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1978 music

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In the bush (1978) is the A-side of this twelve inch

Disco and Punk

By 1978, punk and disco had divided the pop audience. [...] Bill Laswell arrives in New York [...]

Music books

  • Disco - Albert Goldman [1 book, Amazon US]
    A brilliant view of all that disco represented in the 70s - the explosion of sound, light, rhythm, drugs, clubs, celebrities and lifestyles of an era. For Goldman, discomania was just another outburst of what he called 'the buried life' - the underground tradition of primitive tribal religious rites, the Greek dionysiac cults and bacchanals. He therefore considered disco as a manifestation of the dancing sickness or the ever-renewing quest for ecstacy and transcendence. The difference with the rock experience was that the dancers themselves became the stars, instead of the performers up on stage. Goldman describes the scene from the perspective of a psychologist, sociologist, musicologist, anthropologist and participant, and it is this last view which makes this book such and excellent and highly readable document of an era. He talks about the personalities, the clubs, the producers and the music in an intelligent but engaging, almost chatty style. Disco genres and musicians like Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Cerrone, Alec Castandinos, Kraftwerk, Meco and others, and the Saturday Night Fever phenomenon. The black & white photographs enhance the enjoyment of reading, and the middle section holds stunning colour pics of disco fever in action, celebrities and musicians like Grace Jones. I think Goldman has succeeded well in preserving a lively and cinematic record of a happy era. It's also interesting to discover the roots of the techno-rave movement in these pages. Of course, the abundant varieties of today's House music have not only their roots, but their spirit as well, in good old disco. a reader for amazon.com [...]


    1. Musique - Keep On Jumpin'
    2. Phreek - Weekend
    3. Third World - Now That We Found Love
    4. Carl Bean - I Was Born This Way
    5. Don Ray - Standing In The Rain
    6. Dinosaur - Kiss Me Again [Arthur Russell]
    7. Goody Goody - It Looks Like Love
    8. First Choice - Love Thang
    9. Kraftwerk - The Robots
    10. Loleatta Holloway - Catch Me On The Rebound
    11. Kebekelektrik - War Dance
    12. Bohannon - Let's Start The Dance
    13. Loleatta Holloway - I May Not Be There When You Want Me
    14. Freda Payne - I'll Do Anything For You
    15. Lenny Williams - You Got Me Running
    16. Linda Clifford - Runaway Love
    17. Lorraine Johnson - Feed The Flame
    18. Tasha Thomas - Shoot Me (With Your Love)
    19. Dan Hartman - Relight My Fire
    20. Cory Daye - Pow Wow
    21. Eddy Grant - Living On The Frontline
    22. Ripple - The Beat Goes On
    23. Kleeer - Keep Your Body Workin'
    24. Phreek - Weekend
    25. Blackbyrds - Rock Creek Park
    26. Roy Ayers - Can't You See Me
    27. David Bendeth - Feel The Real
    28. Love Comittee - Just As Long As I Got You
    29. John Gibbs And The US Steel Orchestra - Trinidad
    30. Jean Carn - Don't Let It Go To Your Head
    31. Herbie Hancock - I Thought It Was You
    32. Roy Ayers - Can't You See Me?
    33. Funkadelic - One Nation Under a Groove
    34. Serge Gainsbourg - Sea Sex and Sun
    35. Damon Harris - It's Music http://www.allthingsdeep.com/dge/damon_harris.htm
    36. Cheryl Lynn - You Saved My Day
    37. Max Berlin - Elle Et Moi
    38. Roy Ayers - Sweet Tears
    39. Telex - Moskow Diskow


    1. Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) - Devo [Amazon US]
      When Devo's debut album came out in 1978, nobody knew what to make of the mutant new-wave quintet from Akron, Ohio. With Brian Eno's skillful production, Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, Jerry and Bob Casale, and Alan Myers emerged fully formed and outrageous with their razor-sharp social commentary and exhibition of subversive media savvy. Beyond their industrial uniforms and pseudo-devolved demeanor, Devo also happened to be a rocking little band. Classic rave-outs like "Mongoloid," "Jocko Homo," and "Uncontrollable Urge" illustrate the band's perky-jerky intensity. On their inimitable cover of the Rolling Stones' youth anthem, "Satisfaction," Devo's avant-garde robot funk takes the song to a new level of alienation and discontent. While the band went on to greater fame, this was the only album they made that truly mattered. --Mitch Meyers for Amazon.com
    2. Warm Leatherette (1978) - Normal [Amazon US]
      The Normal = one Daniel Miller, the eventual head of Mute Records. From this initial single sprang one of the most important labels in modern, trendsetting music from the late 1970s onward, one which gave us Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Einsturzende Neubauten, and very much so on. This is a raw piece of work, bedroom-recorded, and very much a part of the industrial outgrowths of the UK punk scene, like similar efforts by Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Robert Rental, Thomas Leer, and others. Imagine a garage-band Kraftwerk, and you'll get the idea. The sad thing about this meager single, though, is that there's more to the Daniel Miller oeuvre than this, and it's nigh-impossible to get, such as an intense and exposed-nerve-raw live set by Miller (as The Normal) and Robert Rental which was released on Rough Trade c. 1980. So, this gets five stars, both for content and historical import, but a full compilation of The Normal et al would likely get a theoretical six. --DAC Crowell for amazon.com
    3. No New York /Brian Eno (1978) - VA [Amazon US]
      1. Dish It Out-James Chance & The Contortions 2. Flip Your Face-James Chance & The Contortions 3. Jaded-James Chance & The Contortions 4. I Can't Stand Myself-James Chance & The Contortions 5. Burning Rubber-Teenage Jesus And The Jerks 6. The Closet-Teenage Jesus And The Jerks 7. Red Alert-Teenage Jesus And The Jerks 8. I Woke Up Dreaming-Teenage Jesus And The Jerks 9. Helen Fordsdale-Mars 10. Hairwaves-Mars 11. Tunnel-Mars 12. Puerto Rican Ghost-Mars 13. Egomaniac's Kiss-D.N.A. 14. Lionel-D.N.A. 15. Not Moving-D.N.A. 16. Size-D.N.A.

      Japanese release of 1978 release that highlight's the cream of New York's experimental no wave scene of the late 1970s, compiled and produced by Brian Eno. 4 tracks each from 4 bands including James Chance & The Contortions, Teenage Jesus And The Jerks (feat. Lydia Lunch), Mars and D.N.A. (feat. Arto Lindsay).

    4. One Nation Under a Groove (1978) - Funkadelic [Amazon US]
      George Clinton's post-bicentennial message to those in the "chocolate cities" was that America could be theirs, too, without any loss of their own black, regional identities. One Nation Under a Groove remains Funkadelic's most provocative release, as well as one of the funkiest long-players released in the disco era. The band vamps on a world where people of different color play each other's songs ("Who Says a Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!"), lose their inhibitions (the classic title track), and bond together with the glue of shared secrets (the wonderful "Groovallegiance"). Standout: the slow-grooved "Into You," in which a lover vows to stay true or a patriot pledges devotion to a new flag--take your pick. You might think that a complex and moving ode to commitment is out of place on an album with such political overtones, but it's not. It's really the quiet-storm centerpiece. --Don Harrison for amazon.com

    5. Looking for St. Tropez (1978) - Telex [1 CD, Amazon US]
      Track Listings 1. Moskow Diskow 2. Pakmoväst 3. Café de la Jungle 4. Ça Plane Pour Moi 5. Someday-Un Jour 6. Something to Say 7. Rock Around the Clock 8. Victime de la Société #2 9. Twist À St. Tropez 10. Maxi Moskow Diskow 11. Fond de l'Air Est Rouge 12. Victime de la Société #1 13. Quelque Chose À Dire 14. Ave Fifi
      I grew up a big Telex fax while living in Belgium and seeing the original albums reissued with obvious immense care is very satisfying. Marc Moulin (a one-time jazz panist and then part-time DJ on Radio Cite), co-synthesist Dan Lacksman and singer (and one-time architect, if my memory serves me right) Michel Moers create synthesized disco (remember, their first album "Looking for St. Tropez" came out in 1979) dance tunes and other electronic wizzardry. Think a mix of Kraftwerk/Gary Numan with a sense of humor. This reissue contains the 9 originals tracks (including the "hits" Twist a St. Tropez, Moscow Discow, and Rock around the Clock--yes, the Bill Haley tune!) and 5 bonus tracks, including some obscure B sides and the last track Avec Fifi, an instrumental, which must be heard to be believed (I won't spoil the surprise here). In the US, Telex achieved brief notoriety with the underground club version of Moscos Discow, which since then has been imitated often, but never equalized. This reissue includes both the "regular" and the "12 inch underground club" version of the song. If you like good synthesizer dance music, you cannot go wrong with "Looking for St. Tropez". Paul Allaer for amazon.com [...]
    6. Best Dressed Chicken in Town (1978) - Dr. Alimantado [Amazon US]
      Tracklisting 1. Best Dressed Chicken in Town 2. Just the Other Day 3. Poison Flour 4. Gimmie Me Gun 5. I Killed the Barber 6. Ital Galore 7. I Am the Greatest Says Muhammed Ali 8. Johnny Was a Baker 9. Tribute to the Duke 10. Unitone Skank 11. Can't Conquer Natty Dreadlocks 12. Ride On 13. Plead I Cause 14. I Shall Fear No Evil
      Handling production chores himself, Alimantado enlisted top reggae engineers and producers like Lee "Scratch" Perry, King Tubby, and Scientist to add their own alchemy to the mix. [...]
    7. Brian Eno: Ambient 1: Music for Airports [Amazon US]
      Eno's theory of the "discreet music" he called ambient was far from the modern chill-out room: the idea was that it should function at very low volumes, unobtrusively coloring the atmosphere of a room. Evolving by tiny gradations, the long pieces of Music For Airports (the first in a series of albums that followed the statement of purpose Discreet Music) defy close attention, but then they're not meant to be listened to consciously; they're meant to serve as a counterpoint to the frantic arcs of travel, or rather to be imagined in that setting. --Douglas Wolk [...]
    8. Return of the Super Ape (1978) - Lee Scratch Perry & Upsetters [1 CD, Amazon US]
      1. Dyon-Anaswa 2. Return Of The Super Ape 3. Tell Me Something Good 4. Bird In Hand 5. Crab Yars 6. Jah Jah Ah Natty Dread 7. Psyche & Trim 8. The Lion 9. Huzza A Hana 10. High Rankin Sammy
      This is perhaps the spookiest Upsetters album (the horrific cover art should tip you off). Jammed with violent sound effects, jazz riffs, and a menacing, brooding atmosphere, this album is a must. The LP version of Return Of The Super Ape might be okay, but the CD version was apparently mastered from poor quality vinyl. A better choice is Original Super Ape, which combines all of these songs plus five dynamite bonus tracks. Mick Sleeper [...]

    9. Suicide (First Album) - Suicide [1 CD, Amazon US]
      This remarkable debut album, released a full seven years after the group had formed, was still way ahead of its time back in 1978. Suicide--Alan Vega on vocals and Martin Rev on keyboards and drum machine--are one of the most original acts in the history of popular music. They're often called the first synthpop act; synth-punk is closer to the truth--their music was far more edgy and menacing than that of any of their followers, with the notable exception of Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, et al. Suicide drew on the right protopunk influence (Nuggets-type stuff, Velvets, Stooges) and came out of the same Mercer Arts scene that bred the New York Dolls. Their guitar-bass-and-"real"-drummer-deprived setup outraged audiences; on the superb bonus disc you can hear a European crowd rioting in the background while their apocalyptic nursery rhymes sound away. Tough guy Vega croons like an evil Elvis bred on garage rock and performance art; the stoic Rev lays churning, repetitive, and oddly melodic lines down on his beat-up Farfisa, and the ancient drum machine--it actually sounds steam-driven--propels the music toward a ratty, Blade Runner future. "Dream Baby Dream," "Che," "Ghost Rider"--these eerie, sturdy, steam-punk anthems rank among the most visionary, melodic experiments the rock realm has yet produced. This reissue is bright and clear-sounding, and with the full disc of live performances (a 1977 CBGB's soundboard tape plus the legendary "23 Minutes Over Brussels" performance) this is an essential purchase. --Mike McGonigal

    10. Steve Hillage - Green [Amazon US]
      Steve Hillage, at the time of this album, was one of the last great hippie guitar heroes, and was at the very top of his form. He had been touring with the group he assembled for this album for some time, so they were tight and knit together very well. By 1978, Hillage had lots of solo experience, with three solo albums behind him, and plenty of group experience, (most notably with Gong during their most successful period, 1973-75, composing and playing on the "Radio Gnome" trilogy of albums). He had worked with some of the best producers (Todd Rundgren and Malcolm Cecil), and some great musicians. For Green, his producer was Nick Mason, Pink Floyd's drummer and co-producer, and the quality of his work shines out. The guitars sing, the drumming is punchy, the bass infectious and funky, and the synthesisers are other worldly and spacey. Hillage's vocals are usually not his strong point, but here they are very good, while Miquette Giraudy's add an other worldliness and, it must be said, a nice feminine touch. -- Micheal O Mealoid for amazon.com
      [Wild Palms (Love Guitar) is THE track, with a very balearic feel. Steve Hillage collaborated with Derrick May early nineties on the Seven series. ][...]

    11. Musique - Keep On Jumpin' [Amazon US]
      The studio project known as Musique (produced by Patrick Adams) released this album in 1979 on Prelude Records. Prelude's claim to fame was that all of their albums featured four disco-length songs. The whole aim of the label was to put product in the hands of the disc jockeys in the hot clubs that proliferated in those days. Surely, the success Silver Convention had in America with a European sound, influenced Adams, but he took it to a new level. Both lead cuts from the album went straight to the top of the disco/dance chart. "Keep On Jumpin'" was an ode to the dance floor, with a high bpm, pulsating bass, and soaring strings and brass. It could turn a night out on the town into an excursion; a fantasy built around the empowerment and freedom to be found in dance. "In The Bush" was even faster than "Keep On Jumpin'", with its emphasis on Latin rhythms. [...] The girls (the vocalists featured Jocelyn Brown, who went on to fame, singing "Somebody Else's Guy") sing about a love they know is temporary. They sing, "You are my summer love," as opposed to, "You are my love." [...] I think there is something here for anyone who likes soulful dance music. -- David Wayne for amazon.com [...]

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