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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Adolf Stern's 1979 italo disco double A side disco dream



Rare and super tasty.  The only thing I wish it that I would have had the pleasure to dance to this one. A super early example of italo disco.  Highly collectible!

BOTH SIDES OF THE 45

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Change Your Mind Sharpe & Numan



Gary Numan started out in 1977 as a punk rock artist in the group Mean Street but that didn't work out for him.  Apparently he was too arty and creative for them.


Luckily he kept plugging on and his next venture Tubeway Army was hugely successful.  In fact that had a hugely influential number 1 hit in the U.K. with Are Friends Electric?  Then Gary went solo and had a huge international hit with Cars.  It came to be a major symbol of the new wave scene and even hit the Top 10 in the states.


In the U.K. he continued to come up with hits but in the U.S. he remained a one hit wonder.  By 1985 he teamed up with Bill Sharpe and they released a few Synth Pop classics including Change Your Mind which I offer you here.  It was a song that I loved very much at the time though it really didn't cross-over much.  In my towns college radio station WXCI it was on heavy rotation so I got to enjoy it often.
SYNTH POP GEM CHANGE YOUR MIND

Gary Numan ended up being quite prolific.  There was even a live release in 2016 when he played the 02 Forum in London.  In 2002 the Sugababes sampled Are Friends Electric? and had a number 1 hit in the U.K. and he was brought to a whole new audience.

Speaking of current he's got a song on the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack too.

A few Rah Band gems, not just Clouds Across the Moon

This is an updated post containing more songs then the previous one.
As unusual an act as was Richard Hewson's Rah Band they hit pay dirt twice.  Both The Crunch in 1977 and Clouds across the Moon in 1985 made it to #6 on the U.K. pop charts.  The funny thing is some of their tunes are pure kitsch while others are some serious music making.

But for me there is no forgetting Messages from the Stars.  Grab my zip to enjoy these fun songs.

Richard Hewson their leader had other disco hits as Key West and the Richard Hewson Orchestra.




Friday, April 14, 2017

Raw Silk



Though Raw Silk only had two charted dance hits, they were both wonderful.  True Paradise Garage classics.  A place where disco still reigned well into the 80's.  Disco never died at The Paradise Garage and The Saint.


Do it to the Music made it to #5 on the U.S. dance chart while Just in Time peaked at #40.  They did however both have impact on the dance floors that matter.  The act was composed of Jessica Cleaves, Sybil Thomas, Tenita Jordan a couple of whom had been members of the seminal funky disco band Crown Heights Affair.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Gino Soccio

I've been a huge Gino Soccio fan since 1979.  His string of disco hits are all considered classics now. I feel an affinity to him too since he's an Italo Canadian like I am an Italo American.


As I'm especially drawn to the space disco sound his tunes many of which were in this vein with the added joy of super disco diva vocals made him a favorite.


His two biggest disco hits on the Billboard dance charts, Dancer his debut maxi single in 1979 and Try it Out in 1981 both remained at the top for six weeks making them a couple of the biggest disco records of their respective years.  It's Alright in 1982 managed to stay at #2 for five weeks and was also a major success.  His association with the soul singer Erma Shaw proved to be quite fruitful and brought about some of his best collaborations.


Gino though a huge disco star really didn't get to receive the kudos of a major cross-over to pop hit.  Though Dancer and Try it Out did chart on the R & B charts which is quite a feat in itself, for a white Canadian.  He was also the first artist signed to Ray Caviano's seminal Warner Brothers disco imprint label RFC.  A label which was sort of just coming up as the disco movement was nearing it's end.  Which Gino believes was orchestrated by the rock department guys who were jealous and hateful about the sound and it's aficionado's who were often minorities or gay.


Gino Soccio was also the man behind Kebekelektrik (a huge Paradise Garage record) and Witch Queen two other acts which scored huge disco hits and he brought some disco success to fellow Montreal native Karen Silver.  He was pretty prolific for a disco artist with four full length albums in his three years of charting.  There were also a few singles which weren't on any album.


In an interview with Wresch Dawidjan back in ’78, Gino commented, “The reason I went over to Disco was that it seemed to be the only type of music where I could really be free. There are no limits to what you can do with disco.”  Wresch would later go on to own a very popular dance music record store, 12 inch Dance Music in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. which happened to be on P street in the middle of the gay neighborhood.  I spent a lot of money in that store, and my buddy at the time Matt Drudge worshiped the guy and used to spend lots of time hanging out and shooting the breeze with the employees there.

A fabulous image is Gino Socio at Studio 54.  

His last single release Human Nature from 1985 flopped and Gino Soccio was deeply disappointed.  He basically decided to drop out of the scene altogether.