Various Artists

Dancing at the Nick at NiteClub

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The folks at Nick at Nite Records have had some trouble coming up with workable concepts for their campy compilations loosely tied into the kind of vintage TV series that run on the cable channel. But this time, they have a winner: an album of songs keyed to the dance crazes (and dance-craze wannabes) of (primarily) the early '60s. You will recall that the Twist ruled back at the start of the Kennedy Administration, and naturally that gave birth to a slew of imitators, including the Pony, the Limbo, the Watusi, the Roach, the Monkey, and the Jerk. They're all here, along with some pre-Twist dances, such as the Stroll, and some late entries, like the Moon Walk (as in the 1969 moon landing, not the 1983 backsliding of Michael Jackson). Amazingly, nearly all of these records reached the pop or R&B charts, and several of them, notably Jr. Walker's "Shotgun," and the Diamonds' "The Stroll," Archie Bell & the Drells' "Tighten Up," and dance king Chubby Checker's "Pony Time" and "Limbo Rock," were big hits. Thirty years later, not only do the songs sound remarkably similar, but also a bit slow for dance songs. But they all have that all-important element: a steady beat, and if you're looking for a disc for your next party, this is one to consider, its only drawback being its running time of only about 40 minutes. But then, after dancing all the way through, you'll have worked up enough of a sweat to want to hit the punch.

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