A few years ago, I tried my hand at writing CD reviews for web site devoted to local music. I suppose it seemed like a good idea to have a local celebrity pass out advice to a new generation of "alternative" artists. The problem was, I really had nothing to say to them. Perhaps all the years riding around in limos and sleeping on satin sheets dulled my ears to the "sound of the street," but the groups all sounded pretty bad to me. Either way, it wouldn't have been appropriate for me to make light of their earnest efforts (what if one of them found out where I live?), so I struggled to find encouraging and constructive things to say. But even my most diplomatic efforts were probably insulting.
Hopefully, I don't have to worry about "Let's Dance The Night Away" by D.C. And Company. Not only is it 30 years old, but it's such a tacky period piece that even the boys in the band could hardly begrudge me. (And -- oh yes -- they will find this article. Anyone who's ever appeared in the public eye for even a few minutes spends at least an hour a week Googling themselves to see if anyone noticed.)
Released in 1977, "Let's Dance The Night Away" has to be the most unfortunate disco miscalculation in my collection (and I've got a lot of 'em). The cover depicts four seriously caucasian dudes dressed up in what they've mistaken for disco threads (actually, they're Las Vegas Elvis suits), but they look like they'd be much more at home in a west-Phoenix steakhouse than in a dance club. From all indications, D.C. And Company were an average bar band struggling to find work at the height of the disco craze. So they nailed together a couple of lame grooves with titles like "Party" and "Bump To The Funk," and shoehorned them into their otherwise dance-floor-unfriendly repertoire.
Like most self-released "vanity" recordings of this type, the sound is cheap and thin. The terrible production makes the band sound anything but muscular, and in no way inviting of dancing for even a minute, let alone the whole night. Most of the songs here are interminably slow "confessional" ballads, with titles like "I Don't Want To Hurt You," "Who's To Blame" and "It Makes You Want To Cry." the songs seem to be attempting some sort of personal unburdening, but all they really do is make you want to grab the singer by the collar and yell, "dude, she's NOT going home with you!" And when they trot out their "disco" material...well, you just gotta hear for yourself. It's pretty funny.
I hate to seem unkind to these guys. I actually have a lot of respect for them. Their enthusiasm is infectious and they comport themselves with professionalism (in a west-Phoenix kind of way). If I were booking talent for a local event back in 1977, I absolutely would have called them (their manager's phone number is printed right there on the back cover). But now, the best I can do is create something for them to find during their next Google session.