Tom Moulton, Greg Wilson, Prince Language and more make appearances in The Essential Gino Soccio Playlist, compiled by DEL for Foundations.
(’79; #1 Dance-Disco / #60 R&B / #48 Pop charts) – An all-timer for me! No typical disco violins or other niceties here, just pure deep, dark, nasty funkiness with a hypnotic repetitive baseline and a musicality that builds for days. Only the sparse vocals of the bridge provide you a respite but then, you must “try to take it higher”, you DANCER! Robert Hood’s edit is hot and Escort has pulled off some great live versions.
Try It Out
(’81; #1 Dance-Disco / #22 R&B charts) – Come on people… take a chance… you can do… TRY IT OUT! Don’t forget the phased instrumental version too!.
(’82; #2 Dance-Disco / #60 R&B charts) – Another killer song with a simple sing-a-long quality that matches the successful, but in no way formulaic, Soccio brilliance.
I Wanna Take You There (Now)
(’80; #4 Dance-Disco chart) – This was just so unique when I first heard it in club! Can’t say it always got the response I wanted on the floor when I played it but, I loved the orchestration, bridge, and break.
(’78; #9 Dance-Disco chart) – Kebekelektrik – Produced by Pat Deserio and Soccio, this track was hypnotic, driving, synth-laden, instrumental DISCO WAR! If you want to expand beyond the OG check out Greg Wilson’s edit & the Tom Moulton Mix.
Dance To Dance
(’79; #1 Dance-Disco chart) – A great example of how Soccio really developed continuity within his albums. Definitely with less bottom weight than “Dancer”, yet percussive with that hook, “music takes me high”! Future Funk sampled it with “Music Takes U High” in ’97.
(’81; #1 Dance-Disco chart) – Just a really well done, mid-tempo, R&B-like departure for Gino as tastes began to morph.
(’77; #9 Dance-Disco chart) – Kebekelektrik – This soaring euro-disco instrumental smash predated the hit by the French band Space the same year. Find the Tom Moulton Mix… a must.
(’79; #39 Dance-Disco chart) – Mighty Pope – This rare cut by Jamaica-bred and Canadian-raised Earl Heedram was arranged by Soccio and got a great treatment on the 12″ courtesy of Richie Rivera’s Midnight Mix.
I’m Never Gonna Leave You (New York)
(’79) – Gotham Flasher – Peter Alves and Gino pair up on this rare classic disco 12″ complete with requisite sound effects and mid-song “breathy disco” vocals.
Turn It Around
(’84; #20 Dance-Disco chart) – Even when the major labels didn’t back another full LP, Gino nailed it with this 12″. Horn solo rocks.
(’81; #15 Dance-Disco chart) – Karen Silver – Gino did some nice work for Ms. Silver. This one is a chord/groove “mash” of “Try It Out” meets “Good Times”.
(’82) – This is funktastic with cool vocals, drum stabs, and guitar licks.
(’82) – Another sleeper, this time a cover of a Bill Withers’ classic. The version you need is Prince Language’s Edit which adds 5 extra minutes of floor-filling magic.
Bang a Gong
(’79; #8 Dance-Disco chart) – Witch Queen – This studio disco group, another collab by Alves and Soccio, covered T. Rex’s ’72 hit through great percussion peppered with some corny disco moments.
(’82) – This kept the NRG going, euro-pop-style in a Patrick Cowley kinda way. Love the new wavy female background vocals.
Rhythm of the World
(’80; #4 Dance-Disco chart) – Crazy guitars! Disconet Remix really drove the popularity – find it, diggers!.
(’79) – Really an interlude from Gino’s debut LP and so groovy!