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Sunday, January 1, 2012

On My Turntables, New Year's Day 2012, & This Week's Billboard

It's so nice to have Jennifer Holliday back in time for the holidays with a long list of remixers attached to her new, Tony Moran-produced song, "Magic." This is dance music perfection with powerhouse diva pipes ("People come together, feel the magic...!") fronting driving, tribal percussion, strong keyboards and high-hats. The most played tune on my turntables or cd dj station as we enter the new year. The remixers offer lots of quality work to choose from, and to get your crowd going at peak. These mixes are all available for legal download on Beatport, and include Alex Cohen's Tribal Power Mix, Teo Brasil Magic Mix, Wayne G & Andy Allder Anthem Mix (my personal fave), Bryan Reyes Club Mix, Eastenders Mix, Joe Guthreaux/Peter Barona Club Mix, and Tony Moran himself with Warren Rigg & Dave Saronson Club Mix. You can't go too wrong with any of these. Uplifting and absolute divinity; they really pulled a rabbit out of the top-hat with this number!

"Drama's on like Susan Lucci/It's time for hoochie-coochie" with Gloria Estefan and "Hotel Nacional." Sounds like Glo's been studying The Puppini Sisters recently. This is nuevo punk-swing gone disco with a latin flavor and big-band-styled horn work reminiscent of Dr Buzzard's Original Savannah Band. There are two excellent remixes that'll absolutely get everyone up to fill the floor: one by Mike Cruz and the other by Ralphi Rosario. Ok, Puppini Sisters, when are you doing the remix route?

When Ultra Nate joins forces with Destiny Child's Michelle Williams, you know all hell's gonna break loose (but in a good way). Their duet on "Waiting on You" is another staggering masterpiece with diva harmonies soaring over the driving Eurobeat and pianissimo. The original extended mix is fine (especially with its cowbell & guitar intro and lush orchestration -- very disco!), though I also kind of enjoy the upbeat house direction taken by Manny Lehman in his remix of the song, too.

Michele Bachmann promised Fox News she would be the winner in the Iowa straw poll. Unsurprisingly, she finished dead last. But the Tea Party's darling Mad Lady -- whose hubby picks out all her outfits, don'tcha know? -- continues to enthrall us with delusions of grandeur as she threatened to be in the Republican Presidential candidate race "for the long haul." As that party's primaries become more of a bizarre circus daily, President Obama takes to the dance floor. Well, in a sense, as his most famous speech is sampled in Barbara Sheree's "Yes We Can."

"Yes We Can" is another great diva-driven number with a stand-out USA Club Mix by Jerome Farley and my friend, Joel Dickinson. (Joel and I have yet to meet, but we've been internet-connected for a few years now.) You can download the song from Sound Cloud, and you can read all about Joel by cutting and pasting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Dickinson into your browsers.

Tina Charles is a high-echelon, classic disco diva (pictured at top). Why, she -- among others -- spearheaded the genre. Tina was singing disco music before it even had a name! (Johnny Morgan, will you back me on that claim?) Her hits include "I Love to Love," "You Set My Heart on Fire" and "Dance, Little Lady, Dance."

Nice surprise is that she's back with a new number I hope will make its way up the charts in the USA, as I believe it will definitely do well in the UK and in the rest of the global dance-music markets. The song is "Your Love Is My Light" and the second nice surprise is that there's a super mix of this done by classic-era HiNRG producer, Pete Hammond. Hammond has once more become quite prolific, returning to the music scene after a hiatus. He has recently remixed Alphabeat and Wynonna Judd, among others. Tina is in good form with her distinctive voice set to an uptempo mix with an updated, Hammond retro-'80s feel suitable for Kylie Minogue or Hazell Dean. Welcome back, both Tina & Pete!

Briefly, on the latest Billboard Dance/Club Play chart: Katy Perry scores yet another #1 with "The One That Got Away." Wynter Gordon peaked last week, apparently, with "Buy My Love," dropping from the second to third spot. Traci Lords and Erika Kane up to the fourth and fifth club spots, respectively, with "Last Drag" and "Party People," and Lady Gaga up in the #7 spot, as a "Greatest Gainer" with "Marry the Night," up from #15 (big leap)! Other Billboard "Greatest Gainers" include the divine, Janice Robinson-penned "If It wasn't for Love," sung by Deborah Cox, at #10 from 14 just last week; Florence + The Machine's "Shake It Out," up three spots to #13; and the aforementioned, new Gloria Estefan tune at #16 from #23!

Rosabel featuring Tamara Wallace declare "Let Me Be Myself," and it charts nicely at #17, up a spot. Gravitonas featuring Roma Kenga, sitting nicely now at #21 with "Everybody Dance," though I was featuring it on a promo early last year when it was a hit in Europe. So, a little delayed reaction-American retardation there.

Finally, on Billboard, "Waiting On You," the Ultra Nate/Michelle Williams number I discussed above, now at #23 from 30 last week. You go, girrrls!

Just a quick mention on last night's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" on ABC. Basically, it sucked, with more commercial time, it seemed, than actual show. However, it glowed for just a little while once Lady Gaga arrived in an outlandish octopussy getup, then black glamour in a tight, sparkly outfit and hair styled just like Julie Newmar's Catwoman, as she energetically launched into "Marry the Night" and "Born This Way," complete with dynamic choreography and hot dancers. She has brought disco energy back the way Madonna did in the '80s, and is one of the all-time magnificent performers! Gaga later switched to a glittering white Versace masque & gown to drop Time Square's gigantic crystal ball with Mayor Bloomberg. Fabulous! Earnestly overwhelmed, she was our breathless NYC Marilyn when Ryan Seacrest spoke with her.

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