Village People…..Judging a Book by it's Cover

As a young DJ, I was accustomed to glitzy, colorful , “artsy-fartsy” record covers. So when a friend of mine showed me his promo copy of the Village People’s first album with a plain black and white cover depicting a bunch of guys ( some of the wearing plaid, a “Disco fashion No-No “) I imagined this to be some kind of rock and Roll group.The back showed more of the same, although it did have a guy in a Tux. 4 tracks, 3 of them names of places ( although I had never heard of Fire Island) . The label Casablanca was a trusted source of good product with a decent track record so we sat down for our weekly listening session of new records. It’s intro at 120 BPM with a prominent triangle ” jangling” in the background was not the high energy sound we were used to, but the song quickly kicked into high gear and then the Casablanca magic started to happen and by the time the track ” Mixed” into the next we were up in the 130s with ” Hollywood ” the second cut on the side that seemlessly blended together. We were sold on the soulful vocal work ( some high pitched James Brown yells) and the percussion with heavy emphasis on Latin Percussion. The Village People may not have had us at ” Hello” but by the time we got to Hollywood we were fully onboard with these badly dressed guys that came from some ” Village ” we had never heard about here in Miami.
The original line-up comprised of lead singer, Victor Willis (cop/patrolman), David “Scar” Hodo (construction worker), Felipe Rose (Indian), Randy Jones (cowboy), Glenn Hughes (leather man), Alex Briley (the GI). The group was put together by Jacques Morali a french Music Producer who also produced The Ritchie Family.The Village People remains a “guilty pleasure” of many of today’s veteran jocks.
Side 1
Medley 10:46
San Francisco (You’ve Got Me)
In Hollywood (Everybody Is A Star)
Side 2
Fire Island 5:49
Village People