Every once in a while I’ll tell you about a random song I’m currently obsessed with, in an effort to explore the root of this fascination (and perhaps convince you to join me). Today it is a little known gem of KC and the Sunshine Band.
Yes, KC and the Sunshine Band. Listen to me.
The year is 1982. Seven years after “(That’s the Way) I Like It.” Three years after the infamous Disco Demolition Night. One year after the arrival of MTV.
The hit-making formula that had worked so well for KC and the Sunshine Band during disco’s commercial peak — from 1975 to 1976, they had four No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100! – wouldn’t cut it again. It was the’the 80’s now. The future. The time had come to blast the whistleblowers, buy a bunch of criminally expensive synthesizers, and post a low-budget and daringly low-concept music video in an abandoned arcade. It was time for “(You Said) You’d Gimme Some More,” the irresistible and barely remembered opening track from the Florida band’s 1982 album, “All in a Night’s Work.”
I never knew before that KC and the Sunshine Band ever sounded like this. “Gimme Some More” has a dark intensity — a twisted synthesized bass backbone and a hard-hitting, mechanized beat that subverts the signature bursts of celebratory brass. The first time I heard this song, I could easily have been convinced that it was not produced by the group’s founders, Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch, but by Giorgio Moroder.
I have to confess here that the first time I heard this song was not that long ago. And that the reason it came into my life is, shall we say, accidentally anglophobic: remember right after Queen Elizabeth died last year, when a bunch of Irish football hooligans went viral for singing a royally disrespectful lyric to the tune of KC and the Sunshine band’s “Give It Up”? Well, that reminded my friend that “Give It Up” is actually a pretty awesome song, and when he went to stream “All in a Night’s Work” he stumbled upon this stone cold jam.
You know those songs that become local hit hits in your circle of friends or group chat? “Gimme Some More” quickly became one of them. It’s now the number I put on when I’m in control of the aux cable, usually daring unsuspecting people to guess – just try and guess – who recorded it. A few months ago I had a friend play it in his car and then also forced him to watch the entire seven and a half minute music video. His verdict: “Something about this man’s energy frightens me.”
The Moroder equation is not that far-fetched. The producer behind both Dona Summer‘s “Love to Love You Baby” (1975) and blonde‘s “Call Me” (1980) made the transition from disco to new wave as graceful as a musician can get: his aesthetic path was worth following. But it’s easy to see why the ecstatic, upbeat “Give It Up” was an easier sell from the “Boogie Shoes” man than the more aggressive and nervous “Gimme Some More.”
I won’t vouch for every song on “All in a Night’s Work”; the next song is titled “Party With Your Body” and contains the lyrics “Now Jazzercise is the latest trend.” So to make this journey down the rabbit hole of KC and the ’80s Sunshine Band a little kinder to you, I’ve put together a short playlist of a few modern Moroder songs – songs that also bridge the gap between disco, funk and new golf. I didn’t get you an abandoned arcade to dance in. I leave that work to you.
Don’t stop what you’re doing
The amp playlist
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“Gimme Some More (And More)” track listing
Track 1: KC and the Sunshine Band, “(You Said) You’d Gimme Some More”
Track 2: Giorgio Moroder, “Chase”
Track 3: Donna Summer, “Pandora’s Box”
Track 4: Giorgio Moroder, “Palm Springs Drive (American Gigolo Soundtrack Version)”
Track 5: KC and the Sunshine Band, “Give It Up”
This week I am mourning the loss, in a brutal Game 7 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Semifinals, to my beloved but extraordinarily star-crossed Philadelphia 76ers. To them I dedicate with tears Boyz II men‘End of the road’.
And to sweet, 31-year-old Bobi, the world’s oldest dog: Oasis‘Live forever’. I think it’s wonderful that a dog born before the release of “Definitely Maybe” is still alive.