(4 / 5)
Two cracking albums on one CD. “Night Cruiser” was originally released in 1980. The lead-off title track ‘Night Cruiser’ begins with syncopated chords from a solo electric piano that initiates a four-on-the-floor disco-funk groove. The tune is a vibrant, get-down party piece that filled dance floors back in 1980. It was issued as a single (in both 7-inch and 12-inch formats) and rose to #23 in the US dance charts.
That album also features the stand out tracks “East Side Strut” & “Uncle Funk. As a bonus track, we get the 7” version of “Uncle Funk”.
The “Happy Hour” album was released in 1982 and features the track ‘Keep On Movin’’, a Deodato original that has been sampled by several dance and hip-hop artists (including Olav Basoski and Le Tropical). The track was the first single from “Happy Hour” (it came out in both 7-inch and 12-inch formats with ‘Keep It In The Family’ on the B-side) in the spring of 1982 and dented the US dance charts, stalling at #41. The 7″ version is included in this package as a bonus track.
‘Happy Hour’ was issued as the second single from the album in June 1982, a minor crossover hit. But it blew up even bigger in the American dance charts. Definitely an influence for the 80’s Kool & The Gang albums.
The ’80s had been a hectic decade for Deodato, which had seen plenty of outside production projects. They were mostly R & B acts such as Kool & The Gang, Con-Funk-Shun, Juicy, One Way, Gwen Guthrie and the Dazz Band.
By Sally Fox
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’