Song Of The Day 1/19/2016: Dan Hartman – “Vertigo/Relight My Fire”

Disco Doubt – Dan Hartman (1950-1994) was kind of a whiz kid in his day. He started off playing bass for the Edgar Winter Group, for whom he wrote and sang lead on the hit single "Free Ride." In 1978 he switched to keyboards, took his latent disco tendencies and created a nicely hyperactive piece of work called "Instant Replay."If you watch that video you'll see G.E. Smith, former guitarist for Hall & Oates and Saturday Night Live, playing bass in his usual mode of gymnasium-induced ecstasy. You'll also see Vinnie Vincent from the second brigade of the KISS Army on guitar, and you'll hear Edgar Winter playing saxophone, which is something I didn't know until today. The drummer's name is Hilly. I'm not sure what he did. Hartman's biggest hit was "I Can Dream About You" in 1984. He also co-wrote James Brown's last big hit, "Living in America" from Rocky IV: Russians 'n' 'Roids. Hartman passed away from HIV complications at the infuriatingly young age of 43.

"Vertigo/Relight My Fire" is an example of the kind of pop maximalism Hartman could lay on you at any given notice. The first, instrumental section is perfect accompaniment to your next parting of the Red Sea. The string arrangements, man! They're really great in the transitional section that leads into "Relight My Fire," which topped the dance charts during the last weeks of the '70s and the first weeks of the '80s. "Relight" also features future diva Loleatta Holloway singing toe-to-toe with Dan towards the end, when the two of them mutually resolve to start power-walking more often after dinner.

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