Wednesday, September 29, 2010

they say i was love maniac, you know

Long before she was known for singing about mistakes after a night of a few drinks, acting alongside Schwarzenegger, Robin Williams and Sean Penn and appearing on CNN and Fox News dissing Chavez and Castro, Maria Conchita Alonso was famous for being at least three things: beauty queen, drama queen and...disco queen.

After she won Miss Teen Venezuela in 1975 and established herself as an actress in soap operas, Alonso thought the next obvious step was to indulge into a foray in music, with the help of producer and singer Rudy La Scala. The result was a nickname (A'mbar) and an album called "Love Maniac", released in 1979 under a highly effective intrigue campaign.

Her record company Polydor and several music experts feared that songs written and sung in English would dangered her reputation and therefore, there wouldn't be an audience that could take her seriously as a singer. Keeping that in mind, Polydor decided to release the track without her face in the sleeve. The result of that marketing stategy was a chart-topping hit for Maria Conchita in September 1979.

She followed "Love Maniac" with another A'mbar album called "The Witch" but was rather unsuccessful and decided to concentrate on her acting career in Hollywood, as well as some other albums throughout the 80s and 90s.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the birth of barbra streisand

It's obvious which song is candidate for "The Jam of '10", and trust me, it isn't "We No Speak Americano" (although is a close runnerup). It's actually "Barbra Streisand" by Duck Sauce. The first time I heard it I was so glad that Armand Van Helden and A-Trak were able enough to mix the electronic pulsating beats of today with what seems to be a nursery island chant that's so catchy and fresh in 2010 as it was when it was first created...almost 30 years ago.

Now who were responsible for this? None other than Boney M., a german Disco group put together by producer Frank Farian, who a decade later layed his midas touch on a certain duo of black male models. For a short period of time (1976-80) they were one of the most successful bands in Western Europe, thanks to their other-worldly costumes, their stage shows and their poppy tunes, one of which "Gotta Go Home" is sampled by the producers of our days to create a dance anthem. Long live Boney M.

MP3: Boney M - Gotta Go Home
MP3: Boney M - Daddy Cool
MP3: Boney M - Rasputin
MP3: Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand (Original Mix)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

le freak, c'est CHIC

Did i tell you guys already that disco will never ever ever die? Well if i have, than this is another testament of it. The greatest disco band of all time, CHIC, is coming alive once more with the release of a luxe box set called "Nile Rodgers Presents The CHIC Organization Vol. 1: Savoir Faire". This long waited release will get its due on October 18 and will showcase the classic era of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards' pristine productions, not only for their own band but for other performers such as Diana Ross, Debbie Harry, Sister Sledge, Sheila B. Devotion and more. The 4CD set will also include some unreleased tracks by funky keyboard player Fonzi Thornton as well as some awesome remixes by the king himself, Dimitri From Paris (he already put out a teaser or his rework on Norma Jean's "Saturday", which is pretty EPIC for a 2 minute clip. I would not imagine the rest of it).

If you don't have any idea who CHIC is, it's never too late to find out (actually, their biggest hit, "Le Freak" has been on countless films such as Shrek 2, and the baseline for "Good Times" has been influential enough to have Queen boogie and to land the foundations for today's hip hop tracks).

Norma Jean - Saturday Teaser Intro by WarnerMusicFR