LIQUID GOLD ‘DANCE YOURSELF DIZZY’ THE COLLECTION (3CD)
I should start this review honestly with a confession…I mostly loathe late 70’s ‘disco’ as spearheaded by anything off Saturday Night Fever! However, there is always the exception. When i saw this Liquid Gold collection listed in the Press Release for April i thought let’s have a re-visit to those days, mostly to be honest because Adrian Baker the man who arranged, wrote, produced & played guitar on the bands recordings was a friend of a friend of mine & i remember thinking how much talent he had when meeting him back in the 70’s not long before he got involved with Liquid Gold. Adrian subsequently went on to great success in the USA working with Frankie Valli & The Beach Boys as well as with his Gidea Park band. So to this sparkling new collection spread over 3 CD’s which gathers together (as far as I’m aware) for the first time all the bands output from the late 70’s to the early 80’s. The bands genesis can be traced back to session regulars Ellie Hope & bassist Ray Knott who formed a band called Babe Ruth releasing albums in the early to mid 70’s. Ellie also had some moderate success with her sisters in soul side band simply named ‘Ellie’. Ellie & Ray then recruited 2 new members Wally Rothe & Syd Twynham & became Dream Coupe before finally settling on the more glamorous & descriptive name Liquid Gold. With a recording deal with Creole/Polo Records they were off & running. CD1 of this new set doesn’t run the tracks in chronological order of release but it’s of no matter as it opens with the funky groove of ‘Could Be Tonight’ (UK version) I should mention the band had separate releases of their material between the UK & the USA but the good news is that full versions of both of their sole album are included in this set. What would become their follow up single to their biggest hit comes up next in the shape of ‘Substitute’ & i confess I’d forgotten just how infectious & catchy a number it was, it climbed to No 8 back on release in 1980 & this extended album version really gets you in the groove. Up next is their silky 1979 single ‘Mr Groovy’ which narrowly missed being a hit (& deserved to be). I’m struck by just how much better they sound now than i seem to remember. They really do kick a driving groove that makes you want to get up & dance. That is exactly what i find myself wanting to do when their signature song hits me next, the one we’ve all been waiting for, dance anthem ‘Dance Yourself Dizzy’ here in it’s UK album version with it’s extended intro. Across the set you will find no less than 7 mixes of the ‘Dizzy’ single, album, 12inch, instrumental etc. That may sound like overkill but personally i enjoyed them all! with my preference going to the original 12inch mix. Ok i admit to a bit of ‘dad dancing; in my living room…also included on Disc1 is the bands debut single ‘Anyway You Do It’ from 1979 which just missed the Top 40 but set out the bands credentials which became more polished as they progressed. And so it’s on to Disc2 kicking off with ‘My Baby’s Baby’ a track from 1979 i confess I’d forgotten about over the years, but another slice of upbeat dance that scored over in the USA where it reached No 5. There is more diverse tracks on Disc 2 apart from different mixes of the tracks already mentioned it also includes amongst it’s highlights C’Mon And Dance’ ‘Don’t Panic’ & my particular favourite ‘The Night, The Wine & The Roses’ which was the follow up single to ‘Substitute’ & although it only managed to reach a fairly lowly No 32 on its release it really was a worthy effort, even if it does partly re-tread ‘Dizzy’. By the end of Disc2 i feel thoroughly energised by the music & have re-evaluated my opinion of Liquid Gold from my original thoughts from back in the day when ‘Dance Yourself Dizzy’ was a good floorfiller for me when doing my live DJ gigs. I now appreciate having listened & dug deeper how accomplished vocally & musically they were. Ellie has a very strong distinctive vocal & the music is of a higher quality than i previously assigned it. The band have this Nile/Chic style sound going on, i don’t like comparisons generally but i mean it as high praise in this case. When they are not grooving on uptempo dance numbers Ellie’s softer vocal on tracks like ‘One Of Us Fell In Love’ & particularly ‘Where Did We Go Wrong’ is very satisfying & appealing. The final DIsc3 rounds up many mixes of ‘Dizzy’ & the other aforementioned tracks like ‘Substitute’ & ‘The Night, The Wine & The Roses’ in their instrumental form & also delivers 2 solo releases from Ellie, 1983’s ‘Lucky’, a smooth dance number & her 12inch version of ‘Don’t Feel Sorry’ another Chic like groover. The compilation altogether boasts 46 tracks over it’s 3 discs & is accompanied by an informative booklet in its digipack packaging. It must be getting on for 50 years now since i last saw Adrian all those years ago, all i can say is he did a much better job with Liquid Gold than i appreciated back in the day, i get it now. Enjoy.
Til next time….stay safe….Colin
Alan Esdaile… I was a bit surprised to read two of them were in Babe Ruth.
Colin Bell… Ellie & Ray were only members for just a year in ’75-’76
Kevin Jones… I had the great pleasure to work with Ellie Hope in the mid 80’s on an album project and I can confirm that she was (and probably still is) an incredible singer and a lovely lady.
Colin Bell…That’s good to hear Kevin, i never had the pleasure of meeting the lady, but she sure has a great voice!
Mick O’Dowd… Remember Babe Ruth. Didn’t realise that LG had such a large back catalogue. Loved Dizz as it was a floorfiller guaranteed!
Austin Farmery… I ordered this 3xCD Liquid Gold Collection a few weeks back from Cherry Red and recieved it yesterday. I always liked Liquid Gold back in the day but WOW hearing this compilation is real music to my ears !! I realise now that I missed out on a lot of theirs and Ellie’s output but I am certainly gonna make up for it now. I would love to thank everybody that was involved in the making and production etc of this truly wonderful collection. To Liquid Gold, Thank You For The Music
George Murdie… Loved this song 1 of my fav’s