Ahead of my return to the Eagle booth this weekend, rather than average, bland chart, I thought what better way to pay homage to everyones favourite day of the week, and the fabulous Soul On Saturdays with a selection of my favourite 5 soulful songs about Saturdays to help you get in the mood for the party:
Willie Hutch – And All Hell Broke Loose
I used this one to kick off a mix I did for a podcast series in Dublin back in 2011 and it's a perfect one to start your Saturday night off. Willie kicks things off things with a moody, chilled guitar solo before telling us, as the song builds, all about signing his new record deal and celebrating that Saturday night in style by bringing his new record to the local DJ, who pops it on and then… (see the title!) Herbie Hancock – Saturday Night
A paean to that time of the week when nothing else matters but shaking off the stresses of the week and getting down. This was produced by the legendary jazz pianist during his pre ‘Rockit’ disco phase around the turn of the 70s to the 80s and features a gurgling synthesized bassline and stellar guitar work from Carlos Santana. This was released in single format in 1980 on a promo only 12”, as well as featuring on Herbie’s 1980 LP ‘Monster’, which is best known for the epic NY and San Fran sleaze anthem ‘Stars In Your Eyes’
Norma Jean Wright – Saturday
An absolute monster of a track, which perfectly encapsulates the abandon and escapism of partying on the weekend. Despite being a slightly lesser appreciated work of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (aka Chic), in part due to their many many hits from that era and also to Ms Wright only ever releasing one album in 1978 out of the shadows of her work as a backing vocalist for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Sister Sledge among others, it's probably the best known track from this list and was most notably covered by Joey Negro & Taka Boom in 2000. It's also been sampled in plenty of other house and techno records, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and none of these can hold a candle to the original version.
Kwick – I Want To Dance With You
With a bassline that has echoes of ‘Disco Nights’ by GQ, I discovered this one about 10-11 years ago via a recording of Jim Burgess covering for Roy Thode at The Ice Palace on Fire Island during the summer of 1980. Produced by Allen Jones, who is better known for his work with The Bar Kays and Isaac Hayes (for which he won a Grammy), this is the lead track from their self titled debut 1980 LP, and with its catchy hook of ‘The feeling is right and it's Saturday night, I wanna dance with you honey’, it perfectly sums up those good vibes and peak party moments of a carefree summer Saturday night spent on a dance floor with good friends.
Thelma Houston – Saturday Night, Sunday Morning
Last but by no means least is a beautiful early morning sleaze staple that was huge on the dance floors of New York in the late 70s. From the ever flawless Thelma Houston's 1978 LP, Ready To Roll, it's all about the 12” version here which features an incredible extended break from the halfway point, which really makes the incredible arrangement shine (including a gorgeous jazzy fender Rhodes solo in particular) before Thelma comes back in with the refrain to send us home smiling. As an aside (and also worth a listen), I've always been quite partial to the T-Empo version from 1994, though that’s really a reinterpretation than a cover version, and has a completely different vibe to Thelma’s original masterpiece.
Conor play Soul On Saturday at The Eagle on April 27th. Doors open at 9pm and it's free entry until 10 plus 2-4-1 on selected drinks until 11pm.