This CD is legendary. Recorded live in 1979 at 84 King Street, New york City: the Paradise Garage, music by resident DJ Larry Levan.
Well, the story of this place and its music is well known, so I don’t need to tell it again. I’ll just cite a few words from the booklet:
“..Eventually we’d call their scene DISCO ad we’d think of its music as a single genre. But originally it was far from a homogeneous, definable form. It was an amalgam of anything people would dance to: Rock, Latin, Soul, Funk, Rhythm and Blues. It was simply music you heard in a discotheque, which back then was probably just a back loft hot with bodies. This was a small, close-knit world and despite the basic decor of the first disco clubs, something else invariably filled the room: the dancers’ togetherness, their sense of redemption, their feelings of escape from a racist and homophobic reality.
More than anything, disco was driven by an underground idea of unity.”
Let me point out my favourite moments on this mix. The first CD is like a good warm-up, it got T Connection’s classic “At Midnight”, with its distinctive first 3 minutes of congas solo, then Levan throws in some more “pop-ish” tunes like Shalamar, Cher and a Moroder track under the name of Munich Machine.
The second CD is shorter but it’s pure fire. I always get stunned by the beginning, with The People’s Choice tune mixed with “Bad Mouthin” by the Motown Sounds, then afer a few changes a weird tune called “Sun…Sun…Sun” by Jakki comes in, and it’s amazing. Heavy percussions, psychedelic vocals…incredible, really really intense. On the same vibe you got the final track, the best one for me: “Erucu” by Jermaine Jackson. What a great finale, with a heavy bassline and punching drums, a true disco-funk masterpiece.
Enjoy! Full credits and tracklist here.
Listen! Larry Levan Live At The Paradise Garage, 1979