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Monday, November 28, 2016

Colonel Abrams was a House King

I don't usually write a blog immediately after a dance icon dies.  But in this case I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon.  Colonel Abrams 80's house masterpieces bring back so many memories.  I danced the night away to so many of them that I couldn't just not dedicate a blog to him.

Colonel was there on the ground floor.  When his first dance single came out in 1984 no one was even using the term House music.

Through the mid 80's he amassed a long string of hits.  Some of these even crossed onto the U.S. R&B charts and the U.K. pop charts.  For instance Trapped made it all the way to #3 in the U.K. in 1985.  But four of them hit #1 on the U.S. dance charts including the aforementioned Trapped, I'm not Gonna let and How Soon we Forget.

Colonel was huge at all the clubs I frequented in those years.  By the late 80's the hits dried up.  He continued to record but without much impact.  His last album was released in 1996.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nu Shooz

Nu Shooz originally formed in 1979 and featured 12 members.  But nothing much happened for them the first few years.  In 1985 as a husband and wife duo "I Can't Wait" came out and they broke righteously.  But in a roundabout way, ironically the Peter Slaghuis mix from the Netherlands is what broke the record.  In fact it was HUGE at The Paradise Garage, and played as an import.  Apparently Larry Levan would toy with it mixing it for as long as a full half hour.

It eventually made it all the way to #2 on the R&B charts and #3 on the pop charts, while making it to #1 in Canada and on the U.S. dance chart.  Furthermore it was fully embraced by the Freestyle community who embraced the song as their own, though this lily white couple from Portland, Oregon were certainly not Latino.
 The follow-up single "Point of No Return" was equally as pleasing but it didn't have the impact of "I Can't Wait" so they are sort of considered one hit wonders.  They were even nominated for a Grammy as best new artist.
In 1988 their last hit was "Should I say Yes" which went Top 20 R&B but the track "Are you Lookin' for Somebody Nu" became another hit on the dance chart.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gary Low

Italo Spanish vocalist Gary Low whose real name was Luis Paris Belmont was born on June 7, 1954 he burst onto the italo disco scene with the hit You are a Danger for il Discotto records Italy in 1982.

But I  became a fan when I Want You was a smash, hitting #1 in both Italy and Spain and Top 10 in the U.K..  I was particularly drawn to his image he seemed so "out."

But we all know there was a lot of playing with sexual identity looks in the 80's.  So was he or wasn't he?  Who knows and does it even really matter?

All I know is that I bought my twelve inch maxi single of I Want You at the Corte Ingles in Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona and I played the hell out of it.  And one of  his follow-up hits La Colegiala actually a Peruvian cumbia was an even bigger hit and great fun too.

small Gary zip
By the mid 80's the hits disappeared though there were still a few releases up until the early 90's even.