Some of you may be wondering about the title of this blog – and some of you may know what it means. Here’s the story and maybe those who do know may learn a bit more. You’ve gathered I love disco and back in 1976 a French artist named Cerrone recorded a song called “Love In C Minor” I paused when writing song because it’s way more than just a disco song. If I had to choose one disco song which has influenced my taste more than any and has sat firmly atop my top 10 disco list since day one, it would be this.
The story of the record
“It all started when a record shop owner, who was also a drummer in a band, came to see me and asked if I could write and produce a record for him. It turned out to be Love In C Minor.” That’s a quote from Alec R. Costandinos. Alec (born Alexandre Kouyoumdjian in 1944 in Cairo, Egypt) has long been considered one of the original catalysts of the French disco scene of the 70’s. He was also intimately involved as a writer, publisher and musician in the development of Aphrodite’s Child with Vangelis and Greek-born pop singer, Demis Roussos. Based in Paris, Cerrone recorded, composed, and performed his solo debut “Love In C Minor” with Costandinos.
The story goes that Cerrone tried to take all the credit for Love In C Minor. Going as far as putting out a press kit claiming he wrote, recorded and produced this album all himself. Alec was left in the dust and his work mostly unnoticed. Costandinos got very pissed off by this and went off and made two quite successful albums under his own name and Love & Kisses.
It helped usher into the disco mainstream i.e. America, the lush euro-style string arrangements, in a market which was primarily driven by the R & B sound and black music. Apparently, 300 copies were mistakenly sent to New York as record store returns and found their way into the hands of New York DJs. It’s a 17 minute disco opus and was an instant hit and sent shock waves through the club circuit. The British pressing contains the complete, amusing intro of the banter between three woman at a club discussing Cerrone’s interest in one of them. It’s essentially about a guy who picks up these women in a bar and has them all with his very large dick.
It features cheesey synths, dancing hypnotic strings, wah wah guitar, a dreamy sax solo, ensemble vocals, a mid-track orgasm, breakdowns and an absolutely killer bassline which propels the whole track. Some say it echoes, or rips off, in style and structure the Giorgio Moroder/Donna Summer masterpiece “Love To Love You Baby” recorded over a year earlier in May-June 1975. Faster in BPMs than Donna Summer’s hit, and with a greater focus on the kick drum and dancefloor, Love In C Minor set the tone for several records to follow from Love & Kisses, Boris Midney as one track per side.
The cover art
In addition to the theme and style that was at the time a little controversial, was the album cover. The original uncensored cover was the British one (above). It was later released with a new, tamer cover for America (left) that took flashes of nude women into the background and replaced them with four arms clenched instead.
1. Love In C Minor (16.24)
3. Midnite Lady (7:28)
On the Billboard charts the album achieved:
- No.55 on the Billboard Black Album chart
- No.153 on the Pop Album chart.
The single achieved:
- No.2 on the Club Play Singles chart,
- No.29 on the Black Singles chart
- No.36 on the Pop Singles chart in 1977
In recent years it’s probably gained more respect as disco returns to favour and the underground dance scene. There were remixes commissioned in 1995, 1997 and then again in 2004 by Mike Dunn and David Morales both of which are respectable and worth tracking down.
David Morales mix