Stepping away from cutting-edge 4/4 beats and bleeps for a moment, here’s an interesting reissue. I first became aware of disco artist Ruth Waters last year when The Reflex re-worked her “Everybody Loves A Good Funk” track. “Super Star” originally came out in the late-’70s as a single under the name “Ruth Waters and the State of Mind Showband” and is something of a stylistic hybrid; it’s a high-paced disco-soul record, kind of nearer to soul than disco in terms of instrumentation, it’s got a melancholy melody on the verse and then a much more devotional, euphoric chorus, and comes complete with a superb second half full of ensemble funk playing and high-class soloing.

It comes in two parts — from the pre-12″ days when long jams were cut in two and put on both sides of a 7″ single — and is best enjoyed by playing both parts back to back, as part two is where you get the tasty synth wigging out and guitar soloing that lifts the whole thing into more spacey territory. Maybe the digital version will come with a re-edit where they’re joined together but it’s hardly going to be a challenge for a DJ to do this live.

Like Lemuria’s “Hunk of Heaven” or Mary Clark’s “Take Me I’m Yours,” “Super Star” is one of those old tunes that is kind of unique: they’re like the platonic ideal of their very specific and particular sub-genre, in this case “disco-paced, gospel-infused, cosmic soul with heavy-duty far-out soloing and a belting vocal.” It’s a pretty niche genre, and Ruth Waters’ “Super Star” is an outstanding exemplar of it.

⚪️ Super Star Tracklisting

Ruth Waters: Super Star (Miles Away / Limited edition 7" vinyl / Digital)
1. Super Star (02:59)
2. Super Star Pt.2 (03:50)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement

This record was submitted as a promo.


5 Mag Issue 208
Out July 2023

WE STILL CALL IT HOUSE: This was originally published in 5 Mag Issue #208 featuring the story of Chicago house music collective 3 Degrees Global, a tribute to DJ Deeon, a cover mix by and profile of Gratts, Detroit vocalist Diviniti, John Davis of the disco’s scariest orchestra, the great vanishing of pirate sites more. Help keep our vibe alive by becoming a member for $2/month and get every issue in your inbox right away!

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