Yes, I know it’s Wednesday but who cares what day it is anymore?
As James Brown once said “The one thing that can solve all our problems is dancing” which sounds a bit trite when thousands of people are dying, but it’s generally good advice when you feel down and anxious. To lift the blues you could do a lot worse than the terrific new Dua Lipa album Future Nostalgia which will fulfill all your needs for sleek dance music.
My other stay-at-home jam is the latest album by U.S. Girls Heavy Light which fuses disco, plastic soul, and Phil Spector through a modern filter. Big contender for album of the year for me.
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.
Confidence Man are an Australian group who make bubbly, party-starting dance pop like a modern Deee-Lite with a hint of B-52s. It’s the kind of sound that makes even the most miserable bleeder get up and boogie.
They’ve released a handful of terrific singles over the past couple of years and their debut album Confident Music For Confident People is out next month. Let’s get this party started.
This was their 1987 self-released debut single and is one of the first records to be entirely built around samples — 35 of them — some of which are out of wacky left field like Louis Prima, Pink & Perky, and Howdy Doody.
This record was the first time most people heard the powerful Manchester pipes of Lisa Stansfield. British sample wizards Coldcut had already made Yazz a star with their earlier single “Doctorin’ the House” and for their next trick they did the same for our Lisa in 1989 — though her career did miles better. She’d already made some records with the group Blue Zone before this without much chart luck, but the success of “People Hold On” encouraged her to go solo and her first single “All Around the World” was a monster smash.
This is what they call a real banger. A monster piano riff over a big House beat with a euphoric wave-your-hands-in-the-air chorus. It still gets me going — well it would if my hips and knees let me these days.
PS: Listening to this it occurred to me wonder why Adele hasn’t recorded a club banger like this. She clearly has the lungs for it — not to mention the big personality to be a proper Dancefloor Diva — but she just sticks with the same turgid sappy shite. What a waste.
I have an iTunes playlist called “Chip Shop” where I keep all the tracks I want to write about at some point, usually once I can think of something interesting to say about them or tie them into some story.
This one has been on the playlist literally for years because I can’t think of anything to say about it beyond OMG I LOVE THIS SO FUCKING MUCH! But as I’m up to my tits in work and the old blogging muse is a bit tired right now, I think that’s good enough.
I seriously think this is one of the greatest records ever made, especially in this longer mix by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards themselves. Along with the 12″ of “Spacer” I think it’s their greatest production. So utterly sublime.