16 November 2014

Unisex - The Music Man/ Lovers

Label: Birds Nest
Year of Release: 1978

Birds Nest are another label I can't quite walk past when I see them lingering in the second hand racks. Partly owned by John Peel's manager and ex-Elektra Director Clive Selwood, they're not a label who released a great deal of hard-hitting, experimental rock, but they did seem to favour the quirky and the bizarre, as well as clearly having a typical seventies minor label love of strange novelty records.

"The Music Man" is a silky smooth disco number with a rich baritone vocal with breathy, seductive interjections - highly corny by today's standards, although the fact that the group are called Unisex clearly drops plenty of hints that this isn't a timeless piece of work. It isn't without charm, though, and while I wouldn't have the guts to drop this one into the middle of a DJ set, it raises a smile in its own timelocked 1970s way.

I can find no record of who Unisex were, but it's safe to say that Muff Murfin - co-owner of the label - probably had a strong hand in producing them. There are other far better examples of disco on the label, with Warlord's "Ultimate Warlord" with its Airy flip "I Shall Return" being something I really ought to examine at some point.


Graham Clayton said...

Another great find! There were a few disco songs of the era that had a slow ballad on the b-side.

The songs were written by one Derek Sheveling, and a little searching discovers that there is a Derek Sheveling living in Worcester. Maybe you should contact him to see if he was part of Unisex?

23 Daves said...

I may gave that a go, Graham… though I'll need to sit back and think about how I broach the question.

"Were you in the disco group Unisex?" is an odd point to put to a confused stranger.