Village People – The Best Of Village People (1994)

FrontCover1Village People is an American disco group known for its on-stage costumes and suggestive lyrics in their music. The group was originally formed by French producers Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo and lead singer Victor Willis following the release of the debut album Village People, which targeted disco’s large gay audience. The group’s name refers to Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, with its reputation as a gay neighborhood. The characters were a symbolic group of American masculinity and macho gay-fantasy personas. As of 2020, Victor Willis is the only original member of the group.

The group quickly became popular and moved into the mainstream, scoring several disco and dance hits internationally, including the hit singles “Macho Man”, “In the Navy”, “Go West” and their biggest hit, “Y.M.C.A.”. In March 2020, the US Library of Congress described the last as “an American phenomenon” and added the song to the National Recording Registry, which preserves audio recordings considered to be “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.

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Due to their easily recognizable characters, the group have frequently been imitated or parodied in movies, television series, video games and music. Numerous covers and homages of their songs have been recorded. Examples of homages and parody include an episode of the 1990s CGI show ReBoot, a scene in the 1993 film Wayne’s World 2, a mention in the 1991 comedy City Slickers, a 1993 episode of Married… with Children, the 1997 video for U2’s single “Discotheque”, a 2000 episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun, and the 2013 animated film Despicable Me 2.

The leather-clad biker character with a horseshoe mustache has also become a widespread pop culture icon associated with gay culture, and “Y.M.C.A.” has become something of an anthem of the LGBT community. According to Jack Fritscher, Jacques Morali drew his inspiration for the character from the dress code of the gay BDSM leather bar and sex club The Mineshaft. Leather man Hughes frequented the club.

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In AllMusic’s entry on the group, Ron Wynn summarized them as “part clever concept, part exaggerated camp act” who were “worldwide sensations during disco’s heyday and keep reviving like the phoenix.” Village Voice critic Robert Christgau originally found the group to be a humorous annoyance, but warmed to their music after listening to the 1978 album Cruisin’; he wrote in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981): “I give up—I’ve never been capable of resisting music this silly. At least this time they’re not singing the praises of ‘macho,’ a term whose backlash resurgence is no laughing matter, and the gay stereotyping—right down to ‘The Women,’ every one a camp heroine of screen or disc—is so cartoonish that I can’t imagine anyone taking it seriously. As for all the straights who think ‘Y.M.C.A.’ is about playing basketball, well, that’s pretty funny too.” (wikipedia)

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And here´s a sampler  … “The Best Of”…

As everyone can probably imagine, this is definitely not the music I like. But the blog is supposed to cover all facets of music … so I ask for your understanding !

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Personnel:

Original seven members

Victor Willis (Cop/Admiral/Athlete/Gigolo/nondescript)
Felipe Rose (Native American)
Alex Briley (GI/nondescript)
Lee Mouton (Biker)
Mark Mussler (Construction worker)
David Forrest (Cowboy)
Peter Whitehead (nondescript)

1977 to 1979

Victor Willis (Cop/Admiral/Athlete/Gigolo/nondescript)
Felipe Rose (Native American)
Alex Briley (GI/Sailor)
Glenn Hughes (Leather man)
David Hodo (Construction worker)
Randy Jones (Cowboy)

1979 to 1980

Ray Simpson (Cop)
Felipe Rose (Native American)
Alex Briley (GI/Sailor)
Glenn Hughes (Leather man)
David Hodo (Construction worker)
Randy Jones (Cowboy)
+
a bunch of many studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Y.M.C.A. (Morali/Belolo/Willis) 4.48
02. Macho Man (12″ version) (Morali/Belolo/Willis/Whitehead) 5.15
03. Can’t Stop The Music (Morali/Belolo/Hurtt/Whitehead) 3.39
04. San Francisco (You’ve Got Me) (Morali/Belolo/Whitehead/Hurtt) 5.19
05. In Hollywood (Everybody Is A Star) (Morali/Belolo/Hurtt) 4.55
06. Ready For The 80’s (12″ version) (Morali/Belolo/Hurtt/Whitehead) 6.53
07. Key West (Morali/Belolo/Willis/Whitehead) 5.47
08. In The Navy (Morali/Belolo/Willis) 3.46
09. Fire Island (Morali/Belolo/Hurtt/Whitehead) 5.20
10.Go West (12″ version) (Morali/Belolo/Willis) 6.37
11. Village People (Morali/Belolo/Hurtt/Whitehead) 5.11
12. Hot Cop (Morali/Belolo/Willis) 6.22
13. In The Navy (12″ version) (Morali/Belolo/Willis) 6.23
14 . Y.M.C.A. (12″ version) (Morali/Belolo/Willis) 6.47

 

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2 thoughts on “Village People – The Best Of Village People (1994)

  1. Hello, I just want to leave a word to comment yours (quote: (“I don’t specifically like this style of music but the blog is supposed to cover all style). No, hopefully your blog do not cover all style:… Hopefully, your blog just covers GOOD music ;-). Like Miles Davis said: “there is only two kind of Music: Good and Bad!”. About Village People, I can’t believe they coudl have so much success without talent. So thanks for your hopeness. Today I got from your blog two records : Village people and Capella Gregoriana – Songs For Meditation. It might look they are two extremes but if my mind feel happy when listening to both, it might hit a point in brain “beyond stereotypes”.
    Have a nice day !
    Greeny

    Like

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