That I am in fact writing (and you, are reading) this at this moment is a wonderfully acute but cruel illustration of the phrase, ‘all dressed up and no where to go.”
You see some months ago our dearest and oldest friends sent us a warning that we were to keep this night free of all engagements and excuses so as to present ourselves at their inner city warehouse in brazen samples of 1970’s sartorial travesties. As the date approached I was pleased at the conjunction of several events that portended a great evening: a babysitter had been arranged, my contribution to raising issues of men’s health during this Movember would fit nicely into the general ghastly environment, an important business trip to Africa would have ended a few days prior and a boring State election would be behind us. The outrageously cool costumes my wife, Yvonne, and I managed to find this morning, seemed to be the cherry on the top of a very large cream cake.
|All dressed up.|
720 pm. With kids bathed, fed and about to be tucked in for the night, we get a call from aforementioned babysitter informing us that she has a migraine and won’t be able to make it. Really sorry. Panic stations leads to the decision (the only sane one) that Yvonne goes. She’s been dancing to Abba on YouTube all afternoon and looks smashing in her outfit. And at last she admits, “I’d hate you if you went and I stayed home.”
That settled, I settle into heating up the leftover meatloaf and cracking open a bottle of my favorite beer. And here I sit, blogging about the ‘one that got away’.
The disco era, like most horrible epochs in history, looks better in retrospect. At the time I distinctly recall bemoaning ‘all this disco shit’ to whoever would listen. Progressive radio stations (yes, these did exist at one point in the USA) railed against canned music and sponsored (very unprogressively) disco disc bonfire nights. Surly bumper stickers breathed heavily about some sort of violence to be meted out against those who continued to put live music venues on the back burner in preference to discotheques. But in the midst of this bluster and cringing there was actually quite a bit of fun, dare I say, damn good, music on the airwaves and in the clubs. Everything from Earth Wind and Fire and Chic, to Abba and the Bee Gees, from The O’Jays and Stevie Wonder to Lou Rawls and Boz Scaggs.
So as the long-awaited 70s party heats up across town, let me console myself by sharing some of the all time great disco-era musical treats with you. Available as podcast and zip file! What a bargain!
01. What Can I Say (Boz Scaggs/ Silk Degrees)
02. Affirmation (George Benson/ Breezin’)
03. The Love I Lost (Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes/ The Ultimate Blue Notes)
04. Adventures of Flash on the Wheels of Steel (Grandmaster Flash/ New York New York)
05. Jive Talkin’ (Bee Gees/ The Best)
06. Waterloo (ABBA/ Gold)
07. Sir Duke (Stevie Wonder/ Songs in the Key of Life)
08. Le Freak (Chic/ Dance, Dance, Dance: The Best of Chic)
09. September (Earth Wind and Fire/ The Best)
10. Georgia (Boz Scaggs/ Silk Degrees)
11. You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine (Lou Rawls/ All Things in Time)
12. I Love the Nightlife (Alicia Bridges/ OST Priscilla, Queen of the Desert)
13. Discotheque (Jimmy McGriff/ Greatest Hits)
14. Texas Twister (Melvin Sparks/ The Best of Acid Jazz)
15. You Are Everything (The Stylistics/ The Very Best)
16. Backstabbers (The O’Jays/ Super Hits)
17. Could It Be I’m Falling in Love (The Spinners/ The Best)
18. I Wish (Stevie Wonder/ Songs in the Key of Life)
19. Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees/ Best)