Tag Archive: music


It was a given that my generation of men always embraced the “Playboy” lifestyle out of college in the 1970s and now, amusing as it is that some criticize us for it; it really made us better (and more sexy) men!
You know that my writings are not “politically correct” because I do not believe in that line of thinking,  and you like that! So, here we go again:

I first heard this jam in the background of a Frankie Crocker on WBLS FM radio show, I think; or maybe it was a “High Life” theme on a Miller beer ad or some commercial? Who? What? “This is what you ARE!?

what you listen to is a continental, bon vi vant style, which brings to mind the French Rivera! Don’t you think?
I came upon this “high life” song again by dint of my jukebox musical mind remembering when I reviewed it for http://www.about.com/dancemusic back in the late 2000s, when the legendaray “DJ Ron” was my Editor! Wow! I like the continental style of the lead singer, who brings us into a vacationing state of mind on this compilation of “Dimitri In Paris”,

Advertisements

And now the album my previous EP revu teased has dropped!

Janey Street’s “My Side of Paradise” [BER 1020 Blu Elan Records]

Janey

If you would talk to Janey Street, you would never know that she is a singer because she is just a natural, typically loquacious chick with a regular speaking voice that has a slight New York City treatment. What I think it allows for is a variety of pitch within this collection which ranges from rock to funk along the blues street in paradise. The concept of this album measures today’s  social mores.

The album begins like I thought it would with the first drummer rim shots.

This is a collection of very well written songs.  I emphasize “well-written” lyrics and performed by Janey Street who has apparently paid enough blues dues to earn a shot to fulfill her dreams, proving that we must keep on keeping on (to borrow a title from the late, great Curtis Mayfield) because it is never too late as long as we have breath in our bodies and a strong pulse. Many of these heartfelt songs will end up rambling through your mind as soothing tune wedgies, long after your first listening to the album.

 

What I love about the first two tracks, which are my favorites, is their Motown-esq funky band feel that even features one of my favorite instruments, the baritone saxophone which made so many hits of the 1960s and 1970s so ballsy and timeless! It kicks in about midway into “Among The Missing” and staples it until the end. They keep that horny horn into “Good Side” and even lead with the baritone which becomes integral from the outset and throughout! I can totally relate to the lyric, “I’m a little moody in the morning/I can change my mind without warning…”

The next tune and ballad, “Bring it On”, brings in the orchestral strings and I think I heard a cello at one point!  It is a bit strident at times as occasional vocal overreach stretches Janey’s vocal range. What I found curious is how she pronounced the word, “stubborn” during this song. It sounded more like “stubbren”. No phonics?

“House Of Mirrors” is a storytelling funhouse rocker that is reminiscent of many 1980s Top 40 hits.  The next tune, “Situation” you already know how I feel about its succinct relevance from my prior writings. Events are oft not as hideous as we worry about them being at the end of the day.

I have another line for song number six, “Tears Taste the Same”, ‘they taste like whatever you been drinking, they taste like Beer…’  Nice, cold ending, by the way.

The advanced EP single, “I’m Not The Girl I Used To Know”, cut number seven, has actually grown on me since I reviewed it in June of this year. Maybe it is because of its context position midway through this album and because I can see how it speaks to some inner truth many people might feel even though I am the boy I used to know – and then some!

“Grand Delusion” takes on the perceived illusion that the internet and social media creates in this, the future that is now, if you do not know how to use it correctly. “Rose-colored glasses made for the masses…” Her treatment makes this global technology dysfunction seem almost pleasing – but as good as it is for song, they are off the mark in-reality, which is a debate for another post.

“Radar” mellows it out like a Joni Mitchell song from the seventies.  “Scat Like Ella” is the best possibility for a “tune wedgie” as it is catchy and will linger in your music mind for all times. It is a really good concept song that Ms. Street performs to the max and conveys the message succinctly.  Again, the lyrics carry part of the day as she mentions so many of the giants of legendary Jazz music.  I left it believing that she really does want to “scat like Ella Fitzgerald after hearing her give us a sample! Now I think I want to scat like Cab Calloway!

At the “End of the Day” is a finale, mostly acapella and well-positioned wrap song for the album, which, maybe, with the exception of “I’m Not The Girl…”, tells a kind of revolutionary story about the times within we reside in toto.  I like Blue`lan’s packaging of the CD, which includes a lyric booklet. My final question is how to get  a ticket onto that train to Janey’s Side of Paradise – or is it an island?  As a songstress/storyteller, Janey Streets consistently paints a beautiful word-picture throughout the effort that defies any one music genre catagorie, in my opinion.  I bless it with Four out of a possible Five Guitars.

guitars

Please add your comment and impression of this music after you add it to your music library.  Another version of this revu can be read at https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/

This is the last music review here at this vaired and long-standing blog since 2009. From now on, you are invited to check out my musical musings at my new, long-thought-about and sometimes discussed, via my initial blogging motivator (my amigo and Alum, Grady from Adelphi University), offshoot and narrowly focused effort in the blogosphere which will only present via on one of my strengths: writing reviews that comment and critique music, past, present and future! My main obsticale was creating a name for the new one, oddly-enough, which last week finally came to me and allowed me to move forward with it so I hope that you will want go on over to https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/  for my music musings henceforth.

My first review for that new blog station is for an EP I received from a beautiful soul and LinkedIn connection named Irenka.

Iren

It is against the backdrop of the cowardly and horrific Islamist bombing of the Brussels airport that I pen this review of music by a native daughter of that country which bothers no other and I cannot understand why those scum continue to main innocents instead of fighting a nation’s armed forces face-to-face; sissies!
Well, on to her important music EP, “Wait 4 It”. I must have met Belgium’s hot foxy female vocalist, Irenka, during my twelve years living in Nashville, Tennessee, right? Or Nyet. I would have remembered such a creative presence, energy and figure as hers! The first sound that I hear on track one “Comme Si” is Irenka clearing her throat. I said, “What??” Listened again; however, quickly those sounds turn into her spittin’ like a Euro human beat-box meeting Soft Cell’s 1981 “Tainted Love” – at least in musical key – as she then croons in French, the lingo most speak in Belgium. The last time I listened to this much lyrical love language was on Dimitri From Paris’ 1998 “Sacre` Francaise” or when I reviewed the various artist Playboy Club remix back in 2009. Scare Bleu!
“Dreamland”, track two, is an introspective, somnambulistic ballad where she displays her vocal range for the first time. This and the next selection where she lets her fingers do the singing on track three are perfect for a cloudy day. Irenka is really playing a beautiful classic-style piano solo instrumental! I know because I asked her. Next up and showing an inner versatile similarity to the late Amy Winehouse but with a better voice, or Billy Holiday, she styles on, “I don’t Need No Lover (except to hold me through the night from time-to-time)”. I think that this arrangement reminds me of New Orleans blues-jazz in a street march parade; especially because of the brass accents. At one point I was unsure whether Irenka would hit the climbing high-note – but she did. You will know it when you listen. It is a song that harkens me back to the days of, “Hubba-hubba!”

Finally, she rocks out with the fourth and last track, “A Reason To Hate Me”.
The video, “Comme Si”, takes us on a musical personal journey and is full of familiar scenes from my twelve years living there in Nashville/

Athletic, isn’t she?

Upon learning of the repulsive, pusillanimous Brussels airport attack, act we communicated and her reply, in great musician style was, “Luckily all family is safe, but it is nonetheless terrible, and it is our duty, we the artists, to bring peace and love to this crazy world!”
The world is not as crazy as some of these recent lunatics who inhabit it and I might have been at first on the fence in limbo about Irenka, but now that I have listened copiously and seen her video, there is no “reason to hate” on Irenka with three-and-a-half hopefully motivating musical stars. 3-and-one-half-star-rating

As soon as I saw these roadside posters, I wanted to attend this show!  I haven’t heard from or of Billy Ocean since the late 1980s with anything new and of course his hits lasted all through the 1990s when I was still gigging as a DJ in clubs and bars.  His first hit, “Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)”, is one of the great dancefloor-filler of all times, that the late Frankie Crocker used to play again and again and…a-gain on WBLS FM during one of its several heyday peaks in 1981. IMG_0435

IMG_0436 Of course, his baadest jam, and one twelve-inch vinyl I still own is “Carribean Queen”, a song that often haunts me and wedges itself into my sleep and at other inapporpriate moments.  Proving its timelessness is still in full effect.  Check out how Billy looks nowadays! lolI dig the “wig” [I know it is his hair and still has gthat big smile.  Kool, ‘Mon… lol

Michael Bolton, on the other hand, is a fixture of my career as a Top 40/CHR (mostly on overnights where I liked  the novelty of being the only black Brotha, lol) radio personality, where I spun his early hits in the 1980!

But this post isn’t all about me, as this concert I really wanted to see – but didn’t. Summer rain showers threatened that Sunday at the end of June and therefore, to this former neighborhood near where I grew-up, I did not swoon.

Only to learn weeks later (and with those posters still hanging and reminding me at the side of the road) that the show had gone on despite the “chance of thunderstorms”, which were in the area that evening.

On to the videos!  Thank you for reading and please leave a comment!  Cheers!

Next in-line:

Both these cats are lookin’ and soundin’ Great in-time and space!  Bravo!

And now my favorite “Carribean Queen” video for dessert…Come away with me!  MmMmmmm, Good…Safe(?)…Travels.

I went to a party on Labor Day Friday in New York City.

I used to love parties;

Used to play music for parties for many decades!

Maybe that is part of the problem with this poem.

I felt like an alien or elder on the outer limits,

Unable to dance and awed by the “DJs” spinning.

I felt like an alien on a darkened once familiar foreign planet

Only for moments did this DJ pioneer allow himself,

To enjoy the throng of heaving bodies to the music.

None of the chicks were fine enough for me to ask them a dance,

My legs this night were not in-shape to freak anyway;

One burned by boiling water the previous week,

The other with a sudden calf strain.

I gotta get back on my bicycle!  

A Life unhinged since I relocated back east.

It sucks here generally when not amused by the New York accents.

 

I’ve been a fool.

Fooled and failed so many times,

While searching to find the ONE female companion

With whom to spend the rest of my living days…

You know if you have visited previously that

I believe that I have found her.

But hurdles keep appearing in-front of us.

Now I think to fund-raise again…

To help her Mum come to America

For better health care than in Ukraine;

Life is strange.

Some of us never know

The purpose for which we came to be;

The only constant is that,

TIME passes whether we achieve or not.

 

Some will counsel:

“Life is too short” to get upset over disappointments.

I will counter that if we don’t get perturbed;

Crying-out like the infant who needs milk,

Then we never will get fed fulfillment and success!

 

I went to a birthday party last night,

Wishing all the while my far-away fiancee` was there with me.

I ordered  a cocktail.

One part patience, 

Stirred into a pint of deception tonic,

Shaken and sipped through the straw of long-awaited finally.

 

They played and pumped CDs with wordless beats.

They mixed magically as I taught them to unbeknownst.

 

Abashedly concerned I press-on,

Will there ever be any fun in life again?

Image

I have known about Mark Tara since 2006, when I was first assigned his single, “Different Love” to review by my then Editor at www.about.com/dancemusic, Nashville’s “DJ Ron” (Slomowicz).

Since then I learned much more about Toronto’s Mark Tara and his varied talents which include being very astute as a creative website developer.

 

“Creative” is the adjective I can use multiple times to describe Mark’s latest musical release, “Number One”, which is now available for your ears.  The proof is in the first sentence of his press release, which describes the single as “the perfect blend of talent and technology”.  This alludes to the virtual collaboration with co-producers, The Netherlands’ Matt Pop, who commented, “It’s always a pleasure working on a strong tune with great vocals – that was very much the case with Number One.” and the Klubjumpers of the USA, whose Dan Matthews added, “It was great working with Mark Tara on Number One. Very appealing lyrics to the song with Mark’s great voice just adds life to [The KlubJumpers] remix. ‘Sure to be a Hit on many DJ’s Radio Mix shows Play List.”

 

Number One” is sparkling and brilliantly fierce as dance tracks go these days! I am so happy that Mark thinks enough of me to have sent me the advance video and colorful follow-up finished track.  I like the way the video opens with a curtain going up on a stage and then the multi-boxes of Tara performing marquee-style – it ends with the curtain going down on the show. Great stuff!  

 

“We live in days of making dreams come true,” says Mark Tara. With the advent of WE TRANSFER, a website allowing users to email files as large as 2 gigs, (Wow!) digital distribution sites and DSLR camera technology, which means that the future is indeed here, allowing musicians like Mark to present his unique talents to a global market – or even the musical gift anthem to the US President and Supreme Court in the aftermath of their recent apparent affirmation of “gay marriage’- strange bedfellows, indeed!  Mark is a kinder, gentler and prettier ‘RuePaul’, if you will allow the analogy. Sometimes it seems that Mark’s moves in the video are a parody of female singers, but as with many things these days her in ‘the future which is now’, it IS what it IS.

 

I could loop this song and listen to it or play it in my club over-and-over again, ad infinitum! As Toronto-Trinidadian Mark revealed in one of my prior music critic interactions with him, “”You Rock!” I give this song four lucky stars out of five, remembering that this is just one song of an anticipated forthcoming album (I hope).  And I will say this, without the video, like back in my younger days of just having a 45rpm vinyl or a 12” vinyl or single CD first, this might just be “another dance cut” vying for attention.

I just “liked” it on my You Tube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/mooseydeucytarget=”_blank”> and you should too!  Большое спасибо, Марк!

 

Check out Mark Tara’s Official Website: http://marktara.com for more VIP treatment.

 

 

 

Image

During the decade of the 2000s, I penned many music reviews for my friend DJ Ron of Nashville and the site About.com. Warming you up for another original here on my blog this 2013 Fourth of July weekend, here is one of them from 2008 with proper respect and appreciation to the aforementioned people in this paragraph.

Once upon a time there was a musical that I never heard about called Damn Yankees which inspired Mark Tara to compose “Lola” as an homage. “The record Lola was actually going to be more of a spiritual record”, Mark explained to me, “Hence the bonus tracks “The Beginning”… (Which I think should have lead the album because its fantasy-driven lyrics really get your attention) “Then the style of the record totally changed and I fashioned it after Donna Summer’s classic album Once Upon a Time which tells a story.”

Oh, now I understand!! Image

Hmmm, I remember Damn Yankees, but it is just the start of spring training as I write this, and I never claimed to be all-encompassing, musically, anyway.

Along with the album is a two-song sampler disc which includes “Live Your Life”, the best of the duo, which is a message song for whomever and whatever battle or demon you are fighting along with another “Lola” reprise. But why do a separate CD when there is no discernible remix or difference from the album version? There are so many versions of “Lola” that it almost makes the theme hackneyed.

Mark told me, “I saw the movie Kinky Boots where the main character does the song “Whatever Lola Wants” which is from the musical Damn Yankees. As I was watching that scene a thought popped into my head that I could totally do that song in a dance vain and well.”

Figuring Out Who Lola Is

So let us see what we can glean about “Lola” (who I thought might be his latest love interest – NOT). It has taken me longer to get into, and I’m not sure I’m feeling this song from Tara as much as “Different Language,” his last track that I reviewed. However the single definitely has its musical moments. Track four, “Sexduction” where he uses the vocoder effect to perfection, is one of the album’s best. It has a great pace and should fit satellite radio’s dance format. The next jam, “Where You Live” is another boss musical toss! There is a very good remake of the Imagination dance club classic “Just An Illusion” on here – complete with the piano solo!

When I asked Mark who this “Lola” person on the cover is, he replied, “The pic is me taken by a photographer friend of mine. I wanted to tell a story of seduction and the emotions that go along with it, this seduction has to do with me – LOLA – being in lust with a straight man and how I cast my spell on him. Gender bending – I’m totally into that – blurring the lines between male and female and what we find to be sexually appealing.” A friend of Tara’s, Stor Dubine, did a cute caricature of him for the back cover CD art.

Maybe Lola is an AlterEgo?

Now we are getting a feel for who Mark Tara really is; I then thought that “Lola” might be his alter ego, but I was wrong again when he told me, “Its not an alterego, the picture is just me. The record tells a story and I think the most telling song is “Something” which encapsulates the record as a whole”

“Sometimes” is a whispery, introspective, mid-tempo piece with am edgey touch. The song is part of an almost middle-of-the-road trifecta here in the middle of the album that ends with a made for adult Contemporary radio track “Someone To Love” which sounds like an N-Sync record circa 1999.

Tara wants to be known as “The Queer Of Pop” just like Madonna is the “Queen of Pop” and Michael Jackson is the “King of Pop.” He clarifies, but by no means do I compare Mark to these two mega-artists – they are both legends in my eyes. (This review really has taken some interesting twist and turns, lol)

 

In the finial analysis, Tara is a masterful musical storyteller with a message. This album, like the previous one Different Love flows in movements like a symphony does. There is one more nuance to our musician as he relays, “Here in Canada gay marriages are now legal and have been for the past few years – YEAH! – Just think of growing up knowing that you are gay and that you can indeed get married to someone of the same sex – I think that totally rocks!”

Aren’t those the words with which we ended the review of “Different Love” last time? Therefore the terminus is nigh, and its time to abate words and urge you to listen for yourself happily ever after with a genial three stars bestowed.

Released November 2008 on MarkTaraMusic.

You may comment on this review!

golden-egg-300x300
I commute
You are cute.
“Toot-Toot!”
Yet abhor
Lack of success.
In a picture,
I digress;
Love you on the beach,
In that red dress!

Stay inside,
Someday in I’ll slide.
Then again I awake while commuting,
From my dream;
I come in pants,
Silently scream.
To work I quake and settle into it.
Close my eyes,
Thinking of you;
For over ninety minutes daily when I
Ride the subway metro.

I plan our dream;
Plot this is no bullshit scheme!
Our future is now.
And Holy Cow!
I sit in a seat like this!

IMG_5342

Imagine me sitting here with you!
Oh, so “koo-koo”!
Spring bird calls return;
Now are heard.
I want you to back-up into me,
Until you feel my hard ecstasy.
I want you to back-up your
Ass to me;
Feel the hard head of need;
Tooo crazy now not to succeed.

Back-up, Baby
Back-up to when we met.
Back-up, love,
Never forget;
That you honestly found me,
Then helped me improve my life
Without conditions nor regret.

I penned this for www.about.com/dancemusic back in 2007 and it is now here on my blog…at “home” where it should be. “Hi, Chaka!!”

Long before people began anointing every singer with a big voice a “diva”, I noticed the slightly different lead singer of a band called Rufus back during my college radio days. Guys all over campus, including yours truly, fell in “love” with everything about this new star. From her big hair to her kind of cute, quirky-jerky dance movements between lyrics on stage (hear “Better Days” and “Ain’t Nobody”), we were all smitten. If you’ve ever seen her perform, then your mind will imagine her moves to the groove as this CD opens up with “Back In The Day”, a chronicle of her early Chi-town upbringing.

Yet, as I look back to the days of “Tell Me Something Good” (remember the heavy breathing?), it is probably precisely at this point that none of us could have even gotten close to that “Angel” who might have been “inconsistent, flying blind most of the time”, as portrayed on track four of this, her latest album/CD. Oh yes, she gets it real without wasting time, like saying “Funk This” [Burgundy Records 88697 09022 2], so let me tell you my story! This album has the mark of how reconciled with life’s trials Chaka is; knowing it is the right time for this long promised propitiate to her fans. It also occurs to me that the first song is an ode to her recognizing that singing became her salvation.
Next you’ll see what she’s up to here, mixing new songs and covering timeless hits when she re-classics the Dee Dee Warwick smash “Foolish Fool”.

This is not a greatest hits compact disc, but her sound flavored with the seasoned sensations of her career and life. Having been in the orchestra seats to witness many of her performances, I ask myself, “Where has the time gone?” Well, the Chaka Khan of Rufus fame is back on this one, and appropriate props are due to the sensitivities of the Jam and Lewis production duo too! She pays homage to one of my inspirations, Jimi Hendrix on “Castles Made Of Sand” (I couldn’t believe it was the same song when first I read the title on the back cover), your mind will play the trick of having you think the Experienced one came back just to play for this track. Here she talks about the album!

“Disrespectful” features Mary J. Blige, and the lively, funky beat reminds me of the 2005 jam by Amerie, “1 Thing”; I’d love to see them perform it “live”; Hell, I want to see her do all of this live, and just in – this is the track spawning smokingly funky remixed versions, for all us club DJs!

Right after we beautifully relive the magic of the “Pack’d My Bags”/ “You Got The Love” medley where it is happily noticeable to me that she has reunited with her former Rufus guitarist Tony Maiden, it becomes really time to soulfully groove as Chaka pays homage to her good friend Joni Mitchell on “Ladies Man”.
I love the background singers on that one, and speaking of accompaniments, imagine the trademark Carly Simon smile towards Michael McDonald’s duet with Chaka to her “You Belong To Me” here as well.

“Super Life” has my vote for the best single. Chaka’s material is so relatable here in the future that is now.

That this is vintage Chaka is to evoke one of those clichés that I despise, so I will say that this is refreshing funk and so necessary against the backdrop of today’s so often lame and laboriously slow “neo” R & B, and it is pure Chaka Khan, wide-ranging vocals from the gritty to the signature shouting extended vamp notes.
I believe that you will want to listen repeatedly in various situations and moods to this familiar musical friend.

Once anointed, and often referred to on the air as “lips and hips” by my friend, the late WBLS New York City programmer (and on of my reluctant radio mentors) Frankie Crocker, I feel that she is and always has been much, much more complicated that that – but we all had fun playing to that fantasy once upon a time. If there is a category for it, this album would win the comeback Grammy of the year. After meeting her backstage at the Blue Note in New York City back in 1992, and briefly hanging out with her (my date made an exit, stage right, so I could hang – a night I’ll never forget), I always knew she would bless us with more excellent music. So in a way, my original dream from college days has almost come true. As I wrote this, Ms. Khan was to make her Broadway debut in early 2008 as the character played by Oprah in “The Color Purple”, Sofia opposite BeBe Winans.? What ever happened wit dat? lol

Check out her myspace page for some contest details. No point deduction for a well thought-out and timed return equals five tasty Chakalatte stars in my guest book.

Here is one of my favorite Chaka and Rufus from the past, “Little Boy Blue” in video!

Your comments about Chaka Khan, Please? “Pajulsta”? Пожалуйста?

My Vinyl: The Trammps

[March, 8, 2012 is when I began this post. I apologize that it took so long to complete, as such is everything a brain can manage and so full of nothing fun as my life is early this year – JB]

Now!…


I know…we all have to “go” at some point, but what saddened me about this particular musical talent’s separation was to learn that the lead singer of one of the most baddass-male-singing disco/r&b group of the 1970s and ’80s, The Trammps’, Jimmy Ellis (above in the picture at the far left) passed away at 74 years old on March 8, 2012…in a nursing home! My first thought was , “Oh My Godd, why was this guy, whose music hits must have sold millions, apparently broke like Joe Louis, the boxer, at the end of his life and in a nursing home?” Surely the other members of The Trammps knew of his decline and could have helped him!? Were/are they, like so many of us who pretend to be “friends until the end”, in truth are only “crabs in the barrel”?

Analysis of My Vinyls’ collection of The Trammps from the stacks (“my children”):
The Trammps: Earl Young, Harold Wade, Stanley Wade, Robert Upchurch and Jimmy Ellis became a Hall of Fame disco group from a slightly mundane R&B/Soul situation. I first remember them as warming-up for the likes of James Brown when I first started hanging-out in Manhattan, NYC clubs like the Cheetah – not saying exactly that I saw them there, but maybe I DID and that is the kind of act The Trammps were – until they covered the old Judy Garland, “Zing Went The Strings of My Heart”. Even then when I heard it, the song was kind of hazy and in the background except for the guy with what became one of their trademarks, that deep bass (“timbre” as Inna writes to me) voice.
Even when I heard of Mr. Ellis’ passing, I visualized the Trammps as just the original five guys. It wasn’t until I pulled all of my vinyls by them that I realized that around 1975, the group’s number doubled! Suddenly they became an aggregation known as the Trammps! lol The musicians like the late Ron (Have Mercy) Kersey became as integral to the sound as the basic vocalists! Some of that metamorphosis had to do with the record label politics of the day as they graduated from Buddah to their own “Golden Fleece” before being bought by Atlantic Records, who would profit the most from their brief in the larger scheme of musical vinyl and otherwise things. My early favorite Trammps jams were “Love Epidemic” and “Where Do We Go From Here” with ________ and his deep bass voice!
The Trammps arrangements embodied the epitome of the discotheque club experience while ignoring the “disco is dead” proclamations by the jealous of black music success’ haters of the day. I lived in Manhattan clubs like “Othello”, “Justine” , The Raspberry Freeze” and so many others back then and it was such a natural musical appreciation for our group as we were recent college grads out on the scene. When “Where Happy People Go” came out, I had one of the first two copies from my contact, Gunter Hauer, at Atlantic Records so I could double-mix them, back-to-back and over-and-over on the set! it really never dawned upon me that the group’s numbers multiplied. Either I thought, “Gee there’s a lot of dudes on this album cover this time – must be trick photography” lol or that the extra cats had always been there, but now they let them shine on the cover!
“Where Happy People Go” took them to another level; six of the seven cuts were such smashes, that to this day it is difficult for me to choose a favorite! The seventh, “Love Is A Funky Thing”, is one of their trademark instrumentals that they’d include on various albums! “Tom’s Song” from the “Zing” album comes to mind as another of those.
I remember that I mixed “Can We Come Together” over-and-over again as did radio at the time (Johnny Allen, WKTU FM) and I love “Disco Party (Dance, People Dance!)”. “Hooked For Life” s among my special DJ 12″ pressing collection and a very special song with a lover’s message; ‘Ninety-Nine And A Half” was the late Wilson Pickett’s original funky soul hit redone so you’d almost not know it unless you knew that and the title track “hooked” your ears from the first five very recognizable-to-this-day (after this lavish and classical piano interlude) brass and guitar notes! “Bold” and male is what The Trammps basic sound was; “party” still IS what you want to do and dance too when you listen to this album! Ellis, ‘you know I’m a Scorpio!’, always as much the party’s cheerleader as the lead singer. He is one of those singers who owns a unique scream like, “Oww!”, used to punctuate the lyrics and introduce the bridge. I used to love to “phase” these tracks as a DJ. [“phase” is when we would play two vinyls simultaneously in the same groove and try, with pitch control, to keep them in the same pocket even while they naturally tried to separate sonically, thus creating a growing “out-of-phase” effect] There were a lot of tricks we DJs could perform on the table with records like these that you simply cannot do today digitally.

So now, come to write about it, maybe it is not so surprising that Jimmy ended-up in the nursing home when, now that I look, they were just a “’70s group” who made their hay while the disco sun shined, and because of unknown or factors my space does not allow me to research, never progressed beyond that decade. They had two major hit albums release in 1976!

By the time the “Disco Inferno” dropped (came out), their sound was even more polished by the Atlantic Records studio machine. This album and the title track were destined for stardom, it seemed. I can only say that I did not know, nor did many that “Disco Inferno” would blow-up like it did, even though, we in the New York City dance and disco community (Dow Twins) at the time knew it was a “baad” album! “Burn Baby Burn, Disco Inferno” became the refrain of mass audience partyers once the soundtrack of the movie “Saturday Night Fever” adopted it. Prior to that, it was just another anonymous soul/disco cut on major market city radio stations of the USA! I bet that you didn’t KNOW that! Right? The first time that my late radio mentor, Sonny Taylor, played the chorus refrain and hook of “I Feel Like I’ve Been livin’ (On The Dark Side Of The Moon), I thought it was The Spinners singing, that is how versatile The Trammps’ sound was by then. ! Well, “saaatisfacion, came on a chain-reaction…” into my next two vinyls. Both in the year 1977, and typical of the record label competition of the day and sadly to say, I bet the GROUP, THE TRAMMPS, received NONE of the spoils from these two albums: “The Trammps III” which features my favorite mellow jam bay them, “Season For Girls” and the mid-tempo, “Living The Life (Of A Single Man)” a real-deal flava cut for the men in the room. I STILL play “Season For Girls” like a ritual every September. AND THEN, finally and with an “encore!” request, my last vinyl is the Philadelphia International Records final attempt to make money off of the group with the 1977 release of “Disco Champs” The Tramps remain as a staple of R&B, Soul, and Disco history. Anybody who chumps the Trammps needs to have their head examined. And I am grateful that I have been able to put on their tracks via vinyl “wax”, relive the “magic” of the Disco Days while assembling and composing this post for you. What are your favorite “disco” day memories? Do you remember The Trammps? One thing that set them apart was their Chorus arrangements!
Inna, here is a relevant lyric for us by The Trammps, “Each Night I go to sleep, with nothing but your memories. Sweet thoughts come into view, all I see is your sweet body…”

Sonny Taylor, pounded that song into my mind at the time. I HAD to play it when I came over to his house! lol

And my OWN FAVORITE is this one:

Now, notice please, I did NOT include “Saturday Night Fever” herein. There is a REASON for that. I would have loved to have just attended The Trammps rehearsals! Can you imagine being in the presence of a lead singer who could unleash that voice and carry such a group at-will? Please tell me YOUR favorite Trammps song or Disco memory while dancing to their music!

“I heard somebody say, Burn Baby Burn…” lol Listen at 10:10 on this long disco version…it is the best breakdown and vamp to the fade vocally and instrumentally.