This week it’s American funk and disco band, Kool and the Gang. The group were very popular in the 70s and 80s. Two of their songs, “Ladies’ Night” and “Celebration” have become staple songs for party nights everywhere! They had 18 top forty hits including 7 top tens.
These two tracks are not quite as well known but are great dance tracks.
“Steppin’ Out” reached number 12 in 1981
(Uploaded to YouTube by KoolAndTheGangVEVO)
“Get Down On It” reached number 3 in 1981
(Uploaded to YouTube by hej6hej6tja6)
This week it’s Trinidadian British singer Billy Ocean who had a number of hits in the 70s and 80s. He is still producing music and touring today. Oh and of course I wasn’t inspired this week by a certain sitcom 😉 😉
Ocean had 12 top 40 hits including 6 top tens and a number one.
“Red Light Spells Danger” reached number 2 in 1977
(Uploaded to YouTube by Disco.discotheque)
“Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” reached number 6 in 1984. My favourite song of his.
(Uploaded to YouTube by cinqo7)
This week it’s a really classy trio of ladies called “The Three Degrees” who were an American vocal group who had hits in the 70s.
They had 10 top 40 hits including 5 top 10s and 1 number 1.
There were a number of different line ups, but the most well known was the one with Sheila Ferguson and Valerie Holiday and then Fayette Pinkney or Helen Scott. The first song has Ferguson,Holiday and Pinkney and the second Scott instead of Pinkney as can be seen in the pictures.
The first song is one of my favourite songs of theirs on the Philadelphia International label.
“Take Good Care Of Yourself” reached number 9 in 1975
(Uploaded to YouTube by GurlGroops)
This song was their third hit on the Ariola label and showed their more disco sound then the smoother soul of the Philadelphia International label of their earlier hits. The producer for this song and others on Ariola was legendary electronic music producer, Giorgio Moroder who was most famous for producing Donna Summer’s massive hit “I Feel Love” in 1977.
“The Runner” reached number 10 in 1979
(Uploaded to YouTube by marvin kevlar)
This week it’s British R&B pop band Imagination. This male trio, of Leee John, Errol Kennedy and Ashley Ingram, were successful in the early 80s having nine top 40 hits including three top 10 hits. They were also successful worldwide, and had four platinum, nine gold and a dozen silver discs.
Their music style was sultry, slow beat disco songs, often with piano solo breaks, and characterised by lead singer Leee John’s high falsetto voice. They dressed exotically too, favouring white and gold colours, but with clothing at an absolute minimum, they appeared in a variety of outlandish outfits such as Roman gladiator or slave wear! Whatever their strange garb, they certainly made some great pop songs!
“Just An Illusion” reached number 2 in 1982 and was their biggest hit. It is a perfect pop song and was sadly denied the top spot by the awful one hit wonder “Seven Tears” by the Goombay Dance Band.
(Uploaded to YouTube by VIDEOMUSICBOX)
“In the Heat of the Night” reached number 22 in 1982. One of my favourite songs of theirs and deserved a higher chart placing. The public tended to favour their more up tempo numbers.
(Uploaded to YouTube by Ahmed Essa)
This week it’s two slightly lesser well known tracks from the Queen of disco, Donna Summer.
On The Radio from 1980
(Uploaded to YouTube by cendre de lune)
Dinner With Gershwin from 1987
(Uploaded to YouTube by LoveMusicForever)
This week we have the seventies luurve king, Barry White. White’s deep bass-baritone voice combined with some lush instrumentation from his backing band “The Love Unlimited Orchestra” plus romantic lyrics provided the love soundtrack to a generation and resulting generations! 1974 was a bumper year for White with three hits culminating in a number 1 in December of that year.
“Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up” reached number 14 in Jan 1974
(Uploaded to YouTube by Iwica B ivica)
“Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe” reached number 8 in Aug 1974
(Uploaded to YouTube by BARRY WHITE)
“You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” was number 1 for two weeks in Dec 1974. This has one of the best intros in pop in my opinion!
(Uploaded to YouTube by Davythevideojukebox)
This week we have two disco tracks from the mid 70s
First up it is “Love Machine” by The Miracles who were formerly Smokey Robinson’s backing band. This track covers parts 1 and 2 originally on the A and B side of the record. The main song is part 1 with the mainly instrumental and far funkier section on part 2. I must admit a fondness for part 2!
(Uploaded to Youtube by Top401976)
This next track was written by a guy from Cleethorpes called Rod Temperton. You may not know his name but you will know his songs. The most famous of which is Thriller, yes Michael Jackson’s Thriller!
Other songs he wrote for Michael Jackson were Off The Wall and Rock With You. He also wrote songs for a string of other famous acts such as Donna Summer and George Benson.
Before all of that he was the songwriter of a successful disco group from the 70s called Heatwave. Here is an extended version of their first hit Boogie Nights which reached #2.
(Uploaded to Youtube by Slayd5000)