Anyone who went around screaming "death to disco!" back in the late '70s has plenty of reason to feel disappointed -- very disappointed. That's because disco never really died. After the '70s, disco became more high-tech, changed its name to "dance music," and evolved into many different styles (including Hi-NRG, Latin freestyle, and deep house). But the basic disco recipe -- funky, sleek pop and/or R&B for the dancefloor -- was alive and well long after the Jimmy Carter years. When this nonstop, 49-minute club mix came out in 1996, the term disco was usually used to describe '70s dance music; nonetheless, the disco mentality is quite prevalent on this CD. One hears it on Los Del Mar's quirky Latin favorite "Macarena," and disco considerations certainly assert themselves on other '90s club hits such as Le Click's "Tonight Is the Night," Ultra Naté's "Party Girl," and Scatman John's "Scatman." Chic, of course, was among the most influential disco-funk acts of the late '70s, and the group's influence is especially strong on Zhané's "Groove Thang" and the Frankie Knuckles/Adeva collaboration "Too Many Fish." Hip-hop has also influenced a lot of post-'70s dance music, and C+C Music Factory's "Do You Wanna Get Funky" is an infectious example of the sort of rap-dance fusion that C+C is famous for. Club Mix '96, Vol. 1 doesn't get into underground rave music; the harsher, more abrasive strains of techno are excluded, and vocal personality is a high priority whether the disc is getting into deep house or moving in a Hi-NRG/Euro-dance direction. Although not among 1996's more essential club/dance compilations, this CD has its share of gems and paints a generally attractive picture of dance-pop in the '90s.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson