4.Medley: Disco Sound / Black Is Black / Why Don't You Lay Down
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Arranger: Albert Weyman.
When Belle Epoque's Miss Broadway came out in 1977, one of the groups that the female Euro-disco trio was compared to was the Silver Convention. But there was a major difference: unlike the Silver Convention, Belle Epoque had no major radio hits in the U.S. While the Silver Convention fared well on American commercial radio thanks to singles like "Fly Robin Fly" and "Get Up and Boogie," Belle Epoque went down in history as strictly a club act. American radio DJs generally ignored Miss Broadway, whereas club DJs were all over the oddly funky title song (which rapper Special Ed sampled 13 years later on 1990's "Come On, Let's Move It") and a 14-minute medley that includes the glossy "Why Don't You Lay" and a Euro-disco interpretation of Los Bravos' 1966 smash "Black Is Black." (It was also in 1977 that "Black Is Black" got the Euro-disco treatment from Cerrone). Like a lot of the European disco recordings that were coming out in 1977, the medley is catchy and nicely produced, even if it is rather mechanical and short on warmth. Here's the interesting thing: while the LP's uptempo numbers are about as Euro-disco as it gets, Belle Epoque sounds like it's trying to emulate Minnie Riperton on the sexy slow jam "Me and You" and is rather Maria Muldaur-ish on the moody "Losing You." Perhaps these cuts were Belle Epoque's way of saying that it didn't want to be known as strictly a club act; nonetheless, they would be remembered as exactly that. Despite its shortcomings and limitations, Miss Broadway is an enjoyable LP that was sought after by club DJs long after it went out of print. ~ Alex Henderson