Various Artists

Funky Grooves

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Celebrating the feel-good club sounds of the '70s and '80s, UMTV's Funky Grooves is a generous, hits-laden trip down memory lane, encompassing three discs of Studio 54 disco staples, synth-funk classics, and slick soul floor-fillers. Alongside some of the scene's most prominent artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire (the infectious "Let's Groove"), James Brown (the iconic "I Feel Good" and "Sex Machine"), and Lionel Richie (the Latin-flavored "All Night Long"), there are classic Motown acts who adapted to a more club-friendly sound including Diana Ross ("Upside Down"), the Temptations ("Treat Her Like a Lady"), and Marvin Gaye ("Got to Give It Up"), chart-topping singles from Chaka Khan ("I Feel for You"), Barry White ("You're the First, The Last, My Everything"), and Gloria Gaynor ("I Will Survive") and one-hit wonders from Mtume ("Juicy Fruit"), Donald Byrd ("Love Has Come Around"), and Cheryl Lynn ("Got to Be Real"). Highlights include the Jackson 5's joyously uplifting debut single "I Want You Back," Cameo's much-covered, funk-laden "Word Up," and Chic's hugely influential disco anthem "Le Freak," but with so many tracks that have since become part of the musical landscape, there should be something for every old-school clubber, whether it's the smooth and slick R&B of Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much," the gospel-tinged disco of Candi Staton's "Young Hearts Run Free," or the pulsating synth pop of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." A handy middle-ground between the recent Ministry of Sound '80s Groove and Anthems Disco compilations, Funky Grooves is an essential collection for anyone longing for the days when slap basslines, disco beats and synth strings ruled the dancefloors.

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