Dick’s Picks: A little known ‘sleazy disco’ underground smash recorded by a former porn-star-come-daytime soap opera actor – hey ..what’s not to like?
Dennis Parker – who?
Dennis Parker was a man of many names, born Dennis Posa (1946), he would later use the performance name Wade Nichols in a long-standing (oo-err) porn career – choice film titles include; ‘Bang, Bang You Got It’, ‘Hot Pursuit’, ‘Teenage Pyjama Party’ and ‘Captain Lust’!
‘Fly Like An Eagle’
In 1979, using another nom-de-guerre, Dennis Parker, he cut a disco album for the mega-selling Casablanca Records, home to Donna Summer, Parliament, Giorgo Moroder, Village People and, errr, Kiss.
Although played in the more discerning underground emporium’s at the time, it’s fair to say that up until recently the track had fallen off most people’s radar – enter Norwegian nu-disco and edit ‘superstar’ Todd Terje who re-edited the track (essentially he made his own unofficial remix and very good it is too) thereby introducing it to a whole new generation of clubbers.
That’s not to say the original is without merit – Hell No! Breezing in on a swirling wind sound effect, quickly followed by slo-mo disco drums and staccato string stabs – however, hidden within the unrelenting groove is a lyric that is positively existential in its brevity – essentially it’s variations of ‘Like an eagle, like an eagle, in the city, in the city, fly, fly’ – ‘searching, yearning’ repeated throughout with all manner of dubby effects, over its 8.37 duration it begins to take on a trance like mantra – or was that just the drugs kicking in?
The track would prove popular with a short-lived disco offshoot named ‘sleaze disco’ or ‘morning disco’ – these slower, highly charged (and let’s face it, usually highly sexual too) tracks were popularised in San Francisco gay club ‘Trocadero Transfer’ and ‘The Saint’ in New York – essentially, a slower groove for a room full of clubbers who were gradually realising that it was now six in the morning and no longer just gone 1am!
Pressed on a single-sided limited edition 12″ with Parker’s other key disco number ‘New York By Night’ (there’s a pattern emerging here), the record in commercial terms (to use a well-worn phrase) ‘sunk without a trace’ – sadly Parker took his own life in mysterious circumstances in 1985, some say the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, others a brief illness…..best to remember him this way….
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