Smooth Sailing: Latin Soul & Cocktail Disco

Joan Smalls Instagram
Dimitri From Paris gives his definition of ‘cocktail disco’ on his compilation album with the same name:

“One of many sub genres I grew up to love over the years, is a type of Disco that I could best describe as Cocktail Disco. I believe this style was called Sleaze back in its days, from roughly 1976 to 1979. There were even DJs specialized in the Sleaze sound which was usually played after hours, in spots with a strong sex oriented drive. Cocktail Disco has that ubiquitous 4/4 beat and flying open high hat, complemented by rich orchestrations, campy over the top vocals, and an often tropical Latin vibe.”

‘Only a fool’ from 'Calypso King' Mighty Sparrow touches me, every time when I hear it. The lyrics are about a guy who can't let go. It's a heart breaking love story, sung very emotionally. But the funny thing is that the singer wasn't that unlucky in love himself. Fact is that he has so many children that he lost count... 'Only a fool' was in the Dutch charts for a short period in 1969, but it was re-released 8 years later. It peaked at #2 then and it stayed for more than 6 months in the Dutch Top 40! The song was co-written by Norman Bergen, who also wrote disco tracks for Moment of Truth, Gloria Gaynor and Vicki Sue Robinson, among others.

During her heyday as a porn actress in the mid-seventies, Andrea True was hired to appear in a commercial on Jamaica. During her stay there, a political crisis gripped the island, and no one was allowed to leave with any money. Not wanting to lose her pay from the ads, True asked record producer Gregg Diamond, to travel to the island and produce a track for her. She would finance it locally, using the money from the commercial. Diamond arrived with 'More, more, more' in hand, to which True added her vocals. It was later remixed by disco pioneer Tom Moulton, who added a piece of wood to play the rhythm (which was sampled in Len's 'Steal my sunshine' in 1999). 'More, more, more' ultimately reached #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #5 in the UK in 1976.

One of tracks on this cloudcast is 'Aquarius' by Gary Fane. He was the original singer on the European hit 'Windsurfin' by The Surfers. The tv-performances that are on YouTube were done by models. The first lines of the song are classic:
"Everyday when our homework's done
We go to the beach and gonna have some fun..."

Enjoy this new episode of Smooth Sailing!


The Drifters – I’ve Got Sand In My Shoes (1964)
Everything But The Girl ‎– Each & Every One (1984)
Fania All Stars ‎– Ella Fue (She Was The One) (1978)
Cal Tjader ‎– Cuchy Frito Man (1966)
Jon Lucien – Love Everlasting (1973)
Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band – Sunshower (1976)
Earth Wind & Fire – Brazilian Rhyme (1977)
Jazz – I Feel Like Love (1979)
Candido – Dancin' And Prancin' (1979)
Licky – African Rock (1979)
Joe Bataan ‎– The Bottle (La Botella) (1974)
Jorge Ben ‎– Rio Babilônia (1978)
Timmy Thomas – Africano (1977)
Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra – Keep On Dancing (1979)
Andrea True Connection – More More More [A Tom Moulton Mix] (1976)
Yambu ‎– Sunny (1975)
Gary Fane – Aquarius (1980)
Mighty Sparrow With Byron Lee And The Dragonaires – Only A Fool (1969)
Robert Drasnin – Chant Of The Moon (1959)

Smooth Sailing: Latin Soul & Cocktail Disco by Professor Eddy on Mixcloud


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