Z Records presents 'Le Freak Music Inspired by Chic - Complied by Joey Negro' contains fourteen glorious Chic inspired cuts that groove like a Disco train straight from the 70s.
A1 Charanga 76 - Good Times (Como Vamos A Gozar)
A2 Cela - I'm In Love (Joey Negro Edit)
B1 Odyssey - Together
B2 She - Easy Money
B3 Nightlife Unlimited - Lets Do It Again
C1 Van Jones - Not About That (Show Me Some Respect)
C2 Ann Margret - Everybody Needs Somebody Sometimes (Part Two)
C3 Michael Zager Band - Don't Sneak On Me
D1 Delegation - Heartache No. 9 (Special Remix Version)
D2 C.H.A.D. feat G.G Gibson - Feel The Beat (C'est Si Bon...)
Arguably, Dave Lee aka Joey Negro and his Z Records label are the contemporary go-to Disco label. And it
was only a matter of time that Mr Lee would delve deep into his vinyl vaults and pull a selection of sound-alike
tracks inspired by that late 70s Chic sound.
To date, Chic and their productions have notched-up sales of over 100,000,000, so with that in mind, it comes
at no surprise that their music has inspired others to pick up the bass & lead guitar and emulate that groovy
sound... and that 's exactly what this album is all about.
'Le Freak Music Inspired by Chic - Complied by Joey Negro' contains fourteen glorious Chic inspired cuts that
groove like a Disco train straight from the 70s.
The Chic production sound must be one of the most distinctive in disco, soul, funk or pop music generally, a
sound that was lent very successfully to Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, Debbie Harry and many more in the late 70s
and early 80s heyday. The much-copied formula has been an inspiration to many producers old and new,
most recently with the world dominating Daft Punk.
Joey Negro is one such producer who has been inspired by the production sound of Rodgers and Edwards
over the years and, until now, there has not been a collection of tracks that were influenced by rather than
produced by Chic.
There are many more artists out there that have drawn inspiration from this sound but this is Joey Negro?s
personal selection of tracks that have the unmistakable groove including one from his own Sunburst Band
Nile Rodgers continues to tour the globe with his Chic live show as well as produce and make guest
appearances on many hit records and he shows no sign of slowing down yet.
Previous ZR/Joey Negro compilations:
Remixed With Love reached No.1 on the Amazon Disco chart
Joey Negro’s name is consistently on a lot of classy music and Remixed With Love is up there with his best. In
total 18 spectacular remixes… A must have. Danny Krivit
Joey Negro is a true aficionado of Italo House as this brilliant compilation-cum-history lesson shows – Mixmag
Given his long-standing dedication to the sound, there could be few more fitting DJs to compile a two-disc set
of 90s House & Garage than Joey Negro. Excellent track list – Juno.co.uk
The Chic production sound must be one of the most distinctive in disco, soul, funk… or pop music generally.
Back when I was listening to commercial radio as a music-mad teenager in 1979/80, their records were
omnipresent on the airwaves. It seemed that when one of their own songs just dropped out of the hit parade,
it was replaced by a production for another act - be it Diana Ross, Sheila & B. Devotion or Sister Sledge - it was
a constant stream of hits. When I heard songs like Norma Jean's “High Society” (a solo release from one of
Chic's singers) blasting out my transistor radio, I knew straight away it was an Edwards & Rogers production,
their style was so instantly recognizable. Firstly the playing and sound of both the guitar and bass was a
giveaway, along with the precise vocal phrasing, rippling piano and discreet string parts. If it was the 12" mix
then the bass breakdown and slow instrumental build up in the second half of the record was also part of the
blueprint. Generally, Chic songs eschewed ad-libs or long solos, the style is more defined with each instrument
having an exact placing – including the vocals.
Records like “Good Times” and “We Are Family” weren’t just big club hits - yes, they were massive on dance
floors but they were also pop crossovers all around the world. What was noticeable to me back then was
even the rock guys I was friendly with (who generally despised disco) quietly liked Chic and admired their rock
solid playing and grooves. I guess the best music has this universal appeal, from the casual listener who knows
nothing about the fine details of song writing and production right through to the hardcore muso players who
hear and appreciate its intricacies.
Of course, with all this worldwide chart success came a lot of emulators who were inspired by Chic’s stylish
image, immaculately produced records and of course their commercial success. The period we are focusing
on is toward the end of the disco era, so many producers were ditching the faster octave bassline euro disco
style and looking for a new sound that was both club and radio-friendly. I’ve no idea how many records
featured basslines inspired by “Good Times”, it was a game-changing groove, so it's probably in the 1000s. The
Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" and Queen's “Another One Bites The Dust” are maybe the most obvious
examples in terms of commercial success - however, for this compilation, I wanted to dig a bit deeper and
collect together some lesser-known songs which owe at least a modicum of their inspiration to Edwards and
Italy’s producer duo Mario Malavasi and Jaques Fred Petrus were highly influenced by Chic when they
rebranded themselves as Change. Their debut single and UK pop hit “A Lovers' Holiday”, with its unison group
vocal, was a dead ringer for the Chic sound and even used some of the same N.Y. session players. Throughout
the early '80s there were many records that utilised a similar style of chord progression, obviously Nile-esque
guitar, or that tight-tracked, clipped and histronic-free female vocal.
It may seem ridiculous now but Chic got quite a rough ride in the press at points, thanks to their instantly
recognizable records' success, as well as a general hostility towards disco. Personally, I never tired of their
music, but there were comments about "the formula wearing thin" and "it all sounds the same". I think we can
definitely say the critics have been proved wrong - turn on any Saturday night dance radio show and you'll no
doubt hear a few of their songs. Disco has become the "Motown" of our current era, the music that unifies
generations at weddings or office parties.
"We Are Family" is up there with the greatest disco albums of all time, containing the title track, "Lost In Music",
"Thinking of You" and "He's The Greatest Dancer". Chic productions continue to be sampled in modern dance
music - I was out at a "Nu-Disco"-type night last year and heard 3 tracks during the evening based around their
songs. Recently, Chic have been back on the road and their legacy as one of the greatest acts of the era has
So onto this compilation, I recently thought it would make a nice and unique album to gather together a few
of the lesser known Chic-influenced songs onto one release. The only track on here Edwards and Rogers were
behind is Odyssey's "Together", which is one of their more obscure productions and I thought would be a cool
one to include as many won't know it. The only actual cover is from Charanga 76 who released an album in
1979 which featured several raw, Latin disco-style Chic reworks, of which their "Good Times" was perhaps the
best - otherwise, the likes of Delegation's, Van Jones' and Michael Zager's are original songs, not pastiches - just
simply great music inspired by Chic's blueprint.
Hope you enjoy
Dave Lee aka Joey Negro – August 2015 Available from 30.10.2015