Monday, June 21, 2010

La La La

Wow! It has been quite some time since I haven't posted. It has been pretty hot lately so the weather has inspired me to post a song for those warm summer nights. "La La La" is an exotic song that is groovy and fun at the same time. The song was released around 1974 by a very mysterious group called Los Chicles and it caused a riot during those late nights at the discoteques. Very little is known about this group except that they were a duo from Belgium. Chicles means gum in spanish and it is safe to say that this is pure bubble gum! According to a web source, Los Chicles also recorded under the name of Chakachas and scored a hit with "Jungle Fever", a funky intro with a sexy woman singing and moaning that was also featured in the Pulp Fiction movie soundtrack. "La La La" is somehow on the same vein as Jungle and it features a lady singing "lalalala" throughout the entire song with a sexy voice. I also learned that this was the disco funk version of Brigitte Bardot's Euro sing along chart hit. This was probably the first song that started the trend of moaning to disco and funky beats. Enjoy and sign along!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The 80s Remix: A Novel

Here are two brilliant songs from the '80s I have been listening lately. Both songs are not the original versions but rather interesting remixes. First song is "Out Of Touch (Dub Version)" by Hall & Oates and the second song is "Flesh For Fantasy" (Below The Belt Mix) by Billy Idol. Both of the original songs are great; however, here we are on to another journey. Both songs are perfect examples of a trend in remixing popular during the '80s. In other to expand the appeal of the 12" single release and rather than tailor them only for DJs or strictly for dancing, these remixes instead were impeccably produced by the likes of electronic geniuses such as Trevor Horn and The Latin Rascals to name a few. They were uniquely long and told stories that took listeners through long instrumental journeys at the beginning of tracks until the climax is reached (around the half way mark of the songs). After the climax, the original or alternate full vocal version of the track takes over from that point on to the end making the "long version". Just like a novel with it's starting rising action "build up", then climax, then the original LP version until the fade out in the end. So enjoy both musical journeys or shall I say novels!

Monday, June 14, 2010

We're Getting Stronger

Here is a great uplifting song to start the week. "We're Getting Stronger", from the 1976 LP Loleatta by her royal disco highness Loleatta Holloway. This album was a turning point in her career as she makes the move from dreamy southern soul diva to club queen of the late '70s! Norman Harris produced this disco classic with a souring Philly disco sound that proves to be just as great for Loleatta's soulful vocals as the stripped down southern modes of earlier albums. Gone are the sad tears of earlier weepies, and in their place is a strong sense of joy and power. Loleatta's very positive, very progressive, and very dedicated to standing her own ground! How you dern! It includes the epic disco classic "Hit & Run", plus "Dreamin", "Ripped Off", and versions of "That's How Heartaches Are Made" and Curtis Mayfield's "What Now". "We're Getting Stronger" is simply a fantastic song that I find uplifting for those Monday blues. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Here is one of my favorite among the many brilliant songs by Cymande. Cymande were an electric funk band who released several albums throughout the early 1970's. The group was formed in 1971 in London, England by musicians from Guyana and Jamaica. The name Cymande is derived from a Calypso word for dove, which symbolizes peace and love. The group developed a subtle and complex deep funk style influenced by calypso rhythms, jazz, African music, American soul and UK rock of the time. Cymande can now be seen as one of the most sophisticated of the funk acts that evolved in the early 1970's. By the mid-70s the band members were going their separate ways and the group was disbanded in 1974. It wasn't until 20 years later that they reaped any financial rewards, as their music became a popular source of samplers. Cymande's original albums are still widely sought-after by DJ's and funk aficionados. Perhaps the band's best known recording is the soulful dance floor filler called "Bra", which was later sampled by the American hip-hop group De La Soul and used as a break beat record by the godfathers of hip-hop Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. "Dove" is one of their most beautiful songs from their 1972 debut self titled classic LP. This song always put me in a peaceful and meditative mood and exemplifies their sophisticated range which tends to begin slow then rises to a subtle beat and then finishes with the intro. This sound was very popular with the Deep House movement during the mid to late '80s. Enjoy

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hopscotch has been quite a week of work and it has left me with very little time for posting; so here I am with a song that has been on my mind for this whole week. "Hopscotch" by the great Gwen Guthrie. This woman had the midas touch when it came to the flawless production of her music. This song was the product of dub legends Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare and of course mixes by the legendary Larry Levan. It's a track that instantly gets to you with the amazing pulsating bassline and the overall dub feel of this track that never fails to amaze. I am also curious with the lyrics of this song and how it works phonetically with the beats. Also, for further listening, here is the flawless instrumental remix version also done by Larry Levan from the amazing LP titled Padlock . A recording of some of her best remixes. Enjoy

Hopscotch (Instrumental Mix) - Gwen Guthrie

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I has been almost a week without a post and I'm glad to be back sharing some music with you. Here is an amazing song by Greg Diamond Bionic Boogie's second album Hot Butterfly, "Chains". This album released in 1978, has been studied by disco enthusiasts around the world for it's quirky yet interesting song writing accompanied by some fascinating lush arrangements and performed by an incredibly talented rooster of singers. "Chains" sums up the spirit of this great disco record with a driving, rock-tinged beat layered with unison singing by the four excellent voices that made this such a classic record composed by late great Luther Vandross, Cissy Houston, Zachary Sanders and David Lasley. Diamond was a pianist, drummer, songwriter, producer and wrote the classic song "Hot Butterfly" which is included in this album with Luther Vandross on vocals. The song was later covered by David Lasley and Chaka Khan. His other popular songs included "Risky Changes", "Dance Little Dreamer", "Cream (Always Rises to the Top", "Starcruisin'", "Fancy Dancer" and "Tiger, Tiger". Diamond's association with Vandross came from the success of David Bowie's Young Americans album, which both Vandross and Diamond's contributed towards. His biggest commercial success was as a writer and producer of one the first disco records I bought, "More, More, More" recorded by The Andrea True Connection in 1975. Sadly, Diamond passed away in 1999 at the early age of 49. Diamond was as rare disco "jewel" that will never be forgotten.

P.S. I am loving the cover art here!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Générique B.M. II

It's the first day of June, it feels like summer already and I hope everyone had a great long weekend. To start the month here is a song called "Generique B.M. II" from one of my favorite French disco legends Cerrone. This is a song from a French movie called Brigade mondaine 2 - La secte de marrakech about a crime squad that follows a track that leads to a Morrocan drug and prostitution ring. They end up involved into an international school to form a mercenary army for non democratic governments. I haven't seen the film but I would love to watch it.  Cerrone is a true Disco legend, born Jean-Marc Cerrone in Vitry-sur-Seine near Paris (a place I visited on my last trip to France), and started playing drums at the age of twelve. Cerrone's first recordings were as a part of Kongas in collaboration with another disco legend Alec R. Constandinos. He has since released countless disco classics such as "Supernature", "Love In C Minor" and "Give Me Love" just to name a few. A great number of his record cover art featured lots of naked bodies and were banned in America and were replaced with more tamer ones. Cerrone's sound is known for intense pulsating drums, lush orchestration, seductive electronic instrumentation or what should be called "audio" erotica. The "Cerrone" sound is still considered a blue print for deejays around the world and his music still sounds as fresh and innovative as back then.  "Generique B.M. II" is more sedate song compared to most of his music but manages to generate the seductive and erotic sound that he is famous for giving us. Enjoy!