Soundtrack to the Surprise Comedy Hit of the Year!
John M. Abramson | Panama City, FL, USA | 08/10/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The end of disco - and the career of the Village People - was in sight when the movie was released and sank quicker than the Titanic. Still, despite - or because of? - its faults, the music is oddly catchy. Awful in the way that only really bad disco could be, but catchy, nonetheless. Looking back, the Village People were NEVER an "album" kind of group and what I mean is this: sure, there were perhaps 2 or 3 pretty good songs per album, with the rest being merely filler or downright LOUSY. They were really stronger with single releases...until this soundtrack came out, that is. You see, there's not a track to be found that isn't strictly 'camp'; not one can be taken quite seriously! (Like the movie. Which would have you believe the members of VP are STRAIGHT [David Hodo ain't singin' "I Love You To Death" to a GUY in the film!] - yeah, I know: it was a different time, blah blah blah, to which I say, "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck" so why try to hide the obvious, hmm?) And, just like the movie, it's hard to pick a 'worst' moment, but since I'm a HUGE fan of anything REALLY bad (say, "Showgirls" or "The Postman" or anything featuring Brigitte Nielsen), the worst, in this case, is the best, and the hands down winner in THAT category MUST be "The Milkshake". This is simply SO bad, one can nearly hear the bottom of that proverbial barrel being scraped. I dare ANYONE to listen to this song without a moment of jaw-dropping disbelief. (To add to the inherent cheesiness, The Rithcie Family is brought in for a track. WHY this group was so popular in the 70's, I shall never know. They're charmless. Totally and utterly charmless, with singing that can charitably be called robotic. But just TRY to find a disco compilation withOUT them! GO figure...) My only real negative, which is why this received just 3 stars out of 5, is that to TRULY enjoy these songs, you have to watch the movie; it is only THEN you can 'appreciate' the 'artistry' behind the 'glory' that is "Can't Stop The Music"."
Can't Stop It But They Did Shrink It
Allan Sherwood | Baltimore, MD | 08/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is a lot of "baggage" associated with this album: the movie for which this was a soundtrack and the backlash against disco which preceded it's release. Unfortunately Casablanca Records got cold feet about releasing the album as it was originally intended: a two-disc set with longer versions of most of the songs using different mixes which featured strings and horns arranged by the Village People's usual arranger Horace Ott. The released album features single edits and reduces or in some cases altogether eliminates Ott's contributions to the tracks. To hear these songs as originally intended you would have to collect the Ritchie Family's "Give Me A Break" album and several 12" singles which were released as promotional items to club DJs only. Despite my disappointment this is still a highly enjoyable album, David London's "The Sound Of The City" (probably the only track to make it to the album in it's original version) is a standout, the lyrics and Gershwinesque arrangement paint a loving picture of New York that could have been created in Tin Pan Alley days. "Milkshake" is silly, campy fun and "Liberation" is a disco anthem to freedom and liberation in a time when a pop group couldn't get more specific as to who needed liberating (have we made much progress since then? I think we haven't). "Y.M.C.A." is simply an overdub of Ray Simpson's vocals over the single edit of the original recording but the title track is a great song and one of the best things the group recorded since Ray replaced Victor Willis. If you're a Village People fan you should get this cd and if you're a serious fan like me this will at least tide you over until you've collected all those rare DJ 12" singles."
Ritchie Family, and camp, make this worthwhile.
D. Diebel | Fair Oaks, Ca. USA | 01/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's something a bit depressing about this album. "Can't Stop the Music" was intended to be anthemic, but falls flat. I think the producers were attempting to change their sound to adapt to 1980 sensibilities, as evidenced by "rockish" "Liberation," but this too simply does not feel like the Village People that made its earlier hits. However, there are two reasons I recommend this though only to disco devotees. First, there are some good songs. My favorite is the Ritchie Family's "Give Me a Break," which I think is their best. The Village People's "Milkshake" is great in a campy way. Second, one will enjoy the soundtrack more if they have seen the film in all its horrendous glory. No review can do it justice: Xanadu pales in comparison to its hamhanded production and "plot." It's so bad it's wonderful!"
Fun! Fun! Fun!
Ramon Grupe Cacho | Makati, Metro Manila, The Philippines | 03/27/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this album just for David London's "The Sound of the City," but I had fun with all the other songs too. They're bouncy, light, frothy, and very shallow. It's a cult thing, I suppose, but a must have for any disco baby or duck!"
S. Kimber | UK | 01/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this album. So Many happy memories attached to it of happy times!!
Got to disagree what the above reviewer says about The Ritchie Family. They are a wonderful camp disco extravaganza of a group with powerful and soulfull vocals. Anyone with a sense of camp and a love of fully orchestrated disco anthems will love their work with Jaques Morali and Henri Belolo. We have fallen a long way since as full orchestrations are rarley found these days and the time spent recording pop today is high speed for quanity not quality!
(JK is one of the few artists still doing the real thing these days.)
If you love Disco you gotta get this!"