Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eddie Floyd Updated For The Disco Floor

22 year old Amii Stewart burst onto the music scene in 1979 with a heavily modified, even discofied, version of the old Eddie Floyd classic 'Knock On Wood'. Disco was at it's peak in 1979 and pretty much anything with a funky beat and catchy groove made the charts, as did a lot of rubbish in between. But that's to take nothing away from Stewart's biggest hit. Her performance on 'Knock On Wood' really was stunning, I mean this girl could sing with real force. The song reached the coveted #1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 in April, and followed this up with #6 in the U.K. and #2 in Australia. It was one of the biggest mainstream hits of the disco genre. And behind Chic's 'Le Freak' and 'Boogie Wonderland' by Earth, Wind & Fire with Emotions, it rates #1 on my personal alltime disco hit chart.

What Stewart lacked in original compositions she made up for in the recording studio. The old Doors hit 'Light My Fire' was the next song to undergo disco-fication but it failed to capture the same level of interest failing to go beyond #69 in America and #14 in Australia, though in a buck against the general trend it surged to #5 in Britain. 'Jealousy' was Stewart's first 'original' chart hit, albeit only minor (not reaching the top 50 anywhere).

By mid 1980 the whole disco thing was on the nose so far as the general record buying public were concerned (maybe a case of too much of a good thing). Stewart relocated to Italy where she experience some commercial success. She did have another solid U.K. hit in 1984 with 'Friends' and a remix of 'Knock On Wood' reached #7 in Britain in 1985. She has continued to record and enjoy chart success in her now native Italy, having released a dozen albums and around 50 singles to date.

The promo clip to 'Knock On Wood' was really cool, well I mean for it's time. It was quite a simple concept and just featured singer Amii Stewart wearing very colourful, shiny and elaborate head dress, but with some funky video effects it caught the eye as well as the ear.

There have been numerous remixes done for 'Knock On Wood' (I think I've got four). This is an extended remix I picked up on a Euro compilation back in the mid 90s:

And if you're mad keen to find out more about Amii Stewart check out her website at:

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