Released at the same time as The Hit Squad Chart-tracking but sold as a separate item, the supremely groovy Nightclubbing saw Ronco move into the art of the 12″. “60 minutes of non-stop disco”. It was produced by Ashley Abram with Ros Chenery taking on the role of co-ordinator while Shoot That Tiger! looked after the sleeve design. Ronco’s postal address is shown as Ellerslie Park, 11 Lynam Road, London SW2 5DZ. Maybe some of the UK readers could pop down for a look some afternoon to see what’s there in its place?
Nightclubbing consists of 14 tracks, a number of which are already familiar from their inclusion on other 1983 compilations (albeit in truncated form). First appearances are on:
Chart Stars : Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon – Dancing Tight.
Hits On Fire: Freeez – IOU.
Headline Hits: Kenny Lynch – Half The Day’s Gone And We Haven’t Earned A Penny, KC and The Sunshine Band – Give It Up*, Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon – Wait Until Tonight (My Love), Lafleur – Boogie Nights.
* A note on Give It Up: it’s listed as being the 12″ Version on Nightclubbing but its running time is just 4:13, same as my 7″ single.
So what about Double Dutch I hear you say? Well here we get treated to, er, double the goodness – the glorious Extended 12″ Version which kicks off this non-stop dance fest. It’s not quite the full take – 7:55 versus 8:21. Next are Club House, an Italian house music studio group composed of Gianfranco Bortolotti, Carl Fanini, Hidalgo Serra, and Silvio Pozzoli (of Around My Dream fame – see my review of Teldec’s super Power Of Love). Their mashup medley of Steely Dan’s Do It Again and Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean was a great club success. Paying homage (and doing an even better job) were Detroit’s Slingshot who also recorded as a note-for-note dance medley of the same two tracks. Billboard Top Dance Hits 1983 is where you can hear the 12″ of this – an excellent compilation series.
Keep the fire burning are the Gibson Brothers with the uptempo groove of My Heart’s Beating Wild (Tic Tac Tic Tic). This blends into the stylish rhythms of Kid Creole’s Stool Pigeon before the plaintive soul beats and sizzling bassline of Mtume’s amazing Juicy Fruit. Keyboards by ex Parliament and Funkadelic member Bernie Worrell. Elsewhere the O’Jays keep the funk alive on Put Your Heads Together while Animal Nightlife and Andy Polaris knock it out of the park on Native Boy (Uptown) – an east end favourite of ’83. And in conclusion – you can’t keep a good man down so give it up for James Brown and the heady sweat dance that is Bring It On…Bring It On. Dead on the heavy funk.
Mtume – Juicy Fruit
Club House – Do It Again / Billie Jean
Lest we forget
Animal Nightlife – Native Boy (Uptown)