Various Artists

Disco for Dummies

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A lot of people on the planet think that disco is for dummies. They're wrong. Disco is for everyone, intellect notwithstanding. This 12-track compilation is obviously aimed at listeners who need an easy introductory route into a style that was supposed to be a fad but wound up sprouting its own continuum -- a continuum that affected the '80s and '90s and 2000s (and should run for decades to come). As expected, all of the songs included here were big hits during the late '70s and early '80s. The only potential problem is that, unless you were born long after 1980 and were raised in a bubble, you've heard each of them many times over. Titles like the Ohio Players' "Love Rollercoaster," Chic's "Le Freak," and Van McCoy's "The Hustle" might not look all that familiar to you, but it's probable you've heard all of these songs in any number of settings -- on the radio, in the theater, at the drugstore, at the wedding reception. But, with a title like Disco for Dummies, the aim isn't to start you off with a 300-level course. (Disco did, in fact, have an underground that was as fertile as any other during the '70s and early '80s.) The selections here are just as smart as any other disc that compiles a dozen disco hits.

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