The thirteenth edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture:
GUY STEVENS – Crucial to the foundations of UK DJ culture – a black music enthusiast, Guy Stevens played US rhythm & blues, rock & roll, jazz, surf music and ska at the pivotal West End mod venue, The Scene – a prime hang-out for adherents of this hugely influential London-originated subculture. He’d head up Sue Records in the UK and later produce The Clash.
STREETWISE RECORDS – Streetwise Records was set up by Boston-born record producer Arthur Baker, who’d started out as a soul DJ in the city during the ‘70s. Baker came to international attention when he produced and co-wrote Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force’s game-changing ‘Planet Rock’ for Tommy Boy in 1982. Setting up Streetwise that same year, further success came with the colossal ‘Walking On Sunshine’ by Rockers Revenge.
DISCO FEVER – At that crucial moment when hip hop was ready to explode out of New York, Disco Fever became a central hub for the movement. Run by Sal Abbatiello many clubs, Disco Fever formed its identity when DJ and bar manager Sweet Gee started hyping up the crowd over the microphone in a rap style. Sal subsequently brought in DJ Junebug and booked crews like Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, amongst countless others.
NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE – ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ was written by Clifton Davis and originally recorded by The Jackson 5, however it’s the version by legendary disco diva Gloria Gaynor that’s best remembered. Released on MGM in late ’74, her take was a completely different animal – a rousing dance floor anthem produced by Meco Monardo, Tony Bongiovi and Jay Ellis, whilst Tom Moulton created a seamless medley for side one of the LP – the first DJ mix on vinyl.
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