Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Disco Years, Vol. 2: On the Beat (1978-1981) [Rhino, 1990]
I know that (a) it never really died and (b) if it did it was killed by rockist philistines and the homophobic media. So basically this is a fairly ace singles comp. But since formal exhaustion happens, and so does commercial exploitation, disco does begin to suck a little here. Case in point: Lipps, Inc.'s "Funkytown," a better-than-average novelty record so brittle that to place it up against the magnificently novel "Ring My Bell" is to tempt the wrath of the gods. So let it be noted that two of Rhino's evil "CD bonus tracks" (by GQ and the B.B.&Q. Band) are so bland that I'm tempted to recommend the cassette. Best novelty sound: the flushing toilet of Indeep's "Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life"--one more proof of the inexhaustibility of human ingenuity and human chutzpah. A-