Ah Disco. One of the loves of my life. The magic beat, the seduction of the strings and the drum machine. This was music to dance to on a Saturday night, with sex in the air and the desire to really be free. And then you get WTF (what-the-fuck?) disco.
Firmly rooted in the WTF camp is this lost treasure from 1978 by one Phylicia Rashad aka as Clair Huxtable on the Cosby Show: Josephine Superstar was a concept album was a concept album telling Josephine Baker's life story through disco songs. At the time, Phylicia was married to Victor Willis (the original lead singer of the Village People) and somehow was convinced to do the album – produced by the VIllage People producers Jacques Morali & Henri Belolo. Naturally Morali used both the Village People and the Ritchie Family for backgrounds and enlisted Willis to arrange and co-write most of the material
The album starts off quite dignified, with Allen speaking softly and sincerely about the honor of paying tribute to "the first black female international star," within a few seconds it all descends into some some classic WTF disco –instead if covering Josephine’s songs as you might expect from this sort of endevour, the album instead tells her story with original tracks – predominantly in the first person – that said, they do manage to cover at least one of Josephine's original hits with a disco version of her hit J'ai deux amours (which I’m told is considered to be an all-time cult disco classic – specially in the gay-disco scene – though thankfully I have yet to hear it at any disco I frequent).
Somone in blogland metioned reading recently on the discomusic.com message boards about an interviewer who once asked Ms. Rashad about this album. You'd probably expect her to be a bit embarrassed and to maybe shrug it off, but instead she outright denied it's existence (or at least denied that she'd actually done it) and promptly ended the interview. Who says you need talent to be a diva?
MP3: Phylicia Rashad – Medley: St Louis, Broadway, Star Of Paris (expired)
MP3: Phylicia Rashad – Around The World (expired)
MP3: Phylicia Rashad – Medley: J'ai deux amours, Josephine Superstar (expired)
MP3: Phylicia Rashad – Colors (expired)
MP3: Phylicia Rashad – Don’t Cry Mommy (expired)
ZIP: Phylicia Rashad – Josephine Superstar (expired)