Lost but not least! Gene Chandler – When You’re #1 (Chi Sound Records)
With Disco at its peaktime by the end of the 70’s, the period happened to be quite good for 20th Century Fox Records and its associated labels like Chi-Sounds Records. This with gems such as Barry White‘s ‘Your Sweetness Is My Weakness’. But also Edwin Starr‘s ‘Contact’ and ‘H.A.P.P.Y. Radio’. Then Stephanie Mills‘ ‘What Cha Gonna Do With My Loivin” and ‘Put Your Body In It’. This in addition to Gene Chandler‘s ‘When You’re #1’. Or The Dells‘ ‘All About The Paper’ although the latter saw the light in 1980.
“So if you think that you’re number one, you can’t claim the title til the dance is done. You’re always gonna make yourself a target to every new kid who comes to town. He’s waiting to meet you at some disco, when you’re #1. They try to shoot you down, when you’re #1, yeah!”
Chicago-born singer Gene Chandler, equally known as ‘The Duke Of Earl’, made his name in the Soul circuit with standards such as his classic of the likes soon after his debut in 1961. He then made some extra waves with the 1970 released ‘Groovy Situation’ as for his collaborations with Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions…
The end of the seventies seein’ him makin’ a notable foray into Disco. This with the boiling track from his 1979 ‘When You’re #1’ album of the name. The whole with production work by the likes of his long time friend Carl Davis assisted by Rick Gianatos.
Strangely enough, the bumpin’ bass-driven ‘When You’re #1′ only had a moderate success in the charts. Only reachin’ the #99 position in the The Billboard Hot 100 despite its stellar production and its hedonistic message. Itself depicting a competition between two dancers to become the #1.
I remember stumblin’ upon this at the time. I just wished Gene Chandler would come with more of those…