Episode 216: Disco Put on your boogie shoes and hang up your mirrored ball because Pat, Christy and Murray are about to take you back to the 70's for a dance party... Disco Style! From September 3, 2015
With your hosts:
Pat, Christy, and Murray welcome us to the show. We begin with Christy's review of Denis Leary's new show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. She gives it a thumbs up, but there are some things that bother it. She isn't a fan of the title, nor the names of the main characters: Johnny Rock (Leary) and Flash (John Corbett). The names are too on the nose. Once you get past that though, it's quite good. Christy is in a bitter feud with John Corbett, though. Well, not really. He's blocked her on Twitter for seemingly no reason whatsoever. She never insulted him on Twitter (unlike what Pat does to everyone he hates). Christy is perplexed, WHAT DID SHE DO?! "Never follow your heroes on Twitter," says Murray.
Anyway, Christy gives the show a quasi-thumbs up. She kinda likes Denis Leary. Pat isn't a fan, but he gets it. Murray feels that Leary doesn't need him as a fan, he's quite alright. The reason Murray is even here today is because he needs to stop guys like Pat and David Wild from creeping on Christy's legs. Christy is fully covered up today as a preemptive strike. David Wild posted in an article online his top 10 albums of the 70s that can still rock your world. The Cars are not on the list and yup, you guessed it, Christy is furious. She believes they are continually pushed to the side because they didn't fit into one specific genre.
We read off the list and hear Christy's opinions on each:
Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder --- No argument there.
Rocket to Russia by Ramones --- "Really though?" All the songs begin to sound the same after a while.
Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan --- There's some filler there.
Greatest Hits by The Jackson 5 --- You can't put a greatest hits album on there.
Damn the Torpedoes by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers --- Christy: Is it better than the Cars, though? Pat: I would pick this album over The Cars.
Easter by Patti Smith --- Can't get into her.
This Year's Model by Elvis Costello --- Okay.
Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin --- Pat: It's a better single album than a double album.
Bad Girls by Donna Summer --- Christy loves it.
Murray busts out the track listing for Blood on the Tracks. Christy openly boos "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts." The thing is there are so many great albums from the 70s that you could make an argument for. "Besides, what does David Wild know?" says Murray. Christy believes that it's all about when the albums hit you.
Alright, let's get into today's topic: Disco! This may be the most fun Pat has had picking out songs. To his surprise, they hold up. Christy also notes that plenty of her picks are women, who dominated the disco scene. Murray is the third voice because Kyle is not here. He openly admits that he knows jack shit about disco. He holds nothing against it; it just passed him by. So Murray picked a handful of songs to play today that he liked. Christy starts us off with a lady named Cheryl Lynn. Off her self-titled album, it's "Got to Be Real".
The story of Cheryl Lynn: She was on the Gong Show and got a perfect 30. So did a juggler. The juggler won (because of course he did), but Cheryl was immediately signed to a major record label. Good on her for making it and bad on the judges for giving a juggler a perfect score. If that son of a bitch isn't juggling open containers of acid, then you give that man the silver. Anyway, Murray plays his first pick. It's his first favorite disco song. Off their self-titled album, it's Hot Chocolate with "You Sexy Thing".
Pat has a fun fact: The term "disco" came from the French term "discotheque." And that, ladies and germs, was a Pat Francis fun fact. "Has anyone found the first official disco song," Murray asks. Pat and Christy are stumped. Pat notices that many of his songs are from 1979. Christy believes that it is because of Saturday Night Fever bringing a resurgence to the genre. Pat plays his first pick, "I Love the Nightlife (Disco 'Round)" by Alicia Bridges from her self-titled album. The way Alicia Bridges says "action" may be the greatest thing in the world.
Christy's next pick is one of the first credited disco bands, The Trammps. The song is the epic classic "Disco Inferno" from the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack. The cut of the song on this album is over ten minutes long. A lot of dancing for this one. "When you're high on coke, you can go all the way to ten minutes," says Murray. Pat thinks about how much money The Trammps made from that one song off of that one album. You could buy a lot of m's for your name with the money from "Disco Inferno."
Pat's next pick brings some funky goodness to the disco scene. It's "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire off the album I Am.
Christy has another disco lady for us all to hear. Off the album Any Way You Like It, it's "Don't Leave Me This Way by Thelma Houston. Murray believes that Thelma Houston was also in Tony Orlando & Dawn. Murray does some quick research and it was actually Telma Hopkins. To Murray, this reasserts his claim that he knows nothing about disco.
In the 70s, everyone threw their hat into the disco ring, says Pat. His next pick sure is proof. It's "Take Me Home" by Cher from the album Take Me Home.
Christy calls her next pick Sylvester a pioneer in the cross-dressing community. She plays You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) off the album Step II.
Pat follows up Christy's one-name pick with a three-name pick, Vicki Sue Robinson. She plays "Turn the Beat Around" off the album Never Gonna Let You Go. The three hosts note that a lot of disco songs are very meta; all they sing about is dancing to disco songs.
"Disco has a long-reaching arm," says Murray. I guess disco would be great in the NBA. HA HA! Oh, I love bringing levity to the recaps. But anyway, Murray's right. Disco influenced a lot of rock acts too. Pat brings up the obvious "I Was Made for Lovin' You" by Kiss. But Murray goes even further! Disco even influenced... The Grateful Dead!?!?!?!?! Yes indeed, Murray plays "Shakedown Street" from the album Shakedown Street.
The Rolling Stones had some disco infusion with "Miss You." Pat and Murray tried to see the Stones at the Staples Center, but the tickets were too expensive. Murray instead bought his wife a Stones t-shirt that she hated. Poor Murray can't win. Christy has a story of her own to tell. It's about Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards from Chic going to see Grace Jones at Studio 54. They couldn't get in, so instead they wrote the song (and Christy's pick) "Le Freak" from the album C'est Chic. It was the best selling single ever for Atlantic Records and the best selling single for Warner Bros. until Madonna's "Vogue."
Pat has another guy who dipped his toes into the disco swimming pool. Off the album Same Goes for You, it's "I Was Made for Dancin'" by Leif Garrett. Poor Leif. Murray relates the tale that Leif was arrested in 2006 for not having a ticket for the LA subway. What he did have was some heroin on his person. And his troubles sadly didn't end there.
Thankfully Murray transitions from a depressing story about a fallen teen idol to a much more uplifting disco song. He plays "Knock on Wood" by Amii Stewart from the album Knock on Wood.
Christy ups the catchiness factor to 11 with her next pick, KC and the Sunshine Band. Off their self-titled album, it's "That's the Way (I Like It)". Christy has a memory of KC and Florence Henderson at some awards show, where Florence asks him, "What exactly is a booty?" Brilliant.
Pat wonders if his next pick is disco. Off the American Gigolo Soundtrack, it's Blondie with "Call Me". Interesting, I would have gone with "Heart of Glass." Is Christie anti-Blondie? No, but Christy doesn't like that Blondie gets more acclaim than The Cars. To be fair, Debbie Harry was super hot back in the day. I mean, Ben Orr was quite the looker too, but he wasn't reaching 70s Debbie Harry. Pat tells the story about Blondie at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Two of the former members going in wanted to play with the extant band. Debbie said, "Sorry, we already practiced." Ouch.
Christy's next pick is the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer. She plays a deep cut off of Bad Girls called "Our Love". Was Donna big at this point? asks Pat. Christy says Donna had already gotten a foothold with "Last Dance" and "Love to Love You Baby," or as Christy calls it, "her orgasm song."
"At what point does she cry?"
- Murray, talking about "Love to Love You Baby," with the line of the episode
Pat plays a few selections of his own from Bad Girls, namely the hits "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls". And right on cue, Murray asks if Donna Summer was the disco singer who went crazy. EVERY FUCKING TIME WE PLAY DONNA SUMMER, MURRAY ASKS THIS QUESTION!! EVERY TIME!!
Christy is heading to Laguna Beach after this recording. Her husband Gary is the king of the hotel upgrade. She can't be there when he does it because she gets nervous that she'll screw it up, so she sits down and waits for Gary to come back with a much better hotel room. The hotel is nice because there is a kids club, so she can drop off her son and scarf down some glasses of white wine by the water. How many glasses until Christy is incapacitated, asks Pat. Three is her cut-off. The conversation turns to more TV talk. They discuss Billy Eichner's new show Difficult People on Hulu. Christy thinks that it needs a more seasoned show runner. Besides, she is not buddy-buddy with Hulu because they passed on her webseries Everybody's Crazy but Us. What's going on with that? When can we see it? Christy is going to advertisers and it's a whole process. She's thinking of shooting a few more episodes and incorporating the products (which she has no qualms about doing).
Either do it organically, or blatantly break the fourth wall like Wayne's World, urge Pat and Murray. We'll see what happens with that, but Christy still has music to play. Her next pick is "I Can't Stand the Rain" by Ann Peebles from the album I Can't Stand the Rain. Christy knows nothing about that song; it was just in her iTunes.
Murray's next pick is a guy by the name of Patrick Hernandez. He plays "Born to Be Alive" off the album Born to Be Alive.
Pat's next pick might warrant some discussion. Off the album Even Now, it's "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow. Does it count? The other two give it a pass because it's very dancey. Murray says the only way he could hear this song in his youth would be at an Italian restaurant because his preacher dad wouldn't allow this type of music in the house. Pat plays a little bit of "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees from YouTube to see if it still sucks. Yup, it still sucks.
Christy starts the discussion on the Brothers Gibb, the Bee Gees. She plays "You Should Be Dancing" from the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack. Murray admits he has never seen the movie and Christy gasps. She says the movie still holds up, but with an asterisk due to a scene that ruin Tony's character. The movie was actually so popular that they made a PG version of it to show in theaters.
Murray plays a song that can be considered modern disco. Off the album Ta-Dah, it's Scissor Sisters with "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'". The song was co-written by Elton John. Murray had no idea what a Scissor Sister was or that the band was all gay. Oh Murray, it's all in the name! The name!
Speaking of musically gifted homosexuals, Pat's next band is the Village People. Off the album Go West, it's "In the Navy".
Christy's next pick is a family of disco-loving sisters. It's Sister Sledge with "We Are Family" from the album We Are Family.
Murray's last pick of the episode is actually an 80s cover of a disco song. Off the album Love An Adventure, it's Pseudo Echo with their version of "Funkytown".
Before the show, Pat was signing "fuckin' town." Potty mouth. Christy admits she has a sailor's mouth, but she keeps it classy for the show. Pat gives apologies to "Ring My Bell" by Anita Ward and "Ain't No Stopping' Us Now" by McFadden & Whitehead. His last pick is "Upside Down" by Diana Ross from the album Diana. "So she's the one who went crazy!" exclaims Murray. The three wonder if Diana ever does residencies. Probably not, considering she's too busy bathing in money.
Plugs time. Murray's stand-up comedy album Rusty Cow is available. If you buy it on his website, you can get a signed copy! Murray says it's on sale in India, where its stiff competition is Queen. I am not making any of that up.
Christy has her webseries Everyone's Crazy but Us that you can't see anywhere. But she does have merchandise available HERE. Christy wants to make a trailer, but she might be too busy solving the mystery of this John Corbett Twitter situation.
For today's closing song, Christy delves back into the history of Saturday Night Fever. It's based on a made-up article for New York Magazine about the disco club scene. When they were putting together the film, they went to the Bee Gees for the music. Thanks to this films, the Bee Gees had their third comeback. They wrote and/or performed 7 of the Top 10 Billboard songs of 1978! Even crazier, Barry Gibb is the only person in history to write four successive number one singles.
Christy takes us out with the classic "Stayin' Alive" by Bee Gees from the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack.