Disco gets derided sometimes for the simplicity of its most visible songs and artists. As I said in my last post, sometimes simple is good. Throw what’s essentially a nursery rhyme on top of a stone groove, and the result can be glorious. Another case in point; “Get Down Tonight” by K.C. & The Sunshine Band.
K.C. (Henry Wayne Casey) and his multi-racial brothers in Sunshine came up in the Miami soul scene, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Betty Wright and George McCrae. Casey was actually a writer and producer before getting thrust into the spotlight. The spotlight served him well-K.C. & The Sunshine Band scored five number one pop hits in five years. “Get Down Tonight” was the first, and best.
As you may derive from my first paragraph, there ain’t much to the song from a lyrical perspective. “Do a little dance/Make a little love/Get down tonight!” I will say that compared to some of the Sunshine Band’s later tunes, “Get Down Tonight” practically reads like a Sting lyric. In this case, the lyrics aren’t what it’s about, man. Disco hadn’t totally infiltrated the mainstream when “Get Down Tonight” hit the airwaves, but funk was riding high, and this song fits fairly comfortably next to songs like “Fire” by the Ohio Players (which is just as simple from a lyrical perspective). Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that “Get Down Tonight”‘s opening guitar solo was actually sped up in the studio, which explains its distinctive and memorable sound.
Hey, I don’t know if I can justify “Keep It Comin’ Love”, “Please Don’t Go” or “(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty”; but I can definitely tell you that “Get Down Tonight” is a jam and a half.