Claudja Barry

Disco Mixes

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This enjoyable six-song EP was originally released in 1980 to capitalize on the success of Claudja Barry's numerous dance singles in discos across Europe and Canada. The EP culls tracks from all four of Barry's albums released through 1980, but offers them in extended mixes not found on the individual sets. Producer Jurgen S. Korduletsch's Lollipop label was one of the first to commercially release such an artist compilation (artists as diverse as Madonna and Gwen Guthrie would follow suit in the mid-'80s). Often, these 12" mixes were only available promotionally to club DJs, and if consumers had the chance to purchase them, it was via individual 12" singles. Never released in the U.S. until Hot Productions' 1995 CD reissue, Disco Mixes is a quite worthy investment for any serious disco fan. All of the songs (sans "Dancin' Fever") run six minutes or more -- and all six are mixed together on the CD issue. Besides the sheer kinetic qualities, the distinguishing factor of this set is the dynamic range. The sequence here is not merely one robotic dance tune followed by another; rather, it's a fruitful mélange spanning mellow lounge sounds ("Dancin' Fever"); driving, rock-disco fusion ("You Make Me Feel the Fire"); and jazzy, funky Euro-disco ("Sweet Dynamite"). Furthermore, Barry's fluid, strong voice brings each number a unique character that combines her gospel and theater roots to powerful effect. Disco Mixes also includes the singer's classic dancefloor anthem "Boogie Woogie Dancin' Shoes," making the EP even more of an essential for disco lovers. Barry may not have achieved "disco queen" status in America with mainstream audiences like Donna Summer or Gloria Gaynor did, but this album proves that she should have.

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