Various Artists

Masterpiece: The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection, Vol. 7

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Nearly seven years after it was first recorded, Cathy Dennis covered "Touch Me (All Night Long)" and took the song, originally voiced by Fonda Rae and credited to Wish -- one of the many guises of disco gods Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael -- to the top of several charts worldwide, including the U.S. club chart. The original was no rarity either; it peaked at number five on the U.S. club chart and gave Rae some more of the attention she so justly deserved. (Hear also her solo singles "Over Like a Fat Rat" and "Heobah," as well as Don Armando's Second Avenue Rhumba Band's "Deputy of Love" and Kurtis Blow's "If I Ruled the World.") The original "Touch Me" leads off the seventh volume of Masterpiece, which includes another handful of excellent post-disco R&B singles amidst material that has justifiably remained obscure. The Whispers' "Tonight," written by Jerry Knight (Raydio, "Overnight Sensation," Ollie & Jerry) and produced by Solar studio don Leon Sylvers, has some of the thickest, most propulsive synthesizer lines this side of the O'Jays' "Put Our Heads Together." As a nice change of pace, PTG includes one of the excellently slinky singles off Mtume's underrated You, Me and He, "Prime Time." (Someone in Epic's promo department evidently dropped the ball; it failed to chart.) Other notables include Michael Wycoff's typically sophisticated "Tell Me Love," Brandi Wells' "Watch Out" (a WMOT release arranged by Dexter Wansel and co-produced by Nick Martinelli), and Toshiki Kadomatsu's oddly charming "Step into the Light," which sounds a bit like a goofy outtake from Bernard Wright's Funky Beat sessions.