The Chic Organization 1977-1979

by: Chic

Produced with the involvement of Nile Rodgers and approval from the estate of partner Bernard Edwards, this box set remasters and recirculates Chic's first three albums and the contemporaneous We Are Family, in essence a Chic LP fronted by labelmates Sister Sledge. Another disc compiles edits and mixes of Chic-headlined singles of the same era. (The Chic Organization's commissioned works for labels other than their Atlantic home base, namely Norma Jean's self-titled album and Sheila & B. Devotion's "Spacer," aren't included.) During this period, the band surfaced and instantly reigned in clubs and on the Billboard dance chart, and with "Le Freak" and "Good Times," took their slick and funky disco-soul hybrid to the top of the Hot 100. The recordings created everlasting aftershocks throughout commercial and underground music, consequently making guitarist Rodgers, bassist Edwards, drummer Tony Thompson, and a team of vocalists led by Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin (with invaluable assistance from Luther Vandross) unwitting instigators of rap, dance-pop, and house music. The albums, all of which went either gold or platinum and have depth beyond the hits (start with the stunning "At Last I Am Free" and heavenly "Thinking of You"), are packaged individually in replica sleeves, joined by a booklet with lengthy essays from Paul Morley and Touré. The vinyl edition adds a reproduction of the 12" debut, "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" b/w "São Paulo," issued on Buddah prior to the band's switch to Atlantic, as well as a third essay, written by Ashley Kahn. Regardless of format, the box is a straightforward alternative to the outtakes/remixes-packed The Chic Organization Box Set, Vol. 1: Savoir Faire (2010) and two-disc summary The Chic Organization: Up All Night - The Greatest Hits (2013), both of which are wider in scope but were not distributed in the U.S. ~ Andy Kellman

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