Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I wanna suck your.. ooooh!



Andy Forray - Drac's Back (1979, Cachet)

Boo!

So it's Halloween.. As luck would have it, I came across this single during my little (well.. my bank card may beg to differ) shopping spree at the beginning of the month, I figured now would be a good time to put it up.

Andy Forray was a British singer/actor who had been in a couple of movies, had a few singles to his name but was most notably part of both the original Broadway Cast and London Cast of Hair.. Aside from that I have no idea what else he's done, but in any case, he wrote and performed this little ditty and he does play a great disco dracula, if I do say so myself.. With cheeky lyrics and a playful deadpan along with that pic sleeve, it's a rather clever and amusing piece of disco kitsch.. The single was produced by Jack Lancaster, a multi-instrumentalist who, from what I gather didn't really have any other disco credits to his name. It seems he was mostly involved with various rock/jazz fusion projects like Brand X and Blodwyn Pig to name a couple.. Anyway, just cause I like 'em, check out some of the lyrics:

They're easy pickin's at the discotheque
I leave them feeling like they've been in a wreck
You know they wake up all wasted
And they never ever check
Those two small holes that I leave in their neck

Well if they were wise
They would soon realize
They're not hung over
They're just vampir-ized
'Cause Drac's Back

I wanna suck your..(oooh.. Dracula!)
Drac's back...

Love how they cut off our disco dracula after "I wanna suck your.." After all, what's a kitschy piece of disco without a little sexual innuendo? He just couldn't help it I guess...

Some more choice verses...

I went to New York City once to make my mark
I checked in at the Waldorf in the name of Count Choc.
I used to prowl that city when it was dark
'Til one night someone mugged me out in Central Park
So I had to go away, for many a day
But I'm such a nifty healer that I'm still here to say
Drac's back..

Ahh, New York in the '70s..

Just a few days ago, I found out about a 1982 remake of this by an anonymous outfit called Red Lipstique. You can hear their version over at Music Is My Boyfriend (sorry, dead link) along with, if you'd believe, some of your favourite cereal characters getting a little disco action for themselves..

Happy Halloween everyone!

LINKS:
ANDY FORRAY - DRAC'S BACK (UK 12'') @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
ANDY FORRAY @ THE INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE


CATEGORIES: MINI DELIVERIES

Friday, October 27, 2006

Give Me Your Love..

The Sisters Love

The Sisters Love - Give Me Your Love (Original Version) (1973, Motown)
The Sisters Love - Give Me Your Love (Danny Krivit Re-edit)

The Sisters Love - The Bigger You Love (The Harder You Fall) (1970, A&M) | LINK TWO

The people at Soul Jazz Records have done it again. After having their Tom Moulton Mix compilation on my changer constantly for several months, they release this collection compiling many of the singles released by The Sisters Love (mostly on A&M and Motown from 1968-1973). So far, this is the first time any of their material has been assembled together in one place, let alone on CD.. After hearing about them on various forums, but never actually hearing them, I decided to take a chance and buy this thing. So far, the featured track "Give Me Your Love" from 1973 has become one of my absolute favourite proto-disco tracks ever.. The intro with that rolling drum lick, the sly driving beat, that breakdown complete with simmering bassline give it all the elements of a sweet, funky early disco classic.. A reworking of the Curtis Mayfield track, the Sisters' version was, ironically enough, released as the B-side to a song called "I Can Never Make A Better Man Than You." Neither track would get much attention until some years later when the B-side was rediscovered, as legend goes, by Danny Krivit. Krivit would make an extended 8 minute re-edit of the track in the early '80s; that re-edit becoming something of an exclusive and favourite among some of New York's biggest disco DJs. Unfortunately, the Soul Jazz Compilation doesn't include Krivit's re-edit, nevertheless it's still available elsewhere on his own compilation, "Edits by Mr. K" (2003, Strut).

To clarify, the Sisters Love weren't actually sisters themselves, but were a group originally comprised of several former Raelettes, including Merry Clayton. After an unfulfilling period on A&M as their only black act, they would make the move to Motown.. It seems their fortunes weren't much better at Motown, as they would end up being one of those many Motown acts that remained largely under the radar, but almost legendary among soul afficionados.. During their active years they put out a string of singles, as well as many unreleased songs at Motown. Despite working with some of Motown's best talent of the time (namely Willie Hutch and Gloria Jones), they would never actually get an album release, and in classic girl-group style, they would also go through several line-up changes during their time. Given that they were largely absent from the charts, it's a bit hard to keep track of all the changes, but according to the liner notes of the compilation, the lineup during their Motown period comprised of Lillie Fort, Gwendolyn Berry, Jeannie Long and former Ikette Vermettya Royster (AKA Vermetta Royster) as their lead singer.. Ms. Royster was, in my estimation, probably one of the more unique female vocalists at Motown during this time.. To really hear Vermettya in full-effect, take a listen to "The Bigger You Love (The Harder You Fall)." No, not disco, and actually one of their A&M singles, it's nonetheless a stirring, soulful single with Vermettya sounding something like Betty Davis on the verge of a breakdown. What can I say? I have a weakness for the soul shouters..

LINKS:
THE SISTERS LOVE @ DISCOGS
SOULFUL DETROIT FORUM ARCHIVES: THE SISTERS LOVE
PANPOT.CA - THE SISTERS LOVE - GIVE ME YOUR LOVE (CD REVIEW)
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: THE SISTERS LOVE - GIVE ME YOUR LOVE (CD REVIEW) (OCTOBER 16, 2006)

PURCHASE:
THE SISTERS LOVE - GIVE ME YOUR LOVE CD @ CDUNIVERSE
THE SISTERS LOVE - GIVE ME YOUR LOVE CD @ AMAZON.COM
THE SISTERS LOVE - GIVE ME YOUR LOVE CD @ AMAZON.CO.UK
DANNY KRIVIT - EDITS BY MR. K CD @ AMAZON.COM (INCLUDES RE-EDIT OF "GIVE ME YOUR LOVE")


CATEGORIES: MINI DELIVERIES

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Disco Delivery #27:
Noel - Is There More To Life Than Dancing? (1979, Virgin/Polygram)



Noel - Side One: Dancing Is Dangerous/Is There More To Life Than Dancing?
Noel - Dancing Is Dangerous (stand alone edit)
Noel - The Night They Invented Love/Au Revoir
Noel - I Want A Man

Updated and re-uploaded July, 2007

dancing is dangerous...gently embraces us.. then won't let go 'til the end of our days..

Since I started the blog in January, I've gotten quite a few suggestions and requests.. Let it be known that I may not get to them right away, in fact there are many that I have yet to get to, but I do keep every single one of them. This is one of those suggestions I got some eight months ago in March. So, thanks to reader James McClure for turning me on to this fabulous piece of vinyl.. Lately, I've had the opportunity to go crazy and really stock up on my 12" singles and albums these past few weeks (I'm gonna have to post a list of my finds sometime). Let's just say out of all the purchases I've made recently, this is probably one of my favourites out of them all.. If anything, certainly one of the most interesting disco albums I've come across..

Entirely written and produced by Ron & Russell Mael, better known as Sparks, this one came right after their amazing Giorgio Moroder-produced "No. 1 In Heaven" (1979, Elektra) LP. One of those albums that seemed to cross boundaries between rock, disco and new-wave. Although that album was criticized by some as the Sparks "going disco," that same album also seemed to give them a rather timely creative and commercial resurgence. So much so that in an interview promoting it, Russell Mael had said they would be saying "goodbye to guitars" from then on. It was to be a fairly short-lived goodbye, but nevertheless during that period their work with Moroder seemingly influenced and inspired them enough to crank out a more fully-fleshed disco project of their own, which brings us to this album...

To be honest, I've been putting this off, because I was a little unsure how to approach this album.. It's disco, but then again it's not.. By that, I mean certainly not your average get-down-and-boogie type of album. If anyone was under the impression that the Sparks' "No. 1 In Heaven" was disco, then this album goes much further, easily the furthest they ever went into disco. While at the same time barreling down the disco trail, they almost seem somewhat subversive when it comes their approach. They seem to be grudgingly giving in on "Dancing Is Dangerous," an epic electronic hymn to dancefloor surrender if there ever was one, yet follow it up with the thinly veiled cynicism of "Is There More To Life Than Dancing?" As far as the timing, I'm not sure exactly when they released this album; either way, the title of this album and the tone of the title track just seemed especially timely and appropriate for 1979.. Just when disco had reached it's peak of popularity, creative experimentation and it's quick fall from prominence, how appropriate is it that something like this comes out.. Was it a reaction or were they just slightly ahead of their time?

While on that note, if there's any track that seems to capture how far ahead they were, it would probably be the side two opener "The Night They Invented Love." That track is, to me, the absolute peak of this album.. The quirky seductiveness of the lyrics and delivery are absolute brilliance. That aside though, I really can't talk about this track without mentioning that breathtaking, sexy, haunting sax.. It's right up front in the mix and is really the one key musical element which takes this song right over the top. It almost sounds like the sort of thing which would have come from a big 1980's movie soundtrack as opposed to a 1979 disco album. If there's any frame of reference to this, for me this album would be like a precursor to the experimental, sometimes avant-garde disco-not-disco stuff that Ze Records was putting out in the early 80s..

As much as this album is not your average disco album, Noel herself, looking like a tarted up post-punk waif certainly didn't look like your regular disco diva either. Looking less like a Madleen Kane or an Andrea True, and more like Courtney Love in disco drag, it just adds another layer of intrigue to this album. Who was this Noel woman and where did she come from? How did she hook up with the brothers and where in the world is she today?.. Whatever the answers, none of the Sparks websites, nor any of my intensive Google searches are forthcoming with anything substantial.. Although what I have found out is that she was apparently from Los Angeles and is regularly (and annoyingly) mixed up with another Noel, a male freestyle singer who had a hit with "Silent Morning" in 1987. The most significant tidbit that I did find was from the discomusic.com forums, with one user mentioning that she did in fact release material after this LP. That then led me (thanks to eBay) to a record by a group called Noel & The Red Wedge and their only album, "Peer Pressure"(1982, Scotti Bros.). I haven't heard that record yet, but I'm assuming it's the same woman, given the name and the picture on the cover...

Despite his influence, it would hardly be giving the brothers credit to just classify this as their version of a Giorgio Moroder album, since this is undoubtedly an original piece of work on it's own terms. On the surface there are the technical similarities (the synths, segued tracks etc..), but there are certainly enough stylistic differences to set this apart from just another Moroder knock-off.. In essence, the vocals, arrangements and lyrics individually and combined are a bit further out of left field than almost all of the things Moroder was involved with. Those spaced out synths paired with the Mael's trademark witty, clever lyrics and the enigmatic nature of this project give this album a feel all it's own. Listening to this LP over the last little while and pondering the lack of details about this album, it's singer and the approach they took; I've sometimes asked myself whether this was an outsiders genuine disco embrace, the Mael's version of a cynical disco cash-in, or perhaps all the above? Regardless, in either case, what remains is a cool, elegant, deftly original piece of twisted disco for it's time..

LINKS:
NOEL - IS THERE MORE TO LIFE THAN DANCING? LP @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
NOEL - IS THERE MORE TO LIFE THAN DANCING? LP @ DISCOGS
NOEL @ DISCOGS
SPARKS ALBUM DISCOGRAPHY
INTERVIEW WITH RUSSELL MAEL (CAPITAL RADIO, 1979)
EXCLAIM!: INDISCREET ECCENTRICS (OCTOBER 10, 2000)


CATEGORIES: DISCO DELIVERIES

Friday, October 13, 2006

New Cerrone Reissues



...well sort of..

On the September 26th, Recall Records (www.recallrecords.com) along with Cerrone's own Malligator Records (www.malligator.com) reissued four of Cerrone's classic albums, plus the "Cerrone by Bob Sinclar" disc from 2001 as well as "Hysteria," Cerrone's 2002 album (which I really enjoy, for the most part) in the US and Canada. While Cerrone's albums have been in print rather consistently throughout the years, this is probably the first time since the '90s that his three classic albums have gotten a domestic release in the US, and the first time the latter two have gotten a domestic release in Canada. Previously Unidisc here in Canada had reissued many of Cerrone's classic albums, with rather questionable mastering quality on a few of them, I might add ("The Golden Touch" certainly did, from my experience).. Also, Barclay/Universal in France had reissued and remastered most of his albums, and those are largely still in print as well (just at expensive import prices for us over here). I'm hoping the quality of these reissues from Recall at least surpasses some of the previous ones we've seen on this side of the pond, particularly from Unidisc and Hot Productions. Judging from the covers they used (original artwork for "Love in C Minor" people!) it's looking good so far..

Also, I've finally managed to clue into the Cerrone by Bob Sinclar disc, which really is an interesting, innovative concept. Initially, when it came out a few years back, I thought it was another remix/butcher project. To my surprise, Sinclar (real name: Christophe Le Friant), who has certainly referenced Cerrone in his work before (see 'Africanism'), has found a way to both showcase Cerrone's original work and pay homage to it. In other words, a kind of hybrid greatest hits/remix/re-edit package. To paraphrase an online review, the album, (kind of like some of Dimitri from Paris' mix CDs) is one of those things that connects the dots between classic disco and today's dance music.. So for those who may not be completely familiar Cerrone's stuff, a great introduction to his work..


Love in C Minor (1976, Malligator / 2006, Recall)
order @ cduniverse.com | amazon.com | dustygroove.com
The title track is, as many are probably aware, is a landmark disco classic.. Worked with Alec R. Costandinos on this one, his influence is especially apparent on the title track and "Midnite Lady." Overall, an undisputed classic. I hope they used the full version of "Love In C Minor" with the talking ladies intro on this reissue..
CERRONE - LOVE IN C MINOR (UNCENSORED UK LP) @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
CERRONE - LOVE IN C MINOR (US LP) @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
CERRONE - LOVE IN C MINOR LP (REVIEW) @ ALL MUSIC GUIDE



Cerrone's Paradise (1977, Malligator / 2006, Recall)
order @ cduniverse.com | amazon.com | dustygroove.com
Aside from the title track, I haven't heard this album yet, but allmusic gives it four and a half stars.. (note to self: get this right now!)
CERRONE - CERRONE'S PARADISE (UNCENSORED FRENCH LP) @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
CERRONE - CERRONE'S PARADISE (US LP) @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
CERRONE - CERRONE'S PARADISE LP (REVIEW) @ ALL MUSIC GUIDE



Cerrone III: Supernature (1977, Malligator / 2006, Recall)
order @ cduniverse.com | amazon.com | amazon.ca | dustygroove.com
Along with "Love In C Minor," one of his greatest albums. The title track and "Give Me Love," again, undisputed disco classics.
CERRONE - CERRONE III: SUPERNATURE LP @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
CERRONE - CERRONE III: SUPERNATURE LP (REVIEW) @ ALL MUSIC GUIDE



Cerrone IV: The Golden Touch (1978, Malligator / 2006, Recall)
order @ cduniverse.com | amazon.com | amazon.ca | dustygroove.com
A bit of a mixed bag in my opinion. Crowning jewel of this album is definitely the second half with "Look For Love" and "Music Of Life."
CERRONE - CERRONE IV: THE GOLDEN TOUCH LP @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
CERRONE - CERRONE IV: THE GOLDEN TOUCH LP (REVIEW) @ ALL MUSIC GUIDE



Cerrone by Bob Sinclar (2001, Barclay / 2006, Recall)
order @ cduniverse.com | amazon.com | amazon.ca | dustygroove.com
As mentioned above, a hybrid greatest hits/remix/re-edit package. Probably not of much interest if you're well familiar with his catalogue already, but a fitting tribute/introduction to Cerrone's work..
CERRONE BY BOB SINCLAR CD @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
CERRONE BY BOB SINCLAR CD @ DISCOGS
CERRONE BY BOB SINCLAR CD (REVIEW) @ FILTER27



Hysteria (2002, Malligator / 2006, Recall)
order @ cduniverse.com | amazon.com | dustygroove.com
His 2002 comeback album. Faves of mine include the title track (which sounds like classic Cerrone meets Daft Punk), "Love On The Dancefloor," "The Only One" (feat. Nile Rodgers) and his update of "Got To Have Lovin'" which he originally produced for Don Ray in 1978..
CERRONE - HYSTERIA CD @ DISCOMUSIC.COM
CERRONE - HYSTERIA CD @ DISCOGS


LINKS:
CHARTATTACK: DISCO PIONEER CERRONE REVIVED BY REISSUES (AUGUST 28, 2006)
ANTIMUSIC NETWORK: BLAME CERRONE FOR DISCO (AUGUST 24, 2006)
CERRONE REISSUES INFO @ RYKO DISTRIBUTION
CERRONE'S OFFICIAL SITE (remove exclamation point in new window)
CERRONE'S OFFICIAL MYSPACE
CERRONE @ ALL MUSIC GUIDE
CERRONE @ DISCOMUSEUM.COM
CERRONE @ DISCOGS


CATEGORIES: REISSUES & RELEASES

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Housekeeping: File Links

I apologize again for the trouble people have been having downloading the files. For whatever reason I was having trouble uploading files to zShare, the service which I used to use, and my files kept getting deleted off Easy Sharing, so I decided to switch to something else. So far it's off to a bit of a shaky start. Primary links are now on Eggdisk, but I just found out my folder was still set to 'private' on there, which is why the links weren't working for people. Anyway, I finally solved that problem, so hopefully those links should work for everyone now.. Second links are now on Speedyshare, which seems to be much faster than zUpload.

At this point, if these services don't work out, I'm willing to pay for a good server to host my files. If anyone out there, other bloggers or anyone else knows of a good file hosting service, with good rates and so on, please please let me know.. It would be much appreciated..

Thanks

-T.

CATEGORIES: MISCELLANEOUS

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