Village People (album)

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Village People
EP by Village People
Released July 11, 1977
Genre Disco
Length 22:16
Label Casablanca Records NBLP 7064
Producer Jacques Morali
Village People chronology
- Village People
(1977)
Macho Man
(1978)
German cover
Original German issue, titled
"San Francisco (You've Got Me)"[1]
Singles from Village People
  1. "San Francisco (You've Got Me)"
    Released: 1977
  2. "Village People"
    Released: 1977
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]

Village People is the self-titled first studio album by Village People, released on July 11, 1977. Its hit song "San Francisco (You've Got Me)" was a top 50 hit in the UK, peaking at #45.

History[edit]

Village People was the creation of Jacques Morali, a French composer. He had written a few dance tunes when he was given a demo tape recorded by singer/actor Victor Willis. Morali approached Willis and told him, "I had a dream that you sang lead on my album and it went very, very big". Willis agreed.[3]

The album was a success, and demand for live appearances soon followed. Morali and his business partner, Henri Belolo (under the collaboration Can't Stop Productions), hastily built a group of dancers around Willis to perform in clubs and on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. As Village People's popularity grew, Morali, Belolo and Willis saw the need for a permanent 'group.' They took out an ad in a music trade magazine which read: "Macho Types Wanted: Must Dance And Have A Moustache."[3]

Morali literally bumped into the first recruit, Felipe Rose (Indian), on the streets of Greenwich Village. Rose was a bartender who wore jingle bells on his boots. He was invited to take part in the sessions for the first album. Alex Briley (who started as an athlete, but eventually took on the soldier persona) was a friend of Willis'. The other three, Mark Mussler (construction worker), Dave Forrest (cowboy) and Lee Mouton (leatherman) were replaced, respectively, by David Hodo, Randy Jones and Glenn Hughes, who all had more experience as actors/singers/dancers. Hughes had first been spotted as a toll collector at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.[4] Early on, one of the group's songwriters, Peter Whitehead, performed with the group for a brief time.

Although the composers were French, the lyrics were all in English as Morali and Belolo used American lyricists. On the first album, they brought in songwriters Phil Hurtt and the aforementioned Peter Whitehead.

The band's name references New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood, at the time known for having a substantial gay population.[5] Morali and Belolo got the inspiration for creating an assembly of American man archetypes based on the gay men of The Village who frequently dressed in various fantasy attire.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "San Francisco (You've Got Me)" — 5:19
  2. "In Hollywood (Everybody Is a Star)" — 5:27
  3. "Fire Island" — 5:49
  4. "Village People" — 5:41

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.discogs.com/release/1369979 German issue at discogs.com
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b "Village People", Rolling Stone Magazine Vol. 289, April 19, 1979.
  4. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/villagepeople/articles/story/5932983/village_peoples_hughes_dead
  5. ^ Review: Gay Sex in the 70s: [1], 2000

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Quiet Village" / "African Queens" / "Summer Dance" by The Ritchie Family
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (all cuts)
September 3, 1977 - October 15, 1977
Succeeded by
"Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" / "Everybody Dance" / "You Can Get By" by Chic