Put On Your Dancingshoes And Dance
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Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 American musical drama film directed by John Badham. It stars John Travolta as Tony Manero, a working-class young man who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local Brooklyn discothèque;read more
History of Salsoul Founded in 1974 by brothers Joseph, Kenny and Stanley Cayre, the Salsoul Records label is synonymous with the vibrant US Disco scene of late 1970s.
The Salsoul label takes its name from Joe Bataan's album of the same name, first released in 1973 on the Cayre brothers' Mericana Records label.
Whilst Mericana focused on Latin influenced sounds, Salsoul took its stylistic cues from Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International label, an imprint celebrated for its characteristic marriage of percussive tracks, lush string arrangements and the contemporary R&B, Soul and Disco sounds of the day.
Capitalising on the break down of relationships between a number of Philly Soul artists and Gamble & Huff, Salsoul was successful in securing contracts with a handful of key former Philadelphia International artists, among them Vince Montana, Bunny Sigler, Norman Harris and Earl Young, who went on to write, record or produce many of the label's biggest hits: Salsoul Orchestra's 'Salsoul Hustle' (the label's first major hit) First Choice's 'Let No Man Put Asunder' (the label's most sampled track) and Instant Funk's million selling 'Got My Mind Made Up'. Salsoul broke new ground not only in the music it released but also in the way it was consumed.
Double Exposure's 'Ten Percent', released on Salsoul in 1976, is widely believed to be the first 12" single to be released commercially (such releases having previously been issued exclusively as DJ only / promo items).
The label would eventually release over 300 singles, surviving the so called 'death of Disco' in the late 70s and producing a successful run of post-disco and boogie tracks through to 1985. Following a hiatus of seven years, Salsoul relaunched in 1992, reinvigorated by the popularity of the label's music as a source of sample material in the ever evolving House music, Hip Hop and Pop scenes of the day.
The label was quick to embrace the emerging House music scene, setting up a sub-label, 'Double J' to release music by up and coming House artists including many remixes of Salsoul classics. Salsoul material has remained a popular source of samples ever since, appearing in iconic Dance, Hip Hop and Pop tracks from the late 80s to the present day.
In trying to trace the origins of today’s dance music it is difficult to know when to stop going back in time. Dance of one sort or another has always been a part of life and, it could be argued, the origins date way back into history. However, we take the revolution that occurred in the 1960’s as a starting point.read more
Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B).
Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves.
Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths. Funk originated in the mid-1960s, with James Brown's development of a signature groove that emphasized the downbeat—with heavy emphasis on the first beat of every measure ("The One"), and the application of swung 16th notes and syncopation on all bass lines, drum patterns, and guitar riffs.
Other musical groups, including Sly and the Family Stone, the Meters, and Parliament-Funkadelic, soon began to adopt and develop Brown's innovations. While much of the written history of funk focuses on men, there have been notable funk women, including Chaka Khan, Labelle, Lyn Collins, Brides of Funkenstein, Klymaxx, Mother's Finest, and Betty Davis.
Funk derivatives include the psychedelic funk eras of Sly Stone and George Clinton; the avant-funk of groups such as Talking Heads and the Pop Group; boogie, a form of post-disco dance music; electro music, a hybrid of electronic music and funk; funk metal (e.g., Living Colour, Faith No More); G-funk, a mix of gangsta rap and funk; Timba, a form of funky Cuban popular dance music; and funk jam (e.g., Phish). Funk samples and breakbeats have been used extensively in hip hop and various forms of electronic dance music, such as house music, old-school rave, breakbeat, and drum and bass.
It is also the main influence of go-go, a subgenre associated with funk.
Sometimes, even a film that won an Oscar can slip into the realm of Forgotten Films. Of course, it’s not so easy for that to happen if you won Best Picture, but Best Original Song, that’s another story.
This particular song beat out “Hoplessly Devoted to You” from Grease, among others! While the song “Last Dance” by Donna Summer has gone down as a disco classic, who can remember the movie it was from? It’s the title of this blog post, genius!! Get ready for 1978’s Thank God it’s Friday.
The film is basically a night in the life of an LA disco club called The Zoo. We follow several different storylines of various employees and patrons of the club. Among them we have a married couple, Dave (Mark Lonow) and Sue (Andrea Howard) who interrupt their 5th wedding anniversary dinner to visit the disco, at Sue’s insistence. Dave is not as thrilled about visiting the club, especially when the owner, Tony Di Marco (Jeff Goldblum) takes an interest in his wife. Dave then ends up attracting the attention of somewhat kooky dental hygenist (Marya Small) with a pocket full of pills.
Among the other storylines is that of Frannie (Valerie Landsburg) and Jeannie (Terri Nunn), a pair of underaged teenagers out to sneak in and win the dance contest. We also follow the klutzy Jennifer (Debra Winger) as she and her friend struggle to find male companionship. There’s also DJ Bobby Speed (Ray Vitte) who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Commodores (playing themselves) and an aspiring singer, Nicole (Donna Summer) trying to convince Bobby to give her a chance to sing in the club.
Though the film is a bit disjointed, following several different storylines, there’s enough that works to make Thank God it’s Friday a moderately entertaining film. I found the most interesting story to be the one concerning Frannie and Jeannie. I actually wouldn’t have complained had this been the primary focus of the film. Both Valerie Landsburg (who I remember from the TV series version of Fame) and Terri Nunn (yup, lead singer of Berlin) have a lot of spunk and make their story fun. I love that the whole reason these two want to win the disco dance contest is so they can ultimately do something very un-disco…buy tickets to the KISS concert. These two also have some fun moments with Chick Vennera as Marv, another dance contest hopeful.
Stealing the show, in the few and far between scenes she has, is none other than Debra Winger. This is just her second film, and just a few years after this she would become an awards darling. Her biggest role up to this point was playing younger sister to Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman on a few episodes of the 70’s TV series. Both on that show, and in this film, she shows a real knack for comedy. She has several moments of physical comedy here, and is quite funny. She’s also beyond adorable in this…but what do you expect? It’s 23 year old Debra Winger, after all!
There are some other fun performances, from Jeff Goldblum all the way to DeWayne Jessie (AKA Otis Day from Animal House) as a hapless roadie for the Commodores. However, as is the case with many films like this, some stories are going to outshine others. Here, some of the storylines end up abandoned for big parts of the film. Winger’s storyline is one that falls victim to this, which is a shame because, like I said, she’s so dang funny and adorable. Other storylines that aren’t as interesting get way more attention than they deserve. The Donna Summer scenes are the biggest offender here. The film does feature a great soundtrack, which does help us get past some of the film’s lesser moments. The Commodores even perform “Too Hot ta Trot” for the dance contest scene. There’s not really any filler material on this soundtrack. The same can’t be said of the film itself, though. Certain stories and characters were enjoyable, while others we definitely B-side material.