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Any Major Disco Vol. 2 – Pop Edition

October 15th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Any Major Disco Vol. 2

Following the first Any Major Disco, here is a mix of non-disco acts dabbling to good effect in the genre. That is an important distinction: with the disco tsunami in the late 1970s there was a lot of cynical cashing-in, with all manner of decidedly undisco folks — Ethel Merman! — making artificial disco records, polluting the genre already poisoned by rampant exploitation.

Many established acts jumped on the bandwagon. Some did so with credibility, such as The Rolling Stones with Miss You, Blondie with Heart of Gold, or Queen with Another One Bites The Dust; others with ostentatious cynicism, such as Rod Stewart’s Da Ya Think I’m Sexy. Some were decidedly controversial: I believe most Grateful Dead fans resent their band’s foray into funky basslines and that strange rhythm thing of which people speak.

I hope most of the songs here fall more in the former camp than into Rod’s domain of ridiculousness.

Not everything here is disco. Some of the songs here borrow just some elements from disco — a bassline here, a funky guitar there, maybe some disco strings or horns or falsetto, certainly a four-to-the-floor beat. Others are unabashedly disco: Barbra Steisand’s The Main Event, Demis Roussos’ Midnight Is The Time I Need You or Janis Ian’s Fly Tool High (produced by Giorgio Moroder) are disco tracks performed to good effect by singers who wouldn’t have been thought of as natural exponents of the genre.

In some instances, a producer might inspire a visit to discoland. So it was with Mud in 1976. The English group had enjoyed hits with glam songs and rode on the retro rock & roll wave. Produced by Pip Williams, whose work producing the Moody Blues and Status Quo is probably better known than his efforts with the Biddhu Orchestra and Edwin Starr, they then turned out a very good disco single, Shake It Down.

The mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. PW in comments.

1. Barbra Streisand – The Main Event (1979)
2. Electric Light Orchestra – Shine A Little Love (1979)
3. Blondie – Atomic (1979)
4. Janis Ian – Fly Too High (1980)
5. Olivia Newton-John – Totally Hot (1978)
6. Boz Scaggs – Hollywood (1977)
7. Seals & Croft – You’re The Love (1979)
8. Grateful Dead – Shakedown Street (1978)
9. The Hollies – Draggin’ My Heels (1976)
10. Orleans – What I Need (1976)
11. Carly Simon – Tranquillo (Melt My Heart) (1978)
12. Sweet – Funk It Up (David’s Song) (1979)
13. Mud – Shake It Down (1976)
14. Chicago – Street Player (1979)
15. Alice Cooper – (No More) Love At Your Convenience (1977)
16. Bay City Rollers – Don’t Stop The Music (1977)
17. Leo Sayer – Easy To Love (1977)
18. Santana – One Chain (Don’t Make No Prison) (1978)
19. Demis Roussos – Midnight Is The Time I Need You (1975)


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  1. halfhearteddude
    October 15th, 2015 at 07:02 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. JohnnyDiego
    October 15th, 2015 at 12:15 | #2

    This looks absolutely dreadful, Dude. But as I always do, I’m going to trust you. I liked the Disco Vol 1 edition so (hopefully) this one will be fun at my next party which I will probably never have.

  3. GarthJeff
    October 15th, 2015 at 14:12 | #3

    A BRILLIANT compilation once again AMD. In an era when my knees were still loose. Many Thanks!!

  4. halfhearteddude
    October 15th, 2015 at 15:05 | #4

    Ha ha, JD. Here’s hoping it won’t be quite as dreadful as it looks.

  5. Dave B
    October 15th, 2015 at 15:28 | #5

    I used to think that 70’s Bee Gees sucked and 60’s Bee Gees was cool. It has recently dawned on me, not all at once, but song by song, that it just isn’t true. They were great songwriters, performers and producers. And whether it was disco, weepy balladry or simple pop, they always had an element of real soul in their music.
    So it is in this spirit that I look forward to exploring this collection, however “uncool” it may seem at first glance. Thanks again AMD. Hope to find some gems here!

  6. dogbreath
    October 15th, 2015 at 15:45 | #6

    Blimey! The Dead would be the last band you would ever classify as disco but I can see where you’re coming from as far as “Shakedown Street” is concerned. An intriguing compilation to which I’ll be shaking my booty to later on to test its disco credentials. Many thanks!

  7. misterlaurie
    October 15th, 2015 at 16:27 | #7

    this thing is asking for a password to open the zip

    what might that be, then?

    am I being stupid?

  8. halfhearteddude
    October 15th, 2015 at 20:04 | #8

    The password is given in the first comment to this post. To recap, it’s amdwhah

  9. Anja K.
    October 29th, 2015 at 16:26 | #9

    This is a really interesting mix! And surprising – the songs I assumed I would like I wasn’t thrilled with, and vice versa. Great music for a nice fall day with the windows open so the neighbors can see you dancing. :)

  10. halfhearteddude
    October 29th, 2015 at 20:33 | #10

    I’d love to know which tracks were the ones you expected to hate but turned out you liked.

  11. eddie
    October 30th, 2015 at 16:21 | #11

    I thought I’d hate the whole thing, but the disco ELO was great and the Orleans track ain’t bad. Request for vol.3: Frankie Valli Swearin’ To God.. one of the few disco hits I’d crank up when it came on the radio decades back

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