Another triumph of curation: For Discos Only collects the music of independent labels who specialized in jazz and countercultural records and then “went disco” in musical transitions that seemed more natural then than they do today. San Francisco’s Fantasy Records and New York’s Vanguard are the labels in question; “indie dance music” is a nice way to describe the box to put this in and the years 1976-1981 generally cover the period just before Sylvester put Fantasy on the map as a disco outlet in 1977 until the crash of the disco market in 1981. But there’s a lot of great music scattered across the 5xLP/3xCD set – in 12″ versions, sometimes mastered, when available (the quality on the CD set is very good; I can’t speak of the vinyl pressing).
To understand how strange this all is: Fantasy’s first artist was Dave Brubeck; in 1976 they were reissuing Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Born On The Bayou” and by 1978 Sylvester’s Step II album had spawned two massive singles “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Dancin’ (Disco Heat)” that demolished the entire pop music charts. There’s undoubtedly a lot here that even some hardcore disco heads have missed – the selection is choice, and backed by some 5,000 words of liner notes from Bill Brewster, DJ and author of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life.