Sony Music Video/Sony BMG .
R4 . COLOR . 77 mins .
E . PAL
Disco – as a musical style it conjures up visions of the ‘70s, white suits, mirror balls, copious amounts of gold jewellery and lots and lots and lots of big hair, right? Well, obviously not to everybody, for Disco Never Looked So Good features only a handful of actual real disco songs, as it blindly plunders bits and pieces of the rather broad dance genre from the past 30 years.
As for these real disco tunes, there’s Dan Hartman’s Instant Replay, The Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men, Tina Charles’ I Love to Love and at a stretch The Pasadenas’ Tribute. Sure, Billy Ocean’s fab Love Really Hurts Without You is here, but it’s the crap ‘80s remix.
Collette, now appearing behind a checkout near you.
Anita Ward’s wonderful Ring My Bell is also here, however it’s delivered by early ‘90s escapee aerobics bimbo Collette, so needless to say it’s rubbish. “What about Let’s Groove?” You may very well ask… well, if it was Earth, Wind and Fire doing the grooving we’d be in disco heaven, but with Sydney boys CDB assaulting it it’s a different story altogether. And that’s it for anything that vaguely adheres to the “disco” pigeonhole this disc is supposed to fit into.
What else is in store? Well, how about a whole heap of pretty much forgotten ‘80s and ‘90s cheese? Spagna’s Call Me, Mr Jones’ Better Days, Martika’s cover of Carole King’s I Feel the Earth Move - and then there’s the proof that, in general, Aussies just never used to cut it in the pop/dance world. Wa Wa Nee’s embarrassing try-hard Prince stylings with I Could Make You Love Me, Culture Shock’s Satisfy the Groove, the execrable cover by long-forgotten puppets Eclipse of the once glorious ABC tune The Look of Love and, heavens above, yet another Collette track in the laughable All I Wanna Do is Dance. And if anybody can explain how After the Fire’s cover of Falco’s Der Kommissar made it here, let alone as the opening track, then we’re all ears.
At least a few choice memories are included, even if they’re certainly not disco. Herbie Hancock’s forerunner to hip-hop Rockit brings back great memories with its bizarre robotic video, British indie-dance outfit Sunscreem’s wonderfully slow-building Love U More still works, there’s one of the most glorious examples of ‘90s Euro-cheese in Culture Beat’s Mr Vain, Ultra Nate’s Found a Cure and, at a push, The Chimes’ 1-2-3 is also entertaining.
If “disco” never looked so good, the mind simply boggles at how bad it once must have appeared. The collection of clips here dates back to the mid-‘70s, and it certainly shows in regular seas of grain, washed out vision, off-kilter colour, dropouts and assorted spicks and specks. Just try to make out pretty much anything in Dan Hartman’s Instant Replay for starters – we wish you luck. Naturally it’s to be expected that without any remastering attention many of these clips will look crap – just don’t let marketing people make such unachievable claims when naming these releases!
At least the audio fares somewhat better, the Dolby Digital stereo mix showing signs of having had the audio taken from better sources than the original clips, and being well-synched upon reapplication. There is the odd gremlin in the machine – one of note being a brief warbling at the beginning of Mr Vain, however for the most part it sounds pretty good when cranked up.
Obviously nothing in the way of extras was considered good looking enough for inclusion here…
All Sony’s marketing droids had to do was call this Dance Never Looked So Good and at least they’d have had the category right. As for the content, yay for pushing the local stuff, but seriously, who on earth wants to own Collette on DVD, let alone two tracks? Here’s hoping her Mum is technologically savvy...
We’re all for music compilations on DVD – the format’s perfect for it – however sadly without any semblance of rational thought in their compilation, such as this particular example, they’re essentially worthless.
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