VST & Co.

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VST & Co.
Origin Quezon City, Philippines
Genres OPM, Manila Sound, disco
Years active 1976–1990, 2003
Labels Vicor Music
Associated acts Cinderella, Tito, Vic and Joey
Past members Boy Alcaide
Clod Baria
Fred Concepcion
Joey de Leon
Ben Escasa
Homer Flores
Monet Gaskell
Chito Ilagan
Celso Llarina
Jun Medina
Male Rigor
Roger Rigor
Spanky Rigor
Tito Sotto
Val Sotto
Vic Sotto

VST & Co. were a Filipino disco group prominent during the late 1970s in the Philippines. Considered by many to be the pioneer and icon of what is known as the Manila Sound, VST & Co. released disco singles such as "Swing It, Baby", "Magsayawan", "Ipagpatawad Mo", "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" and "Disco Fever". The group rose to fame with other bands that were grouped under the Manila Sound genre, such as Hotdog, Cinderella and The Boyfriends. VST & Co. eventually faded from popularity when OPM (Original Pilipino Music), a new musical genre, emerged and rose to prominence in the late 1970s.

VST & Co. was composed of Tito Sotto (vocals, composer), Vic Sotto (vocals, musical arranger, producer), Spanky Rigor (bass, vocals, producer), Val Sotto (vocals), Celso Llarina (rhythm guitar, vocals, producer), Monet Gaskell (vocals), Male Rigor (vocals), Roger Rigor (vocals), the late Jun Medina (vocals), Joey de Leon (composer, lyricist), Homer Flores (musical arranger, keyboards), Chito Ilagan (bass), Ben Escasa (percussion), Fred Concepcion (trumpet), Boy Alcaide (drums) and Clod Baria (trombone).

The all-male group's name, "V.S.T", are the initials of its three lead vocalists, "Vic, Spanky and Tito." [1]

The Manila Sound[edit]

Foreign artists such as the Bee Gees, ABBA and Donna Summer heavily influenced the style of VST & Co. during the mid to late 1970s, when disco was the dominant musical genre that ruled the airwaves.

Vic Sotto, now a prominent TV personality and comedian, also wrote songs for the group and performed the single "Disco Fever" with the group. The band's lineup consisted of different Filipino musicians throughout its existence until it disbanded in the 1980s.

Among the group's singles catalog are disco hits such as "Rock Baby, Rock", "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" and "Magsayawan". VST & Co. used a mix of Filipino and English lyrics in some songs (e.g. "Etcetera"). The group also released love songs that can be likened to contemporary Kundiman jingles, albeit with a twist of disco, which became widely accepted by listeners. Prominent among these love songs are "Ikaw Lang Ang Aking Mahal" ("You Are my Only Love"), "Kiss...Kiss", "Ipagpatawad Mo" ("Forgive Me"), "Etcetera", "I-Swing Mo Ako" ("Swing Me"), "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" ("Sing it, I'll Dance it") and "Mabuti Pa Nung Bata" ("Better When We Were Young").

The band has left a lasting legacy as their disco songs are still being played in rotation, whether by radio or television, and from what is now called Philippine disco classics.[citation needed]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • VST & Co. Volume 1 (Vicor Music, 1978) (CD, cassette, 8 track, digital download)
  • VST & Co. Volume 2 (Vicor Music, 1978) (CD, cassette, 8 track, digital download)
  • VST & Co. Volume 3 (Vicor Music, 1980) (CD, cassette, 8 track, digital download)
  • VST & Co. Volume 4 (Vicor Music, 1980) (CD, cassette, 8 track, digital download)
  • Boogie Woogie Christmas Day - Christmas LP (Vicor Music, 1979) (CD, digital download)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Complete Greatest Hits Collection (Vicor Music, 2005) (CD, digital download)
  • 18 Greatest Hits (Vicor Music, 2009) (CD, digital download)

Covers[edit]

The popularity of VST & Co.'s music inspired various artists to revive their songs. VST's disco hits were transformed into reggae, bossa nova, pop and rock and roll versions by contemporary artists of the Philippine music industry. These include:

  • Janno Gibbs, pop balladeer and 'King of Soul', covered "Ipagpatawad Mo"
  • Brownman Revival blended reggae tunes into "Ikaw Lang Ang Aking Mahal" on their first album Steady Lang. Another VST & Co. classic, "Disco Fever" was remade as "Reggae Fever" on their second album, Ayos Din.
  • The group Kala blended funk into "Rock Baby, Rock", while Mayonnaise, an alternative rock group, covered "Ipagpatawad Mo". Both versions are part of the Hopia Mani Popcorn album.
  • Noel Cabangon covered "Ipagpatawad Mo" in his album, Biyahe.
  • Judy Ann Santos and the late Fernando Poe, Jr. performed "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" in the film Isusumbong Kita Sa Tatay Ko top-billed by both, although the original song was being played on the soundtrack.
  • Jolina Magdangal sung "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" in VIVA Films movie Annie B.
  • Nyoy Volante has also covered "Ipagpatawad Mo".
  • Enrique Gil covered a medley of "Tayo'y Magsayawan" and "Rock Baby Rock" on his debut album, King of the Gil.
  • Sharon Cuneta sung "I-Swing Mo Ako" during her teens.
  • Enchong Dee sung "Step No, Step Yes" on his self-titled album.
  • Daniel Padilla covered his version of Ikaw Ang Aking Mahal.

References[edit]