Pioneers of post-yacht, The John Steel Singers, have got a disco inferno raging inside them, and the Main Stream was the perfect place to let it burn out. They’ve provided a playlist of epic live disco bangers, with the only explanation being “disco rules – it is you that sucks”. Over to them.
Gil Scott-Heron – ‘The Bottle’ (live)
The best version of this song in my opinion – 13 minutes long, and part of the documentary ‘Black Wax’. It’s got a bass, drum, keyboard and horn section solos, also some of Gil’s best live vocal work. The extended lineup makes this version thump so hard.
Boz Scaggs – ‘Lowdown’ (live)
Speaks for itself really, a disco classic writ large with a huge orchestra and Jeff Porcaro (RIP) ripping it up on drums in front of an ecstatic Japanese audience. This one is a tour van classic and I think we’re going to try to cover it at some point.
Grace Jones – ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’ (live)
What list would be complete without Grace Jones? Fierce, fearless and dripping with style, this rendition was performed about 30 years after the original. From the proto-twerking, to the band and of course Ms. Jones herself, this song is mesmerising.
Chaka Khan – ‘Ain’t Nobody/I Feel For You’ (live)
Chaka Khan live in 1985, amazing songs and great performance. Tight changes from the band, just all the 80s goodness at once.
James Brown – ‘The Payback’ (live)
Recorded in Zaire, 1974 at the Rumble In Jungle fight where Muhammed Ali (RIP) knocked out George Foreman in the 8th round. The atmosphere around the fight must’ve been electric, and you see that translate into James’ performance here. By this time he was in his 40s, had an amazing moustache and an even more impressive band, and could still do the splits time and time again whenever he pleased. Incredible.
Donna Summer – ‘Sunset People/Bad Girls’ (live)
Maybe not technically live, but still amazing. From Donna Summer’s own TV Special, this features Twiggy and a whole host of incredibly raunchy outfits. And what a song, I listen to it at least once a day.
The new John Steel Singers album, Midnight at the Plutonium, is out Friday 8th July.
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Does this list make you happy? Furious? Got any hot tips? Give us a mention @PonchoMelb