Rating: 1 star *
Title: Four Ont he Floor
Catalog: NBLP 7180
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Catalog ID: 25.00
Here's a late-1970s obscurity that's rare for an obvious reason - it sucks.
Al Kooper was the creative force behind this project. Always on the lookout for talent, in this case Kooper's original plan was to put together a superstar band under the name The Hollywood Horns. The initial line up was to have featured Kooper along with Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward, singer Glenn Hughes, guitarist Elliott Randall, and bassist Neil Stubenhaus. Things went bad from the start. Hayward had to bow out after he was involved in a nasty motorcycle accident (note the liner notes nod to him - "dedicated to Richie Hayward - long may he drum". Sessions players Rick Schlosser and Kay Subdaclap were brought in as replacements. Randall then dropped out and was replaced by former Doobie Brother/Steely Dan guitarist Jeff Skunk Baxter, with sessions players rounding out the rest of the project.
With backing for Casablanca Records, the band apparently began rehearsing, with the plan being to record Kooper-penned originals, but before that could happen the whole enterprise fell apart. Having already sunk money into the project, Casablanca management apparently decided to try to recoup their investment, directing producer Bob Edwards to take the band's rehearsal tapes and cobble them into some sort of releasable product. Credited to the anonymous four on the floor, the result was 1979's "Four On the Floor". Needless to say, the principles weren't all that thrilled with lead singer Hughes actually demanding his name be pulled off the project - it was. Against that backdrop it shouldn't have come as a surprise that this album was pretty bad. As you'd expect from the Casablanca imprint, the three side one covers were all anonymous, disco-flavored trash with about as much appeal as a laxative commercial. The flip side wasn't much better, though it warranted some attention standing as what may possibly be the world's worst set of Rolling Stone covers - over 16 minutes of Hughes and his cohorts trashing their way through a series of five Stones hits. Like side one, the covers were all given hideous disco treatments.
- I'd love to say at least something positive about the disco-fied cover of 'There Goes My Baby', but for the life of me I cant come up with anything nice to say. If pushed I guess I'd admit the violin-sounding synthesizer was super cheesy and fun in a cringe inducing way. Other than that ... rating: * star
- Hard to imagine anyone messing up a Curtis Mayfield classic, but these guys managed to take 'Gypsy Woman' and thoroughly trash it. Shame on Hughes for participating in such a project, He literally sounded like a second rate lounge singer on this one. rating: * star
- And when you thought it couldn't get much worse, along came their cover of 'Any Day Now'. Geez, how much of Neil Subenhaud's 'pop' bass should anyone be subjected to ... Give me the Chuck Jackson version any day now ... rating: * star
- As mentioned above side two featured an extended Rolling Stones medley - 'Glimmer Twins Medley'. Unless you had some masochistic need to hear classic rock songs redone as anonymous dance fodder, I'm not sure why anyone would be interested in hearing any of these. Worst of the worst ... Hard to pick one, but I'd give the nod to their horn-propelled cover of 'Lady Jane', though the instrumental cover of 'Paint It Black' was close. With Hughes sounding like his nuts were caught in his zipper, 'Lady Jane' was so bad it actually was almost worth hearing. rating: * star
One of the few album's in my collection I'd award with a one star rating. I suspect none of the players are too proud of their involvement in this one ...
"Four On the Floor" track listing:
1.) There Goes My Baby (Nelson - Treadwell - Patterson) - 5:03
2.) Gypsy Woman (Curtis Mayfield) - 6:07
3.) Any Day Now (Hillard - Burt Bacharach) - 5:13
1.) Glimmer Twins Medley - 16:37
a.) Let's Spend the Night Together (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards)
b.) Lady Jane (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards)
c.) Paint It Black (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards)
d.) Under My Thumb (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards)