The Guest List: Cerrone revisits the “disco songs that made me trip”
Dubbed the French King of Disco, Cerrone’s 45 year career in music has left behind a trail of dance floor treasures that exuded positive and vibrant energy across the disco planet — his early groundbreaking productions etched a musical sensibility that has been embraced for the generations that followed. In numbers, the disco don has sold over 30 million albums globally, including four million copies in his home country, France.
Cerrone produced his first solo LP Love in C Minor in 1976, with the highlight single taking up an entire side of the record. But this fact came as a secondary notion to any listener — it was the sheer depth, breadth and fascination that Marc Cerrone was able to conjure and execute. Despite struggling to be signed by any label and France and this being forced to self release and press his own vinyl, ‘Love in C Minor’ was being rinsed across dance floors by DJs over on the side of the Atlantic, making waves across clubs in New York.
In celebration of his almost half-century commitment to the disco scene, and following his 31st studio album DNA released last year, Cerrone has just unveiled his double-vinyl pack ‘Best of Cerrone’ as a greatest hits compilation. The 19-track ode to a 45-year career includes the 70s hits ‘Supernature’, which has sold over eight million copies, and ‘Love in C Minor’. While touching on his impeccable history, the album also includes ‘The Impact’ which was a highlight from his 2020 DNA album, plus instrumentals and edits that are finally available on wax, for the first time.
‘Supernature’ was released in 1977, and after reaching the number one in US dance charts up to a year later, it remains a dance floor weapon 41 years today. See how the classic disco hit was made with the ARP Odyssey synth below.
Originally starting out as a formidable drummer, Cerrone has been credited with being a pioneer behind four-to-the-floor rhythm by his simple implementation of a strong kick on every down beat. By unleashing the kick drum from the production mix in progress, Cerrone’s technique paved the way for the foundational drumwork in electronic music, noticeably found in the earliest forays of house and techno.
In celebration of good times with Best of Cerrone, Mixmag Asia caught up with the disco connoisseur get a feel of what hair-rising, raw and forward thinking tracks from the disco vaults that elated him — and to no surprise, he’s given us 10 exceptional, classic and future-retro examples of refined disco productions to indulge in.
Get on down to Chaka, Whitney, Roisin and more glamoured surprises below.
Roisin Murphy 'Murphy's Law'
"I really love Roisin's voice, which reminds me a bit of Shirley Bassey's. Her music around the disco heritage is really a clever melange with great taste and production."
Bob Sinclar 'Feel For You'
"Amusing anecdote: Bob Sinclar used a sample from one of my tracks, 'Look for Love' for this song, and when he came to LA, we met in the studio. And I told him "Well, if you really want that Cerrone sound, you should really work with my vocalists", which is what he did shortly after and that's how this track came along."
Breakbot 'Be Mine Tonight'
"Breakbot makes a very interesting kind of new disco. It's always a pleasure discovering his tracks."
George Benson 'Love x Love'
"One of George Benson's great classics that I can listen to over and over..."
Elton John & Dua Lipa 'Cold Heart
"A very nice collaboration between the legendary Elton John and Dua Lipa's great voice."
Cerrone 'Give Me Love'
"Brings me the great memories from when I recorded this song back in 1977 at Trident Studios in London. Those were really the days for good disco music!"
The Rolling Stones 'Miss You'
"Despite being a great disco hit, 'Miss You' has much more of Blues roots that were typical to the Rolling Stones, and maybe that's one of the reasons this song is so great. Well done, Mick!"
Whitney Houston 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'
"Whitney Houston's voice and interpretations always gives me goosebumps whenever I listen to her."
Chaka Khan 'I Feel For You'
"Loved this track when I first heard it back in 1984. Very fresh, catchy chorus. Chaka is definitely a great vocalist!"
Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak & Silk Sonic 'Leave The Door Open'
"Bruno Mars has a really great talent, and in some ways, thanks to his great melodic sense, he reminds me of Michael Jackson."
Best of Cerrone is out now on Virgin Music via Because Music), grab your double vinyl edition copy here and check out the full album below.