First Listen! Sylvester – Dance (Disco Heat) (Louie Vega Re-Touch Main Mix) (Nervous)
Like it or not, music production has most likely never sounded brighter than during the Disco days. With the main reason for that standing as an evidence: the contribution of (real) musicians. Not to say by that that people working with computers are not artists though. But c’mon, how pathetic it can be to have a listen to what those who claimed that “Disco sucked” have been doin’ in comparison.
If ever an artist embodied the Disco Heat, it would be without a single doubt the flamboyant Sylvester. With thanks to his one of a kind falsetto voice that allowed him to reach unsuspected territories. And probably standing as a reference to artists such as Kenny Bobien and Byron Stingily (Ten City). Besides, how not to feel like a parental link between ‘Get Up Everybody’ by the latter and Sylvester‘s ‘Dance (Disco Heat)’?!?
From the man’s 1978 ‘Step II’ album, ‘Dance (Disco Heat)’ just took where the anthemic ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’ left. Standing as some of the biggest classics from his association with producer Harvey Fuqua.
Now Louie Vega pays it full justice, with this 12 minute + rework. Bringin’ this respectable (almost) 40 years ol’ cracker a new youth…
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Born in Watts, Los Angeles, Sylvester James, Jr. first established himself as a child Gospel star through the choir of his Pentecostal church. He would leave the church after the congregation expressed disapproval of his homosexuality. And from then, he found friendship among a group of Black cross-dressers and transgender women who called themselves The Disquotays. Movin’ to San Francisco, he fronted avant-garde drag troupe The Cockettes. And while touring in New York, he set up his own group (Sylvester & The Hot Band). He soon after met Martha Wash and Izora Rhodes who became his background singers (also known as Two Tons Of Fun) in addition to Jeanie Tracy.
After two albums on Blue Thumb which went unsuccessful, he therefore went solo, signing a deal with producer Harvey Fuqua of Fantasy Records. He released 6 albums for the label between 1977 and 1981. There, he rose to fame with classics such as ‘You Make Me Feel’, ‘Dance (Disco Heat)’ which Louie Vega recently remixed, and ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’. But also ‘I Need You’ and ‘Give It Up (Don’t Make Me Wait)’, a Paradise Garage anthem, along with Jeanie Tracy. Not to mention his unforgettable version of ‘Over And Over’. He then switched to Megatone Records, working with producer Patrick Cowley. This giving birth to the memorable ‘Do You Wanna Funk’.
The flamboyant singer, also known as The Queen Of Disco, sadly died on Dec. 16, 1988, aged 41, after a long battle against AIDS. (*) In 2005, he was posthumously inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame, while his life has been recorded in a biography and made the subject of both a documentary and a musical. (* Wikipedia)