The second audio companion for the 2014 book Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Cover Art of Disco Records
is just as valuable as the set that preceded it, Disco: A Fine Selection of Independent Disco, Modern Soul and Boogie 1978-82
. Released roughly half-a-year later, this is similar in breadth, a nicely balanced assortment of cult classics and one-off small-pressing obscurities. Likewise, only a handful of the cuts appeared previously on compact disc, through compilations like Disco Juice
, Groove on Down
, and Deep Disco Culture
. Roughly one-quarter of the selections are either essential or close to it. Among those that are a cut above: Paper Doll's "Get Down Boy," a whirlwind of strings, synthesizers, and ecstatic vocals arranged by prolific disco genius Patrick Adams
; Dunn Pearson, Jr.
's cinematic and unwinding "Groove On Down"; "Victorious," a close descendant of Earth, Wind & Fire
's "Getaway" conceived by Kalamazoo, Michigan's Ripple
; and High Frequency
's "Summertime," the obligatory life-affirming Leroy Burgess jam. The Soul Jazz label deserves credit for improving upon past issues with compilations of non-commercial disco; for instance, the Shades of Love's risqué "Come Inside," another gem, sounds so much better here than it does on Hot Productions' The Best of Scorpgemi Records
. The appeal of remainder's majority is limited to the most serious disco collectors and DJs who simply can't get enough of the stuff.