“Dynamite!” by Stacy Lattisaw (1980)

I’ve skated less than five times in my life, but there’s something about the sound of Stacy Lattisaw’s “Dynamite!” that makes me want to strap on a pair of colorful roller skates and bop around. The reality is I’d probably bust my ass before I completed one turn around the rink, but…a man can dream.

Stacy Lattisaw was 13 when “Dynamite!” came out, and the song explodes with bubbly, youthful energy. Producer Narada Michael Walden and his crack band match the ebullience of Stacy’s singing with a groove that has one foot in disco and the other foot in the sound that would later be termed “boogie”. The song moves around at a tempo that’s danceable but not frantic. I thought Randy (American Idol) Jackson played bass on this song, but I was mistaken! Discogs tells me that someone named T.M. Stevens did this session, and I’m willing to bet that T.M. was listening to a lot of Chic’s “I Want Your Love” around the time this side was cut.

“Dynamite!” is one of those songs that was made by a teenager for teens but also transcends that designation. It’s not overly cutesy and doesn’t dumb down for its audience the way that, say, “Candy Girl” or even “ABC” does (granted, those two songs are still perfect). Perhaps that’s why so many older clubgoers took to it; sending it to the top of Billboard’s Dance/Disco chart in 1980.

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