i'm not usually a big disco fan (i don't actively dislike it, just don't know or encounter it a lot), but i appreciate the way it applies equal focus to both the dancefloor and the part of the brain that digs melodies and songcraft, unlike a lot of contemporary dancefloor fare which solely prioritises the dancefloor at the expense of putting any interesting bits in, and consequently, ironically, fails at both (oh hi, majority of dubstep!)
"Dancing on Townsquare" probably isn't a great or classic record (even my friend Jack, who introduced me to it, thinks it's "rubbish") but it has a certain charm nonetheless. Perhaps hearing it first on a sunny Brighton morning in the aftermath a night of extreme alcoholic carnage, surrounded by a group of similar recovering burnouts, was the charm. Plus i also like the sense of "everything-is-grim, together-we-will-overcome-it, possibly-through-funky-dancing" grift in the detail about the people "trying to keep their dreams afloat". If we're going to have an 80s government, we might as well also have soulful 80s solidarity anthems.
The Chaplin Band seem to have been a Dutch disco group from the early 80s (this might explain why no-one has ever heard of them). They're most noted for the A-side of this particular 12", "Il Veliero" ("The Sailing Ship"), which is a pretty great little overlooked gem of its own.
mp3: The Chaplin Band - "Dancing on Townsquare" [YSI]
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