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December 12, 1990 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-12-12

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Page 10-The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, December 12,1990 1;
Burn, baby, burn

Never mind the bollocking 1990s, here'


the 1970s

f .

by Peter Shapiro
and Nabeel Zuberi
S ince it has become 2 hype to
groove on the vibes of the '70s in
the past year or so, we, as chillun o'
the '70s, have been inundated with
the usual corporate glitz passing as
legit folk culture - an updated re-
make of The Brady Bunch, c'mon.

Sure, the Me Decade could be
summed up in five albums, one
movie and its soundtrack and one TV
show (Never Mind the Bollocks,
Here's the Sex Pistols, Parliament's
Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo
Syndrome, Boston's Third Stage,
Frampton Comes Alive, C'est Chic,
Saturday Night Fever and The Par-
tridge Family) and retro-'70s hipness
is encapsulated on the cover of Deee-
Lite's World Clique, but it's no an-
cient Chinese secret that super
groups, white disco rips and x-tra
speshul cheezee kreashuns weren't
all that was going on under Hamil-
ton Jordan's nose.
The Mighty O's
In the hallowed tradition of great
family singing groups like the Mills
Bros., the McGuire Sisters and the

Andrews Sisters, The Osmonds
stormed out of the 'burbs of Provo,
Utah with great complexions,
wholesome values and a religious
zeal that made the young'uns of the
world temporarily forget about the
Jackson 5, even if they did have a
cartoon first. Maybe Erik Estrada,
David Cassidy, Leif Garrett, Andy
Gibb and John Travolta his fine self
had bigger pecs, bosser hair, briter
teeth, even better voices, but Donny
had the eyes, oh those wondrous,
magical twinklers he had(s). Yeah,
and maybe Farrah Fawcett had a
steamy poster and won Lee Majors'
heart, Cheryl Tiegs wore better
bathing suits and Loni Anderson
had, well you know about Loni, but
Marie sure was purty in Goin' Co-
conuts. And if you don't know Mer-
ril's, Wayne's and Alan's sartorial
contribution to American culture,
then check out the poster hidden be-
hind the front door at Wazoo's.
But image isn't everything, de-
spite what that great poseur Andre
Agassi says. Without the musical
goods to back up their stylish exte-
riors, the O's would have only been
a collection of second-rate Bobby
Shermans and Fabians. The Os-
monds pulled off two of the decade's
great concept albums - The Plan
and Donny's Too Young. 1973's The
Plan was a Miltonesque attempt to

come to terms with their Mormon
beliefs in a world of materialistic
chaos: "Nations take up their battle
stations/ Patrons of Zodiac revela-
tions/ Lustations breaking family re-
lations/ Litigation allowing shoot-
up sensations," from the Tommy
Oliver (yeah, it's the same guy who
led the band in Name that Tune and
Face the Music)-sweetened"Last
Days." From the apocalyptic open-
ing instrumental, "War in Heaven,"
to the ecstatic closing epiphany,
"Goin' Home," in which the broth-
ers attain communion with their
savior, The Osmonds create a proto-
Stryper imagistic portrayal of the
Lord's plan that delivers its message
through a guitar as powerful as the
Book of Revelations without sermo-
nizing. Aside from "Down by the
Lazy River," "Crazy Horses" and "A
Little Bit Country, A Little Bit
Rock and Roll," the family's pop
masterpiece is Donny's Too Young,
ostensibly a musical statement
wrestling with Donny's sex symbol
status. With covers like Richie
Valens' "Donna" and Dion and the
Belmonts' "A Teenager in Love" on
the first side, he is ineligible. As the
album progresses, though, Paul
Anka's "Lonely Girl" and Gof-
fin/King's "Run to Her" change
sexes, his parents beg you to "Take
Good Care of My Baby," and finally

Donny has become the "Last of the
Red Hot Lovers."- P.S.
Sheila B. Devotion
"Spacer" (7")
Other than Sister Sledge's Whit-
manesque masterpiece We Are Fam-
ily and "I Want Your Love,"
"Spacer" is Bernard Edwards and Nile
Rodgers' greatest production for their
Chic organization. Blond teutonic
beauty Sheila B. had a previous hit
with a poxy disco version of
"Singin' in the Rain," memorable
only for her English pronunciation.
These were the days when having a
German accent wasn't a drawback to
a popstar's career. A love song to a
Luke Skywalker surrogate,
"Spacer"'s video/promo featured a
lithe Ms. Devotion waving around a
light saber with considerable relish
while flanked by the two badly
choreographed Black men who al-
ways show up in dance videos for
the gay club market. The Chic
trademarks of skittery funk guitar,
effervescent bass and those strings
make "Spacer" the best dance single
of 1979, along with Joy Division's
"Transmission. - N.Z.
Hot Chocolate
"Every l's A Winner" (7")
Fronted by Black and bald Errol
Brown, the original man in the
white suit, Hot Chocolate were a
multi-racial, cross-cultural pop

Premier documenter of 70s decadence Barry pumps out another Brecht-
Weill classic at a local whiskey bar.

group long before multi and cross
were cool terms bandied about like
they're going out of fashion.
Brown's exasperated yelp, the funky
dance groove, and a fuzz guitar riff
repeated as often as is humanly pos-
sible on a 45 RPM disc, make
"Every 1's A Winner" a masterpiece
of overdubbing and a weird confla-
tion of rock, funk and disco that

foreshadows the work of the Happy
Lou Rawls
"Groovy People" (from All
Things in Time)
Overshadowed on its album of
origin by Lou's mega hit, "You'll
Never Find," this vastly underrated
statement of purpose, along with
See DISCO, Page 11:

Candlelight Carol Worship I




with favorite carols of the
Christmas season
Service followed by baby
shower honoring Jesus's
Birthday with gifts donated to
local agencies.
University Lutheran Chapel
1511 Washtenaw


The Scholof t1&ca~ton
Mevrsity Commnittee
N presents
A -{ofidacii Concert byj the
Ambassatdors Chiorus
(dfementciri andi mi44k school cFtiU
from Soutwkfiddi)
Tuesdy, December 18, 199
2 p.m.f
Schiort~ngAudito ri-um
, Schioof of Ed~ucaiotn BudiUr


Oipen to the}'ubLic

Graduate School of
Architecture, Planning,
and Preservation

The Shape of
Two Cities:


Applications are being accepted for
the 1991-1992 academic year at the
Special Undergraduate Program. A junior year
introduction to architecture, urban planning, and
historic preservation for students who have
completed their sophomore year at an accredited
college or university. Students spend the first
semester in New York at the Graduate School of
Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and the
second semester in Paris at Columbia's studio and
classroom facility in the historic Marais district,
The program offers a choice of academic terms:
1. Summer, 1991 in New York and Fall, 1991 in Paris.
2. Fall, 1991 in New York and Spring, 1992 in Paris.
Applications due March 15, 1991


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