From the Vault...


Various Artists
"The Disco Years, Volume 2: On The Beat (1978-1982)"

© Rhino Records

Year of Release: 1990

track listing
  • "I Want Your Love"--
  • "Ring My Bell"--
    Anita Ward
  • "I Will Survive"--
    Gloria Gaynor
  • "Ain't No Stoppin'
    Us Now"--
    McFadden &
  • "Funkytown"--
    Lipps Inc.
  • "Celebration"--
    Kool & The Gang
  • "Disco Nights
  • "Y.M.C.A."--
    Village People
  • "Heart Of Glass"--
  • "This Time Baby"--
    Jackie Moore
  • "I LIke What You're
    Doin' To Me"--
    Young & Company
  • "Last Night A D.J.
    Saved My Life"--
  • "On The Beat"--
    The B.B.&Q. Band
  • "Got To Be Real"--
    Cheryl Lynn
  • "Forget Me Nots"--
    Patrice Rushen
  • "Love And Desire (Pt. 1)"--

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    Various Artists
    "The Disco Years, Volume 2: On The Beat (1978-1982)"

    Ah, Disco... Whether you like it or hate it, it was a big music genre in the 1970s. The Bee Gees made if famous, and to Rock fans, they snubbed it. But putting our differences aside, you have to admit, the Disco songs of the late 1970s had a great dance style, and a great funky beat. You can't really say that today's music (especially hip-hop and rap) can come close to Disco. Sad thing is, Disco eventually died out. Rap/Hip-Hop is still among us, and quite frankly, some feel that some of this "rap crap" should die as well.

    Rhino Records produced a series of Disco compilations, entitled The Disco Years. This week, we look at Volume Two, On The Beat (1978-1982). On The Beat was a disco hit by the B.B.&Q. Band. Both the song and group were totally unheard of, and not remembered to my knowledge, where most of the songs on this compilation reached #1, and for others, again, not well-known.

    Starting out the set is Chic's "I Want Your Love." Chic was well-known with hits such as "Dance, Dance, Dance." "Le Freak" and "Good Times" both reached #1. Yet "I Want Your Love" may have been by a well-known group as Chic, but the song may not ring many memory bells as their other hits. Anita Ward may have been a one-hit wonder, with her #1 "Ring My Bell." A popular hit, reaching #1, I do remember this one (as well as the rest of the #1's mentioned. I was a huge fan of Casey Kasem's American Top 40 at the time, and obviously, these #1's were part of his program.

    Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" was also #1, and it had become another one of Disco's anthems. McFadden & Whitehead's "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" was not a #1 song, yet it did receive heavy radio airplay, and was a very well-known Disco hit. They had co-written many popular hits for other artists, including THe O'Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The Jacksons, likewise hits recorded by themselves. Sad to mention, that both of them passed away. John Whitehead was murdered outside his home studio in 2004, by unknown gunmen, who fled the scene. The case still remains unsolved. Gene McFadden died in 2006 of liver and lung cancer. Whitehead was 55, McFadden was 57.

    "Funkytown" by Lipps Inc. would also be another #1 hit, and yet, another Disco megahit that everyone will remember. And then there's another anthem hit by Kool & The Gang, "Celebration." Not only would this song become #1, it would be a staple for weddings. And, one of the many Disco songs that everyone would hate for whatever reasons. In this case, many wedding planners would hire DJs specifically NOT to play "Celebration." Where in other common weddings, it would be the beginnning song everyone would hear at a wedding reception.

    "Disco Nights (Rock-Freak)" by GQ was unknown to me, yet some of its bass lines sounds like Rick James' "Give It To Me Baby." And yes, for those around back then, you just could not help but to like the Village People (just a little bit). "Y.M.C.A." was a big hit, and decades later, it would become even more famous, then when it first came out in the late 1970s. Surprisingly, this song did not reach #1, nor did any of their other hits reach the top spot.

    "Heart Of Glass" would become Blondie's first #1. Some claim Blondie was a Punk band, or even New Wave. -- Blondie; "Heart Of Glass" was a huge hit, and yes, I had the 45, and most likely all the hits they had, were extremely good, Disco sounding or not. Jackie Moore's "This Time Baby" is another unknown song that I remember. Likewise, the next three tracks, "I Like What You're Doin' To Me" by Young & Company, "Last Night A D.J. Saved My Life" by Indeep. (Love that song title, though...) And lastly to the "unknown Disco songs that I remember" -- "On The Beat" by The B.B.&Q. Band.

    "Got To Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn was another 45 I had back in the day, and yes, that was another well-known (and well-liked) Disco hit. The next track I don't remember when it first hit the scene, but I do remember it as a Will Smith sampler song. It was used in Smith's hit Men In Black." Last (but not least) is the ending song, and another unknown to me, "Love And Desire (Pt. 1)" by Apreggio.

    The Disco Years series is like a NOW series, in a way. Although it's not as many volumes, it takes a look at the popular hits in the Disco genre. Most of them in this series hit #1. And, also to mention, these tracks are the "short versions." Many Disco hits were extended, as they were called Mixes, or Remixes. Where the standard 2-minute (or close to 3) songs were extended into 8 or more minutes. The extended minutes contained the song as instrumentally played, kicking up the beats and funk, and closing out with the familar vocal verse. Many Disco clubs were in full circulation back in the Disco era, as these extended mixes were continously played throughout the night time club atmosphere.

    Volume Two of the Disco Years series is a good collection of past Disco hits. Most of them are easily remembered. The others to discover, and all in all, they are all good in sound. Disco sure beats today's popular music. And it's a good idea to go back and remember how good music used to be. Disco just maybe one of those to consider, where others would pass. Disco was music. Disco was popular. Disco was good. The Disco Years.. Enjoy.

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    George Strait--Pure Country (Soundtrack)
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    Billy Preston--The Best