Monday, 8 June 2015

"Summernights" by SILVER CONVENTION (2015 Big Break Records Expanded Version CD Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry

AMAZON UK Best-Price Link Is Above - AMAZON USA Best-Price Link Below

“...Dancing In The Streets...” 

Formed in Germany in 1974 just before the Disco explosion took Europe, the USA and the World by storm in 1976 and 1977 – the three ladies of SILVER CONVENTION were essentially a front vocal group for the songwriting of Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze – sort of Europe’s answer to Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers.

Lead by New Yorker vocalist Rhonda Heath (Penny McLean and Roman Wulf were the other two) – the musical mix of American Bass-Driven Funk with Euro Strings taking centre-stage over the backbeat gave Silver Convention their hugely commercial radio-friendly sound.

The “Summernights” album (called “Golden Girls” in the USA and Australia) was originally released May 1977 on Jupiter Records 280966-OT (Tracks 1 to 9 on the CD). This June 2015 British CD Remaster on Big Break Records CDBBR 0284 (Barcode 5013929058439) features a new NICK ROBBINS Remaster done in London’s Sound Mastering that’s amazingly clear and full of life and pluck. There are also two BONUS TRACKS – “Telegram (Single Version)” which cuts down from the album track from 5:33 to 3:00 minutes - and “Ain’t It Like A Hollywood Movie (12” Disco Version)” which extends the LP cut from 5:08 to 7:41 minutes.

You get the usual classy-looking 12-page booklet from BBR – this time with photos of the ladies in their Disco refinery, rare European 7” single picture sleeves and detailed/informed liner notes by THOMAS DEL POZO – a writer and researcher based in Toronto (who thanks Rhonda Heath for her recollections). The Expanded CD runs to 50:54 minutes.

The full album cut of “Hotshot” (issued as an edited 7” single) boogies along for six minutes and is just the kind of groovy Funk-with-Strings High Energy number those disc-spinning jocks love. You wouldn’t quite say it was CHIC – more a Three Degrees by way of Philly variant. In fact stuff like “Wolfchild” would have been on an MFSB album just without the vocals. “Telegram” is very cheesy Abba Eurovision fodder (the song represented Germany in 1977 and finished in 8th place) – better is the Disco vibe to “Ain’t It Like A Hollywood Movie”.

“Summernights” is not all brilliant by any stretch of the imagination - but fans of High Energy and Euro Disco with Strings will love the quality Audio and decent presentation...

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