They were the American Fab Four, at least to me. I have never outgrown my NEED for Kiss, the greatest group of thunder rockers in the land. In 1978 all of the Kiss band members released solo albums. The most successful was produced by lead guitarist Ace Frehley. "New York Groove," the lone single released from Frehley's album, was by far the most popular single released by Kiss personnel from their solo projects. "New York Groove" was originally recorded by Hello, an English glam rock band, and made the UK top 10 in 1975. At Christmas time 1978, the Space Ace was flying high with
a killer cover!
"New York Groove" - Ace Frehley (December 1978,
highest chart position #13)
1979: America was burning up with disco fever. Everybody and his grandmother was making disco records. Even Ethel ("There's No Business Like Show Business") Merman released a disco album! After five years of disco's dominance of the record chart an angry backlash was inevitable. It came on this date, July 12th, 1979, at a promotional event called Disco Demolition Night staged at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
A crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field to the delight of disco haters in the stands. The promotion went sideways, however, when rowdy rock fans flooded the field, built a bonfire, and scuffled with stadium security guards.
The same week that anti-disco forces were demolishing that box of records on the baseball diamond, Kiss cracked the top 20 with, of all things, a disco record! "I Was Made for Lovin' You," the first single released from the band's Dynasty album, was a hard rock/disco hybrid with massive crossover appeal. Some Kiss purists rejected the discofied ditty, but it became one of the biggest hit singles in Kisstory, a certified platinum million seller, brushing the top 10 stateside and topping the chart in Australia and parts of Europe.
"I Was Made for Lovin' You" - Kiss (July 1979, highest
chart position #11 Hot 100/#8 Cash Box/#1 Australia &
Netherlands/#2 France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria)
Any record album or CD ever released by deep soul vocalist Garnet Mimms could be considered "best of" because every track he laid down was excellent. For example please listen to "One Girl," a fine ballad released as a single backed with the equally popular killer bee "A Quiet Place." "One Girl" has all the right ingredients to place it solidly in the win column: impassioned vocal by Mimms, churchy choir accompaniment, and absolutely delicious guitar ad libs. I'm souled!
"One Girl" - Garnet Mimms (May 1964, highest chart
Jamaica born Millicent Smith took the stage name Millie Small, went to England and made British pop history with her top 5 hit record "My Boy Lollipop, a cover version of a 1956 release by Barbie Gaye. Millie Small's single was the first major hit for Island Records and Millie was the first artist to achieve a hit recorded in the bluebeat style, a reference to early Jamaican music that included R&B, Ska, Rocksteady and early Reggae.
Nicknamed The Blue Beat Girl, Millie Small saw her record
"My Boy Lollipop" climb to #2 on both the UK and the U.S. chart before hitting the glass ceiling, blocked from the top spot by the Beach Boys' "I Get Around."
"My Boy Lollipop" - Millie Small (July 1964, highest
chart position #2)
Two months later Millie Small reached the top 30 in the UK and the top 40 stateside on both the pop and the R&B chart with her follow-up release "Sweet William."
"Sweet William" - Millie Small (September 1964, highest
chart position #40)
Soulful crooner Al Wilson might be considered a one-hit-wonder by those who aren't aware of what came before
his mid 70s quiet storm smasheroo "Show and Tell."
"Show and Tell" - Al Wilson (January 1974, highest chart
Wilson followed "Show and Tell" with three less successful releases, "Touch and Go," "La La Peace Song," and "I've Got a Feeling (We'll Be Seeing Each Other Again)." Old schoolers like me contend that Wilson's most exciting record was one he made the previous decade. On the West Coast in 1966, Wilson landed an audition with Johnny Rivers and was signed to Rivers' Soul City label. In 1968 Johnny Rivers produced
the recording session that resulted in "The Snake," a clever Al Wilson story song that was released as a single, cracked the Billboard top 30, and became a favorite on England's Northern Soul circuit in the 70s, charting at #41 in the UK
in 1975. This one was big in WSBA-Land!
"The Snake" - Al Wilson (October 1968, highest chart
Have a Shady day!