by: Village People

Revved up after the success of Macho Man, the Jacques Morali-produced Village People unleashed their biggest ever hit upon an eager public with the November 1978 release of their third LP, Cruisin'. Having already become symbols of the outrageous hedonism of the disco movement, the band now thrust their high camp into the mainstream, and what was once intended to draw people to the clubs now brought an entire nation to the milieu. The band's shining, defining moment, "Y.M.C.A.," gave the Village People a number two hit, and from late 1978 into the next year, that song was seemingly everywhere as it rampaged off the dancefloor and into middle America's living rooms. Catchy, hooky, and singalongable, the song tongue-in-cheek-ily espoused the many, and often surprising benefits of paying a visit to that now immortalized club/hostel. It even spawned a dance complete with calisthenic arm movements -- clubbers were doing it, kids were doing it, even their parents were doing it. The only question was, did anybody actually ever listen to the lyrics? You haven't lived until you've seen your grandmother going to the Y.M.C.A. As smashing as "Y.M.C.A." was, the album, sadly, couldn't live up to the same standards, although it did hit the Top 5 on the strength of the single. Whereas the Village People had turned in some quite good performances across their first two outings, the rest of this album is nothing more than light disco filler, and even the talents of lead vocalist Victor Willis didn't help the situation across the medley "The Women/I'm a Cruiser" and the dismally boring and self-explanatory "Hot Cop." Equally light, but worth one spin for kicks is the pill-popping ode "Ups and Downs." Bottom line, buy the 45 and let the rest slip through. ~ Amy Hanson

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