Got The Fever

Monday, October 13, 2008

They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore! (1976)

You know, one day you’ve got long wavy hair, you’re riding a monster jet-roaring, pocket-rocket, get in all the cool clubs for free because you work at the coolest one of them all that’s right down the street, get to see all the crowd-drawing bands for free, drink free all night long, have a great bachelor pad with three female roommates, have a respectable, cushy bill-paying day job and you’re also whimsically dating the local Helen of Troy.

Then the next day you look in the bathroom mirror and with shock in your voice exclaim ‘Who the hell put up the poster of my Father?’

Good ol’ Dad. You can’t help but notice that as time has passed you not only look like Dad, but you act like Dad in so many ways, and even speak like Dad at times!

One of the things Dad used to say that’s particularly ringing true in my head is “They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore!” He used to listen to a few of his favorite LP’s, sit up, smile and with genuine joy utter that famous line as if proclaiming creativity and drawbridges to the heart stopped thirty years ago.

Funny how I hear myself using that same phrase every once in a while.

Disco Lady
Johnny Taylor was no stranger to success. He replaced Sam Cook in the Soul Stirrers, had a monster 1969 hit with Who’s Makin’ Love, signed to Stax, recorded Cheaper To Keep Her and his 1996 album Good Love! For the Malaco label went to #1 on the blues charts. Talk about longevity, the man even went on to DJ for a bit in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

In 1976 Johnny had one of the smoothest, groovin’, slick songs on the chart with the smash Disco Lady. Don’t let the title jerk you - this was not to be confused with the Shake Your Groove Thing disco, this was humid, clothes wet, animal, sexual soul that pleases from within. Featuring an electric piano opening that bores to the core right away, a surgically precise guitar and wah-wah that can’t go unnoticed, a silky voiced Johnny shows that he also has the range to pivot into a sexy growl. Dig it!

Move it in, move it out
Shove it in round about, disco lady

Hey, sexy lady
Girl, you drive me crazy
You dance so fine and your right on time

Girl, you driving me out of my mind, ya
If it wasn't for the girl sittin' next to me
I'd jump right up and outta my seat you see
You got me hyp-no-tized, so mes-mor-ized

Girl, your movin' me
Girl your groovin' me


Showing that you can fuse any combination of music together, Brick actually penned the title Dazz by combining their two major influences, disco and jazz.

Side thought and cause of constant consternation: the short version of this track that you hear on the radio (yea, when was the last time?) clocks in at 3’22. The version I always play (and you also) is a hefty, hearty and more pleasing 5’39. For an extra 2’17 you’d think they would play it – if only to chew up airtime. But alas, there’s no fulfillment there.

Everybody go on and dance if you want to
Music makes your body move, well all right
Funky dancing get up, get down, shake your booty
Music makes your body move, well all right

Jazz dazz (disco jazz)
Jazz dazz (disco jazz)

The killer for me is at 2’31 where the flute and whistler come in together. Think a flute can’t be killer? This’ll prove you wrong. Kicking in at 3’14 is the bass line that someone sampled sometime ago and I’ll be damned if I can’t remember right now. Any help? This is the track to play to get everyone’s ass off the chair.

These are pure, satisfying, comfort songs. Both from 1976. Let me now quote for you something you may find yourself saying from time to time, “They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore!”

Johnnie Taylor: Disco Lady
Brick: Dazz
From: Rhythm & Blues [1976] (No link found. ?Not available anymore?)

Addendum 1: I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that my reason for thinking of Dad in the first place came directly after reading darcy’s blog Feel It. The Dad that he had been blogging about for some time now has sadly passed away. I know that all of our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences are with him and his family in his time of need. Make the time to get over and help him along.

Addendum 2: Apparently I did alright (also thanks for the encouragement – again – from the good dj), and WNEW is going to post my second article. It’s shaping up that I’m going to concentrate on, and feature, “Hidden Gems”. This time I write about a band that I blasted in my own blog on August 2nd ‘08 in the Addendum section. But, I insist that they have a few that have endured and can still make me cheer!


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