THP Orchestra

Two Hot for Love!

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Throughout the history of dance-pop, there have been club artists and radio artists. Donna Summer, the Village People, Chic, Gloria Gaynor, and Madonna are perfect examples of radio artists; although they were extremely popular in dance clubs, they enjoyed extensive radio airplay and reached a lot of people who weren't necessarily major club hounds. Those artists became a part of mainstream pop culture, whereas club artists are more underground -- they cater to clubs, and if commercial radio ignores them, so be it. In the late '70s, the THP Orchestra was the epitome of a club act. Two Hot for Love!, THP's first LP, was generally ignored by radio but gave the Eurodisco outfit a small but enthusiastic club following. DJs were especially fond of the title song, which lasts almost 16 minutes and takes up all of side one. Boasting a sweaty, intoxicating performance by singer Barbara Fry, "Two Hot for Love!" is an orchestral Eurodisco masterpiece. Side two, meanwhile, is devoted to instrumentals, the strongest of which is an arrangement of Luis Bonfa's "Manha de Carnival." The Bonfa standard is generally associated with Brazilian pop-jazz and bossa nova, although it works surprisingly well in a Eurodisco setting. The other instrumentals on side two (including the dramatic "Early Riser" and the playful "Crazy Crazy") are pleasant, if unremarkable. Produced by THP leaders Ian Guenther and Willi Morrison, this decent-to-excellent LP isn't for the casual disco fan but is worth hearing if you're a seasoned disco addict.