Various Artists

Ballroom Blitz

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Back in Arthur Murray's heyday there was a major market for formal dance records, but today they are much fewer in number. Ballroom Blitz is a contemporary example -- a utilitarian collection of music for "social and competitive dancing," as the subtitle says, with information provided for each track regarding the dance style and number of beats per minute. The dances represented include the cha cha, rhumba, mambo, salsa, foxtrot, tango, merengue, hustle, waltz, East and West Coast swing, Carolina shag, and country two-step. The selections are mostly vocal recordings by obscure and unknown artists with a few exceptions: two songs are from Cali Aleman's 2005 album, La Victoria, "Bringin' Me Back Home" appeared on Lou Pride's 2002 album, Words of Caution, and "Too Late to Turn Back Now" is from Tad Robinson's 2004 album, Did You Ever Wonder. Marc Fisher, a DJ at Florida's Goldcoast Ballroom, compiled Ballroom Blitz "for the discriminating ballroom dancer," but must not have had free rein in selecting the tracks, because none is licensed from a major label or represents the work of a major artist. Also, many dancers would prefer music with which they are familiar, and the only well-known song on the collection is a cover of T. Rex's 1972 glam rock hit "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" by Carey Ziegler, which enjoyed some currency among dancers when released on the EP Beach Bag Designer Series, Vol. 1. Shortcomings aside, Ballroom Blitz serves as a convenient collection of music for dance instructors and students.

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