KC & The Sunshine Band, Do You Wanna Go Party, TK 611, 1979
In case the red spandex pants don’t give it away, this is an album the came out in the waining days of the disco era. Acts like KC & The Sunshine Band who were known as being disco artists were doing what they could to remain relevant. It didn’t go well.
The Champagne corks were about to pop to welcome in the 1980s and people were really tired of everything 70s. Disco was in the way, and I remember seeing this album being discounted in droves right after it came out. But then a funny thing happened.
Radio discovered a last minute addition to the record, a synthesized ballad called Please Don’t Go. When the title track Do You Wanna Party flopped as a single, TK released Please Don’t Go in July 1979 and hoped for the best. Debuting at #100, after a month it looked like it was stalled at #79. But it kept on rising, a few notches a week. It reached #1 for the week ending January 4, 1980, making it not only the first #1 of the 80s, but tying the record for the longest climb to #1.
Cost: $2, $468 Remaining
Anita Ward, Songs Of Love, Juana 200,004, 1979
It is said that Anita Ward’s biggest fear was becoming a one hit wonder. But with the success of Saturday Night Fever, Disco Music sales soared, virtually ending the popularity R&B/Soul sound of African American singers. It was way past the point of people thinking it was a fad. So when the popular disco label TK Records tells you that their star producer Frederick Knight wants to sign you to a brand new label he’s starting and has a sure-fire hit to jump start your career, well, if you’re like Ms. Ward, you sign on the dotted line.
Like many up and coming singers, the lure of a hit might cause you to agree to a few things that you never thought you would. Like Donna Summer, Anita Ward’s faith made her uncomfortable to sing the double entendre sexual lyrics she was given to record. Ring My Bell really had nothing to do with actual bells after all.
Unlike Ms. Summer, it all came crashing down fast for Anita Ward’s career. Despite the international success of Bell, TK Records was bankrupt by 1980, disco died virtually overnight, and Anita was in a bad car accident that laid her up for months. Her seven big days at number one would be all she ever had. This excellent copy of her crowning achievement will live on on my shelf, complete with it’s original shrink wrap and promotional stickers, the Juana label with the TK inner sleeve, and it’s cautionary tale for all newcomers.
Cost: $2, $825 Remaining