DISCO LOVE VOLUME 3-EVEN MORE RARE DISCO AND SOUL UNCOVERED (COMPILED BY AL KENT)
DISCO LOVE VOLUME 3-EVEN MORE RARE DISCO AND SOUL UNCOVERED (COMPILED BY AL KENT).
Glasgow’s disco don Al Kent is back, and he’s been crate-digging again. Digging deep. Way deeper than he’s ever dug before. The result is his new compilation Disco Love 3, which will be released on BBE Music on 18th February 2013. Like the two previous volumes of Disco Love, Disco Love Volume 3 is a double-album. Disc One features a continuous mix from Al, featuring the fifteen tracks on Disc Two. So, for anyone who likes their disco soulful or funky, then Disco Love Volume 3 is for you.
Of the fifteen tracks on Disco Love Volume 3, five have been edited by Al Kent. Just like the two previous installments of Disco Love, some of the tracks on Disco Love Volume 3 are extremely rare tracks, that until now, most people will never have heard. To discover these tracks, Al’s been on another crate-digging expedition. Al has dug deep, dusty basements, warehouses and backstreet record shops have all been scoured. So too, has Al’s extensive record collection. He’s decided to share some of the soulful and funky disco delights, that, until now, have been tucked away in his arsenal of secret disco weapons. No wonder, many of the tracks on Disco Love Volume 3 are almost too good to share. Now after a two year wait since Disco Love Volume 2 was, Disco Love Volume 3 is about to be released, with fifteen more tracks from Glasgow’s very own disco don Al Kent. However, will Disco Love Volume 3 match the quality of 2010s Disco Love and 2011s Disco Love Volume 2? That’s what I’ll tell you, after I’ve explored the fifteen disco delights that comprise Disco Love Volume 3.
Opening Disc Two of Disco Love Volume 3, is the 1978 single from Mighty Gents, Mighty Gents. Written by Peter Link, who produced the track with Peter Dante, they released the single of The Mighty Gents Record Co. Cinematic, soulful and orchestral describes this instrumental track. Soul, disco and Latin percussion combine, while quivering, shivering strings and stabs of horns add to the drama that build and builds, helped by Al’s creative editing skills. This is a real hidden gem that Al has uncovered. Moody, broody, dramatic and cinematic. It’s all these things and more. You wonder what delights will follow?
North By Northeast’s Disco Unusual was released in 1976, on the Detroit label Red Line. This is another of the five Al Kent edits, where he transforms a song that was originally under four minutes long, into a five minute plus epic. While the previous track was soulful, this has a tougher, funkier sound, albeit with a Latin influence. It also has a sassy female vocal. Percussion and growling horns are almost ever-present, as Al takes Disco Love Volume 3 to the funky side of disco. In doing so, he demonstrates his considerable editing talents.
From Detroit, the musical journey that is Disco Love Volume 3 heads to Montgomery, Alabama. For it was on Top Records in 1981, that Bo Baligher T.S.B. Inc. released the single Oh Baby, with the instrumental Get On Down on the flip side. A heavy duty slice of driving, funky music unfolds, with blazing horns aplenty. The vampish, strutting vocal is soulful, while there’s a boogie influence to the keyboards. During six minutes, a real fusion of influences unfolds. Funk, soul and boogie combine to create a infectiously catchy, dance-floor friendly track.
It was on the Los Angeles label Smooth City Records, that Frank and James released How Long Is Forever. Released in 1982, Frank and James Monroe there was a seven year gap until their second single You Got The Love I Need. Listening to How Long Is Forever, they certainly were neither lacking in talent, nor soulfulness. Not only is it soulful, but with a tempo of 119 beats per minute, it’s perfect for the dance-floor. Lush, dancing strings are at the heart of the funky arrangement, while Frank and James deliver heartfelt, powerful vocals. Tender, cooing backing vocals are the finishing touch, as soul, funk, boogie and disco, combine to create one of the hook-laden highlights of Disco Love Volume 3.
Gregory Andre and The Two Plus Three’s contribution to Disco Love Volume 3 is I Want To Be With You, which Al has edited. This is a track with an interesting backstory. It was recorded in Kansas and released on the Sea Gate label. To generate publicity, sales and interest, producer George Chambers put his brother’s San Diego address on the label. It’s a slice of modern funk that’s guaranteed to grab your attention. An array of thunderous drums, bass breaks, banks of keyboards and effects are combined. Then when the vocal draws you in and soon, you’re hooked and swept along by captivating track.
Magnetic Post released their single Is It Wrong on Pickin’ Post in 1978. Arranged and produced by Patrick Higdon and Michael Heeney, this is one of the rarities that Al has uncovered for you. Copies of this track are becoming increasingly harder to find. If you could find one, it would cost you much more than a copy of Disco Love Volume 3. No wonder, it’s gloriously soulful, funky and dance-floor friendly. Key to the track’s success is the vocal, harmonies and swathes of strings. They’re combined with bursts of blazing horns and a pounding disco beat, as four of the best minutes on Disco Love Volume 3 unfold.
Released on Alaga Records, and produced by Roy C. and Bob Ericson Hustle On Down (Pt. 1) was released by Michael LeGrair and The Band That Played All Night in 1975. The B-side was Hustle on Down (Pt. 2). On Disco Love Volume 3, Al Kent reinvents both sides of Hustle On Down (Pt. 3). The result is a tough, funky horn driven hustle track, with a pulsating heartbeat, that is irresistible.
Al Kent has really dug deep in his latest quest for disco perfection. This has meant discovering hitherto, undiscovered B-sides, like Moses’ Something About You. Although Love To Live was released by Pure Silk Records in 1978, as a single, Al prefers the B-side, which is a delicious fusion of funk, jazz, disco and Latin percussion and Hammond organ. This is set against a hustle beat, with urgent harmonies. Combined, the result is a joyful, uplifting track that lifts your spirits and puts a smile firmly on your face. My only thought is, if the B-side is this good, what was Love To Live like?
Neo Experience released Human in 1975, on Philadelphia’s Sahara Records, was one of two singles they released. The other was Make My World. Formed by David Simmons, the lineup of Neo Experience also included future member of The Ritchie Family Vera Brown and former member of The Millionaires Vincent Paul Unto. Recorded at Joe Tarsia’s Sigma Sound Studios in Philly, and featuring Vince Montana Jr’s vibes, Philly Soul meets disco. With lush trademark Philly strings and growling horns, sweeping, cooing harmonies and a truly impassioned pleading vocal, Human is the best track on Disco Love Volume 3. Don’t just believe me, listen to this track once and you’ll be smitten by its beauty and emotion.
Rhond Duran released Disco Fever (Pt. 1) in 1979. It was arranged by Clive Waugh and produced by Sam Cummings, and released on April Records. The B-side was Disco Fever (Pt. 2). Just like Hustle on Down, Al’s edit features both versions, spliced seamlessly together. It’s a pulsating, funky reminder of the disco era. There’s everything from soul, funk, Latin and disco. Add to that sassy vocals and rocky guitars. Oh, and one of the best bass lines on Disco Love Volume 3. It’s slapped, pounded and uber funk. For any aspiring bass players, this is a joy to behold, as is Disco Fever (Pt. 3).
So far, in the musical journey that’s Disco Love Volume 3, Al Kent’s taken us to Philly, Detroit, Los Angeles, Kansas and Alabama. Next stop is Houston, where Encore Records were based. They released Marion Javius’ Waiting In The WIngs in 1978. Featuring Afro Fusion, who provide the rhythm section, what follows is a sweet, sassy vocal, combined with an arrangement where jazz, soul, funk and disco combine. Harmonies sweep in cascading, while strings shimmer and shiver. Then less than three minutes later, the soulful delights of Marion Javius is but a pleasant and irresistible memory. You can’t help yourself, but you do and press play again.
Ronnie April released her only album Ronnie April’s Positive Energy Volume 1, on Jude Records. It featured nine tracks, including Dancer’s Theme, written by James Wydeman. This is an uptempo, funk-laden disco track, that slowly, reveals its secrets and subtleties. Far from subtle is the bass line, which pounds it way across the arrangement. For company it has chiming guitars, sweeping, ethereal harmonies and a teasing, sassy vocal. An eight-minute epic unfolds, courtesy of Glasgow’s disco don and crate-digger extraordinaire, Al Kent.
Sandy’s Gang Hungry was written and arranged by Patrick Adams who produced the track with Arthur Aaron. Later Patrick founded Inner Life. Even by 1976, when New York based Sunrise Records released this track, Patrick was an experienced writer, arranger and producer, as this tracks shows. Dramatic describes the introduction, where swathes of strings dance, horns blaze and a thunderous rhythm section add the heartbeat. Urgent, soulful harmonies are added, as things get funky. Still things stay soulful, thanks to the harmonies and diva-esque vocal, which make this track.
The last Al Kent edit on Disco Love Volume 3 is Sil Austin Disco Lady. Released on Jerri Records in 1976, and produced by Tommy Stewart, there’s a real Miami sound to the track. Given it was distributed by T.K. Records, this is no surprise. Horn lead, with soaring, soulful harmonies, keyboards and rhythm section give the track a heavy funky sound, that drives along. With Al Kent’s editing skills, you sense Disco Love Volume 3 is building to a dramatic crescendo.
Closing Disco Love Volume 3 is Cherish’s For You. Released in 1979, on DT Records, Al Kent has built the tempo up, guaranteeing the compilation ends on a soulful high. The track literally bursts into life, the vocal and harmonies driving each other to greater heights of soulfulness. They literally dance, joyously along the arrangement, spreading their slice of sunshine soul and disco, as Disco Love Volume 3 comes to a sweet and soulful close.
So, after two previous volumes of Disco Love, where Al Kent had set the bar high, he’d two hard acts to follow. Somehow, he’s done it again, with Disco Love Volume 3 surpassing the standards of both 2010s Disco Love and 2011s Disco Love Volume 2. Now this isn’t easy, given how many disco compilations have been, and are being released. With the internet making crate-digging a whole lot easier, rarities and hidden gems are becoming easier to find.
Although surfing the net from the comfort of your armchair makes crate-digging somewhat easier, it’s real devotees of disco, like Al Kent, who continued to dig deep in dusty basements, warehouses and backstreet record shops. It’s these places where you can find these gems that no-one else has yet. While the temptation must be for DJs like Al Kent to keep them for DJ sets, he’s a generous guy.
During Disco Love Volume 3, Al Kent so has decided to share and let you in on his secret disco weapons, fifteen on them. These fifteen tracks feature on Disc Two of Disco Love Volume 3, while on Disc One, Al seamlessly weaves his way through the fifteen tracks. Next Monday, 18th February 2013, BBR Music will release Disco Love Volume 3, which feature fifteen more of Al Kent’s soulful and funky slices disco delights and hidden gems aplenty. So, if you love Disco, you’ll love Disco Love Volume 3, and Disco Love and Disco Love Volume 2, which BBE Music also released. Standout Tracks: Frank and James How Long Is Forever, Neo Experience Human, Ronnie April Dancer’s Theme and Cherish For You.
DISCO LOVE VOLUME 3-EVEN MORE RARE DISCO AND SOUL UNCOVERED (COMPILED BY AL KENT).