Its rather apt that with the weekend breathing down my neck I get to review Rhino’s latest reissue the rather simply titled 12” Dance compilation. Spanning three decades and three CD’s respectively this is quite a useful set to own if you are looking to cram what are commonly seen as the classics into one handy collection.
Starting with the 70’s, you’ve got offerings from the likes of Chic, The Sugarhill Gang, Donna Summer and Blondie with tracks that should be as familiar to you as the back of your hand as well as what you might consider to be ‘second division’ releases from McFadden & Whitehead, Cheryl Lynn and Sheila B Devotion. Their lesser status in a historical context however doesn’t dim their prowess as club cuts however and they are represented here in all their extended glory (nigh on fifteen minutes for The Sugarhill Gang which might seem a touch excessive to some).
The 80’s disc is slightly less predictable, of course New Order’s Blue Monday was always going to be a certainty and inclusions from Bomb The Bass and S’Express are perfectly understandable. However tracks from Womack & Womack and Miami Sound Machine are slightly left of centre choices that don’t immediately spring to mind when you sum up club classics of the eighties. Elsewhere Soul II Soul, Chaka Khan and Inner City shore up the more soulful vocal side of eighties dance, making this more than just a curiosity.
The 90’s focusses to a greater degree on UK releases with Adamski and Seal’s breakout hit “Killer” and Norman Cook’s Beat’s International “Dub Be Good To Me” which may usually now be relegated to “ironic” student disco but still sound remarkably fresh despite the change in popular music tastes over the last decade or so. Elsewhere Primal Scream’s Loaded is represented in all its thunderous bass heavy while Deee-Lite’s Groove Is In The Heart still sounds remarkably nimble even by today’s standards elsewhere there may be elements of dancefloor cheese (Crystal Waters, Snap!) but as is the case with all the discs in this compilation its more a case of guilty pleasures rather than crimes against music.
A solid collection for those that haven’t all ready got these tracks in their original unedited forms. Out October 5th.