I have been a huge fan of Ian Levine's work ever since I heard "24 Hours a Day" by Barbara pennington. This has to be the finest disco record ever! I have followed Ian's career ever since and it has become a mission to collect all his recordings. This latest offering, "DISCO 2008" has to be one of Ian's finest musical offerings and is testament to his talent as a songwriter and producer. The fact that he is still working with singers he initially worked with in the 70's & 80's shows how influential he is and how respected he is as a driving force in the disco/dance music scene. DISCO 2008 is a superb follow up to the successful NORTHERN SOUL 2007. This latest "box of disco gems" contains so many potential dance hits it is very difficult to pick out a favourite! I must say my personal favourites have to be "TRADE HIM IN FOR A NEW MODEL" by HAZELL DEAN & "NO PAIN NO GAIN" by ANGIE GOLD. These are perfect, modern disco stormers. I also love "RIGHT PLACE WRONG TIME" by DEANNE KEANNE and "DAYS IN NEW YORK" by the wonderful PEARLY GATES. One thing I have always admired about Ian is his ability to seek out new singers/talent and give them great material to work with. This release is worth eevry penny, and how often do you get a top quality CD album that is accompanied by a DVD as well!? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
What I appreciate most about this superb collection is its integrity. Ian Levine is a master song writer. As he has said, too many of us have been listening to bilge these last 20 years. This CD and Northern Soul 2007 that preceded it on Centre City Records, represent a challenge in the strongest possible terms to much of what passes for disco/soul dance music these days. No simple hooks or samples here; what you get are properly structured songs sung by a committed and soul-stirring group of singers. Levine inspires great loyalty in his artists and it's great to hear him producing the likes of Hazell Dean and Gee Morris again, still sounding as good as ever. And if you want to witness the cumulative wisdom of 40 years in the business, pay your respects to Pearly Gates and The Flirtations. They give me goosebumps every time! This is an awesome compilation, and one that will repay (in fact, demand) repeated listening. What a pleasure it is to get to know these songs. No one-listen wonders here. The STAR has to be Ebony Alleyne. Long may she continue that love affair with the camera. And of the newest names, Levine has flagged Tahira Jumah for future glory. If you can imagine Evelyn Thomas with touch of Jean Carne, you are heading in the right direction. What more can I say? If I had a quibble, it would be that I was left wanting more. The Noel McKoy and Gerod Harris tracks, in particular, are sensational but so chock-a-block with good things that they need opening up. They cry out for the extended mix that Levine knows so well how to do. Go buy!
The very good news: Obviously Ian Levine "is back", the man who created some of the best high energy anthems of the 80s. These songs, which made Record Shack and Nightmare Records legendary all over the world had not only great voices but also great melodies / instrumental parts. These tracks are timeless disco diamonds.
Quite a difference on this compilation with new recordings. It's a pity that the "great ladies" of high energy (especially Evelyn Thomas & Miquel Brown) are mostly missing on this CD. The title for the wonderful and still energetic Hazell Dean ("Trade him for a newer model") is a missed chance. Obviously Hazell's track is the best by far on the CD. Hazell has done such great anthems ("Searchin'", "Whatever i do", "My idea of heaven").....BUT they should have given her and a better production, the title is just fading out at the end & Hazells voice is much better than records here. She has deserved something better. Still she has the power to come back to the dance charts - with the right song. The other titles have sometimes great refrains, but no striking melodies an only short instrumental parts. They are all too short. They all sound very similar, one like the other and like the huge output from Ian Levine Motorcity productions from the early 90s which never made it in diso. Only George Daniel Longs "What makes a man a man" and Noel McKoys "Chasing illusions" as well as Rebecca Chandler with "Second hand guy" are really outstanding. Ian Levine would have done better to just make 10 excellent songs (really suitable for "disco") for the CD, also some longer, extended versions instead of the mass of 24. I hope he's coming back soon with that.....and convincing the REAL ladies of disco to make a return to redefine the dance charts.
What A Joy This Cd Is!!!!!! Steve Brookstein's "Head Over Heels" Is Fantastic And Pearly Gates' "Days In New York" Is A True Throwback To The Glory Days!!! Gee Morris, Voices With Soul, Deanne Keanne,Shelia Ferguson & Odette Adams Are Proof That The "DISCO DIVAS" Are Still Out There, It Just Takes A Wonderful Producer To Bring Them To Us!!!!!!
Ian Levine's long-standing reputation of being one of the UK's most important producers is firmly cemented with this fabulous new release "DISCO 2008" which follows hot on the heels of his former release "NORTHERN SOUL 2007" which I will also recommend to anyone who loves joyous, soulful, classic feel-good dance music with fantastic vocals! The new CD updates the classic disco sound of the 70s with a touch of the 80s Hi-NRG sound, and there are many highlights! It opens with style with the Diana Ross look-a-like Deanne Keanne and the camptastic "Right Place, Wrong Time", X-Factor winner 2004 Steve Brookstein delivers a magnificent vocal on the catchy "Head Over Heels", followed by The Three Degrees' lead singer Sheila Ferguson who shines with power and determination on "Fool Of The Year". Tina Charles - yes, the Tina Charles who did the disco classic "I Love To Love" - venges back with the outrageous "Hide And Seek" while Angelo Starr - brother of the legendary, late Edwin Starr and sounding unbelievably like him - is fabulous on "There's A Storm Coming On". Two powerful divas of the 80s Hi-NRG scene, Hazell Dean and Angie Gold, make a return to record as well with "Trade Him For A Newer Model" and "No Pain, No Gain" respectively, and musical star George Daniel Long delivers a magical rendition of the Charles Aznavour gay tribute "What Makes A Man A Man" which shines above the rest and is also featured on the DVD with a beautiful video. Whatelse to mention as particularly outstanding? Pearly Gates' "Days In New York" is marvellous and one of the greatest videos on the free DVD - and sexy Matthew James Pateman (lead singer of Levine's 90s hit boy band Bad Boys Inc.) sings fantastic on "Break These Chains". Voices With Soul - also known from the X-Factor - sing the Linda Clifford classic "From Now On" with awesome harmonies. Then you have Levine's jewel Ebony Alleyne (and do get her wonderful debut album "NEVER LOOK BACK") who always sound phenomenal, you have soul singer Noel McKoy and many more outstanding talent. In short, if like me, you think there's little of interest in today's chart, please support this album and keep Centre City Records and Ian Levine coming up with new releases this good.