Gloria Gaynor


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Gloria Gaynor's excellent sophomore effort Experience found the influential disco diva embracing the same format she had favored on her first album, Never Can Say Goodbye; side one is a nonstop three-song dance mix that clocks in at almost 19 minutes, whereas on side two, there are breaks between songs. Not surprisingly, dance club DJs tended to favor side one, which opens with the dreamy "Casanova Brown" and keeps the momentum going with the hit "If You Want It (Do It Yourself)" and Gaynor's glossy interpretation of the standard "How High the Moon." Jazz lovers will tell you that in the 1940s and 1950s, countless bebop tunes were based on "How High the Moon"; a great song, to be sure, but one that was overdone in its day. To her credit, Gaynor breaths new life into the standard and demonstrates that it can work remarkably well in a disco-soul setting. Side two isn't nearly as danceable as side one; the tempos are generally slower, and solid Northern soul items like the melancholy "What'll I Do" and the ballad "I'm Still Yours" are clearly for listening rather than dancing. Side two ends on an impressive note with an inspired cover of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David favorite "Walk on By," which had been previously recorded by Dionne Warwick and Isaac Hayes, among others. Whether or not Gaynor is catering to dancefloors, the singer shows no signs of a sophomore slump on Experience.

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