Various Artists

Disco Discharge: Disco Fever USA

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Like the preceding volume of Harmless' Disco Discharge series, Disco Discharge: Mondo Disco, Disco Discharge: Disco Fever USA is heavy on selections from 1977-1979 -- 18 of 22, to be precise. As a disco novice could likely discern from names like Claudja Berry and titles like “Ritmo de Brazil,” this volume isn’t made of purely American disco. We get Richard T. Bear's “Sunshine Hotel,” fronted and produced by Canadians (the appropriately named Bear himself resembles a Dr. John of the Great White North) but released on RCA in the U.S. Predatory cruising anthem “Like an Eagle” was produced by Frenchman Jacques Morali but fronted by New Yorker Dennis Parker (adult film turned soap actor Wade Nichols). Another twist comes with Mississippi native Fern Kinney's “Baby Let Me Kiss You,” a King Floyd (of New Orleans) cover produced by Hammond B-3 organ master Carson Whitsett (of Mississippi); its undulating, sleaze-caked electro-disco is about as far from Southern soul as imaginable, easily mistaken for a European release. All that said, some of the biggest names in ‘70s R&B are here, including Teddy Pendergrass (“Life Is a Song Worth Singing”), Cissy Houston (“You’re the Fire”), Gloria Gaynor (“Love Is Just a Heartbeat Away”), and Earth, Wind & Fire. The latter’s “Boogie Wonderland,” included in instrumental form, should give listeners a new appreciation for the song’s phenomenal arrangements.

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