Saturday, January 28, 2006

AN INTRODUCTION TO DISCO/GARAGE CROSSOVER

Earlier this week I picked up a 45 by Amy Bolton on the Importe/12" label, it was cheap, it "looked" right in a late-70s-NYC-DIY kinda way, but it turned out to be just a halfway decent disco tune. Imagine my surprise tho' when I flipped it over and discovered a pretty solid stab at the Music Machine's Talk Talk. No disco, just a pretty straightforward take that in other hands might have made the recent Children Of Nuggets box-set. Anyways, this got me thinking; "was there ever any garage/disco crossover?". Obviously the answer differs with whatever your definition of "garage" might be. But I'd say that Boney M coverin' the Creation's Painter Man is as a good a starting point for creatin' a discography of this new founded genre as any. Farian & Co. also took a stab at Still I'm Sad, but still, that's strictly British invasion material (as is Santa Esmeralda's Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood), and I was wonderin' about the garage stuff.
One disc that might qualify is Barry White's 1980 version of Louie Louie. Close to eight minutes of aural hell. Imagine the soundtrack to a party scene in Porky's Revenge or some such flick, all eighties horns 'n syndrums. Freighting doesn't even begin to describe it! Weirder still, but not necessarily worse is Paul Parker's 1982 version of the Seeds' Pushin Too Hard. Produced by Patrick Cowley, this is one of those Hi-NRG/gay disco kinda things. Hardly up there with either Giorgio Moroder or Bobby O, but nothing you'll instantly hate either. These are only two discs I'm aware of, but there's gotta be more. So I'd like to tax the collective mind of you NBT readers in wonderin' if there's any other examples of this under appreciated sub-genre out there...

4 comments:

Steve Coleman said...

Boney M also covered "My Friend Jack" by the Smoke. Come to think of it wasn't a member of the Smoke (also big in Germany) one of their back room boys? This would account for the of "Painter Man" and "Still I'm Sad". As for French disco/garage crossovers from the late 70s/early 80s then have a listen out for a tune called "Banana Split" with a bit of a Pebbles riff going down in the middle eight. I think the artist was called Lio or Dio or something like that. Lest we forget, God fordbid, the 7+ minute disco re-mix of "Roman Gods" that came out on 12" vinyl. Are you ready for Gay Discos, indeed.

Jeroen Vedder said...

Steve, it's Lio, and you're right, in the hands of a band like the No-Talents (or whatever they're called today) it could be a killer. Lio was all the rage over here on the continent for a few weeks back in 1980, charting with Amoureux Solitaires. I still have her debut album, on the back of which she's pictured in her undies. There's an insert with various outfits one can cut-out and stick to the pick on the back (as if one would want to!). Both Stereo Total and Vive La Fete took plenty o' notes while listening to this disc...

Lindsay Hutton said...

It was none other that Nick Knox who introduced me to the wonders of Lio. Way back whenever.

Anonymous said...

Richard Berry said that Barry White's version of "Louie Louie" was his favorite version.