michael jackson – i can’t help it (reflex demo version)
dennis coffey – boogie magic (tom moulton mix)
derrick harriott – black skinned blue eyed boys
jones girls – life goes on (john morales mix)
the player’s association – the get down mellow sound
the trammps – can we come together (moulton vs joey negro philly dub)
tom browne – thigh highs (grip your hips and move)
the tom tom club – wordy rappinghood
loleatta holloway – dreaming (john morales mix)
gentle – bionic lover
esg – step off
prince – sexy dancer (mad mix)
vince montana feat goody goody – it looks like love (dim edit)
don ray – standing in the rain
the salsoul orchestra – it’s good for the soul (walter gibbons mix)



Can’t Help It (Reflex demo version) – An early take of Michael Jackson putting together “Can’t Help It”, written by Stevie Wonder and Susaye Greene (songwriter and one of the Supremes, in the later years). Greg Philinganes just killing it on piano. Greg played in Stevie’s band from 76 to 81, then spent years working with all the Jacksons, as well as a slew of other acts like Toto and Stevie Nicks. For even further digging, here’s a LINK to Stevie Wonder’s original demo that he gave to Michael.

Boogie Magic (Tom Moulton mix) – A funky instrumental jam from Dennis Coffey’s 1977 “Back Home” LP. I prefer his early 70s funk stuff a bit more, but this track bumps along nicely. before going solo, Dennis was a stud musician with the Funk Brothers, playing on lots of early Motown records, including The Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion”. He also has the noted distinction of being the first white guy to perform on Soul Train (“Scorpio”, of course) in 1972. Props, my white bredren.

Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys – This is a cover of an old Eddie Grant song from 1970, from way back when when he was in the British rock/funk hybrid, The Equals. Derrick Harriot recorded this in 1982 and it became a bit of an underground disco record. Derrick was a Jamaican singer who started doing R&B covers in the late 1950s, then went on to a successful career as a reggae producer and solo artist. His biggest hit was probably “The Loser” in 1967.

Life Goes On (John Morales mix) – A B-side LP cut from Detroit’s Jones Girls, who got their start as backup singers for a ton of artists including Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Linda Clifford. “You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else” was the big hit off that album, but this tune has a nice mid-tempo disco flow that seemed to fit nicely here. I edited out the whole intro vocal part, opting to bring it in just when the track begins to stretch out.

The Get Down Mellow Sound – This song is borderline cheeseball disco to me, but I still can’t help but enjoy it. The Player’s Association were a NY studio band that released 5 albums during the peak of Disco between 77 and 81.

Can We Come Together (Moulton vs Joey Negro philly dub) – The Philly disco sound at full tilt, in all its glory. This Trammps cut was a mixed by Tom Moulton at Sigma Sound, birthplace of many a dancefloor anthem. I hastily mixed in the Joey Negro dub halfway through, cuz the man knows how to extend a track.

Thigh Highs (Grip Your Hips and Move) – Queens-born n raised Trumpeter Tom Browne did have at least one other song worth grooving to – on one of the 9 albums he recorded. This is from the “Magic” LP, released in 1981. Lead vocals by Toni Smith, who also shined on “Funkin’ For Jamaica.”

Wordy Rappinghood – Talking Heads off-shoot The Tom Tom Club was pretty hit or miss for me, but they do capture a certain sound of my youth, when so many of the bands down with Island Records were (presumably) smoking lots of weed and releasing dubbed-out, mid-tempo disco records like this one.

Dreaming (John Morales mix) – Perhaps a lesser known Loleatta Holloway track, but pretty much anything she touches is gold – especially when they let her just preach – and boy can she speak on it.

Bionic Lover – An obscure disco 7” gem from 1977, by a group calling themselves Gentle. They put this out on the Leo Mini label – part of a small cluster of labels under the umbrella of Janion Music. I’ve never come across the vinyl, but was lucky enough to score a digital copy recently. Good enough for me!

Step Off – Speaking of disco weed smokers who listened to too much Dub Reggae, ESG fits this description perfectly. Pretty much dormant for about 20 years, give or take, they reformed in the early 2000s and released an EP in 2002, this being the title track. I did see them live once, around 1990 or so, and they were just as sloppy and funky as ever.

Sexy Dancer (Mad Mix) – New Power Generation fan club purists poo poo anyone remixing his work, but in truth, Prince’s own remixes were often a little heavy-handed and corny. This is a bootleg made by the mysterious Bobby Z (Bobby Zito) that made the rounds of NY clubs around 1979. Francois K’s remix of Martin Circus on the B-side probably got more dance floor plays, but both are solid IMO. Records like this were often pressed on acetate only, then given to elite DJs like David Mancuso, Larry Levan, and Francois K. Some of them finally trickled down to the rest of us when a certain someone bootlegged a whole crate of classics lifted from david’s booth. Though David never forgave this act of piracy, I don’t know a DJ alive who wasn’t thankful for the result.

It Looks Like Love (Dim edit) – Another timeless classic given the flawless Dimitri From Paris touch. Vince Montana Jr. got the title “the godfather of disco” for good reason – namely being the founder of The Salsoul Orchestra and MFSB. He set up the aforementioned Sigma Sound Studios with Gamble and Huff in 1967. He left Philly for NYC in 1974 to start the Salsoul label and band with Joe Bataan, and the rest is history.

Standing In The Rain – Like most Cerrone-produced tracks, the sonics of this record are just fucking perfect. Raymond Donnex aka Don Ray was a keyboardist and arranger/producer with Alec R. Costandinos, one of the so-called kings of Eurodisco, before doing a solo record with Cerrone. To my surprise, I read a theory that New Wave weirdo Lene Lovich wrote these lyrics. She definitely wrote “Supernature” for Cerrone, and she’s thanked on this LP, so maybe it’s not too big of a stretch. I last heard this at the Halloween edition of The Loft, and I was reminded of just how dope it is.

It’s Good For the Soul (Walter Gibbons mix) – One last Salsoul Orchestra tune to round things out, mixed by the DJs DJ, Brooklyn’s own Walter Gibbons. Thanks for listening, and reading. Peace

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