TLG's Finest: Disco Treasure Trouve
Expand your boogie night repertoire and live out a Studio 54 fantasy with our top picks from the disco spectrum.
Update 27/09/17: Now available on Apple Music too.
Inner Life - I'm Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair) (1979)
This is one of our favourite disco tracks, and for some reason it never became a well-known classic. This ticks all of the boxes for a disco track, it features disco diva Jocelyn Brown (of 'Somebody Else's Guy' fame), there's some funky orchestration with glorious strings and horns; the guitar and bass lines alone are just...ahhh, don't get me started. This kicks off our playlist because it's too damn good to wait for.
Rare Pleasure - Let Me Down Easy (1976)
The piano takes forefront in this track, with an extremely catchy hook, but the funky 'wah-wah' guitar is tasty. When the strings kick in, all of these layers come together to form a perfect disco track. However, the band surprise you with a sexy saxophone solo before they have even begun singing. The vocals are reminiscent of The Emotions, and you can't help but boogie along, it really is a rare pleasure.
Gladys Knight & The Pips - Taste of Bitter Love (1980)
Produced by the legendary Ashford and Simpson, this track is an unexpected turn for Gladys Knight & The Pips, but it is a very welcome one. The main instrumental for the song feels like a perfect hip-hop sampler, but there's also some proper naughty horns, and Gladys Knight makes so much sense singing on a disco number.
Diana Ross - What You Gave Me (1978)
This is an absolute banger from Diana Ross. Her singing style is breathy and has a sensual charm, which is so unique and instantly recognisable, but combined with her power and some great backing vocals it is a winning formula. This also has some of our favourite string pieces on a disco track and a cracking musical breakdown, which has funk-filled guitar riffs (and who doesn't love an in-track clap).
Patrice Rushen - Haven't You Heard (1979)
Known for her biggest hit 'Forget Me Nots', Patrice Rushen has a wealth of funk and disco material that is worth delving into. However, this is far superior to her biggest hit in our eyes, a strong bassline and keys with some sassy vocals puts this up there in our estimations. 'Haven't You Heard' also has some really fun orchestration and percussion.
Delegation - Heartache No. 9 (1979)
Delegation are a band we frequently try to promote, they are so damn talented and their album Eau De Vie is full of solid disco tracks. 'Heartache No. 9' is one of the many great songs from that album, so if you love this one as much as we do, it is well worth checking out. The band have great vocal harmonies as well.
The Emotions - I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love (1976)
Whilst they may be most famous for 'Best of My Love', this is just as good, if not better. The main backing vocal chorus may be recognisable to some from Primal Scream's, very different track, 'Loaded'. The horns throughout this song are similar to KC and the Sunshine Band, but with a far more disco vibe.
Bob Williams - I'm Alright (1979)
This is notably different to the rest of the playlist, with a more island party feel. The song immediately feels summery and has a disco flare that just wants to make you groove; there is a fun jam vibe in this track. Our discovery of 'I'm Alright' was a happy accident, but we fell in love with this number and had to include it on the list.
Norma Jean Wright - Having A Party (1978)
Produced by heroes Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, who were also Norma Jean Wright's fellow band members in original disco trendsetters CHIC. This was on her first, and only, solo album, but there are a number of great upbeat dance songs. This sticks to CHIC's song formula because it always works so well.
Geraldine Hunt - Can't Fake the Feeling (1980)
We've heard this at a fair few disco club nights, yet it still doesn't seem to be as recognised as it should. Geraldine Hunt is a classic sassy disco diva, her voice over the top of a phat bassline and tasty guitar is an irresistible treasure.
Loleatta Holloway - Dreamin' (1977)
Holloway sang on tracks like 'Love Sensation' and 'Hit and Run', the former is famously sampled on Black Box's 'Ride on Time' from 1989. She has a phenomenal voice, with all the power and sass to match her contemporaries of the genre. There is a noticeable theme throughout this playlist, strong vocals and funky instrumentation always tick our boxes.
Deniece Williams - It's Important To Me (1976)
We recently wrote a 'Rediscover' feature on Williams' album This Is Niecy, which is where this track is taken from. Produced by Maurice White from Earth, Wind & Fire, and also featuring most of his band as performers througout the album. This had a team of talented artists behind it, the quality of every song shows that, who managed to create a fine piece of work that is in our top album lists.
Sister Sledge - Got To Love Somebody (1980)
Another Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards production to feature on our Disco Treasures playlist. This song is of the same standard as Sister Sledge's most famous work, just as fun and catchy as 'We Are Family', with a sexy af saxophone solo. 'Got To Love Soebody Today' is so good that Rodgers recycled many of it's musical elements for a new CHIC track, 'I'll Be There'.
Eddie Kendricks - Ain't No Smoke Without Fire (1978)
Key changes galore in this soulful disco number from Eddie Kendricks. As co-founder of The Temptations, the man's falsetto vocals are instantly familiar. This has some of the funkiest guitar work on the list, but nothing beats the frequent key changes towards the songs climax. There's also a wicked xylophone solo, what more could you want?!
G.Q. - Disco Nights (Rock Freak) (1979)
This may be far more famous on the disco scene, but broadly speaking this is not as well known as a disco fan would expect. Everything about this has a Studio 54 atmosphere yet somehow feels timeless, the piano track and synths seem like they could've come straight out of the 80s or 90s, but the bass and guitar seem to blend between 70s funk and 80s Prince.