Various Artists

Disco 2: A Further Fine Selection of Independent Disco, Modern Soul and Boogie 1976-1980

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The second audio companion for the 2014 book Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Cover Art of Disco Records is just as valuable as the set that preceded it, Disco: A Fine Selection of Independent Disco, Modern Soul and Boogie 1978-82. Released roughly half-a-year later, this is similar in breadth, a nicely balanced assortment of cult classics and one-off small-pressing obscurities. Likewise, only a handful of the cuts appeared previously on compact disc, through compilations like Disco Juice, Groove on Down, and Deep Disco Culture. Roughly one-quarter of the selections are either essential or close to it. Among those that are a cut above: Paper Doll's "Get Down Boy," a whirlwind of strings, synthesizers, and ecstatic vocals arranged by prolific disco genius Patrick Adams; Dunn Pearson, Jr.'s cinematic and unwinding "Groove On Down"; "Victorious," a close descendant of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Getaway" conceived by Kalamazoo, Michigan's Ripple; and High Frequency's "Summertime," the obligatory life-affirming Leroy Burgess jam. The Soul Jazz label deserves credit for improving upon past issues with compilations of non-commercial disco; for instance, the Shades of Love's risqué "Come Inside," another gem, sounds so much better here than it does on Hot Productions' The Best of Scorpgemi Records. The appeal of remainder's majority is limited to the most serious disco collectors and DJs who simply can't get enough of the stuff.

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