“Get Off” by Foxy (1978)

As the story goes, Foxy’s leader Ish Ledesma was leading a party band in Miami, doing a residency at some club or other. He wrote “Get Off”, complete with what the King Ad-Rock terms “the disco call” throughout the beginning. Upon hearing the song’s intro, the crowd freaked out (in the good way), but the club owner also freaked out (but not in the good way), and said something to the effect of “play that shit again and you’re gonna lose your gig.” Ish and his band played that shit again, and they lost their gig, but they gained a surefire hit. “Get Off” climbed all the way to the top of Billboard‘s Hot Soul Singles chart and placed in the top ten of the pop list at the height of the disco era. And you’ve got to admit, it’s a hell of an intro.

While a lot of disco songs beat around the (ahem) bush, “Get Off” didn’t try to hide itself with innuendo. It’s about exactly what you think it’s about, and as such is a perfect touchstone for the hedonistic days of disco.

Some interesting facts about Foxy: they were one of the few Latinx bands to place on the charts in the ’70s, the band’s percussionist was the son of Tito Puente, and Ish Ledesma also founded and/or was a part of two one-hit wonder groups, Oxo (who hit in ’83 with “Whirly Girl” and Company B (a female freestyle act that had a smash with “Fascinated” in ’87). Foxy narrowly escapes one-hit wonderdom by virtue of “Hot Number”, which was a top 5 soul hit and just missed the pop top 20 in 1979.

Also, in case any of you still think queerness is learned behavior, please then explain why I found myself drawn to this album cover barely out of toddler-dom.


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