Soul Funk Disco / Brothers & Sisters / Volume Four 1977 – 1982

 

1977 - 1979

 

1 MARVIN GAYE / Got To Give It Up Part 1 / Single A Side April 1977

2 THE TRAMMPS / Disco Inferno / Single A Side April 1977

3 DONNA SUMMER / I Feel Love / I Remember Yesterday July 1977

4 T-CONNECTION / Do What You Wanna Do / Single A Side May 1977

5 SLAVE / Slide / Slave July 1977

6 FIRST CHOICE / Let No Man Put Asunder / Delusions November 1977

7 AL GREEN / Love And Happiness / Single A Side November 1977

8 EARTH, WIND & FIRE / Serpentine Fire / All’n’All November 1977

9 PARLIAMENT / Bop Gun / Funkentelechy December 1977

10 THE COMMODORES / Too Hot Ta Trot / Single A Side February 1978

11 KLEEER / Keep Your Body Working / Single A Side June 1978

12 SYLVESTER / You Make Me Feel Mighty Real / Single A Side July 1978

13 FUNKADELIC / Cholly (Funk Getting Ready To Roll) / One Nation Under A Groove September 1978

14 MUSIQUE / In The Bush / Single A Side October 1978

15 CHIC / Le Freak / C’Est Chic November 1978

16 THE JACKSONS / Things I Do For You / Destiny December 1978

17 SISTER SLEDGE / Lost In Music / We Are Family April 1979

18 EARTH, WIND & FIRE / Let Your Feelings Show / I Am June 1979

19 JEAN CARNE / Was That All It Was / Single A Side June 1979

20 MACHINE / There But For The Grace Of God Go I / Single A Side June 1979

 

1979 - 1982

 

1 MICHAEL JACKSON / Get On The Floor / Off The Wall August 1979

2 CHIC / Good Times / Risque August 1979

3 LIPPS INC / Funky Town / Single A Side May 1980

4 ZAPP / More Bounce To The Ounce / Zapp July 1980

5 LOOSE JOINTS / Is It All Over My Face / Single A Side August 1980

6 PRINCE / Head / Dirty Mind October 1980

7 ODYSSEY / Going Back To My Roots / Single A Side May 1981

8 RICK JAMES / Give It To Me Baby / Street Songs June 1981

9 J WALTER NEGRO & THE LOOSE JOINTZ / Shoot The Pump / Single A Side September 1981

10 INDEEP / Last Night A DJ Saved My Life / Single A Side February 1982

11 D TRAIN / You’re The One For Me / You’re The One For Me February 1982

12 DEFUNKT / Illusion / Thermonuclear Sweat March 1982

13 TROUBLE FUNK / Get On Up / Drop The Bomb June 1982

14 THE GAP BAND / You Dropped A Bomb On Me / Gap Band IV June 1982

15 NYC PEECH BOYS / Don’t Make Me Wait / Single A Side June 1982

16 THE VALENTINE BROTHERS / Money’s Too Tight To Mention / Single A Side June 1982

17 DONNA SUMMER / State Of Independence / Single A Side October 1982

18 MICHAEL JACKSON / Wanna Be Startin’ Something / Thriller December 1982

 

   In 1977, while many contemporary commentators thought disco was superficial shite, in reality it posed as much of a challenge to the status quo as punk, hip hop, rock’n’roll or any other ‘revolutionary’ music. Attempting to finally banish the veneer of authenticity attached to black music and be the embodiment of the pleasure-is-politics ethos of the emerging Gay Pride movement, disco was a celebration of the fantastic in which flash, overwhelming melodrama, sex, surface and fabulousness were all that mattered. But, as in Machines ‘There But For The Grace Of God’, disco was also capable of making political statements even the most die hard modernist could understand. It was also capable of sonic revolution with producers like Arthur Russell’s and his underground cut with Loose Joints.

   The safe, rockist, white world felt as threatened by disco as punk, but as soon as the record industry realised they could have hits with records following the same formula, the classic disco beat was hastily thrown behind every singer from Rod Stewart to Ethel Merman. It didn’t take long before disco was being vilified as the antithesis of soul music and the enemy of rock. Even supposedly free minded punks joined in the baiting and the ‘disco sucks’ campaigns scouring America. By 1980, aided and abetted by the slings and arrows of merciless commercial exploitation, dilution and racial and sexual prejudice, disco had been driven back underground.

   Of course, disco had been so all consuming that black music was left with a void to fill. It made for an interesting few years because any records outside the norm were easy to spot like 'You're The One For Me' or 'Don't Make Me Wait', their sparse, synthesized sound influencing many. But there was no cohesion, no global figureheads on the up. But then came Prince and Michael Jackson, two of the biggest icons in black history ever.

   Prince had been about for a few years before his talent reached fruition on Dirty Mind. Of course, Michael Jackson, child star, had been around even longer. His first adult record Off The Wall was a gargantuan hit, but the follow up Thriller became a global phenomenon, and as the world watched fascinated, Michael Jackson morphed into a God. But, Thriller proved to be popular soul’s last gasp, the ultimate crossover album. The culmination of all the experimentation that had ever gone before, soul music had reached its final destination.