Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes

Manhattan Millionaire

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For fans of "Get Dancin'," the 1974 hit by hairdressing-chain magnate Joseph Montanez, Jr., aka Sir Monti Rock III, aka Disco Tex, the follow-up album, Manhattan Millionaire, is totally written and produced by singer/songwriter Kenny Nolan. As you can imagine, it has flavors borrowed from the first single, and little nods to the Philly sound and Barry White. Why there are instrumentals on this is the question, because Sir Monti Rock III's gay humor was part of the fun of the first single. His wig isn't wet here, though his hair is a mess on the front and back cover -- he should've stuck to the cartoons which decorated the first album. Surprisingly, this is a decent record, and it is Monti Rock who makes it special. His silliness in "Jimbo Salsa" is what makes the tune a performance, and what adds to the disc. Though "Hey There Little Firefly" might be a strong instrumental from the songwriter who penned Lady Marmalade, Frankie Valli's "My Eyes Adored You," and Monti's first hit, "Get Dancin'," the zaniness that attracted the dance crowd to that really funny hit single is what Manhattan Millionaire was supposed to be all about -- not the somber mood of Nolan's own hits, "Love's Grown Deep" or his smash "I Like Dreamin'." "Dancin' Kid" sounds like K.C. & the Sunshine Band performing the Temptation's "Cloud Nine." It's a strange concoction with T.S.O.P. imitations abounding. Backing vocalists aren't credited, and perhaps original Sex-O-Lette Cindy Bullens is on here. "Ride a Wild Horse" is a sexual adventure copping Donna Summer's riffs from the year before's "Love to Love You Baby." Sir Monti Rock III is nowhere to be found on it, and the female (?) vocalist is uncredited. That's amusing, because the photographer and designer are! Clearly Kenny Nolan had this track in his production archives and needed a place to put it. Disposable disco that is listenable, but lacking the star of the show. It's too bad, becauseMonti Rock had personality, and that personality should have been exploited better on this second album.

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