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This review is from: Get On The Funk Train (Audio CD)
I'm a great fan of Giorgio Moroder and all of his 70's productions, most of which I purchased on vinyl at the time. The only Munich Machine material I owned was a single and their mention on the early Donna Summer works. Deciding to finally catch up and see what I had missed, I ordered this double package which was priced very cheaply. Boy was I rewarded! It's a shame I didn't get it at the time, but all the more richer for hearing it for the first time four decades later! The first album is a disco/funk masterpiece and although the subject matter is tongue firmly in cheek, kind of dated and full of sexual innuendos, the music is marvellous: Rich, lush orchestration over pounding beats, bursts of sublime vocals as one song segues seamlessly into the next. No 70's party would be complete without the 15 minute strong "Get on the Funk Train" (the complete side 1 of the original vinyl). It drives endlessly, occassionally stopping at various stations on it's journey to announce various expressions, sounds and interesting noises! The whistle blows and we're off again! It really is great fun and is utterly brilliant. It completely steals the first album. The disco fanatics must have adored this track at Studio 54 in it's hey-day, surely one of Moroder's finest moments and still infectious to dance to. The rest of this album segues through shorter tracks including early instrumentals of early Donna Summer works and a couple of other less known, obviously from other Moroder produced artists. Still excellent quality production and exciting rhythms.
Second album is a little more restrained, 6 individual tracks, each one a complete song with gaps inbetween. More pop fuelled than dance, (you can sit down and listen to this!) The title track, an electro/pop reworking of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" is actually very good: A great cover in fact. I had the single of this and always wondered how it wasn't a massive hit. It has all the mystery and intrigue of the original with some very nice upbeat hooks and lovely saxophone breaks. Its longer here and is a much better version than the single as more instrumental passages improve the whole sound. Chris Bennett has a great voice, (she features on 5 tracks) and gives this classic song a wonderful interpretation. Another favourite is "It's for you" which has some really lovely instrumental breaks portraying the most gorgeous tune, showcasing the Munich Machine's amazing orchestral arrangements. "La Nuit Blanche" is a Kraftwerk-esque instrmental pastiche of strauss which adds another dimension to the album. This second album is more of a grower than the first, but grow it WILL and lodge inside the brain like all good music should. I have to add hear that the remastering of these two albums is first class. It could pass as vinyl in it's warmth and has some great volume without losing anything.
This package is fantastic value for money. For anyone interested in 70's dance/electro/pop, it has to take a place in your collection if like me it's one that got away at the time. Or if you only ever buy one original disco CD in your life. Get this. You won't be disappointed.