This is the latest in a series of double-disc sets collecting unsung journeymen records from the late 70s and early 80s. None of these records were top-drawer productions or innovators of disco music. Together in this release, they comprise a well-chosen, functional selection from the obscurities used in clubs by the dozens to round out nightly playlists, fill out sets, and provide companion tracks to the better-known floor-fillers.
So many of these were modeled after bigger-selling, more-played 12" records that, on their own here on Soul Of Disco, they form an alternate playlist from an imaginary disco circa 1981. James Randolph, recording as "Sir James" in 81, offers "Sho Is Good" sounding like Greg Carmichael's work with Inner Life (explained partly by the involvement on Randolph's album by Ken Mazur and Paul Riser). Steve Kahn's jazz records before he joined Steps Ahead often included R&B tracks and here his "Got To Have Your Loving" also sounds like Inner Life thanks to the big bass and congas. Jackie Stoudemire's "Invisible Wind" nods to Jackie Moore's releases during the Bobby Eli production years. "Love Rescue" from Project, a Canadian collaborative, was clearly modeled after Gino Soccio ("Try It Out"). The Full Body track "You Got Me Dancing" could be a Tempest Trio lp cut, Truth's "International Dancing" could be from producer Bobby Massey's former group the O'Jays. On "Looking Ahead," Park Avenue sound like Dexter Wansel-produced Jones Girls, while Larry Hart's cover of Eddie Kendricks updates Norman Harris' original production with an electronicized approach.
Some of the tracks have been edited or extended, fortunately in non-intrusive ways that preserve the orginal sound. I guess in this age of tweeting and texting it's a pipedream to hope for proofread liner notes to clean up the grammar and odd turns of phrase-- Dave Lee's intent was to present "the blacker end of disco" musically, but author he's not. A good choice for fans of rarities in disco and soul.