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Vince Aletti (1940 - )


Vince Aletti (1940 - ) is an American music journalist and art critic.

Vince Aletti was the first person to write about disco (in a piece published in Rolling Stone in 1973), writing about early clubs like David Mancuso's Loft in the seventies.

In the late seventies, Vince also worked for Ray Caviano’s RFC Records.

These days, Vince Aletti is the Village Voice’s art critic. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Aletti [Jul 2005]

First article on disco

Excerpt from "Discotheque Rock '72: Paaaaarty!" by Vince Aletti from Rolling Stone, September 13, 1973.

Paar-ty! Paar-ty! . . . You hear the chant at concerts, rising like a tribal rallying cry on a shrill wave of whistles and hard-beaten tambourines. It's at once a call to get down and party, a statement that there's a party going on and an indication that discotheques, where the chant originated, are back in force . . . .

. . . in the last year they've returned not only as a rapidly spreading social phenomenon (via juice bars, after-hours clubs, private lofts open on weekends to members only, floating groups of party-givers who take over the ballrooms of old hotels from midnight to dawn) but as a strong influence on the music people listen to and buy.

The best discotheque DJs are underground stars, discovering previously ignored albums, foreign imports, album cuts and obscure singles with the power to make the crowd scream and playing them overlapped, non-stop so you dance until you drop.

Records like the O'Jays' "Love Train," Eddie Kendricks' "Girl You Need a Change of Mind," the Intruders' "I'll Always Love My Mama," the Pointer Sisters' "Yes We Can Can" and the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" were broken or made in discotheques, but, with few exceptions, their acceptance above ground was nothing compared to their popularity with the dance crowd. Other records . . . live and die in discotheques, like exotic hothouse flowers.

One of the most spectacular discotheque records in recent months is a perfect example of the genre: Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa." Originally a French pressing on the Fiesta label, the 45 was being largely undistributed by an African import company in Brooklyn when "a friend" brought it to the attention of DJ Frankie Crocker. Crocker broke it on the air on New York's WBLS-FM, a black station highly attuned to the disco sound, but the record was made in discotheques where its hypnotic beat and mysterious African vocals drove people crazy. Within days, "Soul Makossa" was the underground record and when copies of the original 45 disappeared at $3 and $4, cover versions (many unlicensed and one a pirated copy put out under another group's name) were rushed out. Atlantic Records stepped into this confusion, bought the U.S. rights and had both the single and an album out on their own label days later . . . .

Excerpt from "Discotheque Rock '72: Paaaaarty!" by Vince Aletti from Rolling Stone, September 13, 1973.
By Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc., 1973.
--http://www.rhino.com/features/liners/75595lin4.html [Jul 2005]

Record pool

David Mancuso, Steve D'Aquisto and Vince Aletti wrote the charter for the very first record pool

Lester Bangs

DeRogatis recounts rock criticism's development from the earliest days pre-Rolling Stone up through the early 80s, showing how the form evolved from fan magazine material to serious study by competing journalists. DeRogatis presents an interesting look at the first years of Creem magazine, where idealistic, rock-obsessed youths lived together in squalor and put out a great magazine. Every notable rock critic from the 60s and 70s gets a short bio in Let it Blurt and is given a place in the development of rock criticism. It's clear that DeRogatis considers Lester's contemporaries to have been of considerably lesser talent, reduced after their bio to mere gossip fodder. So for example we find out that Robert Christgau once was nude while editing Lester, but put his clothes on when the flamboyantly gay Vince Aletti came to the door, and that Dave Marsh's girlfriend from the early 70s described him as "a possessed elf." In the final chapter DeRogatis makes an unconvincing case that the best years of rock criticism died with Lester. -- from http://www.dancingaboutarc.com/essays/bangsessay.html, a review on DeRogatis' bio of late Lester Bangs.


  • http://www.superseventies.com/dancemad.html -- Dancing Madness Disco madness analyzed... the disco sound revealed... trendy platters recommended. A 1975 Rolling Stone essay by Vince Aletti.

    Super Rare Disco, Vol. 1 and 2 (1997) - Various Artists

    with liner notes by Vince Aletti
    1. Super Rare Disco, Vol. 2 (1997) - Various Artists [Amazon.com]
      1. Let's Start the Dance 2. Somebody's Gotta Go (Sho Ain't Me) - Mike & Bill 3. Overnight Sensation - Jerry Knight 4. If My Friends Could See Me Now - Linda Clifford 5. When the Fuel Runs Out - Executive Suite 6. Think Before You Stop - The Notations 7. Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart - The Trammps 8. I Caught Your Act - Hues Corporation 9. Happiness Is Just Around the Bend - The Main Ingredient 10. Every Beat of My Heart - Crown Heights Affair 11. There'll Come a Time, There'll Come a Day - Basic Black 12. Smarty Pants - First Choice 13. This Will Be a Night to Remember - Eddie Holman 14. Down to Love Town - The Originals 15. Mainline - Black Ivory 16. Bottle - Brian Jackson 17. Ten Percent - Double Exposure 18. (Sending Out An) S.O.S. - Rhetta Young 19. Remote Control - The Reddings 20. Love Insurance
    2. Super Rare Disco, Vol. 1 (1997) - Various Artists [1 CD, Amazon US]
      1. Tell Me What You Want - Jimmy Ruffin 2. Dreaming a Dream - Crown Heights Affair 3. Touch and Go - Ecstasy, Passion & Pain 4. Sugar Pie Guy - The Joneses 5. Footstompin' Music - Hamilton Bohannon 6. Free Man - South Shore Commission 7. My Baby's Got E.S.P. - Four Below Zero 8. You Little Trustmaker - The Tymes 9. Rock Me Again & Again [6 Times] 10. Let Me Lay My Funk on You - Poison 11. I'll Be Holding On - Al Downing 12. Dream World - Don Downing 13. To Each His Own 14. Makes You Blind - Glitter Band 15. Date With the Rain - Eddie Kendricks 16. It's Just Begun - The Jimmy Castor Bunch 17. Girls 18. Player - First Choice 19. Peace Pipe - B.T. Express 20. Hold Back the Night - The Trammps [This are not twelve inch versions, this is before the twelve inch era, or if they are, they are mixed, Touch and Go and My Baby's Got E.SP. and Player are stupendous]

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