Here's the idea, Hector said. He had the Disco Inferno CD in his hand, the one we had all danced to at New Year's Eve, reliving the 70's. ''With percussion, oud and bouzouki we'll play disco as if it were world music''. So we went down to the studio and arranged I Feel Love by Donna Summer, just like that, as if we had never listened to anything else. This was Hector's genius, his method, his study of sound, which began with some small detail, from the rustle of a leaf, from a drum tapped on its edge instead of the skin. Then he left us alone to finish the project. And dance to disco.
On this, their second album for A&M, Humble Pie proved that they were not the “minor league Rolling Stones” as people often described them. Led by the soulful Steve Marriot, the Pie was a great band in every sense of the word.
Three albums in the novelty has worn off, but Dengue Fever has smartly chosen to keep evolving. While that means their unquestionably unique offering no longer startles, it's no less riveting – Venus on Earth is at once the band's most accessible and most varied release. A recap: when first heard from in 2003 on their self-titled debut, Dengue Fever was like no other band, a bunch of L.A. hipsters fronted by a Cambodian-born woman, Chhom Nimol, who paid homage to that Asian nation's pre-Pol Pot cheesy psychedelic-cum-lounge-surf-garage pop sound of the '60s/early '70s, music obscure enough that only a tiny handful of Americans could honestly claim to have known the first thing about it – certainly, the source material spun outside of the orbit of the so-called core world music audience.
Price moved to Jet Records in 1977 and recorded a series of successful albums throughout the rest of the decade. In 1980, he crossed the big pond to record an unusual album in Los Angeles: entitled Rising Sun, it included a reworking of the song The House Of The Rising Sun, which picked up quite a bit of air play in the UK.
Every so often, a piece of music comes along that defines a moment in popular culture history: Johann Strauss' operetta Die Fledermaus did this in Vienna in the 1870s; Jerome Kern's Show Boat did it for Broadway musicals of the 1920s; and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album served this purpose for the era of psychedelic music in the 1960s. Saturday Night Fever, although hardly as prodigious an artistic achievement as those precursors, was precisely that kind of musical phenomenon for the second half of the '70s – ironically, at the time before its release, the disco boom had seemingly run its course, primarily in Europe, and was confined mostly to black culture and the gay underground in America…