The other day must have been Diana Ross‘ birthday, or something, as our local AAA station played a block of her music, from The Supremes through the excellent “Upside Down” single she did with the Chic crew. The penultimate track in the block was a song that, when it started out, I’d forgotten about, “Love Hangover.” While driving around and digging this unexpected block, I turned up the volume once more and as this forgotten hit from my early teen years started up. Then it happened: the song suddenly shifted to a Why Bother? disco jam that never let up for the rest of the song. It kicks in about 90 seconds into this live version.
“Why bother,” those who like to dance may say, “because we like to dance, Cement Hips!” I don’t know, even if I could dance, what’s there to get out the tacked-on disco exercise that that song turns into. I might as well be strapped into a massage chair. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
It made me think of the classic Mel’s Rockpile episode on SCTV, where Richard Harris performed his new stylings on “MacArthur Park.” That bit said it all about the moment when disco went from a fun, innovative, cultural celebration to an impersonal Happy Ending.