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  1. #1
    remicks's Avatar
    remicks is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]

    STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    *****

    (* as far as I have thus far discovered and any correction welcomed)



    --- Steve Cropper
    's fame stems mostly from his huge influence on the Memphis Sound via his founding membership in the group Booker T & The MGs as well being resident guitar player on most of STAX Records' 60's output.
    You can hear the call out to him : "Play it, Steve" on Sam and Dave's SOUL MAN.

    Besides performing , Steve also wrote , and his credits include KNOCK ON WOOD, SITTIN' ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY, and IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR.

    He along with Isaac Hayes were a part of The Stax Staff ... the inner circle of the shakers and movers there.
    Steve left Stax though in 1970 and took up independent producing of various acts including Tower Of Power, John Prine & Jeff Beck.


    It wasn't until 1978 that Steve firmly wrapped his talents around a full on "ain't-no-two-ways-about-it" ..... disco production .



    Now if you don't already know what it is .... the song being referred to seems like an unlikely one to predict considering Steve's more funky roots in the sixties and his rock/jazz interests in the seventies ....

    Who would suspect a glossy , cooing, string/flute filled disco tune coming from mega-star guitarist Steve Cropper :icon_eek: :icon_mrgreen: :
    (that's him playing guitar on this BTW)

    Here then is Steve Cropper's main contribution to the genre, ..... his disco legacy: :icon_mrgreen::icon_biggrin::icon_mrgreen: :icon_biggrin:








    _________________________________











    :icon_cool::icon_cool::icon_cool::icon_cool:


    -- The superb bongo/congo-ing on here is credited to King Errison
    -- The incredible 7:36 remix of the 3:57 original is the work of John Luongo .





    *****
    a change is gonna come
    Last edited by remicks; June 13th, 2008 at 04:45 AM.


    I still recall the thrill -
    I guess I always will


  2. #2

    Re: STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    thanks, remicks, for the awesome details behind this underappreciated classic !!!

    Only heard this tune for the first time earlier this year when a co-worker's uncle got rid of some disco LP's/12"ers (and they knew I was a collector). I was BLOWN AWAY by how catchy & gorgeous this tune was, and though "Shine On Silver Moon" had been a minor hit in its day in disco & R&B circles, BOY, did it deserve the major success that eluded it. That it managed to miss the top 30 of the national disco chart is a HUGE surprise !

  3. #3
    Mr.Ree is offline Underground Hit [Level 5]

    Re: STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    so ironic you brought this up because I only recently heard the song for the first time when the singers performed it on a late night "Soul Train" re-run I saw. I love the song and have been looking for the record but it's a bit tricky to find in my area (and I don't pay the kind of sky high prices I usually see online).

  4. #4
    remicks's Avatar
    remicks is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]

    Re: STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    Quote Originally Written by drlove View Post
    thanks, remicks, for the awesome details behind this underappreciated classic !!!

    --- This slickly orchestrated tune could be presented to any unknowing Steve Cropper/ Stax fan to produce a "no way !" moment.



    I thought at the time , and having not looked into it further since , that this was one of those commonly done, well-polished, & thickly orchestrated remakes of some semi-forgotten standard ... a delightful 40's/ 50's ditty called SHINE ON SILVER MOON. :icon_redface::icon_rolleyes:
    It is only now that I realize that at its release it was a contemporary , first time out song written by G. Knight and G.Allan .... the same duo behind Sarah Dash's SINNER MAN.



    SHINE ON SILVER MOON is one of those upbeat affirmatively arranged tunes that climatically builds as it progresses. Amidst its celebratory silver moon exuberance is a corresponding "climatic" inference :
    Its contemporariness to the 70's becomes more apparent when paying closer attention to the Knight/Allan penned lyrics :


    lyrics highlights :

    Something comes over my lady
    on a moonlit night

    Turning her into my lover
    in the morning light

    That's when she needs to know my love
    And feel it deep inside
    :icon_eek:

    Just as long as there's a moon above
    she just can't be ...
    SAT-IS-FIED !!

    Shine on ....Shine on ...


    later:

    Marilyn:
    That's when his lips start hurting mine,
    he quivers so ,
    and then ...

    Billy:
    ... I give all of my love to her...

    Everyone:

    Over ... And OVER ... AND OVER ...
    AGAIN ! :icon_eek::icon_eek::icon_eek:



    that is one truly orgasmic song !! :icon_mrgreen::icon_mrgreen: ...... shine on!!! :icon_lol:


    ******
    Last edited by remicks; June 16th, 2008 at 04:51 AM.


    I still recall the thrill -
    I guess I always will


  5. #5

    Re: STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    Re: remicks' comment:

    * * * * *
    SHINE ON SILVER MOON is one of those upbeat affirmatively arranged tunes that climatically builds as it progresses. Amidst its celebratory silver moon exuberance is a corresponding "climatic" inference
    * * * * *

    Remicks . . . thanks to your original detailed post about this tune up above, I couldn't (and didn't want to !!!) get it out of my head ! I'm guessing I played it Over ... And OVER ... AND OVER ... AGAIN ! (to quote you once more !!) Probably played it about 8 times this weekend. Just couldn't get enough of this delightful tune !!!

    My favorite part (besides the climactic buildup of congos at the start with gradual adding of instruments until it's a full-on orchestra) is the well-arranged point-counterpoint of Marilyn & Billy's vocals on the chorus. I hadn't seen that quality of call-and-response vocals since the late 60s heyday of Aretha Franklin !!!!

  6. #6
    remicks's Avatar
    remicks is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]

    Re: STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    *****

    (glad you like this song as much as I do drlove and mrree)


    Quote Originally Written by remicks View Post
    *****

    (* as far as I have thus far discovered and any correction welcomed)
    not so fast there matey ---good thing you included that asterisk! !!

    ... there's more crankin' disco to Cropper's credit than you think!!! - "big" disco hit is a vague notion , and since SHINE ON SILVER MOON peaked on Marky's future charts at a ghastly #31 .....

    then the following #16 song certainly ranks mentioning:

    UNION MAN - Cate Bros.

    It is also now charting in England on shootyourshot's latest:

    UK Disco Top 20 – April 3, 1976

    4/3 3/27 Artist - Title - Label
    1 1 Tina Charles - I Love To Love - CBS
    2 2 Billy Ocean - Love Really Hurts Without You - GTO
    3 5 Barry White - You See The Trouble With Me - 20th Century
    4 3 Fatback Band - Spanish Hustle - Polydor
    5 4 Four Seasons - December 1963 - Warner Bros.
    6 NEW 10cc - I'm Mandy, Fly Me - Mercury
    7 11 Stylistics - Funky Weekend - Avco
    8 15 Beatles - Yesterday - EMI
    9 6 Gallagher & Lyle - I Wanna Stay With You - A&M
    10 20 Sailor - Girls, Girls, Girls - Epic
    11 12 Brass Construction - Movin' / Changin' - UA
    12 8 Eddie Drennon & B.B.S. Unlimited - Let's Do The Latin Hustle - Pye
    13 10 20th Century Steel Band - We've Got To Work To Stay Together - UA
    14 RE Sassafras - Wheelin' 'N Dealin' - Chrysalis
    15 9 Glitter Band - People Like You / Makes You Blind - Bell
    16 NEW Brotherhood Of Man - Save Your Kisses For Me - Pye
    17 NEW Cate Brothers - Union Man - Asylum
    18 19 Trammps - Where The Happy People Go - Atlantic
    19 14 O’Jays - I Love Music - Philadelphia Int'l
    20 7 M. & O. Band - Let's Do The Latin Hustle - Creole

    shootyourshot
    UNION MAN

    Tis' Steve Cropper at the helm production wise
    as well as being heard on guitar (of course) .


    *****


    easy to hear why some at the time might've been searching for that new "Isley Bros" tune in this one
    Last edited by remicks; October 20th, 2011 at 12:02 AM.


    I still recall the thrill -
    I guess I always will


  7. #7

    Re: STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    Hi Remmy !!
    I feel a bit like a cheeky schoolkid correcting a well-loved teacher, but regarding "Shine On Silver Moon" you wrote ...
    It is only now that I realize that at its release it was a contemporary , first time out song written by G. Knight and G.Allan ....
    .....that's actually not quite the case !!

    The song first appeared a year before, on a one-off Disco/Soul album by erstwhile blaxsplotation actor Adam Wade.

    Here it is :



    A nice laid -back soulful vibe .

    The artists involved on the record are impressive :



    All The Best

    DD

  8. #8
    tmob's Avatar
    tmob is online now Underground Hit [Level 5]

    Re: STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    Quote Originally Written by The Disco Dentist View Post
    ... by erstwhile blaxsplotation actor Adam Wade.
    Wade was also the first black host for a game show ("Musical Chairs") in 1975. Lots of proto-disco acts appeared here: on this brief clip, you'll see Irene Cara and the Spinners; Sister Sledge also guested.

    Adam Wade: Musical Chairs


  9. #9

    Re: STAX Whiz Kid Steve Cropper's One Big Disco Hit*

    Wade's version of "Shine On" is good, but I think McCoo & Davis version is the definitive version.

  10. #10
    remicks's Avatar
    remicks is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]
    Quote Originally Written by The Disco Dentist View Post
    Hi Remmy !!
    I feel a bit like a cheeky schoolkid correcting a well-loved teacher, but regarding "Shine On Silver Moon" you wrote ...


    .....that's actually not quite the case !!

    The song first appeared a year before, on a one-off Disco/Soul album by erstwhile blaxsplotation actor Adam Wade.

    Here it is :



    A nice laid -back soulful vibe .

    All The Best

    DD

    Are you kidding DD !! ..... this is exactly the kind of additional stuff I thirst for !! If you notice in my original post, part of what I found so intriguing about this project is how it just seems to materialize out of thin air .
    How (!!?), I wondered , did Steve Cropper pull this off so disco divinely in one , first-time-out, try ??

    You have come up with the great resolve on this .... no wonder he nailed it so well--- the song existed already (!) ....disco style (!!) ... Steve simply redid it (!!!) It doesn't stray that far from its original either, which is a project well constructed by disco alumni .

    Now I'm wondering how much remaining credit, what per cent, is due to John Luongo's efforts on Steve's souped up version .

    Don't ever worry DD, I'm not one of those members who storms off in a hissy if someone points out an error in my ways .
    Good job!!!
    you really added a missing piece to the puzzle.

    Now your follow-up assignment :

    Solve : Why in the world did Steve Cropper and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. even get together to come up with this in the first place???
    Why the match up ???? ......



    *****
    Last edited by remicks; July 3rd, 2012 at 10:04 PM.


    I still recall the thrill -
    I guess I always will


  11. #11
    Hi Remmy,
    Tough homework assignment that !!
    I see you've deleted one of your original questions, but I can probably clear up the remaining queries.
    In 1978 Billy Davies and Marilyn McCoo had an impressive track record with The 5th Dimension (' Up, Up & Away' ) and on their own ('You Don't Have To Be A Star' , No 1 on both the U.S. R'n'B and Pop charts).
    Expectations were obviously running high for their debut album at a change of record label, Columbia .
    An impressive roster of musicians were assembled -
    Gene page,
    James Jamerson,
    Lee Ritenour,
    Wah-Wah Watson,
    King Errisson,
    and, of course, Steve Cropper, who was killing time between Booker T & The MGs and the soon to come 'Blues Brothers' phenomenon, as a freelance producer / musician.
    A witness to the recording recalls :
    There was no expense spared in the layering of these tracks!
    Here's a link to a contemporary news item on the above -
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=984,20004839

    An obvious lead single was the albums' opening number, 'Shine On Silver Moon'(3:57 long) was which was lifted and released.
    Unfortunately it made only No.86 on the U.S. R'n'B charts and the album bombed. It would be 20 years before Billy & Marilyn recorded again.
    So I guess the Steve Cropper co-produced single would have become a musical footnote, lost to history, were it not for the fact that John Luongo had been approached to come up with a promo 12" remix. By almost doubling the tracks' length, and with the addition of some amazing percussion by Jimmy Maelen and stellar engineering by Michael Barbirro the classic we know & love was born.

    As a postscipt, tucked away as the penultimate track on side two of "Marilyn & Billy" was this original composition:

    Billy Davies Jr & Marilyn McCoo - Saving All My Love For You



    Lesson over. Class dismissed !!

    All The Best
    DD

  12. #12
    my guess is that Cropper was chosen to try to add some R & B to Davis and McCoo's poppish sound. He may have seemed an odd (or poor) choice for a producer but remember he was a vital part of the Stax-Records sound but to my ears R & B was/is not what those 2 singers were best at and I think I read somewhere that when they perform now they rely heavily on their 5th Dimension hits. Cropper has also produced Mavis Staples. I think a "poppier" producer like Richard Perry would probably have worked better.....

  13. #13
    remicks's Avatar
    remicks is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]
    Quote Originally Written by The Disco Dentist View Post
    Hi Remmy,
    Tough homework assignment that !!
    I see you've deleted one of your original questions, but I can probably clear up the remaining queries.
    In 1978 Billy Davies and Marilyn McCoo had an impressive track record with The 5th Dimension (' Up, Up & Away' ) and on their own ('You Don't Have To Be A Star' , No 1 on both the U.S. R'n'B and Pop charts).
    Expectations were obviously running high for their debut album at a change of record label, Columbia .
    An impressive roster of musicians were assembled -
    Gene page,
    James Jamerson,
    Lee Ritenour,
    Wah-Wah Watson,
    King Errisson,
    and, of course, Steve Cropper, who was killing time between Booker T & The MGs and the soon to come 'Blues Brothers' phenomenon, as a freelance producer / musician.
    A witness to the recording recalls :
    There was no expense spared in the layering of these tracks!
    Here's a link to a contemporary news item on the above -
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=984,20004839

    An obvious lead single was the albums' opening number, 'Shine On Silver Moon'(3:57 long) was which was lifted and released.
    Unfortunately it made only No.86 on the U.S. R'n'B charts and the album bombed. It would be 20 years before Billy & Marilyn recorded again.
    So I guess the Steve Cropper co-produced single would have become a musical footnote, lost to history, were it not for the fact that John Luongo had been approached to come up with a promo 12" remix. By almost doubling the tracks' length, and with the addition of some amazing percussion by Jimmy Maelen and stellar engineering by Michael Barbirro the classic we know & love was born.

    As a postscipt, tucked away as the penultimate track on side two of "Marilyn & Billy" was this original composition:

    Billy Davies Jr & Marilyn McCoo - Saving All My Love For You



    Lesson over. Class dismissed !!

    All The Best
    DD
    Job well done DD !!!
    A good thorough effort .... a solid "B +" .

    Of particular note in your research ... that this would be McCoo/Davis' last release for twenty years . That's shocking and sad.

    I'm wondering how John Luongo became involved (?) in doing a remix months later? ..... I wonder if he was "approached" specifically to rework this failed song or if he was hired by Columbia to snoop around in general through their recent holdings to see if he saw some potential , disco style, amongst them , ---- if and that's how he came to pick some of his many projects in '78 - '79 (???)



    Now before you protest, there's nothing wrong with a "B+" DD !

    Still, if you're wondering why this isn't an "A" posting (!!!!!) -
    if only
    you'd included this youtube clip which 1) tells us that the label did work the song and 2) I believe this is the Steve Cropper original version (before John Luongo) :


    SHINE ON on Soul Train (love to see them pair up for "couples dancing" on Soul Train )

    That'd have been your clincher !


    Extra Credit :

    posting here , if it ever comes up on you tube , the 12" release's other side , I GOT THE WORDS ...... , (not mixed by John Luongo) but @ 5:06 - likely disco .


    *****


    I still recall the thrill -
    I guess I always will


  14. #14
    remicks's Avatar
    remicks is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]
    *****

    Quote Originally Written by remicks View Post

    Of particular note in your research ... that this would be McCoo/Davis' last release for twenty years . That's shocking and sad
    .

    stop the presses !!!!!! look!!!
    One more release ....
    in 1979- on the SKATETOWN USA soundtrack LP

    and
    it's disco!!!!

    PERFECT DANCER



    NITPICK -----Shouldn't it be perfect "skater" ....

    Extra Credit :

    posting here , if it ever comes up on you tube , the 12" release's other side , I GOT THE WORDS ...... , (not mixed by John Luongo) but @ 5:06 - likely disco .


    fantastic !!!
    play that funky music white boy

    *****



    I still recall the thrill -
    I guess I always will


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