In a genre that has classically been driven primarily by hot twelve-inches, it can sometimes be hard to find a disco album that delivers the goods from end to end—let alone a disco LP that could be described as “perfect.” Does such an animal even exist? We’re pretty sure it has to, and we can probably think of a few candidates ourselves.
Cultures of Soul Records presents Sparkle’s self-titled album which many disco aficionados would put into this category.
Sparkle was a female vocal trio from Connecticut, assembled by the producer Harold Sargent, erstwhile drummer of the sterling funk band Wood, Brass & Steel, and creator of manifold drum breaks that would go on to be sampled for decades. Originally released in 1979, the album and the group are fittingly titled as the music is a scintillating, radiant collection of shimmering disco and dazzling funk, performed by Too Much Too Soon—the multiracial R&B band that featured Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, the writing/production team that would discover Rihanna and power her career to global dominance fifteen years later.
Also on hand is musical prodigy Rahni Harris, whose Sargent-assisted club classic “Six Million Steps” is also included on the album.
The result is an album that by far exceeds the sum of its parts, delivering a truly transcendent disco experience. The album goes in a gatefold jacket with extensive liner notes and unreleased photos of group.
1. Six Million Steps
3. Let Yourself Go
4. Disco Madness
6. Down the Way
7. The Rock