[<<] Music in the 1970s [>>]

July 12, 1979, disco sucks


  • 1970 Funkadelic (1970) - Funkadelic
  • 1971 There's a Riot Goin' On - Sly & The Family Stone
  • 1972 Soul Makossa (1972) - Manu Dibango
  • 1973 Space is the Place (1973) - Sun Ra
  • 1974 Autobahn (1974) - Kraftwerk
  • 1975 The Mothership Connection (1975) - Parliament
  • 1976 Super Ape (1976) - Lee Perry
  • 1977 Never Mind The Bollocks ... (1977) - Sex Pistols
  • 1978 Ambient 1: Music for Airports (1978) - Brian Eno
  • 1979 London Calling (1979) - The Clash

    Underground Music

    What was underground music like in 1970?

    Basically R and B, what they called R and B. Anything that was danceable, it's hard to categorize individually. The crossover music was there. Also there was the influence of stuff like the Stones, Zeppelin, Brian Auger, groups like that, there was a good amount of crossover music, it certainly wasn't looked at as disco. [Then] disco happened. I think part of what happened was the twelve inch came in. Deejays would take a record like Scorpio which has a nice little drum thing in the middle, and take two forty fives and they would keep going back and forth and they would expand the time on the thing. And that became the twelve inch. -- David Mancuso via Richard Nixon, Underground News - issue #19 via http://www.attitude-nocturne.ch/retro/artist_house_david_mancuso.htm [Oct 2004]

    Disco [...]

    Disco music is an up-tempo style of dance music that originated in the early 1970s, mainly from funk and soul music, popular originally with gay and black audiences in large U.S. cities, and derives its name from the French word discothèque (meaning nightclub), coined from disc + bibliotèque (library) by La Discothèque in Rue Huchette. --adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco [Sept 2004]

    Bob Marley [...]

    In the late summer of 1970, a momentous but short-lived partnership was undertaken between the Wailers and the bizarre, innovative producer/performer Lee Perry. All were alumni of Coxson Dodd's Studio One, having departed to seek their fortunes by controlling their own products. While at Studio One the Wailers had developed a good working relationship with Perry, who had routinely supervised their recording sessions and occasionally used them as harmonists on his own vocal efforts, like his big hit Pussy Galore. As the summer of 1970 wound down, the Wailers were coming off a major disappointment. They had produced an extraordinary collection of songs, arguably the first real concept album in reggae's history, for Chinese-Jamaican producer Leslie Kong. A week after the release of their collaboration called The Best of the Wailers, Kong dropped dead in his home, and the album was, at least for the moment, stillborn. The Wailers had watched with envy as Perry, a tiny sprite whom everyone called "Scratch," had begun to make himself rich, mainly through his link-up with British-based labels. He had recently enjoyed a major British chart smash with his studio band, known as the Upsetters (just as Scratch, and his chief record label, would also be called Upsetter). The song was called "Return of Django," and the Wailers wanted in on similar action. -- Leroy Jodie Pierson & Roger Steffens [...]

    Rap [...]

    Rap originated in the mid-1970s in the South Bronx area of New York City. The rise of rap in many ways parallels the birth of rock'n roll in the 1950s. Both originated within the African American community and both were initially recorded by small, independent record labels and marketed almost exclusively to a black audience. In both cases, the new style gradually attracted white musicans, a few of whom began performing it. For rock'n roll it was a white American from Mississippi, Elvis Presley, who broke into the billboard magazine popular music charts. For rap it was a white group from New York, the Beastie Boys. The release of their albums was one of the first two rap records to reach the billboard top-ten list of popular hits. The other significant early rap recording to reach the top-ten, "Walk This Way" (1986), was a collaboration of the black rap group Run-DMC and the white hard-rock band Aerosmith. Soon after 1986, the use of the samples and declaimed vocal styles became widespread in popular music of both black and white performers, significantly altering previous notions of what constitutes a legitimate song, composition or musical instrument. -- Unknown Author

    DJs [...]


    "In the seventies, when clubs only needed one DJ, that DJ was in a position to make waves. And in cities where the clubs were usually soundtracked by jukeboxes, those waves could become a storm."

    Philly Soul [...]

    The Philly Sound was the era's touchstone. It divided rock from soul, and the '70s from the '60s. It carried the banner for black music in the popular imagination and received most of the flak. Like all innovatory styles its true importance was only apparent much later. -- Maurice Bottomley

    Salsoul [...]

    Nice and Nasty New York's Salsoul Records was created and financed by three brothers who had already independently established their mark in the business via their expertise in the Latin-American music market. Joe, Ken and Stan Cayre have a world-wide reputation for running a tight ship, so it seemed inconceivable that they would gamble on traditional music business areas like artist development, national distribution, promotion etc. etc. In all, we're talking too expensive, too risky and a probable loser IN THEORY. But somewhere along the line legendary Afro-Filipino musician Joe Bataan must've zapped the Cayre brothers with his sizzling version of Gil Scott-Heron's dancefloor anthem "The Bottle". Plus, being a red hot muso, he was probably bubbling over with enthusiasm over his description of a new sound - a natural fusion of South America's historic rythms, infectious feel and hot temper - Salsa, together with North Amerca's most unique legacy and consistent export - Soul. Salsa and Soul - Salsoul. Geddit! Anyway "The Bottle" hit big, Salsoul was born and the rest is dance music history. -- Ian Dewhirst

    Electronic Dance Music [...]

    The idea of electronic dance music was in the air from 1977 on. Released as disco 12" records in the U.S., cuts like "Trans-Europe Express" and "The Robots" coincided with Giorgio Moroder's electronic productions for Donna Summer, especially "I Feel Love." This in turn had a huge influence on Patrick Cowley's late '70s productions for Sylvester: synth cuts like "You Make Me Feel Mighty Real" and "Stars" were the start of gay disco. Before he died in 1982, Cowley made his own synthetic disco record, the dystopian "Mind Warp." --Jon Savage

    Reggae (1973) [...]

    Jimmy Cliff's soundtrack to The Harder They Come is the first commercially successful reggae music in western markets -- meanwhile, Bob Marley & the Wailers most well-reviewed works are released, though sales are limited outside of Jamaica

    Early dub artists like Lee Scratch Perry (Cloak & Dagger), Bunny Lee, U-Roy (Version Galore), Clive Chin and King Tubby reach the peak of their popularity in Jamaica, as they revolutionize mixing techniques and toasting; Perry and Tubby's Blackboard Jungle is particularly notable. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_trends_in_music_%281970-1979%29#1973_in_music [Oct 2004]

    Lee Perry [...]

    Lee Perry's Black Ark era (1976 - 1979)
    During this time, Jamaica's most magnificent and memorable music was being made, and Scratch was responsible for much of it. The trademark "hissing / falling rain / chains in the dungeon" sound that the Black Ark is famous for finally emerges. Now at the height of his craft, Scratch ensures that the Black Ark was the cornerstone of the deadliest music in reggae.

    Fela Kuti [...]

    Shakara was among the records that got played on the New York club scene in the seventies

    Gay Liberation [...]

    But the Seventies also witnessed the flowering of gay clubbing, especially in post-Stonewall New York. For the gay community in this decade, clubbing, according to Garratt, became 'a religion, a release, a way of life'. -- David Haslam

    Punk [...]

    Some of the great days of disco, in 1976 and 1977, coincided with punk, but if you read any received history of popular music, you wouldn't know it. The inveterate rock bias in the music papers, magazines and academia has left much dancefloor history still undocumented. The trad agenda set by commentators in the sixties, heavy with value judgments - glorifying the work of the Velvet Underground over Motown releases, the production skills of Brian Wilson over those of Norman Whitfield, and the social significance and songwriting talent of John Lennon rather than James Brown - persists. Clearly, too, most rock writing foregrounds lyrics, whereas most dance music works through texture, beats and effects. Back in 1976, punk set itself against disco wholeheartedly. In July 1979, at the home stadium of the Chicago White Sox baseball team, thousands of disco records were set alight while the crowd chanted 'Disco sucks, Disco sucks!' The 1989 edition of the Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music describes disco as 'a dance fad of the Seventies with a profound and unfortunate influence on popular music'. --David Haslam

    Dub [...]

    The mid to late seventies were the golden years for dub music. It was the time when the style peaked in both terms of popularity and creativity, with the fierce competition among Jamaica's producers pushing its boundaries to new limits. And of these producers, none proved more succesfull or prolific than Bunny 'Striker' Lee. Christened Edward O'Sullivan Lee, Bunny was born in Kingston on August 23rd, 1940. He started out as a record promoter and by the mid-sixties he found himself working days as a filling clerk, while nights were spent plugging disc for Duke Reid, Prince Buster, Coxsonne Dodd and Leslie Kong. By the close of 1967, Bunny launched his own Lee label, on which he issued a series of popular singles by artists such as Glen Adams, Roy Shirley, Ken Parker and The Uniques. In 1969 his production of Max Romeo's 'Wet Dream' became a UK top ten hit. After visiting a dance, featuring Ruddy Redwood's Supreme Ruler of Sound set, who pioneered the use of dub techniques, he began releasing singles with 'version' on its flip. By the mid seventies Bunny was head and shoulder above his nearest rival in term of sales, with a roster of artists that included such luminaries as Johnny Clarke, Delroy Wilson, John Holt, Linval Thompson, Horace Andy, Jackie Edwards, Cornell Campbell and Owen Gray. --Teacher & Mr. T

    Funk [...]

    Funk is a vigorous African American style of music developed mainly by James Brown and his band members (especially Maceo and Melvin Parker) on the one hand and groups like The Meters on the other hand. In the 1970s, George Clinton developed a new kind of funk he termed P Funk. Other prominent representatives of the genre in the 1970s: Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Ohio Players, The Commodores, War, Earth, Wind and Fire, Mass Production, Slave, Lakeside, and many more. In the 1980s, funk lost some of its audience as bands became more commercial and music more electronic. Today, hip hop artists regularly sample old funk tunes, sometimes for the purpose of waking them up to new recognition.

    Funk can be best recognized by syncopated rhythm, thick bass line (often based on "on one" beat), razor-sharp rhythm guitars, yowlish vocals (as that of Cameo or Bar-Kays), strong rhythm-oriented brass section, percussion instruments, happiness in style, African tones, dance floor audience, and strong jazzy influences (e.g. as in Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Eddie Harries, and others).

    Disco music owes a great deal to funk. --http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funk

    Jazz funk [...]

    Whenever a jazz artist turns to rock, R&B or pop, jazz's hardcore purists are bound to cry "sellout." In the 1970s, a number of talented jazz improvisers increased their sales considerably by embracing R&B, including Roy Ayers. Those artists experienced scathing attacks by jazz critics when, in the mid-1970s, they moved to jazz-funk, which was basically soul, funk and disco with jazz overtones. 'Running Away', 'Sweet Tears' and 'Can't You See Me made him immensely popular on the UK jazz-dance scene


    1. Funkadelic (1970) - Funkadelic [1 CD, Amazon US]
      This is the debut album by the outstanding musical pioneers Funkadelic & my favourite of what I've heard so far. it opens w/ the immortal line "If you will suck my soul, I will lick yr funky emotions" before getting into the groove of their manifesto track Mommy, What's A Funkadelic? combiming humour, stoner-rock, soul, & something else in a magical blend for the ears. I Bet You is a supreme soul stomper type song unlikely to leave yr head too quickly, perfection. Other highlights are What Is Soul? which closes the album & is a sequel to the 1st track & I Got A Thing... which includes the statement "you don't drink what I drink what I drink, you don't smoke what I smoke, you don't think like I think, you don't joke like I joke" which is to bring people together despite superficial differences. The players are Eddie Hazel, Bernie Worrell, Tiki Fulwood, & others & the occasional narration of the man behind the curtain George Clinton. I had written a more indepth review before but for some reason it never got posted, all I mean to say is that this is an excellent, intelligent, essential & overlooked album that will indeed Free Yr Mind if you give it a chance. FunkMeister G for amazon.com [...]

    2. 1970 Fela's London Scene-HNLX 5200
      Fela Kuti's debut album, recorded in London

    3. Soul Rebels (1970) - Bob Marley & the Wailers [1 CD, Amazon US]
      In the late summer of 1970, a momentous but short-lived partnership was undertaken between the Wailers and the bizarre, innovative producer/performer Lee Perry. All were alumni of Coxson Dodd's Studio One, having departed to seek their fortunes by controlling their own products. While at Studio One the Wailers had developed a good working relationship with Perry, who had routinely supervised their recording sessions and occasionally used them as harmonists on his own vocal efforts, like his big hit Pussy Galore. As the summer of 1970 wound down, the Wailers were coming off a major disappointment. They had produced an extraordinary collection of songs, arguably the first real concept album in reggae's history, for Chinese-Jamaican producer Leslie Kong. A week after the release of their collaboration called The Best of the Wailers, Kong dropped dead in his home, and the album was, at least for the moment, stillborn. The Wailers had watched with envy as Perry, a tiny sprite whom everyone called "Scratch," had begun to make himself rich, mainly through his link-up with British-based labels. He had recently enjoyed a major British chart smash with his studio band, known as the Upsetters (just as Scratch, and his chief record label, would also be called Upsetter). The song was called "Return of Django," and the Wailers wanted in on similar action. -- Leroy Jodie Pierson & Roger Steffens [...]

    4. Express Yourself - In the Jungle Babe - Charles Wright & The Watts 103d Street Rhythm Band[1 CD, Amazon US]
      The very first R&B group signed to Warner Bros., Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band streaked forward with a solid run of hit records that have all but faded into obscurity. "Express Yourself," their best known hit (included on this disc), peaked at #3 on the R&B and #12 on the Pop charts. In the Jungle and Express Yourself represented two important steps forward from the 60s soul sound and into the raw funk of the 1970s. [...]


    1. Pieces of a Man (1971) - Gil Scott-Heron [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      1. Revolution Will Not Be Televised 2. Save the Children 3. Lady Day and John Coltrane 4. Home Is Where the Hatred Is 5. When You Are Who You Are 6. I Think I'll Call It Morning 7. Pieces of a Man 8. Sign of the Ages 9. Or Down You'll Fall 10. Needle's Eye 11. Prisoner [...]
    2. Histoire De Melody Nelson - Serge Gainsbourg [1 CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      Track Listings 1. Melody 2. Ballade De Melody Nelson 3. Valse De Melody 4. Ah! Melody 5. L'Hotel Particulier 6. En Melody 7. Cargo Culte
      1998 reissue on Mercury of his 1971 album for the label that has a strong Velvet Underground feel to it throughout. A 20 bit digital remaster, it features the original cover art & all seven of the original tracks. Digipak. 1998 Mercury release. amazon editorial
      I'd heard his name a million times before over the years, but was unfamiliar with his work. I happened upon this album and thinking it would be a quirky 70's novelty item, I purchased it. I was transfixed! I don't speak a word of French, so I have only the slightest clue whats going on here, but this music and his delivery transcends language. I find it ultimately pointless to try and describe music, but think of the coolest 70's porn music imaginable, add strings and in some parts a choir, and then add a lecherous and deep narration over the top and you start to get an idea. And along the way you'll hear some of the most beautiful "melodies" that you've ever thought possible. If you've ever swooned to Scott Walker, or been hypnotized by a particularly lush film soundtrack, then you will ADORE this. If you've never purchased Serge before, START HERE. You'll fall for Melody Nelson, too. -- James Baker for amazon.com [...]
    3. Tago Mago - Can [1 CD, Amazon US]
      Coming out with standard pre-Pavement material up until Aumgn, with nice rants courtesy of then lead singer Kenji Damo Suzuki and neatly syncopated beats that would even have Beyoncé go "woo" Can susbsequently indulge into the unavoidable "bruitiste" wank till the gentler transe of Bring me Coffee or Tea Please puts an end to the pain. Erm...let's say it's a taste to be asserted but never understood neither explained. This LP will win early adopters a seat in the supercilious community of curled lips while those too honest to fake complete adoration will retain the Tago out of the Mago. -- Tigersushi [...]
    4. There's a Riot Goin' On - Sly & The Family Stone [1 CD, Amazon US]
      Tracklisting: 1. Luv N' Haight 2. Just Like a Baby 3. Poet 4. Family Affair 5. Africa Talks to You "The Asphalt Jungle" 6. Brave and Strong 7. (You Caught Me) Smilin' 8. Time 9. Spaced Cowboy 10. Runnin' Away 11. Thank You for Talkin' to Me Africa
      Certain albums both define a specific point in time and yet manage to be timeless. Such an album is There's A Riot Going On. After a few records of sexy, sunny, but never cavalier funk/pop, the twisted genius of Sly Stone turned dark, moody, reflective, angry, but no less funky for the contemplation. Stone created an album that spoke not only to the turmoil gripping America in 1971, but also to the chaos whirling around his increasingly druggy personal life. This is an album of dangerous beauty, where even the hit ("Family Affair") is guarded and haunting. --Amy Linden [...]
    5. Fela Kuti - Open and Close/Afrodisiac [1 CD, Amazon US]
      I first heard the track "Open and Close" on WKCR (NYC/Columbia U.) on their late night soul, funk, and afro-beat program Night Train. I was just getting into Fela, and I was completely blown away by this particular track, which I still think contains some of Fela's best vocal work. Unfortunately, the album of the same name was only available on a fairly rare import reissue.
      Now Open and Close appears together with the enormously funky album Afrodisiac (I don't remember what it formerly appeared with)[it was released in 1973], and the pairing combines to make what is probably my favorite Fela disc. The horns are bright and fiery, the grooves are tight, and they range from super fast funk to molasses-slow grinds. -- joshua-one for amazon.com [...]


    1. Catch a Fire (1973) - Bob Marley [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      With this, his major-label debut, Bob Marley not only became an international superstar, so did reggae itself. The world of music would never be the same after the burning, classic tracks of "Stir It Up," "Slave Driver," and "Concrete Jungle." Everything about this 1973 platter is seminal--Marley's lyrics are political, but never preaching; there's not a dud track on the entire disc; the accompaniment of Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston is unbeatable; and while this is classic reggae, it never sounds clichéd. This is, quite simply, as timeless as music gets. With great packaging, this deluxe edition gathers the original album and the unreleased Jamaican version. The Jamaican disc features a different mastering and sequence, and two additional tracks that show Marley's softer side--"Hide Tide or Low Tide" and "All Day All Night." --Jason Verlinde

    2. Wild and Peaceful (1973) - Kool & The Gang [Amazon US]
      Originally formed as the Jazziacs in 1964, Kool & The Gang took their new identity in 1969 when they signed with DeLite Records. Led by bassist Robert "Kool" Bell, this horn-driven band left their jazz roots behind when they combined the rhythmic elements of funk with the party flavor of disco. With no formal lead vocalist, their songs relied more on grooves and instrumental power than pretty lyrics sung by a pretty voice (though this would change in the 1980s when they added lead singer J.T. Taylor). Released in 1973, Wild and Peaceful broke them to a wider crossover audience. Fueled by three killer hit singles--"Funky Stuff," "Jungle Boogie," and "Hollywood Swinging"--the Kool & the Gang sound hits full throttle here. For killer party jams, this is the one. --Tom Vickers for Amazon.com

    3. Funky Kingston (1973 - Toots & The Maytals [1 CD, Amazon US]
      By 1975, rock audiences were finally getting heavily into reggae, thanks to the success of Bob Marley's first two albums and Jimmy Cliff's soundtrack for The Harder They Come. Funky Kingston, a collection of early '70s Maytals singles, was released to capitalize on the newfound demand for Jamaican sounds, and it did not disappoint--nor will it disappoint anyone who comes across it today. With Toots Hibbert's gritty vocals at the fore, this is the closest reggae ever got to American soul music. If sublimely funky tracks such as "Time Tough," "Got to Be There," and "Pressure Drop" don't make you smile, then their ganja-laced cover of John Denver's "Country Roads" (complete with a shout-out to "West Jamaica") should definitely do the trick. --Dan Epstein for amazon.com

    4. Coffy [SOUNDTRACK] (1973) - Roy Ayers [1 CD, Amazon US]
      1. Coffy Is the Color Listen Listen 2. Pricilla's Theme Listen Listen 3. King George Listen Listen 4. Aragon Listen Listen 5. Coffy Sauna Listen Listen 6. King's Last Ride 7. Coffy Baby 8. Brawling Broads 9. Escape 10. Shining Symbol 11. Exotic Dance 12. Making Love 13. Vittroni's Theme-King Is Dead 14. End of Sugarman
      The film that gave Pam Grier her first leading role and vaulted her to queen bee of the blaxploitation movement also inspired a soundtrack that is arguably Roy Ayers's most rewarding work. Grier plays a disgruntled nurse who goes "underground" to exact revenge on the pusher men who put the monkey on her junkie sister's back. Ayers matches her step for gun-totin' step with crisp, percolating drum lines; colorful ripples of electric piano; and his signature, lissome vibe work. Ayers' twin talents--the head-scratching virtuosity of his jazz runs and the ass-shaking grooves of his R&B rhythms--are in full flower on this recording. But Coffy is more than an acid-jazz archetype. The classically inspired solo harpsichord piece and the wack auxiliary percussion freak-out also included here hint at a deeper pool of inspiration that Ayers would rarely return to again. --Matt Hanks for amazon.com [...] [...]

    5. Chuck Mangione - Land of Make Believe [1 CD, Amazon US]
      Land of Make Believe is a live concert album, recorded before Chuck Mangione broke through with his hit "Feels So Good". It's a great view into some of his earlier (and argueably better) music. To me this album rests on two songs: "Land of Make Believe" and "Legend of the One-Eyed Sailor". Legend starts off this set with a driving percussion riff. It then breaks into a great, upbeat tempo'ed, instrumental piece that provides many solos to enjoy. Land takes the concert into another direction, bringing a great vocalist [Esther Satterfield] onto the stage to mesmorize you. The lyrics to the song are at once both hopeful and haunting, and the music just absolutely soars. All other songs on this album, although decent in their own right, pales in comparrison to these two.

    6. African Herbsman (1973) - Bob Marley [1 CD, Amazon US]
      1. Lively Up Yourself 2. Small Axe 3. Duppy Conqueror 4. Trench Town Rock 5. African Herbsman 6. Keep On Moving 7. Fussing And Fighting 8. Stand Alone 9. All In One 10. Don't Rock The Boat 11. Put It On 12. Sun Is Shining 13. Kaya 14. Riding High 15. Brain Washing 16. 400 Years
      [...] the "tinny" sound just comes with the territory (sometimes) when you delve into the older Wailers recordings. If you are new to the Wailers, this would not be my first recommendation, but it is a very fine album none the less, worthy of inclusion in any Marley collection. However, may I also recommend an alternative... "Bob Marley and The Wailers: The Early Years". You'll get a lot of the same songs, plus other great hard to find tunes, plus better sound. I normally hesitate to recommend "greatest hits" type albums but this one is exceptional and a safe bet if you're unable to collect each individual album from Bob's early work. Also, if you like "African Herbsman" or "...The Early Years" check out "Rasta Revolution"...a groundbreaking and overlooked gem, in my opinion. Any of the above mentioned albums are an excellent way to explore Bob's music before the more commercial Chris Blackwell production values came into the picture. A Lee Perry production. -- big_wheel from Los Angeles for amazon.com [...]

    7. The New York Dolls (1973) - New York Dolls [1 DVD, Amazon US]
      In 1972, when rock & roll was all but dead in Manhattan, five cross-dressing glam punks from the boroughs convened and began hammering out crude, sub-Chuck Berry rock for the downtown in-crowd. It took another year before a record company dared to sign them, thus foisting The New York Dolls on an essentially uninterested world. Taking their cue from the band's guitarist/Keefalike Johnny Thunders, hardcore Dolls fans pooh-poohed Todd Rundgren's production as wimpy: twenty-five years after its release, songs like "Personality Crisis" and "Looking for a Kiss" sound more trashily invigorating than ever. With the Rolling Stones finished as a vital force by '73, the doomed Dolls were there to step into the void. A classic. --Barney Hoskyns for amazon.com [...]

    8. Milagre Dos Peixes - Milton Nascimento [1 CD, Amazon US]
      This album was the 1973 follow-up to '72's epochal "Clube Da Esquina." It's a brave, integrity-filled move that doesn't attempt to duplicate "CDE" in the least. Emotion-filled and at times a bit creepy, it features wordless vocals and sound effects in lieu of lyrics, most of which were banned by the military dictator schmucks then in power in Brazil. This reissue has a different cover than the original and inferior sound, but the great, proper Abbey Road-remastered version seems to be out of print (EMI, what are you DOING! ). Nevertheless, this is an important work that deserves to be heard one way or another. Musically, it's nothing like you might expect, it's a work you need to set aside some time to absorb properly. Its riches will reveal themselves to you eventually, and you'll then embark on a mission to track down the good CD version of this, which even reproduces the lavish packaging of the original. This is music as deep and wide as the ocean... -- Greg Casseus for amazon.com [...]

    9. Herbie Hancock - Headhunters [Amazon US]
      Album Details
      Limited Millennium Edition. Packed in a Heavy Weight Card Wallet that Faithfully Recreates the Original Vinyl Sleeve, Right Down to the Inner Bag. The Wallet Comes in a Plastic Cover.
      Sampled by Ashley Beedle in 'Blacker than Thou' [...]

    10. Skull Snaps [IMPORT][Amazon US]
      1. My Hang up Is You 2. Having You Around 3. Didn't I Do It to You 4. All of a Sudden 5. It's a New Day 6. I'm Your Pimp 7. I Turn My Back on Love 8. Trepasssing 9. I'm Falling Out of Love
      Is it for "It's a New Day" by any chance? If you don't have this, then click "Buy Now" and add one of the all-time classics to your collection. By itself, this fantastic tune justifies the price of admission. And if you're a beatmonger digging deeper? Weeeell.... the rest of this album is an enjoyable, if inessential, slice of soul'n'funk. You _can_ live without it. I guess it's a shame the enigmatic Skull Snaps never got more material onto disc. But when your only album includes one of eternity's phattest drum breaks, I'd say you've done enough already. a music fan for amazon.com

    11. Space is the Place - Sun Ra[Amazon US]
      The 20 minute plus title cut is one of the most amazing songs ever recorded in the history of music recording. It is one of the very few pieces, of all time by anyone, which deserves adjectives such as "mindblowing." The shorter pieces are upper level Sun Ra recordings. Powerful, incredible music.

    12. John Martyn - Solid Air [1 CD, Amazon US]
      What a totally wonderful album!! It's one of those works that truly have something for everyone. A love of left-field jazz and blues led him to this scintillating formula that you can kick back and enjoy (repeatedly!) or pick through for cool, groovy samples. I had long heard of this album as a big influence on folks I really respect, but that still didn't prepare me for the bewitching effect of this magical effort. Why, pray tell, is this guy not world famous? Upon further investigation, I found that "Bless The Weather" and "Inside Out" are also incredible, especially the former. This is ideal for listening on a cool, breezy, sensuous evening, but the moments on it that challenge that idyllic scenario are the ones that will keep you coming back for more. Also highly recommended to Terry Callier fans. I wish some ad agency would put something from here in some commercial, and get him some deserved recognition while he's still around to enjoy it, unlike his late buddy Nick Drake. GET THIS ALBUM -- Greg C from NY for amazon.com [A friend of mine has been listening to this for quite some time, I discovered it through Gilles ]

    13. Cosmic Slop - Funkadelic [1 CD, Amazon US]
      My favourite Funkadelic recording, including 'Cosmic Slop', later versioned by Bill Laswell's Material. 1973. Detroiter George Clinton was both behind Parliament and Funkadelic. [...]


    1. Autobahn (1974) - Kraftwerk [Amazon US]
      Though they'd recorded three previous albums, Kraftwerk's modern pop legacy starts with the sounds of a few footsteps and a slamming car door--the beginning of a 22-minute musically impressionistic excursion down Germany's famed superhighway. An unexpected hit on both sides of the Atlantic, Autobahn's "fahren, fahren, fahren" refrain echoes "Fun, Fun, Fun" by the Beach Boys (just one of Kraftwerk's unlikely influences), while the entire concept recalls Brian Wilson's frustrated attempts at creating what he called "a pocket symphony." The rhythmic synth pulse that carries the title track will be familiar to Kraftwerk admirers, while cofounder Florian Schneider's flute work and other more delicate melodic touches hearken back to the band's prog-rock foundations (as do the atmospheric "Kometenmelodie 1 & 2," "Mitternacht," and "Morgenspaziergang"). Kraftwerk's fascination with technology has been well documented, but the revelation of Autobahn is the playful human spirit behind the robots' masks. --Jerry McCulley for amazon.com

    2. Love to Love You Baby (1974) - Donna Summer [1 CD, Amazon US]
      in 1974, she hit it really big with the worldwide disco hit "Love to love you baby" after meeting producer Giorgio Moroder and signing to the Oasis sub-label of Neil Bogart's Casablanca label. It is the typical disco song of the period - with Giorgio Moroder / Pete Belotte's thumping disco beat, the wah-wah guitar and the big orchestra (actually "Munich Machine"). "Need-a-man blues" is other disco track from this first Oasis album. --discofunk.com

    3. Thrust (1974) - Herbie Hancock [Amazon US]
      Fans of Herbie Hancock, you should come here before "Headhunters". Any jazz prententions left over from that are erased in an instant as Hancock swings into full funk mode. The opening "Palm Grease" is highlighted by a beat-heavy percussive groove as the Headhunters lay down a rhythm groovy enough to accomodate Hancock's staccato keyboard work. The next cut,inspired by a zen koan "Actual Proof" is a long,busy cut with a rightously polyrhythmic rhythm with Herbie's downplayed synthesized keyboards flying in all directions. "Butterfly" is a fusion ballad so beautiful and memorable that not only do many jazz artists since have used and covered it's melody but Herbie himself remade it in 1994 on his "Dis Is Da Drum" album-it's a Hancock classic and could be the highpoint of this record. The closing "Spank-A-Lee" is a pure funk jam that is the records statement of intent. "Thrust" is unique in so many ways-unlike most period fusion or funk/jazz it isn't excessive or bombastic, the arrangements while very funky are subdued and the overall instrumentation subtle and most important-while predominantly uptempo the album is not incredibly dancable-our feet arn't this limber, but that doesn't mean you don't want to try! Plus despite it's funkiness the music is heavily improvised, giving it a pseudo jazz feel. Overall this is the Hancock/Headhunters statement of intent that "Headhunters" is said to be but all too often is not-jazzy funk instead of jazz that's funky. -- Andre' Scot Grindle for amazon.com

    4. Phaedra (1974) - Tangerine Dream [Amazon US]
      This 1974 masterpiece from Christopher Franke, Edgar Froese, and Peter Baumann ebbs and flows with richly dark soundscapes of electronic sounds and synth. Phaedra was a progenitor for much ambient--and some dance--music, influencing such artists as Steve Roach. After listening to Phaedra it's easy to understand why. The signature pulsing of thick, beautiful Tangerine Dream synth falls across the ambient treasures here, pulling along the orchestral dreamscape before oozing aside for thick washes of expansive sound. The now-classic title cut is both soothing and ghostly, throbbing with subtle sequences and twisted metallic calls before diving into a swamp of nightmarish whistles and hoots. "Mysterious Semblance" soars and swoops like a lovely electronic eagle, bringing tripped-out light and cosmic dignity to the collection. This and the follow-up Rubycon are juicy pieces to the Tangerine Dream pie. --Karen Karleski for amazon.com

    5. Meet the Residents (1974) - Residents [Amazon US]
      The Residents' early work is perhaps their most bizarre andchallenging. Mixing elements of Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, John Cage, and Sun Ra with their twisted sense of song structure, they craft an odd and often indescribable musical collage unmatched by anything that came before them. Allegedly, the band sent a tape (bluntly-titled "The Warner Bros. Album") to Warner Bros., who ended up passing on the record. Since no name had been written on the package, the rejection slip was sent to 'residents' at the return address. The group adopted the name and decided to put out their stuff themselves, forming Ralph Records in 1972. This album is much more primitive sounding, in both the music and the production technology, than their later synthesizer work. Most of the tracks utilize analog tape effects and more traditional instruments like piano, guitar and horns. The album's infamous cover, a defacing of "Meet The Beatles," enraged Capitol Records (although, supposedly one of the Beatles found it funny and bought a copy). This new re-release benefits greatly from the 20-bit mastering, clearing up much of the previously muddy sound. The original CD release had paired this record with the four songs from their first single, "Santa Dog," but they are no longer included (they can now be found on the 1999 Residents collection, "Refused"). Despite the proliferation of contemporary oddball acts that these guys have influenced (Primus, Ween, Mr. Bungle), this disc still sounds as warped and otherworldly as ever. --Myke O'Clock for amazon.com

    6. Rock Bottom (1974) - Robert Wyatt [Amazon US]
      Robert Wyatt's 1974 masterpiece Rock Bottom is among the most layered, lovely, and luscious pop records ever as well as a testament to survival. As Wyatt explains in the notes, "The night before the new group was to have its first rehearsal, I fell from a fourth floor window and broke my spine." Produced by Nick Mason, the cream of England's vital prog-rock scene contributed their most subtle, least-wanky efforts for their dear friend's solo recording. Ivor Cutler, Fred Frith, Hugh Hopper, and Mike Oldfield shine alongside ethereal singer/songwriter/keyboardist/percussionist Wyatt. The most touching of these playful drone-pop songs appear to detail Wyatt's relationship with his wife/collaborator, Alfreda Benge. "Your lunacy fits neatly with my own," he sings. --Mike McGonigal for amazon.com

    7. Rasta Revolution (1974) - Bob Marley [Amazon US]
      1. Mr. Brown 2. Soul Rebel 3. Try Me 4. It's Alright 5. No Sympathy 6. My Cup 7. Duppy Conqueror 8. Rebel's Hop 9. Corner Stone 10. 400 Years 11. No Water 12. Reaction 13. Soul Almighty
      An overlooked, underated, seminal landmark of an album, not only for the Wailers but for Reggae in general. The production (Lee Perry), musical, and vocal arrangements on this album were groundbreaking. The Wailers experimented in ways they had not done before or after. Unique, original, raw, and stripped down. If you think "Legend" is the best the Wailers had to offer then this may not be your cup of tea. But if you're a budding Wailers/Reggae fan looking to expand your horizons this would be essential for your collection. big_wheel for amazon.com [...]

    8. Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information [Amazon US]
      Like Stevie Wonder and Allen Toussaint before him--and Prince and D'Angelo afterward--Shuggie Otis was a musical visionary whose early 1970s recordings showed he could do it all, writing, arranging, performing, and producing some of the decade's most satisfying, innovative, and, unfortunately, overlooked music. This reissue of his 1974 Inspiration Information album--a soulful song cycle that took three years to create and was worth every minute--ranges from early drum machine-driven experiments like "Xl-30" and "Aht Uh Mi Hed" (note the Sly Stone spelling influence) to Otis's most stunning pop confection ever, "Strawberry Letter 23." (The latter song, which ended up being a big hit for the Brothers Johnson, is one of four bonus tracks taken from Otis's 1971 Freedom Flight album). Otis, who once turned down an offer to replace Mick Taylor in the Rolling Stones, continues to perform around the Bay Area on his own and with his father, bandleader Johnny Otis. Hopefully, the long-awaited resurrection of this material will help bring him the attention he deserves. --Bill Forman for amazon.com [...]

    9. Brian Eno- Here Come the Warm Jets [1 CD, Amazon US]
      In 1973, fed up with Bryan Ferry's domineering in Roxy Music, Eno leapt into a solo career that would find him championing the "art" in "artifice." This record is a who's who of the then-burgeoning English art-rock scene, featuring Robert Wyatt, Robert Fripp, and every member of Roxy Music except its leader (thus answering the musical question, "What if Eno had helmed the third Roxy record instead of Ferry?"). Warm Jets sports a lightheartedness that was a refreshing antidote to the pomposity of Yes and ELP on the dark side of art-rock's spectrum, with nonsensical, sound-based couplets such as "Oh headless chicken / How can those teeth stand so much kicking?" This debut is a milestone not just for Eno, but for all rocking music. Listen to Fripp's furious guitars on "Baby's On Fire" and "Blank Frank." It's incredible, Velvet Underground-inspired rock in a scene that had forgotten what rocking meant. --Gene Booth [...]

    10. King Tubby Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub (1974) - King Tubby, Upsetters [Amazon US]
      I remember hearing tracks from the above album back in 1974 when I was a youth. Back then there were a few guys who ran a small sound system and they used to try their equipment out at the local youth club where I used to regularly go. I always remember seeing these huge woofers placed in the corners with tweeters stacked on top of them. There were wires running all over the place connecting the speakers to the huge amp (every now and then a valve would blow). There was only one turntable and I remember the DJs quickly changing the discs over. I was always intrigued by the music they would play. The singles normally had the artist and song title scratched out and the LPs had blank white labels. There was one LP that they played to death and I was dumbfounded by this new style of reggae music; just instrumental with heavy bass lines and lots of reverb and echo. I had to have that LP and asked what the LP was, "King Tubby Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub" I was told. This CD includes this album on it on the first 10 tracks. These are "vintage" dubs and essential to anyone's dub collection. The remaining 4 tracks have been added to increase the playing time but shouldn't be confused with the first 10 tracks. This is an original King Tubby masterpiece. --shorty10, amazon.com


    1. Al Green (1975) - Greatest Hits [Amazon US]
      One of the must-own soul albums, Greatest Hits is fattened with five extra tracks in this reissue. Al Green brought the Memphis Sound into the '70s by slightly softening it, melding smooth funkiness with his miraculous voice and innate sensitivity: his love songs, while perfect for the bedroom, are as conversational as they are blatantly seductive. By adding the likes of "Belle," a 1977 single that's a near-goodbye to the pop life, to the original lineup of "Let's Stay Together," "Look What You Done for Me," "Call Me," and the others, this edition of Greatest Hits also intriguingly fills out the story. --Rickey Wright for amazon.com

    2. Marcus Garvey/Garvey's Ghost - Burning Spear [Amazon US]
      1. Marcus Garvey 2. Slavery Days 3. Invasion 4. Live Good 5. Give Me 6. Old Marcus Garvey 7. Tradition 8. Jordan River 9. Red, Gold and Green 10. Resting Place 11. Ghost 12. I and I Survive 13. Black Wadada 14. John Burns Skank 15. Brain Food 16. Farther East of Jack 17. 2000 Years 18. Dread River 19. Workshop 20. Reggaelation
      This was where it all started for Burning Spear, in those days a vocal trio of Winston Rodney, Delroy Hines, and Rupert Milligton. And what a bomb to drop for a debut! It was heavier, and more militant, than anything that had ever been heard in reggae before, taking elements of the music and combining them in a new way. A concept album of sorts, it helped raise awareness of the black leader while still keeping a strong Rasta vibe to the sound, hypnotic and dread. Time has shown it to be one of the classic albums of reggae, charged and powerful. Chris Nickson for amazon.com [...]

    3. Africa Must Be Free by 1983 (1975) - Hugh Mundell [Amazon US]
      1. Let's All Unite 2. My Mind 3. Africa Must Be Free By 1983 4. Why Do Black Men Fuss And Fight 5. Book Of Life 6. Run Revolution A Come 7. Day Of Judgement 8. Jah Will Provide 9. Ital Sip 10. Unity Dub 11. Africa Dub 12. My Mind Dub 13. Western Kingston Style 14. Levi Dub 15. Revolution Dub 16. Judgement Dub 17. Sufferer Dub
      This is one of the albums most precious to me. The inclusion of the dub versions on the cd means 2 albums are included here. I have always been impressed by the consciousness and conviction, to say nothing of the musical beauty, of Mr. Mundell's vocal work. I believe that he was in his mid-teens when these tracks were laid down, which makes them all the more impressive. This work belied the continued vibrancy of reggae music following the loss of Bob Marley. Infuriatingly, we were to lose Hugh Mundell to gun violence not long afterward. This is a cd any reggae fan ought to have. It is the best Hugh Mundell cd to buy first because of the inclusion of the dub album. I've sung "Run Revolution A Come" and "Day of Judgement", while walking down the street, knowing the songs had the capacity to scare and shock. I've also sung "My Mind", "Let's All Unite", and "Jah Will Provide" in the same settings, knowing the hearts and souls of those who heard would be balmed by the lyrics and music. Graham Hunt for amazon.com [...]

    4. Mystic Voyage (1975) Roy Ayers [Amazon US]
      1. Brother Green (The Disco King) 2. Mystic Voyage 3. Wee Bit 4. Take All the Time You Need 5. Evolution 6. Life Is Just a Moment, Pt. 1 7. Life Is Just a Moment, Pt. 2 8. Funky Motion 9. Spirit of Doo Do 10. Black Five
      Now, who do you know that didn't have this in their private stash of LPs? They didn't mind other albums gettin' mishandled by clubhanded party guests and Malt-o-Meal eating babies, but this one was always in the "don't nobody but me touch it" file....and for good reason, too. Like me, them audiophiles couldn't live normal life if anything disrupted that funky groovin' and mellow vibin' Ayers and crew presented on this mystic thang. The newest Ayers I purchased was "Naste" a few years ago....it was, kool, but can you imagine hip-hop in your vibe? That, to say the least, wuddn't fer me. That's why I love this ol' skool Ayers. You can put it on and you feel that...Uhmmm-huuuh. -- ygsgs_in_the_quadrivium for amazon.com [...]

    5. Donald Byrd - Places and Spaces[Amazon US]
      1. Change (Makes You Want to Hustle) 2. Wind Parade 3. (Fallin' Like) Dominoes 4. Places and Spaces 5. You and the Music 6. Night Whistler 7. Just My Imagination
      This is it folks, the finest music that you could possibly delight your ears with. Places and Spaces defies categorisation because although Byrd himself is a Jazz trumpeter, under the careful and tight production of the Mizzell brothers he becomes so much more. This album fuses Jazz, Soul and even funk - yet the sum of it's parts do not do the final outcome any justice, because this is more than just another "funky" fusion album, Places and Spaces has depth and soul that I have rarely heard on any other albums and added to that there is not a weak track on the entire CD. The title track is probably the best song, it is laid back and smooth like much of the Mizzell brother's work. If you have heard Harlem River Drive by Bobbi Humphrey then you will know what it is all about: laid-back beats with a sublime floating lead-melody with sparse yet soulfull vocals. Falling like Dominoes is another highlight on this album, it is the most up-beat song, and it combines uplifting vocals with a dirty groove that makes you want to get up and dance. My words can not do this album justice, you really need to listen to it for yourself, but suffice it to say that I feel this is the greatest album of all time, and seeing as how it's so diverse there is probably a song on there for everybody whether you like Jazz, Soul, Funk, Disco, Fusion, 80s Groove or even hip-hop(a lot of well-known rap artists have sampled this album to good effect ie. Pete Rock). Long live the Byrd man - he makes me wanna hustle. music fan from Wrexham, UK for amazon.com [A Mizell production.] [...]

    6. The Mothership Connection - Parliament[1 CD, Amazon US]
      Mothership Connecton was the album that put P-Funk on the map. It was an all or nothing project for George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic. Mr. Clinton invested a large sum of money, into this conceptual project, luckily it was very successful. This album contains hit after hit of classic funk material. An eclectic blend of funk, jazz, blues and gospel are all rolled into this album. The title track is classic funk. Listen to the drum virtuosity of Jerome Brailey and you will understand why he was and still is one of the best drummers in music. The choral vocals, tight horns and booming bass playing of Bootsy Collins make this and album that must be heard. -- Orlando Bryant [...] [...]

    7. Concepts in Unity - Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevayorquino [Amazon US]
      1. Cuba Linda 2. Choco's Guajira 3. Anabacoa 4. Adelaida 5. Luz Delia 6. Carmen La Ronca 7. Canto Asoyin 8. Canto Ebioso 9. A Papa Y Mama 10. Iya Modupue
      I found out about this album when I was collecting Salsoul records. At the time when Salsoul re-released their disco albums, they also started re-releasing their latin releases. Salsa and Soul = Salsoul, geddit?

    8. Expensive Shit/He Miss Road - Fela Anikulapo-Kuti & The Egypt 80 Band [1 CD, Amazon US]
      1975's Expensive Shit is paired on this new MCA reissue with He Miss Road, another Kuti release from that same year. The album's centerpiece, lead-off and title track was undoubtedly one of the most influential tracks to the Afro-beat movement, and to artists like the Talking Heads, who experimented with similar tribal rhythms on Fear of Music and their landmark album, 1980's Remain in Light. Its complex, bongo- centric percussion is tempered with funk guitar, discordant piano, and brass eruptions. And when, six minutes into the semi-improvisational, instrumental jam, Kuti awakens with a yowl and begins his political rant, he changes music forever. - Paul Cooper [...]

    9. Expansions - Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes [1CD, Amazon US]
      This particular album really brought Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes to the forefront of the "commercial " jazz scene in 1975. The infectious bass line and percussion interplay with the bongo and triangle still gets folks to groovin' here in [today]. Lonnie's brother Donald does his smooth vocals, Cecil McBee on bass, Lawrence Killian and Leopoldo on percussion along with Michael Carvin, Freddy Hubbard's brother David on reeds, and Art Gore's driving drumbeats, made Expansions a Jazz -fusion classic. [...]

    10. Cloud One - Atmosphere Strut [1CD, Amazon US]
      1. Spaced Out 2. Charleston Hopscotch 3. Dust to Dust 4. Atmosphere Strut 5. Disco Juice 6. Doin' It All Night Long
      Features one of my alltime fave cuts: Atmosphere Strut itself. I believe this is a collaboration with Greg Carmichael of Red Greg Records


    1. Super Ape - Lee Perry [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      1. Zion's Blood 2. Croaking Lizard 3. Black Vest 4. Underground 5. Curly Dub - The Upsetters 6. Dread Lion 7. Three in One 8. Patience 9. Dub Along 10. Super Ape
      "DUB IT UP blacker than DREAD" proclaims the comic book cover of Super Ape, an outstanding album of heavy Black Ark rhythms and haunting vocals. Many consider this to be Perry's finest work as a producer; indeed, it's an amazing album that gets better and more intricate with each listen. Killers include the crazed, ganja cloud toasting of Prince Jazzbo on "Croaking Lizard", the spooky "Dread Lion" and the rootsy "Zion's Blood". Essential listening for Lee Perry fans. Mick Sleeper
      [If you purchase only one reggae CD in your life, make it Super Ape. Not only is it one of the very best reggae records ever recorded, but simply one of the best records of the seventies in general.] [...]

    2. Zombie - Fela Anikulapo-Kuti & The Egypt 80 Band [1 CD, Amazon US]
      1. Zombie 2. Mister Follow Follow 3. Observation Is No Crime 4. Mistake (Live At The Berlin Jazz Festival 1978)
      The theme shared by the four tracks on this re-release/compilation is: refusal to ignore contemporary reality and refusal to repress one's commentary. "Zombie" (1976) may still be the best-known and best-loved Fela track, with its jagged yet hypnotic instrumental structure and insouciant humor. Here it sounds better than ever before. Its original b-side, "Mr. Follow Follow", is not nearly as iconic, but its subtler charms include a senuous soprano saxophone line that is among Fela's most distinctive melodic statements. "Observation is No Crime" is an outtake from 1977 or '78 (mislabeled in the liner notes as a live track) which represents Fela's love of jazz arrangements with a big-band approach to the horn charts. The track's lack of momentum probably contributed to its relegation to obscurity. The final track here actually is a live one, from a 1978 Berlin jazz festival which in retrospect mirrors Dylan's riotous 1965-66 appearances, with a roar of disapproval greeting Fela's every instrumental move (he plays keyboards more hamfistedly than usual in response); the Africa 70, who would soon leave the bandleader en masse for reasons of pay and exhaustion after years of government harassment, solo inspiredly and play at peak energy, capping an amazing era in music and a fine collection. [...]

    3. Ramones (1976) - Ramones [1 CD, Amazon US]
      The Ramones' April 1976 debut, recorded for little more than $6,000, long ago passed into legend. Its exalted status as the inspiration for thousands of punk bands worldwide, though, hasn't overshadowed its monolithic roar, the knowing hilarity of its lyrics ("Judy Is a Punk" crams the SLA, the Ice Capades, and a salute to Herman's Hermits into a 90-second frame), and the impulse to blast it for everyone within earshot: Hey, listen to this. Embracing and rewriting rock & roll history at once, Ramones speeded up heavy music, adding a pop patina to songs inspired by horror movies and glue sniffing, and claiming a great Chris Montez tune ("Let's Dance") from the supposedly fallow period that had fallen between Elvis and the Beatles. Absurdist, yeah (how could anything with Joey's super-affected Liverpool-via-Queens accent be otherwise?) and also smart: "Havana Affair" is the greatest song about the cold war this side of Dylan. This remastered edition complements the original LP with a slew of demos, including a Spectoresque "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," and the single version of "Blitzkrieg Bop," that, equally prophetically, puts Joey's vocal through a mixing trick that makes him sound like he's on the mic at a football game. --Rickey Wright for amazon.com [...]

    4. Jorge Ben - Africa Brasil: Colecao Samba Soul [1 CD, Amazon US]
      In a word -- WOW. Probably the best funk album ever recorded in Brazil, and certainly one of the best Brazilian pop albums as well. Features the often -anthologized "Umbabarauma" and the super-funky "Xica da Silva," along with a whole slew of other great tracks, such as the James Brown/Sly Stone inspired "Hermes Trismegisto Escriveu" and other groove-heavy wonders. A couple of songs are too shrill -- less disco flirtations than just plain old pop-funk gone jittery. One such track is an unfortunate remake of "Taj Mahal," the song from which Rod Stewart swiped the melody to "If You Think I'm Sexy"... Nevertheless, this is a masterpiece, one of the best Brazilian albums of the '70s. Absolutely essential, required listening. -- Joe Sixpack for Amazon.com [...]

    5. Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread (1976) - Lee "Scratch" Perry [1 CD, Amazon US]
      1. Soul Fire 2. Throw Some Water In 3. Evil Tongues 4. Curly Locks 5. Ghetto Sidewalk 6. Favorite Dish 7. Free Up The Weed 8. Big Neck Police 9. Yu Squeeze My Panhandle 10. Roast Fish & Cornbread This mouth-watering recipe may be the tastiest to come out of Perry's Black Ark kitchen-studio. Is the aging Upsetter truly mad these days, or just playing it his way? All one can say for sure is that he's working it and definitely getting paid. Most fans, though, prefer classic treats like this reissued early set, with the pre-hip hop music giant in relatively sound mind, freestyling his unique brand of uninhibited mind-science and down home rules for clean living over tracks of his own creation. Lee Perry is the original B-boy, one of the first to mic-toast over a dub track at a sound system dance. After he decided to come indoors and put it all down on wax, he was the first to scratch a record and press the sounds of daily life--ringing bells, barking dogs--into service of his muse. --Elena Oumano for amazon.com [...]

    6. Stepping into Tomorrow (1976) - Donald Byrd [1 CD, Amazon US]
      1. Stepping into Tomorrow 2. Design a Nation 3. We're Together 4. Think Twice 5. Makin' It 6. Rock & Roll Again 7. You Are the World 8. I Love the Girl
      A lot of Donald Byrd's fans (including myself) have waited years for this album to be reissued on CD. It was well worth the wait! This album has so much to offer in smooth R&B/Jazz, from the cosmic "Stepping Into Tomorrow", to the 50's meet the 70's ballad "Rock & Roll Again". "Design A Nation" brings back the good feeling of a time that will probably never be repeated in this day & age. Jazz purists may prefer Byrd's earlier work. But don't let that prevent you from picking up this CD. This is music that today's R&B artists wish they could produce. Outstanding work by producer/songwriter Larry Mizell. -- A music fan from New York, NY. for amazon.com [...]

    7. It's Your World [LIVE] - Gil Scott-Heron [1 CD, Amazon US]
      Tracklisting: 1. It's Your World 2. Possum Slim 3. New York City 4. 17th Street 5. Trane 6. Must Be Something 7. Home Is Where the Hatred Is 8. Bicentennial Blues 9. Bottle 10. Sharing
      There were two Gil Scott Heron treasures missing from my collection of CD's. "It's Your World" and "Bridges." Now if TVT can release "Bridges", my collection would be complete. I was lucky enough to have found "Reflections" and "Moving Target" when I visited London six years ago. "It's Your World " is a great combination of live and studio recordings that are a pure delite to listen too. No one writes lyrics like Gil Scott Heron. "New York City" and "Possem Slim" are polished jewels. I have heard about 6 different live versions of "The Bottle," but this one is my favorite. If your body has any rhythm in it, the percussions in this song will find it. I hope that we hear new recordings from Gil in the near future. The music industry needs high quality artists like him. This brother helped to shape my appreciation for artist like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. I discovered Jazz through Gil Scott Heron - and for that, I am truly grateful. It is great to hear this music again. Please release "Bridges" next!!!!!! - astandavis for amazon.com [...]

    8. Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves The Sunshine [Amazon US]
      1. Hey Uh-What You Say Come On 2. Golden Rod 3. Keep on Walking 4. You and Me My Love 5. Third Eye 6. It Ain't Your Sign It's Your Mind 7. People and the World 8. Everybody Loves the Sunshine 9. Tongue Power 10. Lonesome Cowboy
      [ Downtempo trip. "My Life, My Life ... in the Sunshine".] [...]


    1. Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome (1977) - Parliament [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      On this follow-up to Mothership Connection, George Clinton uncharacteristically sticks to the same funk-disco formula. Unlike most sequels, however, this 1977 work is nearly as compelling as the original. Check your brain at the door while Clinton feeds you infectious dance rhythms and irreverent lyrics that fuse anthemic chants with bizarre fairy tales and stream-of-consciousness ramblings. On "Wizard of Finance," Parliament returns to melodic 1960s soul while Clinton's hysterical lyrics are backed by soulful doowop-style vocals. "Flash Light" became a huge dance-floor hit but actually pales in comparison to the rest of the grooves. With talents including Bernie Worrell, Maceo Parker, and Fred Wesley on board, it's no wonder the profunk forces defeat the antifunk contingent. --Marc Greilsamer, amazon.com

    2. Salsoul Orchestra - Magic Journey [Amazon US]
      The Salsoul label was primarily an outlet for the smooth, orchestral disco of producer/arranger/composer/vibraphonist Vincent Montana, Jr. , and when The Salsoul Orchestra weren't backing up other artists (including Charo) they recorded on their own. Montana got his start doing sessions for Philly soul producers, and he adapted that lush style to disco, adding Latin motifs and textures. When he's on, he's terrific, but unfortunately most of the time he's not on, either cranking out perfunctory disco-by-numbers or reaching beyond his subgenre and falling on his face. Jahsonic's Meta Soul site contains a lot of useful information on the Orchestra and Montana's other work http://www.warr.org/salsoul.html [...]

    3. III (Supernature) (1977) - Cerrone [Amazon US]
      1. Supernature 2. Sweet Drums 3. In The Smoke 4. Give Me Love 5. Love Is Here 6. Love Is The Answer
      Easily the most consistently good Cerrone album: this is what we really shook our groove things to back in the 1970's. Enough has already been said about Supernature, but the compelling rhythms of Give Me Love are usually overlooked and Love Is Here must have spawned a million self-help books-you can't do anything other than dance and smile to this wonderful tune. If you love this, you must find Don Ray-Got To Have Lovin' --Tom Wilson for amazon.com

    4. Chic (1977) - Chic [Amazon US]
      1. Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) 2. São Paulo 3. You Can Get By 4. Everybody Dance 5. Est-Ce Que C'Est Chic 6. Falling in Love With You 7. Strike up the Band The eponymous album from Chic is not an especially strong lp, nor does it contain any must-have tracks (although the sensuous and sexy warm weather instrumental "Sao Paulo" comes close). It has two fairly good dance tracks, the singles "Dance Dance Dance" and "Everybody Dance." It is the only Chic album in which a third producer was involved with Rodgers and Edwards. It also appears to have been a fairly hasty affair, cobbled together after the surprise success of "Dance Dance Dance." It is worthwhile, however, from the point of view that it represents in chrysalis stage the talents of one of the most incredible bands in popular music since the big band era. The first single showed them showcasing the bassline in ways that didn't electronically alter it, as had been the practice in pop music. The second single, written by just the duo of Rodgers and Edwards, showed a leap forward in arrangement and songwriting. It represents the springboard into their stronger subsequent work, first with departing vocalist Norma Jean Wright on her self titled album, and then on the classic C'est Chic and Sister Sledge albums. --disco75 for amazon.com [...]

    5. No Agreement - Fela Anikulapo-Kuti & The Egypt 80 Band [1 CD, Amazon US]
      Too many people have focused on the beautiful simplicity of the lyrics that make up the masterpiece No Agreement. And they would not be wrong. When Fela moans, 'My Mama talk, Your Papa talk', you know Baba 70 is feeling the pain for his people. Our ignorance...our ignorance. Yet it is Dog Eat Dog that even more of us have casually ignored simply because it is an instrumental. Dog Eat is an absolute masterpiece. Playing this track for the first time in 10 odd years was like the feeling you get when you unwrap delicious smelling moin-moin from its fresh green leaves. It is pure class. It is Baba at his band-leader best. It was recorded back in the days when he still had to vocally instruct Africa 70 but that notwithstanding it's still all about very tight musical arrangement. Improve the quality of your life and listen with intent. It would have got five stars but then what would you give Palava, Yellow Fever, BONN, Shuffering & Smiling, Unknown Soldier? You have to understand... - Abami Eda for amazon.com [...]
      1. No Agreement 2. Dog Eat Dog

    6. Police and Thieves - Junior Murvin - Lee Perry production [Amazon US]
      1. Roots Train 2. Police & Thieves 3. Solomon 4. Rescue Jah Children 5. Tedious 6. False Teachin' 7. Easy Task 8. Lucifer 9. Workin' in the Cornfield 10. I Was Appointed A terrific slice of roots reggae, and one of the greatest works to come out of the Black Ark. At first, the rest of the album seems overshadowed by two giant tunes, "Police & Thieves" and "Roots Train", but you soon realize that most - if not all - of the album is equally strong. Junior's unearthly falsetto voice rides high on top of Perry's thick and smoky rythyms. Killers include "Police & Thieves" (surely one of the greatest and most poignant reggae songs ever), the stand up and sing "Roots Train", and the deadly "Lucifer". Mick Sleeper for Ethernal Thunder [...]

    7. Heart of the Congos - Congos - Lee Perry [Amazon US]
      Track Listings Disc: 1 1. Fisherman 2. Congoman 3. Open up the Gate 4. Children Crying 5. La Bam-Bam 6. Can't Come In 7. Sodom and Gomorrow 8. Wrong Thing 9. Ark of the Covenant 10. Solid Foundation 11. At the Feast 12. Nicodemus Disc: 2 1. Congoman [12" Mix] [12" Mix] 2. Congoman Chant 3. Bring the Mackaback 4. Noah Sugar Pan 5. Solid Foundation [Disco Cork Mix] [Disco Cork Mix] While I don't know if this album "makes a collection" or what not, it is certainly one of my faves to session with and is also super-strong, musically speaking. Excellent production (by the Congos)and of course the Lee Perry/The Scientist synthesis on mixing are simply sublime. It is a shame the Congos specifically and reggae in general is relegated to such a subsecondary position of interest in the musical world. This music and the amenities that go with it are truly the healing of the nations. spliffasaurus for amazon.com [...]

    8. Richard hell and The Voidoids - Blank Generation [Amazon US]
      If the title track didn't sum up an entire generation, it certainly captured the frazzled swagger of early punk rock. Launched from New York City's famous C.B.G.B. nightclub, the Voidoids released this debut in 1977, around the same time as Television's Marquee Moon. A rewrite of an old cornball Beat song, "Blank Generation" echoes the Sex Pistols's cries of "no future." "Love Comes in Spurts," the 1977 album's other classic, is a double-entendre both playful and menacing. The rest is the sound of Hell's nervous voice rubbing up against Robert Quine's equally nervous electric-guitar playing and an unyielding rhythm section. -- Steve Knopper for amazon.com [...]

    9. Marquee Moon - Television [1 CD, Amazon US]
      A classic bit of punk rock from 1977, that classic year of punk. Whereas most of this New York City group's peers turned up the distortion, revved up the tempo, and stripped their songs down to tight three-chord anthems, Television did something startlingly different. Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd allowed themselves the space to develop clean, powerful, unexpected guitar leads. To top it off, Verlaine's songs were thought-provoking, memorable, danceable, and unlike anything else going. "Prove It" was the hit in England, but independent radio stations wore the grooves down on the title cut, "See No Evil," and the stunningly brilliant "Friction." --Percy Keegan for amazon.com [...]

    10. Trans-Europe Express - Kraftwerk [1 CD , Amazon US]
      1. Europe Endless 2. The Hall Of Mirrors 3. Showroom Dummies 4. Trans-Europe Express 5. Metal On Metal 6. Franz Schubert 7. Endless

      It's ironic that electronica's forefathers include two German bands whom, at least on the surface, were polar opposites. On the one hand, there was Can--shaggy, Stockhausen-trained advocates of trance improvisation--and on the other, Kraftwerk: clean-cut control freaks and masters of the pristine machine groove. Yet, even at their most robotic, Kraftwerk manages to locate the soul of the machine, as they demonstrate throughout this 1977 outing. Hell, the mannequin manifesto "Showroom Dummies" alone is worth the price of admission. For a band so closely tied to technology, it's a testament to Ralf and Florian that their music continues to sound fresh more than two decades down the autobahn. --Bill Forman

    11. King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown - Augustus Pablo [1 CD , Amazon US]
      1. Keep On Dubbing 2. Stop Them Jah 3. Young Generation Dub 4. Each One Dub 5. 555 Dub Street 6. Brace's Tower Dub 7. Brace's Tower Dub No 2 8. King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown 9. Corner Crew Dub 10. Skanking Dub 11. Frozen Dub 12. Satta Dub

      First of all shout out to Rockers crew. Second, the amazon review says that King Tubby was the same person as Glen Adams which is not true. King Tubby's real name was Osbourne Ruddock although he did mix an album called termination dub that was comprised of music produced by Glen Adams. Regardless, the album is an absolute classic-probably one of the top three dub albums from the roots era along with Super Ape by Lee Perry and any number of King Tubby albums from this same time period. Much respect to both Augustus Pablo. and King Tubby-their music will forever be influential and loved. austin harclerode for amazon.com

    12. Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks ... [1 CD, Amazon US]
      Recognizing that there's no such thing as bad publicity, manager-Svengali Malcolm McLaren molded the Pistols into the most confrontational, nihilistic band rock & roll had ever seen. Propelled by Johnny Rotten's maniacal vocals, Steve Jones's buzz-saw guitar, and (most importantly) bass player Glen Matlock's hook-filled compositional skills, the Pistols' early singles "Anarchy in the U.K." and "God Save the Queen" defined the raging style of British punk. By the time they recorded their lone 1977 album, Matlock had been bounced, replaced by the image-correct but utterly untalented (and ultimately group-dooming) Sid Vicious. Not a 10th as good as the singles, the album nontheless remains a bile-filled emblem of the times. --Billy Altman [more ...]

    13. Dance & Shake Your Tambourine - Universal Robot Band [Amazon US]
      When he wasn't writing funk history with his band Kleeer, Woody Cunningham also played on sleazy disco classics like Candido's 'Thousand Finger Man' or 'Dancing and Prancing'. Very Lofty, indeed. More recently he released 'Delicious' in a real Kleeer style and 'Ooh with you' on which he 'ooohwed' with ex-Kleeer member Paul Crutchfield. His latest release is the solo-album 'Never Say Never' by which you finally understand where the title on top of this table came from. Kleeer enough. [This album is very hard to find on vinyl] [...]


    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 [...]


    1. The Clash - London Calling [Amazon US]
      By the time 1979 rolled around, the Clash were no longer, strictly-speaking, a punk group. They had a lot more to offer, fusing their punk style with ska, reggae, blues, traditional rock, pop. From the driving bass opening to the title track to the untitled pop love song, "Train in Vain", this is as flawless an album as they get. [...]

    2. Serge Gainsbourg - Aux Armes et Cetaera [1 CD, Amazon US]
      In 1976 he became the first white guy to do major recording in Kingston, Jamaica, beginning a long stint with the great reggae rhythm duo, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. He also employs Marley's Wailers. In 1979, a feisty Gainsbourg produces "Aux Armes Etcetera," which parodies the militaristic overtones of the "sacred" "La Marseillaise," to a reggae beat, much the way Hendrix reconfigured the "Star Spangled Banner" as antiwar song. Denunciations by generals, priests, and politicians follow. Former paratroopers and crusty war vets protest at his concerts, threaten fans. In Marseilles the protests led to cancellations. In Strasbourg, a bomb threat and 400 paratroopers vowing vengence spooked the Wailers so much that they refuse to play. So Gainsbourg took the stage alone, singing "La Marseillaise" without musical accompaniment. The goons join in to sing along and afterward file meekly from the hall. Gainsbourg has charmigly blindsided them. His album sells over 500,000 copies, goes gold -- his first. He wins "best male performer" and "best album" awards at that year's music awards in Cannes. Eugenie Sokolov, his first novel, describes the turbulence of this time. "Eugenie Sokolov" is also a great nose-tweaking "song" -- a series of farting sounds, "scat flatulence" if you will, set to a reggae beat. -- Bart Plantenga [...]

    3. Risque (1979) - Chic [1 CD, Amazon US]
      Track Listings 1. Good Times 2. Warm Summer Night 3. My Feet Keep Dancing 4. My Forbidden Lover 5. Can't Stand to Love You 6. Will You Cry (When You Hear This Song) 7. What About Me
      Risque is disco for the dance crowd and musicians alike. So many were influenced by this album, and it is evident by all the bands that called on the production of the Chic rhythm section. Of course, everyone knows Rapper's Delight was founded on a sample of the song Good Times, but not so well known were the many collaborations: Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran (Notorious), Power Station, Missing Persons... the list goes on and on, and all of the work turned to gold in record sales and radio play. Nile Rogers also did solo work that was quite different from what he did with Chic... Land Of The Good Groove, B Movie Matinee, and a trio he put together called Outloud. Nile was very much into experimenting with all the new music technology that was so prevalent in the 80's. I think this was a turn-off for for Bernard and Tony, but it did allow Nile to go off on his own without the need for a real bass and drum player. All I can say is do a little research and seek out the work of all the players on the Chic albums. Lot's of great stuff to be heard. Robert Henning for amazon.com [...]

    4. Sting Like a Bee - Bumblebee Unlimited [Amazon US]
      1. I Got A Big Bee 2. Lady Bug 3. I Love You 4. Space Shuttle Ride 5. Honey Bunn 6. Love Bug 7. Funk For Days 8. Everybody Dance 9. Lady Bug (12" Version) [...]

    5. Y (1979) - Pop Group [Amazon US]
      Tracklisting 1. She Is Beyond Good And Evil 2. Thief Of Fire 3. Snowgirl 4. Blood Money 5. We Are Time 6. Savage Sea 7. Words Disobey Me 8. Dont Call Me Pain 9. The Boys From Brazil 10. Dont Sell Your Dreams
      [...] The Pop Group's debut will always have a special place in my heart and eardrums. I purchased my own secondhand vinyl copy as a 19 year-old back in 1991, and have never looked back. "Y" is simply one of rock's all-time essential groundbreaking albums. A motley crew of disgruntled Bristol teenagers who were inspired by everything from British punk (though perhaps not so much musically), Situationism, Fela Kuti, Jamaican dub, electric Miles Davis, John Cage, the Last Poets, Abbie Hoffman, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, James Brown and many other gems, their anarchic stew of barely-together deconstructed rock, abstract funk, heavy dub reverb and chaotic, free-jazz-inspired rhythms still sends a chill down my spine today.
      The overall package of "Y", its cryptic cover, its lyrical themes of corruption, lies, despair and alienation, the howling, desperate vocals of Mark Stewart and the amazing (and huge) fold-out poster that accompanies the LP combine to make up a truly alien piece of work that seems to exist within its own universe. Tracks like "Snowgirl" (part avant-garde show tune, part looming dirge), the anthemic "We Are Time" (7+ minutes of intense dub-inflected angst) and the closing screams of "Don't Sell Your Dreams" are permanently scorched on my brain.
      The Pop Group, like most groundbreakers, never made a dent commercially, though proved to be highly influential on the likes of Nick Cave's Birthday Party (Cave himself has repeatedly said that witnessing The Pop Group live for the first time twisted his brain in ways previously thought unimaginable, and has listed The Pop Group's "We Are All Prostitutes" 7" as the greatest song of the 20th century) and LA's seminal Minutemen (Mike Watt still plays Pop Group covers live to this day), as well as the Bristol scene of the '80s/'90s (Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead, etc.). A simply brilliant, essential, unforgettable debut. Dave Lang for amazon.com

    6. The B-52's (1979) - B-52's [1 CD, Amazon US]
      This record shook up the snoozing world of rock in 1979, becoming a truly classic disc, one full of landmark moments and heavy with possibilities. Most "real" rockers in the late '70s tried hard to ignore the Sex Pistols and the Clash, claiming the punk tumult was a merely a fad; but fun-loving types couldn't resist the magnificent hooks and grooves of the B-52's debut. They fell into the "new wave" while dancing their tushes off. The magnificent "Rock Lobster" remains unmatched in terms of its relentless, spastic power to move one's feet; ditto "52 Girls," with its nod to '60s trash rock. A Cramps-ish guitar grinds through "Lava," which features his-and-hers innuendo-laden lyrics. "I'm not no limburger!" goes one line from "Dance This Mess Around," but you just never question why. Brilliant. --Lorry Fleming for amazon.com

    Seventies dance compilations

    1. Give Your Body Up: Club Classics & House Foundations, Vol. 1[1CD, Amazon US]
      If you want to find out about the roots of modern American club culture, this is the series to start.
      Tracklisting: Funky Sensation -- Gwen McCrae Over Like A Fat Rat -- Fonda Rae Can't Play Around -- Lace --> Larry Levan mix What Can I Do For You? -- LaBelle Always There -- Side Effect Why Leave Us Alone -- Five Special Is It All Over My Face (Female Vocal) -- Loose Joints Free Man (Disco Version) -- South Shore Commission Bad For Me -- Dee Dee Bridgewater I Love Music -- The O'Jays

    2. Give Your Body Up: Club Classics & House Foundations , vol. 2 [Amazon US]
      If you want to find out about the roots of modern American club culture, this is the series to start. [...]
      1. Just Us - Two Tons O' Fun 2. Baby I'm Scared Of You - Womack & Womack 3. Somebody Else's Guy - Jocelyn Brown 4. Touch And Go - Ecstasy, Passion & Pain 5. Love Is The Message - MFSB 6. Running Away - Roy Ayers Ubiquity 7. Now That We Found Love - Thirld World 8. Bra - Cymande 9. Down To Love Town - The Originals 10. Over And Over - Sylvester

    3. Give Your Body Up: Club Classics & House Foundations vol. 3 [Amazon US]
      If you want to find out about the roots of modern American club culture, this is the series to start.
      1. Give Your Body up to the Music - Billy Nichols 2. Weekend - Phreek 3. You Got Me Running - Lenny Williams 4. I'll Do Anything for You - Denroy Morgan 5. Runaway Love - Linda Clifford 6. Girl You Need a Change of Mind - Eddie Kendricks 7. I Want to Thank You - Alicia Myers 8. Clouds - Chaka Khan 9. Vertigo/Relight My Fire - Dan Hartman 10. Music Got Me - Visual

      your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products