5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good to have it on CD, 70s disco classic!,
This review is from: Get On The Funk Train (Audio CD)
Firstly, I'd like to say how welcome this release is. And with two full albums on one CD, it's certainly a bargain, even thought the total running time is still only a little over 64 minutes - pretty much what you'd expect from a single album these days.
The first album, "Get On The Funk Train" was recorded with a some of the very best session singers from the time, including Madeline Bell of Blue Mink fame,and Sue and Sunny, all of whom had their own hits in the early to mid 1970s. While the vocals are obviously top notch, the fact that they tend to all sing together does give the album a rather anonymous , slightly bland sound. This first album was really just a vehicle for the 15-minutes-plus title track, a great disco period piece, funkier and less electro than you might expect. It undoubtedly inspired many other artists around at that time, particularly Frank Farian and the Boney M team, who virtually copied the idea on "Night Flight To Venus". Tracks 2-7 are all studio covers of tracks already released by Giorgio's artists, four Donna Summer tracks (including one reprise), one Roberta Kelly track (the excelent "Trouble Maker"), and one from Giorgio himself, the rather splendid "I Wanna Funk With You Tonight". With the exception of the last named, these don't work as well as the originals, which benefit from strong solo vocals, rather than the massed voices approach.
The second album "A Whiter Shade of Pale" uses a solo female singer, Chris Bennett, and benefits greatly from this more focused approach. The title track, a #42 UK hit in 1978, is exactly as you would expect, a light breezy, uptempo cover of a song you all know. It's obviously not better than the original, but it's different enough that it shouldn't cause any offence. Bennett's voice carries the album well through the other tracks, with the obvious exception of the instrumental "La Nuit Blanche", a Strauss piece which sounds like Oxygene-era Jean Michel Jarre. She shines on the Eartha Kitt-like "It's For You", and the standout track "It's All Wrong (But It's Alright)".
As it was originally released in the 70s, there may not be many remixes, alternative versions or unreleased tracks available, but it would have been nice to hear a little more, a couple of bonus tracks at least, if there wasn't enough material for a second disc. That apart, a welcome addition to the collection.