Smooth Sailing: Seventies Pleasures & Disco Pop

Joan Smalls (Vogue)
When disco popped up around the mid-seventies, record companies did not aim at the clubs. Instead, they wanted their songs to be played on the radio. As a result, the first disco tracks sounded very radio-friendly and were short in length, mostly around or less than 3 minutes. For instance, it took almost 40 years before the king of disco remixes, Tom Moulton, laid his hands on ‘Love Epidemic’ by The Trammps to create a long version of it. The sound of disco changed when clubs were opened on almost every street corner and club music became a separate market. Radio was no longer needed to be heard by the masses. Most of the first disco hits were initially picked up by the clubs, before radio-dj’s discovered it as a potential hit record, like ‘Rock your baby’ by George McCrae. The influence of club-dj’s started to grow and it became even bigger, when disco took over the pop industry by the end of the decade. At that point dance music was not a niche market anymore, but a new, lasting value in popular music.

One of the tracks is 'So you win again' by Hot Chocolate, a unique combination of soul (voice), disco (percussion) and rock (guitar). The single was written by Russ Ballard, produced by Mickie Most and released in June 1977. It turned out to be the band's only UK number one single, spending three weeks at the top in July 1977. The song made it to #3 in Australia, #6 in Germany, #7 in the Netherlands and just missed the Top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #31. Singer Errol Brown died almost two years ago (May 6, 2015).

Enjoy this new edition of Smooth Sailing!

Tracklist:

Aeroplane Feat. Tawatha Agee – Love On Hold (2017)
George McCrae – You Got To Know (1975)
Hot Chocolate – So You Win Again (1977)
Pierre Groscolas – Mamalou (1975)
Jesse Green – Flip (1976)
Maestro – Savage (1976)
Kocky – Just Keep On Dancin’ (1979)
New York City – I'm Doing Fine Now (1973)
Fox – The Juggler (1975)
Philadelphia Brite ‎– Never Leave Me And I'll Never Leave You (1977)
Demis Roussos – Action Lady (1975)
Love And Kisses ‎– I Found Love (Now That I've Found You) (1977)
Bimbo Jet ‎– El Bimbo (1974)
Double Exposure ‎– My Love Is Free (1976)
Phyllis Hyman ‎– You Know How To Love Me (1979)
The Trammps – Love Epidemic [A Tom Moulton Mix] (1974/2012)
The Tymes – All You Ever Wanted To Know About Love (1976)
The Miami Disco Band – I Wanna Go Home With You [A Tom Moulton Mix] (1979)
Mud – Shake It Down (1976)
Patrick Juvet – Got A Feeling (1978)
Luxxury – What Do You Really Want [Unomas Remix] (2016)

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