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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cystal Waters, Yoko Ono, Tori Amos: Billboard Dance Divas

While the current Billboard dance chart leaves me cold in many ways, there are some gems amongst the dust. And I don't mean to be a Dj Buddy fuddy-duddy but I am having an affair with classic disco and, especially, the music of Bob Esty right now, reminding me how great dance music can be. The current crop of dance music, especially as seen on the Billboard Dance/Club chart, is a disappointment by any aesthetic comparison as far as I'm concerned.

If my finger on the pulse of the gay dance-music scene in NYC is any indicator, a nostalgic embrace of club music from the '70s through the '90s is what's currently happening. Clubs in the boroughs are regularly announcing revival nights with legendary divas for whom there are hardly any matches on today's dance-music scene. On July 12, there will be a major, open-air Tribute to Donna Summer concert, featuring Gloria Gaynor, The Village People, The Trammps and Rose Royce, on Coney Island. This is where the gay scene's currently at, not just for those who remember the day, but for the young who are rejecting the demeaned quality of today's dance music, frequently remixed radio-oriented songs. A quiet disco revolution is going on, take it from me.

Yet some divas spring eternal. Like the ever-essential Crystal Waters, who burst on the scene in the 1990s in a major way with the classic "Gypsy Woman." Her distinctive vocal stylings took the current "Oh Mama Hey"all the way to #1 in a mere eight weeks on the dance chart. (As I write this, Ms Waters is returning from performing in Moscow, stuck in Domodedova Airport with bad pizza and warm beer.) The Chris Cox/Dj Frankie-produced number is a catchy, tribal dance tune that sticks to your head with its fantastic chorus. Especially loving the original dance mix!

Yoko Ono is 80 and she has a new Billboard Dance/Club hit, "Hold Me," produced by Dave Aude. The avant-garde artist and peace and AIDS activist, became a house-music mama in the '90s. Mama hey, mama hi! However, she initially entered the dance-music arena in the 1970s when she recorded "Walking on Thin Ice."

"Hold Me" is currently on Billboard at #9, up from #13 in 6 weeks!

And Tori Amos' "Flavor," finally, is still charting at #12. It went to #1 weeks ago and has clung to Billboard's Dance/Club for 12 weeks total so far. Glory to Tori.

Big thanks, hugs and hellos to my readers in: China, Ukraine, Sweden, Iraq, Romania, Croatia, Belgium and Russia! Peace, love, happiness ... and Disco!

Below, the official video for "Oh, Mama Hey!" Radio-edit version.

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