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Dance Originality

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, October 14, 2015
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Disco big band VO5 celebrates their 10-year anniversary with their first album, offering ten unique tracks of uplifting dance music. All tracks are strongly influenced by 70s music, especially disco, and many offer an international flavor with a Latin, jazzy twist. A surprising number of elements come together in this quirky collection of original songs that pay homage to a wide range of great artists and musical moments including 'The Love Boat Theme Song', Chic, Ruben Blades, Prince, Quincy Jones, Blondie, 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind,' Cheryl Lynn, Jackson 5, ABC , Chicago, Dave Pell Singers, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gloria Gaynore, Kraftwerk, Bee Gees, Debussy, The Flaming Lips, Beach Boys, Of Montreal, Abba, Sly & the Family Stone, Earth, Wind & Fire, KC & the Sunshine Band, and Ohio Players. BIO V05 represents the hopes and aspirations of all Americans and believes that dancing should be an essential part of everyone's revolution. The nine-piece band from Madison, Wisconsin, is known for its theatrical sensibility, outrageous costumes, and epic-length dance parties. They play a blend of 70s funk and disco covers with their quirky and catchy originals. With over 300 performances over the last 10 years, VO5 has tons of stage experience. The band includes two famous playwrights, a brave firefighter, a renewable energy guru, a wind-power engineer, a best-selling ornithologist and engineer, a wise doctor, and two celebrated actresses.


'Dance Originality' begins with a call to action on the dance floor then mimics the intro from the best selling salsa album of the 70s, Siembra, by Ruben Blades. The first song in that album, 'Plastico,' also starts with a disco parody. One feels the 'disco sucks' sentiment already rising in the 1978 salsa hit along with the call for less plastic living. The shifty song then transitions into a smooth disco feel, a funky bridge & switches to a Puerto Rican plena style break before returning to its strings heavy disco roots and its call to get creative dancing (or freak the reggaeton). The blending of musical motifs, including 'Love Boat, Chic's 'Le Freak,' along with unusual chords shift push the song into an idiosyncratic genre of dance music.

'In Your Dancing Dreams' is also a mashup of styles. This time, one hears bits of 'Hawaii Five-O' and Blondie's 'Heart of Glass' set to the chords of Quincy Jones' 'There's a Train Leaving' (and even the theme from 'Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind'). It shifts into a straight disco ditty with a melody first heard in the intro horn overture, then becomes an instrumental in the style of Diana Ross 'Love Hangover.'

'I Can Feel It' has a more driven rock/gospel feel with a taste of the Cheryl Lynn's piano heavy disco hit 'Got To Be Real' infused throughout. Solid drumming fills the bluesy melody with ecstatic danceability.

'Soul Shiny Day' continues the shift away from disco and into older R&B pop and gospel. This song opens with a riff from Miles Davis Bitches Brew and takes obvious cues from Jackson Five's 'ABC' modernized with Chicago style chords. The line 'chabas jumping in the puddle' is mysterious, referring perhaps to kids from a Paul Chabas oil painting or a type of amphibian.

'Baku' takes the 'I Will Survive' theme to a vengeful end. It tells the story of a woman seeking revenge on an ex-lover. It is the only song to ever use the phrases 'erotic activity' and 'champagne & smoked trout' along with the phrase 'marred by Stalinization.'

The 'Disco Haiku' starts with a water drop, the sound of a frog from Basho's famous haiku. 5-7-5 patterns fill the song, starting with 5 notes from the Bee Gee's 'Too Much Heaven.' Haiku techniques such as zooming into small details are used ('polyester suit no tie/sweat begins to flow' ) The chorus parodies disco s excessive wish to please and be remembered in a similar way that the song 'Dance Originality' makes light of the ever escalating sexualization of pop music.

Musical phrases from the 'I Only Have Eyes for You' and the 'Police's Synchronicity 1' are to be found. And a bit from the American-made Chinese cliché musical phrase (popularized by 'Kung Fu Fighting', 'China Girl' and 'Turning Japanese') keeps the 5-7-5 prop. It wastes no time ending at the 3-minute mark.

'I Love The Sun' is reminiscent of Jobim's Brazil in its chromatic samba style. Its verse 'each day that you shine, love so divine, whole as in one' again sets a religious/ecstatic tone present in many of the songs. Yet the song keeps it light evoking 'Oh, Calcutta.' It's a sun salutation that ends with the sound of either burning hot frying oil or an icy cold rainfall.

The worldly and solar theme continues with the ballad, 'Aurora,' taking us to Northern Labrador. A phrase from Debussy's 'Arabesque,' which was used in Jack Horkheimer's astronomy show (that version by Japanese composer Tomita from 1976) sets the spacey mood. Lush harmonies and moogy synths keep the listener dancing to the wistful song about ionized solar winds and past lovers.

'We're Getting Older' ends in frantic disco yet has a decidedly bluesy jazz intro. Quick major/minor shifts abound. The inspiration is Inara George's 'Fool's Work.' The Beach Boys' 'Fun, Fun, Fun' even Charlie Brown's 'Christmas Time is Here' are quoted while sustaining the theme of joy in dancing. --TP of the Rolling Disco Balls magazine liner notes

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Product details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Caculo
  • ASIN: B014X8VG7A
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,469 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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October 15, 2015
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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