30 years ago in the Medium: 12″ singles that play on and on….


Many are of the opinion that the disco sound is becoming a dying music form. If such is the case, then the record companies have not yet received the message. In fact, the success of the twelve inch disco single has been expanded to the extent that record companies, in this case Quality Records, are using the twelve inch disco single to introduce new artists. Thus, in order of a bad to god, we present a quick review of four new disco hopefuls. If the songs arent ear catching, the names are sure to be.

CONTORTIONS – Designed to Kill: If there ever were a vinyl that deserved to broken, this would be one of the top. The music is totally lacking of any disco consistency, and would be better suited to be released as a poor quality, bad sounding, jazz song, simply because of its musical orchestration. The voice is very inadequate and only adds to the poor sound. The average shower sound better. In sort, it is better left unheard.

JAMES WHITE AND THE BLACKS – Comfort Yourself: For lack of a better word, the song atlas possesses the basic attributes of disco – a strong driving beat, which if more time and practice were given to the piece, could produce a listenable and even danceable song. The song is very repetitious, more so than normal.

Unlike the successful disco songs “Contort yourself lacks that little innovative gimmick or catchy musical phrase. However, the greatest flaw of the song is in the brass additions in the transition satin parts. It is simply not required. Better luck next time.

AURAL EXCITERS – Spooks in Space: Using a theme that is very reminiscent of the Cantina Band section of the ‘Star Wars Main Theme’, a catchy disco beat is added producing a very danceable tune. Several transition excerpts keep the song from becoming dull and repetitious. The tune is simplistic, but because of this it can only carry a song for so long. This seems to be the major flaw of the song. It should end about 90 seconds sooner. Despite this though, the song is good and the innovative sound augers well for the groups feature.

DON ARMANDO’S SECOND AVENUE RHUMBA BAND – I’m an Indian Too: This group would seem to have the greatest chance at success of the four.

Using an Irving Berlin tune, the song consists of a blend of the basic disco beat with the Indian drum beat to produce a catchy and moving tune. The orchestration for the song is excellent. The music is a little weak at the transition sections, but experience should easily coercer that. If the song has a flaw it is the fact that it sounds too much like a show musical to be taken seriously as a disco song. Even so, the disco interpretation of the Berlin tune is much better than many of the others on the music market now. For the pure disco fans, Side Two provides a better disco song.

It possesses a good disco beat, it is rhythmically sound, it moves, but most of all it sounds good.

Thus, of the four songs reviewed we come up with one bad, one below par, one above par, and one very good. Not bad for a dying art, eh? It would seem as though disco has not begun a downward trend but rather it has reached a levelling off point. Only the future can provide the answer to the success of disco.