Archive for the ‘Sylvester’ Category

Remixes from Three Dance Music Queens

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

I’m back! I’m back in Japan and I’m back to updating this blog. Sorry for the extended delay. Traveling across America seeing friends and family you haven’t seen takes a lot of you you it seems. Next time I hope to plan ahead a bit better and have content ready to go so I don’t go for as long with such a break.

I know I promised a big Madonna post tonight, but I feel like mixing it up a bit with some of the choice tracks I scored while I was in the states. Hope you enjoy.

Sheena Easton
Three Sheena Easton singles have stood the test of time in the popular consciousness. The first is “9 to 5 (Morning Train)” A lovely bubble-gum pop track about a woman who can’t wait to spend time with her man when he gets home from work. The second is this, an aggressive and awesome track that calls out sexist men who demand the same from all their lovers.

The third is “Sugar Walls.” That song is about her vagina.

I feel it’s safe to say that Sheena Easton has a rather diverse back catalog.

I’m not a fan of “Sugar Walls” (obviously, I have a boyfriend after all – OH SNAP) but I, at different times in my life, have been equally obsessed with both “Strut” and “9 to 5” so much that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite between the two. I will say that both are fantastic workout/jogging tunes, and I have to imagine that 1980s Jazzercise classes featured both in their workout mixes. I’d sign up for a spin class if it used mixtapes from 1980s workout classes.

Everybody (Dub Version)
For the past few months I’ve been working on a massive project cataloging every single official remix of every single Madonna song. It’s just about done, and I hope to have it up on Mostly Retro in the coming weeks. It was far more complicated than I ever thought it would be. But I think the end result will be something worthwhile and helpful to all my fellow obsessive Madonna collectors out there. Until then, here’s a dub mix of Madonna’s first single – which has never been released on CD.

You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (12″ Ultimix)
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Radio Version)
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Dub Version)
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Acappella)
Fuck yeah Sylvester. Sylvester only had two mainstream hits in the states, this and “Dance (Disco Heat).” While the latter of the two was the bigger hit, I think today most people only know him for this song (it probably had more staying power than a song with “disco” in the title). That’s a damn shame, because he has so many amazing songs that I feel are just waiting to be rediscovered.

A decent greatest hits package (named after this hit) was released a few years ago, but I wouldn’t recommend starting with that. Instead, I would pick up All I Need (aka Do Ya Wanna Funk), his 1982 album that includes the legendary “Do Ya Wanna Funk” as well as the equally amazing “Hard Up” and “Don’t Stop.” That album is over 30 years old now and I still can’t think of much that sounds like it, such an amazing combination of Hi-NRG dance beats, new wave electronics and Sylvester’s one-of-a-kind vocals. Just all around awesome stuff. You can’t go wrong with it.

These remixes are from a 12″ single I picked up in Ohio of all places. The 12″ Ultimix is not the same as the 12″ mixes that are on iTunes.

Cowley Disco Funtimes

Monday, June 9th, 2014

I’ts been an on my feet for 10 hours while getting backhanded compliments kind of day. Time for disco.

I (Who Have Nothing) (Short Version)
Take Me To Heaven (12″ Mix)
Lovin’ Is Really My Game (12″ Remix)
Living For The City (12″ Remix)
Sylvester is dope. Sylvester is dope. Sylvester is motherfucking dope. I don’t know how many times I can say that. Y’all know Sylvester right? You should. Cuz he’s dope.

I’ve posted Sylvester tracks more times than I can count at this point (okay, it’s been like five times or something) but I somehow never got around to posting these banging remixes, which I snagged from various Megatone Records boxsets and a random 12″ single.

Of these, the 10+ minute mix of “Take Me To Heaven” is the clear standout, but the 12″ mix of “Lovin’ Is Really My Game” is also killer. Shit, they’re all great. You need them in your life.

And in case you were wondering, the “long” version of “I (Who Have Nothing)” is the album version. It’s 10 minutes long. The “short” version is a far more conservative six minutes.

Paul Parker
Shot In The Night
Paul Parker was another one of Patrick Cowley’s cohorts, and while I expected to find out that he had passed away like most in the early-80s disco scene, I’m happy to report that he’s still keeping this fab torch going, releasing Hi-NRG music on his own label and everything! Way to go dude.

“Shot In The Night” is not “Lovin’ Is Really My Game” but it’s still a satisfactory tune that should generate a moderate amount of booty-shaking.

By the way the mega Depeche Mode post is coming soon.

I Feel Lovely

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013


I certainly shouldn’t have taken the time out of my day to review the new re-release of David Bowie’s Earthling LP either!

I’m incredibly irresponsible!


Donna Summer
I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Mix)
So, I’m moving to Japan (AND IT’S MAKING ME REALLY BUSY – AND YELL) and most “normal person” preparation for a move like that would be things like “find an apartment,” “buy the clothes you need,” “get your finances in order.” And yeah, I’m doing all that important stuff, but I’m also making sure I buy certain things that I’ve been putting off for years that I know I won’t be able to easily get once I move to Japan. Case in point – I’ve had the 2CD out-of-print edition of Journey: The Best Of Donna Summer bookmarked in my browser for over a year now, and I finally went ahead and bought it last week. Because it’s important. Also because I just thought of it again after getting both a Patrick Cowley compilation and a Donna Summer album in the course of two weeks.

Why is it important? Because it’s the only way to get a digital version of this amazing mix of the most important dance song of all-time (that is not hyperbole!). With this mix Patrick Cowley, a genius who I have repeatedly talked about here, and on Mostly-Retro, took a song that was perfect and made it better. He made a perfect thing…more perfect.

Look, I can’t explain it, and like I said, I really don’t have the time to be eloquent right now, so you’re going to have to take what you can get. I just know that this mix, this sensational, amazing, I’m-out-of-superlatives mix might just be the greatest dance track ever. I have literally listened to this all day. Holy shit.

Rock The Box (Dance Version)
Rock The Box (Drum Box)
Rock The Box (Dub Box)
“Rock The Box” came out after Patrick Cowley died, but it certainly carries on his spirit with its catchy synth melodies and heavy electronic sound. The track is from Sylvester’s album M-1015. I haven’t found many positive reviews of that record, but I feel like it’s ripe for rediscovery. When it came out it was probably dated thanks to its heavy disco sound, but today I think it holds up quite well, like a magical combination of the best of early 80s disco and mid-80s synthpop. “Lovin’ Is Really My Game” is straight-up one of Sylvester’s best tunes, with both “Sex” and “Take Me To Heaven” also rocking it hard. The album also features backup vocals by Martha Walsh (“It’s Raining Men,” every C+C Music Factory track worth a damn) and Jeanie Tracy, an underrated vocalist whose awesomeness I’ve covered previously.

I have a ton of other Sylvester and other Megatone (Cowley’s labe) stuff I plan on putting up at a later date, so if this post leaves you hankering for some Hi-NRG bangers, you’ll be in luck! If not, um…sorry?

I also plan on posting an Alien Ant Farm rarity soon too, maybe you’ll like that?

Slyvester Goes To Hollywood

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

I’m on my new hosting service! But stuff is still kind of on fire. That’s why there’s no logo at the top of the screen. Hopefully that will get worked out soon. Double hopefully now that everything is moved I can finally start getting that other site in a state where I can unveil it to the masses. I think it’ll be relatively dope.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Two Tribes (Fluke Magimix)
Two Tribes (Olav Basoski’s Tiberium Power Mix)
Two Tribes (Rob Searle’s Club Dub)
While in Japan I picked up the Frankie Said, a  2CD compilation that assembles a rather bizarre combination of Frankie b-sides, remixes and outtakes. It’s an awesome collection, with multiple versions of classics like “Relax,” “Weclome The The Pleasuredome” and “Two Tribes.”

One of the most interesting things about the album is its sequence and editing. It has many interludes, 30-second to one-minute tracks that contain spoken word bits and song fragments. Many of them work to seamlessly segue into the next track. In doing so, it kind of transforms the hodgepodge collection into a concept album of sorts , and not just because parts of it sound like one big song mixed together, I mean thematically too. The compilation focuses on what Frankie knew best, hedonism, sex, drugs, and the constant threat of World War III. If that doesn’t have the makings of a concept album about life in the early 80s, I don’t know what does.

If you can find a copy of that 2CD set, I recommend picking it up. None of these remixes are from the said set though, they’re from a 2×12″ single that I also bought in Japan. The Fluke mix is the best of the bunch. And I love the fact that Fluke did a Frankie Goes To Hollywood remix.

Band Of Gold
Band Of Gold (Dub Mix)
Band Of Gold (Radio Edit)
Does the original version of “Band of Gold” by Freda Payne count as disco? It came out in 1970, which I guess predates disco by a few years, but it sure sounds like something that could have torn up a disco club in the 70s. It’s certainly one of my favorite pop songs of the decade, and has turned into a surprising recurring track here on The Lost Turntable. First I put up a cover by Modern Romance that was featured on the wonderfully horrid Party Party soundtrack. Then I shared it again years later, this time being Belinda Carlisle’s version. Those versions were good, but they can’t hold a candle to this one. I mean, c’mon, Sylvester? Patrick Cowley? Can’t top that.

Listening to this track got me on a disco kick, and I searched to see if Sylvester ever did a cover of my favorite classic disco track “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” Turns out he didn’t. However, I did find a cover of the song by his friend and fellow disco diva Jeanie Tracy. That cover has a remix called “A Sylvester Mix.” I don’t know if he had anything to do with the mix, or it if was a tribute to him and/or his boyfriend who had just succumbed to AIDS that year. “Don’t Leave Me This Way” was a rallying cry for the AIDS-affected gay community of the early 80s, so that wouldn’t surprise me. It’s awesome though, so now I have a new 12″ single to track down.

A Gay Disco Protest

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Congratulations North Carolina! You passed an amendment to ban gay marriage, making it the second amendment in your state to limit marriage rights. In case you were wondering, the first was in the 187s0, when you banned interracial marriage.

I don’t know about you, but news like that makes me want to dance to some incredibly gay disco as an act of defiance. I hope this post can serve as a soundtrack to a giant gay dance party in North Carolina, preferably one outside a church run by closet-case homophobes who all secretly want to drop the bibles and vamp out to “It’s Raining Men.” Specifically, I’m posting tracks from an album called 12 x 12. It’s a compilation of dance tunes that were produced by Patrick Cowley, a dance legend who passed away from AIDS in 1982, leaving behind a brief but vitally important legacy of amazing electronic disco that served as a huge influence for synthpop. Even if you don’t like disco, give this stuff a chance, you might be surprised.

And if you did, or would, vote to ban gay marriage, I hope you get outed as the closet case hatemonger you are. Fuckers.

Don’t Stop (Remix)
Be With You (Holland Remix)
Sylvester was one of the absolute queens of disco, never mind the fact that he was a man. My only experience with him before I bought this LP was his megahit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” and he’s downright manly on that tune compared to his vocal delivery on these tracks. His voice caught me so off guard on “Sex” that I double-checked the linear notes to make sure I was listening to the right song and that it was indeed a man singing. If you like these tunes, then be sure to check out “Do You Wanna Funk” on iTunes or Amazon, the greatest track that Cowley and Sylvester made together. It’s epic.

Patrick Cowley
Megatron Man (Remix)
Want to know where the Pet Shop Boys got their sound? Listen to this remix of  “Megatron Man” and you’ll find out. As for “Menergy,” that’s the second-gayest disco song of all-time, to find out about the first, keep reading.

Scherrie Payne
One Night Only
Scherrie Payne is Freda Payne’s little sister, and was in The Supremes for most of the 70s. This song is a remake of a track that was originally in the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. That version is a torch song ballad (geez that musical has a ton of those doesn’t it?), this version is a disco-tastic bit of fabulousness, it’s way better. I wonder if Cowley ever crafted his own version of “I Am Telling You I Am Not Going”? That would have been intense.

Last Call
Jolo were Jo-Carol Block Davidson and Lauren Carter. I think they primarily served as vocalists for Cowley, but they did get a writing credit for this song, so they were perhaps more involved in the creative process than a lot of other singers of the era. This track is a typical “I hope I can find someone to go home with before the bar closes” number, but it’s still fun and has a great beat. The synthesized string interlude is excellent.

Modern Rocketry & Jolo
Cuba Libre (Remix)
Modern Rocketry have another track on this compilation, a discofied cover of The Monkees’ “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone” that really has to be heard to be believed. You can get it on Amazon. As for who Modern Rocketry is, I’ll let their Last.FM profile speak for them:

“They’re not very well known – in fact they’re downright obscure – but what little fame they enjoyed was probably due to their 1985 release, best described as the gayest disco song ever. ‘Homosexuality,’ with its b-side of ‘Thank God For Men.'”

Shocking that a song like that didn’t have crossover appeal.

Jeanie Tracy
Don’t Leave Me this Way
Thelma Houston’s version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is one of the very few non-electronic disco tracks that I can appreciate at all, so finding this synthesizer-happy cover was a gift from the gods. Because if there’s anything the original version was missing, it was extraneous laser sound effects.

Jeanie Tracy was a big member of the Cowley camp, and she released several singles for Cowley’s Megatone record label, even after he passed away. She was also a very close friend of Sylvester’s, and reportedly cared for him as he lost his battle with AIDS in 1987.

Le Jeté
La Cage Aux Folles
Le Jeté released one single, and this is it. I know nothing about them, so if anyone wants to chime in that would be great.