m not 100% sure.

Something for the Weekend

This is a great find, Debbie Harry (who looks stunning) singing with avant garde punk-funkers James White & The Blacks at Hurrahs in New York in 1980.

My Chiffon is Wet

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.

Download: Get Dancin’ – Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes (mp3)

Something for the Weekend

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.

Christmas Cheers

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.

See you in the new year.

Download: Christmas On Riverside Drive – August Darnell (mp3)

Something for the Weekend

So many memories tied up with this record. Certain clubs, a girlfriend, and the peak of my London boy-about-town life. Funky good times.

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com