My Top 30 Dance Tunes

I found this lurking in some very old archives tonight; something that I created in Microsoft Front Page, of all things. The HTML doesn’t translate well into WordPress, which is why the text isn’t lining up with the top of the images. I’ve struggled with trying fix that for hours now, and frankly it’s not worth messing with any more considering how few people actually ever look at this.

But these are still my favorite dance tunes of the era…

 

Barbara Pennington: 24 Hours a Day

(Ian Levin/D.R. Leake) 1977 / 9:22

United Artists UA-DW928-C, 33 rpm

This was the first “disco single” I ever bought, after finally getting up enough nerve to go up to the DJ at Jekyll’s and ask what he was playing.  It still conjures up memories of that particular Tucson watering hole and my first, fateful steps into coming out.

 

Claudja Barry: Boogie Woogie Dancin’ Shoes(M. Bjoerklund/J. Evers/Keith. Forsey 1979 / 7:52

Chrysalis CDS 2316, 33 rpm

After twenty nearly 40 years, this song still rocks and has enough energy to propel itself well into the next century.  An absolute disco classic.

 

Fun Fun: Color My Love(D. Raimondi/L. Pignagnoli/I. Spagna) 1984 / 7:40

TSR Records TSR836, 33 rpm

A great, high-energy tune that has stood up to the test of time.

 

Carrie Lucas: Dance With You

(K. Gardner) 1979 / 6:26 Solar Records YD-11483, 33 rpm 

Another absolute classic from the summer of 1979.

 

Linda Clifford: Don’t Come Cryin’ To Me

(M. Gore/D. Pitchford) 1981 / 6:38

Capitol Records 8531, 33 rpm

A classic by an absolute Diva of Disco.  The memory which sticks in my mind the strongest about this song is looking down from the DJ booth at Hotbods during one of several photo shoots, seeing a sea of leathermen down below dancing to the beat.  A definite song with attitude.

 

ABBA: Lay All Your Love On Me (“A Raul Dance Mix”)

(Andersson/Ulvaeus) 1980 / 7:50

Disconet Program Service Vol 4. Program 1, MWDN401A, 33 rpm

The much sought-after infamous Disconet Remix of the ABBA original.  The only way I can describe this disk is to call it an aural orgasm.  I first heard it while dancing with a very hot blond-haired stud-muffin one night at Hotbods in the spring of 1981.  I was expecting the usual ABBA tune, when all of a sudden we get blown away with the Bang!Bang!Bang! of the remix.  The music, the lights, the crowd, the moment, all combined to make this an incredible record for me.

 

D.C. LaRue: Let Them Dance

(D.C. LaRue) 1978 / 9:15

Casablanca NBD20136DJ, 33 rpm

An absolutely incredible remix.

 

 

Front Page: Love Insurance

(S. Plotnicki/E. Rubin) 1979 / 8:00

Panorama Records YD-11677, 33 rpm

Another classic from the summer of 1979, probably the creative peak of the disco era.  It has it all: great orchestration, great female vocals, wonderful production values…in short, everything to earmark it as an all-time favorite!

 

Magnifique: Magnifique

(Monn/Ludemann/Dahmen) 1981

Siamese Records SIA-001, 33 rpm

During the spring of 81 I was living in Tucson and making weekend pilgrimages back to Phoenix to go to Hotbods.  On several of those trips, Steve made tapes of his night’s set which he gave to me.  On one of them was my first exposure to Magnifique.  I hadto have it in my collection.  It wasn’t in any of the stores in Phoenix or Tucson, but I was able to locate it via a store in California.  This was to mark the beginning of a long—and expensive—relationship with Ron’s Records in Los Angeles.

 

Limahl: Never Ending Story

(Giorgio Moroder/Keith Forsey) 1984 / 6:09

EMI America V-7854-1

A very hard-to-find record from the soundtrack of the film of the same name.  This piece of vinyl was difficult to find in 1984; fifteen years later next to impossible.  I have my friend Ken to thank for selling me his copy.

 

Taka Boom: Red Hot

If I ever find the actual released version of this record I can post the specifics, but for now we’ll have to do with the fact this is a test pressing and I don’t have credits, catalog numbers or times.   Apparently this isn’t one of Taka’s more popular records, although I do remember it filling the dance floor.  It was part of Steve’s set the first night he was invited to be on a show called “Sunday with the Spinners” on KXTC “Disco 92” in Phoenix during the summer of 1979.

 

Waterfront Home: Take A Chance On Me

(Bobby Orlando) 1983 / 5:21

Bobcat Records AS1722, 33 rpm

“You can put a chain on my heart…” Bouncy, upbeat, and very, very sexy, this song captured my heart the first time I heard it.  My only complaint with the original was that it was never long enough; I wanted a ten minute remix!  Someone must’ve felt the same way, because Hot Tracks did eventually put out a 9 minute version.

 

Tamiko Jones: Can’t Live Without Your Love

(Randy Muller) 1979 / 7:13

Polydor 79NP4348, 33 rpm

This is another one of those obscure records that I think only Steve and I shared a love for.  I initially heard it as part of his same set that included “Red Hot” (above).  It has a very strong Giorgio Moroder flavor, although his name appears nowhere on the label.  The disk itself stands out as being an excellent recording with incredible dynamic range and presence.

 

Kat Mandu: The Break

(Denis Lepage) 1979 / 8:44

T.K. Disco 155, 33 rpm

Another classic from that wonderful summer of 1979.  Who would’ve guessed that disco would die the next year, just as it was reaching its peak of popularity and creativity? 

 

Paradise Express: We Are One

(C. Armstrong/H. Jimmerson/T.Croghan) 1979 / 6:21

“I’ve wasted so much time, stumbling in the dark, trying to see you with my eyes instead of with my heart, I’ve been such a fool.  I’ve drifted far away, trying to be near, along the way I’ve found that you were always here, not just a part of me, but the heart of me…”

A wonderful reacord that has very personal meaning to me.

The Three Degrees: New Dimensions

(Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte) 1978

Ariola SW-50044

Giving Up, Giving In 6:07

Looking For Love 5:26

Falling In Love again 5:34

The Runner 6:18

Woman In Love 5:16

Magic In The Air 5:45

 

This is the review which appeared in Stereo Review magainze  when the LP originally came out, and frankly, I couldn’t have said it better:  “This is my kind of disco.  Composers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte have again teamed up with the Munich-based engineer Jurgen Koppers to produce a dance, dance, dance record that is fun all the way.  The shift from the spacey ending in the album’s first song, Giving Up, Giving In, to the flattened, up-front sound of the opening of the second song, Looking For Love, is what disco records are all about.  There’s a complete change in mood, so you can move to a different kind of dancing, but there’s absolutely no break in the dance beat itself.  Looking for Love is a dynamite song that’s arranged like something from Donna Summer’s Once Upon a Time album and is every bit as effective.  Listen to the second half, when the “Ooh, looking for love” refrain runs in counterpoint with a driving brass section.  Wow!  There’s a lot more, too.  For Sunday tea-dances, there’s the infectously happy, hard-driving Falling in Love Again;for some heavy action there’s The Runner; for romance you can slow-bump through Women in Love.  Every song benefits from the well-planned, dense arrangements that mix big-band horn sections, close vocal harmonies, electronics and a never-flagging bat.  It’s all done with the kind of musical imagination that’s needed to keep disco lively.  Heats off to everybody concerned!”

 

 

Ritchie Family: African Queens

(Morali/Belolo/Hurtt) 1977

Marlin 2206

African Queens 4:35

Theme Of Nefertiti 1:30

Theme Of Cleopatra 1:30

Theme Of The Queen of Sheba 1:30

African Queens (reprise) 3:40

Summer Dance 5:28

Quiet village 5:45

Voodoo 5:35

 

 

 

Carol Douglas: Midnight Love Affair

(Davis/Levitt/Groscolas/Jourdan/

Flax/Rabin/Dahrouge) 1974

Midland International BKL1-1798

Carol’s Theme I 0:35

Midnight Love Affair 6:12

Carol’s Theme II 1:40

In The Morning 6:05

Lie To Me 3:35

Life Time Guarantee 4:04

Headline News 5:15

Crime Don’t Pay 4:42

 

 

 

Duncan Sisters: Duncan Sisters

(Morrison/Ley/Azizollah/Cochran/Cook/

Morrison/Shand) 1979

Earmark EMLP 4001

Sadness In My Eyes 6:48

Outside Love 7:11

Rock Along Slowly 4:54

Boys Will Be Boys 7:16

Love Is On The Way 6:04

You Give Me Such A Feeling 4:12

 

 

Giorgio Moroder: From Here to Eternity

(Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte) 1977

Casablanca NBLP 7065, 33 rpm

From Here to Eternity 5:59

Faster Than The Speed of Love 1:54

Lost Angeles 2:44

Utopia – Me Giorgio 3:25

From Here to Eternity (reprise) 1:45

First Hand Experience in Second Hand Love 5:00

I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone 5:05

Too Hot To Handle 4:49

 

 

Cerrone: Love in C Minor

(Cerrone/Alec R. Costandinos) 1976

Cotillion SD 9913, 33 rpm

Love in C Minor 14:57

Black is Black 5:52

Midnight Lady 7:28

 

 

Patrick Cowley: Megatron Man

(Patrick Cowley) 1982

Megatone R1001

Megatron Man 9:12

Thank God For Music 5:17

Menergy 8:32

Get A Little 6:06

Lift Off 8:15

I Wanna Take You Home 7:39

 

 

 

Donna Summer: Once Upon A Time

(Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder/

Pete Bellotte) 1977

Casablanca NBLP 7078, 2 disk-set, 33 rpm

Once Upon A Time 4:02

Faster and Faster to Nowhere 3:34

Fairy Tale High 4:25

Say Something Nice 4:44

Now I Need You 6:09

Working the Midnight Shift 5:07

Queen For A Day 5:59

If You Got It Flaunt It 4:43

A Man Like You 3:34

Sweet Romance 4:31

(Theme) Once Upon A Time 0:48

Dance Into My Life 4:10

Rumour Has It 4:57

I Love You 4;43

Happily Ever After 3:51

(Theme) Once Upon A Time 3:58

In my opinion, the absolute best effort from the undisputed “Queen of Disco”.  Nothing like it had ever been done before—or after.

 

Poussez: Poussez!

(Alphonse Mouzon) 1979

Vanguard VSD 79412, 33 rpm

Come On And Do It 7:38

Boogie With Me 7:54

You’re All I Have 8:40

Never Gonna Say Goodbye 7:53

 

 

Alec R. Costandinos: Romeo & Juliet

(Alec R. Costandinos) 1978

Casablanca NBLP 7065, 33 rpm

Romeo & Juliet Acts I & II 16:08

Romeo & Juliet Acts III, IV & V 17:25

 

Alec Costandinos was the first disco producer to utilize 48 track recording to its fullest, and Romeo & Juliet, what I would unabashedly call his “signature” record, makes total use of that recording technology.  Romeo & Juliet is a full orchestral suite set to a dance beat, something that was certainly groundbreaking and had never before been done in the genre.  It was the one record I would always take to stereo stores to try out equipment with, almost always blowing away the salespeople with its crystal-clear sound.  Acts I & II, comprising all of side 1, are the best part of this record, with a rich, lush sound that’s curiously absent from the remainder of the LP.

 

 

St. Tropez: Belle de Jour

(Tate/McDermott/Jordan/Blue/Newton/

McKay/Findon/Myers/Lewis/Rinder/

Williams/Cervantes/Diamond/Taylor/Vail) 1979

Butterfly FLY-016, 33 rpm

Fill My Life With Love 6:14

One More Minute 7:04

Hold On To Love 4:45

Think I’m Gonna Fall In Love with You 5:20

Belle de Jour 7:20

Most Of All 5:51

When You Are Gone 5:05

Butterfly  Records was a small, independent label, best known for its very upscale, “classy” disco sound and a penchant for releasing initial pressing runs on colored vinyl.  Belle de Jour, for me, perfectly sums up all that was good and wonderful in disco:  great orchestration, wonderful vocals, and a very danceable beat.  The third cut on side 1, “Hold On To Love”, while not the chart buster that either “One More Minute” or “Belle de Jour” became, has become my favorite piece on this album; it playsme.   Doug Richardson’s tenor saxophone work in the song is simply outstanding, and I count myself fortunate in having this now very hard-to-find LP in my collection.  (Amazingly, it was one of only about a half-dozen pieces of vinyl which I did not sell from my original collection.)

 

Suzi Lane: Ooh La La

(Faltermeyer/Bennett/Moroder) 1979

Elektra 6E-207-A

Ooh, La La 7:38

Givin’ It Up 3:33

No One Home In The City 5:27

Harmony 6:59

Morning, Noon And Night 4:52

Free Me 4:30 

 

 

USA-European Connection: Come Into My Heart

(Midney/Pelullo) 1979

Marlin M2212, 33 rpm

Come Into My Heart / Good Loving 14:28

Love’s Coming / Baby Love 12:52

 

 

Meco: The Wizard of Oz

(Feist/Monardo/Bongiovi/Wheeler) 1978

Millennium MNLP 8009

Over the Rainbow 1:58

Cyclone 3:43

Munchkinland 1:19

Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead 2:00

Munchkinland (Again) 0:40

We’re Off To See The Wizard (The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz) 3:32

Poppies 1:12

The Spell 1:42

Optimistic Voices 1:31

The Merry Old Land Of Oz 1:14

The Haunted Forest 1:22

March Of The Winkies 1:20

Dorothy’s Rescue 1:11

If I Were King Of The Forest );57

Over The Rainbow 1:05

The Reprise 3:17

Okay, so it’s a bit of unabashedly high camp, but still a very fun record.

 

 

Michael Zager: Life’s a Party

(Zager/Fields) 1978

Columbia JC 35771

Life’s A Party 8:15

You Don’t Know A Good Thing 5:55

I Wish You Would Make Up Your Mind 5:10

Love Love Love 4:15

Still Not Over 3:54

On And On 3:43

Using You 5:49

More well known for “Let’s All Chant”, Michael Zager was nonetheless a prolific composer and producer.  This set highlights his incredible talent.

 

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