:: Kung Fu ::
Disco. Exploitation. Disco. Exploitation. Disco. Exploitation. Rinse, lather, repeat. OK, so most of you hep cats know that the whole Disco experience quickly went from music that put some dance in your bones to taking over the world and making it a worse place. Don't get me wrong, Disco Defenders, I have a deep affinity for many Disco tunes. It's just that it got way out of control rather quickly. Disco got its start in the early 70's, and it didn't really die until sometime around 1981. Lady Disco, not only did you overstay your welcome long enough that we started to see your wrinkles, but we also had to see your liver spots and false teeth.
This single came out in 1973, which means that this goofy blend of funk, disco and martial arts grunting and sound effects was a very early exploitation of the genre. In fact, it was probably intended as funk. But one listen and you'll recognize this as the same type of Disco they used as TV detective show opening theme music. The more imaginative among you might have already pictured the show in your mind's eye as you listened. I see a ridiculously long Fu Manchu beard on a guy wearing an earth tone corduroy suit, chasing a perp down an alley and eventually leaping exaggeratedly high over some trash cans like an avenging monkey. They would freeze frame this shot and the actor's name and character would be displayed. Shit, where was I? Oh yeah -- I think this song is an early example of exploitative Disco. And hey, look! It was co-written by Neil Bogart, a man who rammed more than a little bit of Disco down our throats in the 70's. Neil honed his skills of marketing trendy pap at Buddah with many of the scads of Bubblegum bands. It seems like at this point, he had moved on to funkier pastures. Later on, he formed Casablanca Records. Even later on, he died.
The other credited writer on this song is Tony Camillo, who later had a Disco stunner with Bazuka and their criminally funky song "Dynomite." If you listen to both of these songs, you get a fast read on Camillo's style. To top it off, this was recorded by a young Ed Stasium, who went on to much success in the producing and engineering arena. I should mention that Neil, Tony and Ed did do other things together that were more successful, like their involvement in Gladys Knight & The Pips' "Midnight Train To Georgia."
"Hey Tony," you might ask, if you are the kind of person who talks to your monitor while reading blogs, (and I am sure we have a few readers like that), "What about the band, man? The Dragoneers?"
Well, you, I don't know shit about them. I bet they were Buddah house musicians put together just to do this single. I bet some of them were in Bazuka. I wouldn't be surprised if Ed Stasium played guitar. I bet at least three of them had moustaches. Styx-quality moustaches. I bet some of the money they were paid for these sessions was spent on something you can find a lot of in Colombia, which you can snort off a hooker's ass. At any rate, you've heard of them now, and this should now supplant "Kung Fu Fighting" as your favorite martial arts dance tune of all time.