The Casablanca label has released numerous compilations over the years, collecting the best and the rest of their hot property, but on 1976's Get Down and Boogie, they tipped the scales. A continuous-play maelstrom of classic Euro-disco and Stateside funk, with a little bit of everything else thrown in for kicks, this is truly an eccentric slice of nonstop booty-shaking grooves. Kicking off the whole shebang is German producer Giorgio Moroder's pernicious rendering of the Moody Blues' 1968 classic "Nights in White Satin" (retitled "Knights..."), which takes an already dark song to new depths, combining all the Euro-disco elements Moroder's best at with a sibilant vocal that claws the chorus straight out of the night and into a nightmare. But it's sexy, really, and it segues beautifully into the single edit of Donna Summer's uber-grind "Love to Love You Baby." Both artists toss another song into the mix, but after that one-two punch, does it really matter? Elsewhere, the mighty Parliament weigh in back-to- back with their Top Ten "Up for the Down Stroke" and "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)" singles; riding the American funk train, too, is BlackSmoke's supremely catchy "(Your Love Has Got Me) Screamin'," a song that bestowed some moderate chart success upon this little-known band. Jeannie Reynolds, meanwhile, best known for her 1975 hit "The Phones Been Jumping All Day," gives her lover a great big bowl of cherries and gets a bunch a bananas in return on the over six-minute "The Fruit Song." Go ahead and connect your own dots there. Smoother in the first half, where the songs are better suited to each other, than on the second, where the overall groove is somewhat disjointed, Get Down and Boogie probably traded on the star power of Moroder, Parliament, and Summer more than anything else. But still, it's a nice slab of sometimes surprising grooves, representing a fairly broad musical cross section. The pleasure is all ours.
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