Band members Related acts
- Bob Babbitt -- bass
- Jerry Friedman -- guitar
- Steve Gadd -- drums
- John Gates -- vocals, drums
- Joe Hoesly -- bass
- Lucille Jackson -- vocals
- Alan Labieuf -- vocals
- Jim Long -- keyboards
- Barry Miles -- keyboards
- John Mironov -- guitar
- Cliff Perkins -- vocals
- Frankie Previte -- vocals
- Elliott Randall -- guitar
- Pat Rebillot -- keyboards
- none known
Rating: 2 stars **
Title: Disco Kids
Grade (cover/record): VG+/NM
Comments: still in shrink wrap; cut top right corner
Catalog ID: 5728
This one's kind of interesting as the first disco release by the Dellwood tax scam label, as well as the fact it was the last known release by the company.
Judging by the line-up of New York-based sessions players (including drummer Steve Gadd, guitarist Elliott Randall), The Disco Kids were a studio entity (or perhaps entities) cobbled together in an effort to tap into the lucrative disco market. The liner notes reflected five separate lead vocalists, though none of them was particularly noteworthy (John Gates, Lucille Jackson, Alan Labieuf, Cliff Perkins, and Frankie Previte). That also leads to speculation that this might have been one of those releases where Dellwood executives simply swept up miscellaneous demos and previously completed tracks from individual artists, cobbling the results together in a unified package. Tony Camillo appears to have been the brainchild behind the album. He was credited with producing, arranging, and conducting the sessions. He also wrote three of the eight tracks found on 1976's "Disco Kids". So what about the music? Well as a disco album this clearly won't change your outlook on life, but by the same token, for what was little more than a throwaway concept, the set actually had a couple of enjoyable moments, including 'It Ain't What You Do'.
Kids" track listing:
1.) El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernandez) - 3:25 rating ** stars
Perhaps drawing a bit of inspiration from the Belgian/New York group Chakachas and their hit ''Jungle Fever', the leadoff track 'El Cumbanchero' shared a similar Latin-cum-spaghetti western soundtrack feel. Certainly not the most original three minutes you've ever heard, but mildly interesting.
2.) What the World Needs Now (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 4:59 rating * star
One of two Bacharach-David compositions, their discofied version of the Jackie DeShannon hit was pretty lame. Anonymous female singers over an equally bland rhythm track made for something that managed to completely lose the original's appeal. Except for the fact it stretched out to almost five minutes, this one could have been a Jiffy Lube commercial for all it mattered.
3.) Sweathogs (Tony Camillo) - 4:00 rating * star
One of four Camillo compositions 'Sweathogs' was clearly inspired by the television series Welcome Back Kotter. If you were a five year old, had the sense of humor of a five year old, or perhaps a John Travolta fanatic this might have had some passing interest. Otherwise ... yech ! Simply hideous. Okay, okay the cheesy synthesizer was worth a laugh.
4.) Kung Fu Dancing (instrumental) (Tony Camillo) - 2:45 rating ** stars
Carl Carlton did the concept far better with 'Kung Fu Fighting'. That said, this one may have been the best side one performance. Camillo at least came up with an interesting mix of mildly oriental sounding moves and a mix of rock and cops and robbers television soundtrack moves. Come to think of it, this actually sounded like something that might have been lifted from a Hawaii Five-O episode. At least it wasn't another out-and-out disco number.
There's no way 'Flick My Bic' would ever be considered a great song. Dumb lyric; forgettable arrangements; bland extended sax solo; mindless orgasmic groaning ... doesn't sound like it had much going for it. It didn't, but it was still better than most of the other seven tracks.
2.) Lovers Concerto (Sandy Linzer - D. Randall) - 3:39 rating ** stars
With a premium on quality new material lots of disco acts fell back on remaking pop and rock chestnuts as disco tunes. Here The Toys' 'Lovers Concerto' gets mauled. Stick with the original.
3.) It Ain't What You Do (Tony Camillo) - 3:50 rating *** stars
'm going to go out on a limb and tell you 'It Ain't What You Do' was the best song on the album. Lead singer Lucille Jackson (my guess), didn't have much of a voice, but in comparison to the rest of the set she actually exhibited a bit of soul and enthusiasm. It was enough to salvage this one.
4.) Close To You (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 5:33 rating ** stars
It took me a moment to recognize this was a remake of The Carpenters hit. I'll readily admit I never liked that song and a discofied version isn't much of an improvement. The sad thing is this thing wasn't really any worse than some of the crap you heard on mid-1970s top-40 radio.
With the asking price on this one you'd think I'd be praising it to the high heavens ... might as well be honest since I've never seen another online review. Beside, just because it didn't do much for me doesn't mean it won't find favor with someone else. Plus it is pretty darn rare !
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