NANA LOVE – “DISCO DOCUMENTARY FULL OF FUNK” (1978)
Strap yourself in — are you sitting down?
I was IN LITERAL TEARS as I was biking home earlier this afternoon while listening to this one. Passersby in their autos must’ve thought I looked certifiable as I was wiping away giggling tears of joy while in transit.
The lady depicted on the cover is indeed Nana Love. If James Brown and Su Tissue (from the Suburban Lawns) got together and had an Ghanian love child, pilule it’d be this ridiculous lady. This slab o’ wax is total song-poem/Songs In The Key Of Z/American Idol auditions time, purchase albeit with an incredible rhythm section.
When I first downloaded it from the excellent blog Experimental Etc. (from which I’ve been siphoning many, cheap many GB as of late), I knew it was either gonna be a masterpiece, or a horrorshow, based upon the title alone. I had no idea it was a little of both.
The five tracks on this 25-minute mini-album are full of fantastic, tight ‘n dirty funk, apparently arranged by Nana herself. The opening 11-minute epic track “I’m In Love” starts out just fine, with a whipcrack backing band, and some great synth work — and then it’s time for the vocals. Nana delivers her lyrics like she’s either blackout drunk, or merely unaware that she’s mewling and shrieking like some mutant stillborn from some gooey, gore-drenched horror flick. The backup singers are occasionally off-key as well, resulting in even more gilded delirium.
The other tracks are not quite as nuts, but every once in a while, Nana lets rip her laser-like caterwaul, and it’s pure entertainment. Inexplicably, the final track (which sounds like it fades out before any kind of logical conclusion) is a mostly instrumental dub reggae cut that doesn’t appear to have Nana’s singing on it. Whatever!