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 Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lettes on your ass at any given moment, so just be ready!



Van McCoy had been writing and producing music (both for himself and for other artists) since the early ’60s, but he will always be best remembered for 1975’s monster crossover disco smash “The Hustle.” The single came out of nowhere to reach the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and Soul charts in July of 1975, and I can promise you that the little Analog Kid played his copy of the 45 until it disintegrated.

My 45 may have been needled to death years ago, but I would estimate that I currently own at least 12 physical copies of “The Hustle” on various compilation CDs. I’ve actually been looking for the full-length Disco Baby LP for years, and I finally found a near-mint copy at my local Half Price Books a few months back. In addition to a slightly-longer-than-the-single version of “The Hustle,” Disco Baby also contained some top-notch renditions of some of the biggest soul/R&B/disco hits of 1974/75. The Soul City Symphony– McCoy’s backing band on the album– featured some soon-to-be-legendary musicians, including guitarist Hugh McCracken and drummer Steve Gadd. Gadd had a pretty good year in 1975– in addition to his stick work on “The Hustle,” he also contributed the memorable drum part on Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.”

Van McCoy passed away in 1979 at the age of 39, but he left behind one of the most memorable songs of the disco era. You hipsters can slag on “The Hustle” all you want, but we all know that you secretly sing along when it comes up on your radio iPod Spotify Apple playlist. Really, it’s OK to admit it. Do it.


Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony_ Singles & B-Sides

Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony: Disco Baby

Avco Records, 1975

Vinyl rip courtesy of The Analog Kid


1. “Disco Baby” (Hugo & Luigi/Weiss)

Disco Baby

2. “Fire” (Williams/Satchell/Bonner/Beck/Jones/Middlebrooks/Pierce)


3. “The Hustle” (McCoy)

The Hustle

4. “Get Dancin'” (Crewe/Nolan)

Get Dancin’

5. “Doctor’s Orders” (Stephens/Greenaway/Cook)

Doctor’s Orders

6. “Turn This Mother Out” (McCoy)

Turn This Mother Out

7. “Shakey Ground” (Bowen/Hazel/Boyd)

Shakey Ground

8. “Spanish Boogie” (McCoy)

Spanish Boogie

9. “Pick Up The Pieces” (Average White Band)

Pick Up The Pieces

10. “Hey Girl, Come And Get It” (Hugo & Luigi/Weiss)

Hey Girl, Come And Get It


Bonus Tracks!

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.



Ohio Players: “Fire” (Williams/Satchell/Bonner/Beck/Jones/Middlebrooks/Pierce)

From the album Fire

Mercury Records, 1974



Disco Tex

Disco Tex And His Sex-O-Lettes: “Get Dancin'” (Crewe/Nolan)

From the album Disco Tex And The Sex-O-Lettes Review

Chelsea Records, 1974

Get Dancin’


The Carol Douglas Album

Carol Douglas: “Doctor’s Orders” (Stephens/Greenaway/Cook)

From the album The Carol Douglas Album

Midland International Records, 1975

Doctor’s Orders



Average White Band: “Pick Up The Pieces” (Average White Band)

From the album AWB

Atlantic Records, 1974

Pick Up The Pieces


Still Crazy After All These Years

Paul Simon: “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” (Simon)

From the album Still Crazy After All These Years

Columbia Records, 1975

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

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