Every Tuesday, the Analog Kid blog goes back in time and features some of the best groovy R&B/soul songs from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Sometimes you’ll hear songs from individual artists or from a specific year, and other times you’ll get an entire full-length classic LP ripped directly from the Analog Kid’s vast vinyl vault. Warning: by R&B/soul, I also mean disco. I could go all Gloria Gaynor on your ass at any given moment, so just be ready!
We haven’t had a lot of the “groovy” on Tuesdays around here lately (thanks, hard drive crash!), so it’s time to get back to serious business with one of the best disco records of all time: the 1978 self-titled debut album from A Taste Of Honey. The L.A.-based band was fronted by striking vocalists Hazel Payne and Janice-Marie Johnson, but A Taste Of Honey were a true band: Payne and Johnson handled guitar and bass in addition to their vocal duties, and keyboardist Perry Kibble and drummer Donald Johnson were both major songwriting contributors. This band could flat-out play: check out this great performance of “Boogie Oogie Oogie” from The Midnight Special in 1978:
“Boogie Oogie Oogie” spent three weeks at #1 in September of 1978, and in my eyes it is certainly one of the top five songs of the disco genre. “Boogie Oogie Oogie” was written after the band had a rough gig at an Air Force base* in which the audience members refused to even acknowledge the effort the band was putting forth. After the song hit #1, A Taste Of Honey no longer had any trouble getting people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor.
Sadly, the band’s lineup didn’t last very long. By the time their cover of “Sukiyaki” reached #3 on the Hot 100 in June of 1981, only Hazel and Janice-Marie remained in the group.
A Taste Of Honey: A Taste Of Honey
Capitol Records, 1978
1. “Boogie Oogie Oogie” (Johnson/Kibble)
2. “This Love Of Ours” (Payne/Johnson)
3. “Distant” (Johnson/Kibble)
4. “World Spin” (Kibble/Aldridge)
5. “Disco Dancin'” (Barnes/Malone)
6. “You” (Johnson/Payne)
7. “If We Loved” (Kibble/Aldridge)
8. “Sky High” (Payne/Johnson)
9. “You’re In Good Hands” (Mizell)
* I wonder if they played “Sex Farm?”
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
A Taste Of Honey: “Boogie Oogie Oogie” [7″ Version] (Johnson/Kibble)
Capitol Records, 1978
A Taste Of Honey: “Sukiyaki” (Nakamura/Ei)
From the album Twice As Sweet
Capitol Records, 1980
Spinal Tap: “Sex Farm” (Michael McKean/Christopher Guest/Harry Shearer/Rob Reiner)
From the album This Is Spinal Tap
Polydor Records, 1982