lundi, décembre 03, 2012

Hot butterfly : Bionic Boogie !

1978, avec Luther ne me lasse pas de ce morceau qui monte qui monte, produit comme un morceau de Barry White !

Small snippet below from Brian Chin's Liner notes

"With enthusiasm running high after the club success of his 1977 concept album Bionic Boogie, Diamond instantly forgot the just-completed album (as he always did) and began writing for the next. For the second Bionic Boogie project, Hot Butterfly, he fashioned a truly unique fusion of funk, romanticism and street-verite. In “Chains” and “Cream (Always Rises to the Top),” especially, Diamond’s East and West Village roots were clearly showing. Diamond later called these compositions a “PG” version of what his imagination actually held, but, to be real, any number of New York bands of the time, whether glittery, glammy or punkish, would have wished they could deliver this level of gritty urban flash. As for the songs’ tone of surrealistic sleaze, you can just forget about competition. There was none. And to think that these lyrics were delivered with romance and gospel warmth in the matchless lead and assembled voices of Luther Vandross, Cissy Houston and David Lasley! 

Vandross and Diamond met at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studio, where Luther, just tagging along with friends Robin Clark and Carlos Alomar hired on David Bowie’s Young Americans sessions, was overheard by Bowie improvising the “I heard the news today, oh boy” lick in the chorus of the title song, and found himself pulled right into the vocal booth. Teaming with Gregg as an unsigned featured vocalist, after two unsuccessful Cotillion albums, Luther was immediately cast in his first true star appearance on record. His suave, assured and fully evolved presence on “Hot Butterfly” not only calls to mind the Marvin Gaye and Spinners records that echo in the production, but, more appropriately, recalls the deep impressions left by accomplished actors cast in unconventional roles under the scripting and direction of innovative young lions: say, Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, or Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights. 

Just listen to the songwriting on Hot Butterfly, and you’ll hear how impressively Diamond ratcheted up his game in rhythmic and compositional savvy, so often anchored with his own strong-handed piano playing, and his taste for daredevil string and horn arrangements to finish them off. In “Chains” alone, Gregg plays with five times the number of ideas typically contained in today’s sampled dance tracks, and still sounds perfectly tight and coherent. He had so much to say musically that the club remixes by Jim Burgess – five of the rarest included in this special expanded edition of the 1978 classic release, also heard in entirety here – usually made his album tracks half-again as long, simply by taking the time to break down the complex rhythm and orchestral arrangements, and take the time to show them off—creating not only dance momentum, but an emotional or even cinematic or cultural/tribal tableau that stood out singularly, just as the of the disco era was reaching its apex.." 

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