Photographers: Jim McCrary; Douglas Kirkland; Michael Putland; Harry Langdon; Glenn A. Baker; Jill Furmanovsky.
Arrangers: Freddie Perren; Bernard Edwards; Nile Rodgers; Bobby Martin ; Art Wright; Thor Baldursson.
The Hip-O label released The Disco Box back in 1999, a four-disc set that threw in a few too many minor surprises to be considered a definitive summary of disco. Six years later, the same label released Disco Gold -- a two-disc set that would sufficiently complement The Disco Box if it didn't contain so many of the same selections. (Hip-O pulled the same exact stunt with 1999's The Funk Box and 2005's Funk Gold.) Regardless, Disco Gold is packaged thoughtfully, unlike so many other cut-rate disco compilations that have flooded the market over the years. It's a little annoying that several inclusions -- "I Will Survive," "Y.M.C.A." "Disco Inferno," "Turn the Beat Around," "Don't Leave Me This Way" -- have already appeared on dozens upon dozens of compilations (and sometimes near a hundred), but Stargard's "Theme from Which Way Is Up," Edwin Starr's "H.A.P.P.Y. Radio," and Jimmy Ruffin's "Tell Me What You Want" (present in a previously unreleased mix from disco pioneer Tom Moulton) help make the compilation somewhat unique. Disco Gold might not be as exhaustive or as full of surprises as you might hope, but it should either plug some gaps (if you're a collector) or make you a convert (if you're just getting into this stuff). ~ Andy Kellman