Westbound's production team of Mike Theodore & Dennis Coffey deliver the most in-the-face disco from some planet or other with Curtis 'CJ' Durden, family & friends including 2 previously unissued cuts from the projected 3rd album
FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER
by Andy Rix
Since licensing the Westbound catalogue in 1989 Ace has steadily reissued many of its finer musical moments, courtesy of deranged funksters, foxy females and the obligatory male vocal groups. Our latest offering focuses on the talents of CJ & Co who, during 1977, captivated disco dancers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Formed in 1966 the group, then known as The Strides, cut a handful of tracks for M-S Records under the guidance of Mike Theodore and Dennis Coffey. While failing to achieve great commercial success outside of their Detroit hometown, the Theo-Coff association proved to be one that would pay dividends in future years.In 1974 a very short stint at Sussex Records, saw the group, who had split up and reformed with two female members, calling themselves CC & Co. The Theodore-Coffey arranged contract proved to be short-lived as the label went out of business soon after.
Regular trips to Detroit, to keep in touch with the locals, resulted in Theodore-Coffey being offered a position with Armen Boladian's Westbound empire and their arrival coincided with the dawn of the disco era. They felt that CC & Co might be able to make some noise in that field so arranged for Westbound to pick up their contract.
The group's musical direction took a dramatic turn with the arrival of a song from England called Devil's Gun. The song, penned by a group of lads who'd achieved chart success in the UK with Barry Blue, proved to be a monster disco smash during the summer months of 1977. Hitting #1 on the dance charts from coast to coast, in the US, the track, aided by a Tom Moulton mix, enjoyed similar action in the UK.
This CD features a mixture of tracks from the two albums CJ & Co released on Westbound. There are three cuts from 'Devil's Gun' (Westbound 301), including the much sampled and ready-for-a-cover-version We Got Our Own Thing (watch out for it on Top of The Pops !), whilst 'Deadeye Dick' (Westbound 6104) supplies five. In addition to the spaghetti western-inspired title track you'll find a James Bond theme, disguised as The Golden Touch, and tales of caution from the street via Beware The Stranger.
Like any other good Ace release a few tracks have been pulled out of the can which is enough to give you a taste of what the third album would have been like had fate been kinder.
For those of you who are searching for authentic in-your-face 70s disco then look no further - CJ & Co are back.