Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Steppin' Out: Disco's Greatest Hits [Polydor, 1978]
Compiled by Vince Aletti and Ritchie Rivera, this deejay-blended disco-mix double-LP surpasses even such compilations as Casablanca's eclectic Get Down and Boogie and Marlin's funky Disco Party. Although local talent (Joe Simon, the Fatback Band) is represented, I find the spacey, lush-but-cool Euro-disco that predominates even more enticing, no doubt because the filler in which such music is usually swamped has been eliminated. New discoveries include the Chakachas' legendary "Jungle Fever" and "Running Away" by Roy Ayers, ordinarily the emptiest of "jazz" pianists. This is disco the way it should be heard--as pure dance music, complete with risky changes. A-