Posted in South African Music

Disco Fever continued …

Found this old review from the SA Rock Digest. Issue number 23 (7th July 1999).

Rubin Carrin seems to be an anagram of Brian Currin … oh I was so clever, then!


Do you remember the mid-to-late 70s with great affection?
Platform shoes, sessions, roadhouses, etc?
Bands like HOT R.S. and Buffalo?

If not, then ignore this next section…

OK, you’re still here … good.

Derek Smith from Gallo has compiled a 2CD set called Disco Fever which features some great South African disco/dance tracks from the 70s. These 2 discs are filled to the max with music … over 150 minutes of music, memories and magic.

Been looking for the full-length version of “Eloise Concerto” by Rouge?
Well here it is, all 17 minutes 32 seconds of Zane Cronje’s rearrangement of the classic Barry Ryan hit, “Eloise”. Wonderful stuff.

Remember Neil Cloud, the drummer from Rabbitt, combining the Marmalade’s 1970 chart-topper “Reflections Of My Life” with Ennio Morricone’s theme from the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”? Well its here, over 17 minutes of it and featuring the voice of Rene Veldsman (of Via Afrika).

HOT R.S. took their name from the initials of their first album the House Of The Rising Sun and there are no less than 4 examples of the orgasmic disco rock that Donna Summer first pioneered and Dan Hill, Kevin Kruger and friends made their own. Tracks from all three of HOT R.S.’s albums are included here.

Peter Vee’s Buffalo took Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride” to new heights of disco/rock and both are included here.

I don’t know much about Disco Rock Machine, except that Trevor Rabin was involved. Their version of the Kinks “You Really Got Me” is great, with some punchy guitar.

A track I’ve been searching for on CD for a long time, has been John Ireland’s “Living Inside My Head”. Well, the search is over, as the full 6.25 album version is here on this CD. John’s rearrangement of the “Greensleeves” melody is superb and that whistling synthesizer pre-dates the “X-Files” Theme by 2 decades or so.

Also on this excellent compilation are Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse’s “Burnout”, Hiroshima’s “People Like Us” and Harari’s “Give”.

So buy this CD, put on your platforms, grab your cherrie and take yourself on a magic carpet ride with the delta queen to the garden of Eden.

OK, the rest of you musical snobs can join us again.

— Rubin Carrin

PS Gallo has kindly supplied the Digest a copy of this CD to give away to one lucky subscriber.

So send in a short e-mail justifying why you could not live another day without having this CD in your collection. The most original and humorous one wins the prize. The editor’s decision is final.

Posted in Updates

Disco Fever – my first contribution to an official CD compilation

In early 1999, I met with Derek Smith from Gallo, and he asked for my opinions and ideas for a South African Disco compilation. In July 1999, Disco Fever was released with a credit to me in the booklet – 40 years old and I was starting a new career!

Disco Fever


  1. Magic Carpet Ride [Kay, Moreve] – Buffalo 1979 [4:28]
  2. Living For The City [Stevie Wonder] – Disco Rock Machine 1978 [7:19]
  3. House Of The Rising Sun [Traditional, arranged by Dan Hill and Kevin Kruger] – Hot R.S. 1977 [14:35]
  4. Hiroshima [P. Crossley, T. Owen, A. Oakley] – People Like Us 1987 [6:39]
  5. Eloise Concerto [Paul Ryan/ Zane Cronjé] – Rouge 1978 [17:32]:
    1. Eloise
    2. Love Lost
    3. Eloise Finalé
  6. Time Of The Season [Rod Argent] – Neil Cloud 1978 [6:33]
  7. Living Inside My Head [John Ireland] – John Ireland 1978 [6:25]
  8. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida [Doug Ingle] – Hot R.S. 1979 [7:47]
  9. You Really Got Me [Dave Davies, Edward Kassner] – Disco Rock Machine 1978 [7:12]
  10. Born To Be Wild (Medley) – Buffalo 1980 [14:07]:
    1. Born To Be Wild [Mars Bonfire]
    2. Gimmy Gimmy Good Lovin’ [Levine, Cordell]
    3. Mony Mony [Gentry, James, Cordell, Bloom]
    4. Born To Be Wild [Mars Bonfire]
  11. Reflections – Neil Cloud 1978 [17:38]:
    1. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly [Ennio Morricone]
    2. Reflections Of My Life [Campbell, McAleese]
  12. Delta Queen [T. Tassenberg] – Hot R.S. 1977 [7:49]
  13. Time To Love [Trevor Rabin] – Disco Rock Machine 1978 [7:18]
  14. Give [Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse] – Harari [5:16]
  15. Money Runner [Quincy Jones] – Hot R.S. 1980 [6:28]
  16. Loving Styles [Trevor Rabin] – Disco Rock Machine 1978 [7:15]
  17. Burn Out [Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse] – Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse 1984 [4:57]

Release information:
July 1999, Gallo, CDREDD 627


Thanks to: John Ireland, Brian ‘Vagabond’ Currin, Dion Singer, Gary Van Riet, Lana-Jane Miller, Terry Owen, the good people at EMI, Peter Pearlson (Forest Studios) for all his hard work, Terry Fairweather, the crowd at Apula and everybody else who made this compilation possible.

Compiled by Derek Smith.
Digitally re-mastered at Forest Studios by Peter Pearlson.


by Brian Currin, 1999

In the late 70s disco music internationally was dominated by such artists as The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Chic, Gloria Gaynor, Village People, etc. The rhythm was everything and musicianship was secondary.

In South Africa, however, disco seemed to take on a distinct harder edge, with a number of classic hard rock and heavy metal songs being given the disco treatment. Paul Ryan’s classic ‘Eloise’ was extended to 17 minutes by Zane Cronjé’s Rouge, HOT RS covered Iron Butterfly’s ‘In-A-Gadda-Da -Vida’ (cleverly combining it with Frankie Vaughan’s 1957 UK #1 smash hit ‘Garden Of Eden’) and Peter Vee’s Buffalo covered Steppenwolf’s heavy metal anthem ‘Born To Be Wild’.

Ex-Rabbitt, Trevor Rabin with his Disco Rock Machine recorded the Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’ while his colleague, Neil Cloud (Rabbitt’s drummer), covered ‘Time Of The Season’ originally done in 1968 by Rod Argent’s Zombies.

All these tracks and others (like John Ireland’s ‘Living Inside My Head’) are on this Gallo collection compiled by Derek Smith.