The Village People were a marketing concept before they were a band. A record producer, Jacques Morali, had the idea of a camp disco-dance act, which would draw on gay stereotypes. He secured a recording contract before he even had found anyone to fill the roles of dog man, biker, cop and the others. Despite this calculated beginning, what emerged was unique.
The period of the Village People’s success was short, just a couple of years, and in truth they were a one trick pony. All their music sounds pretty much the same.
That comes from “Manhattan Woman”. But you could mistake it for “In the Navy,” for which it was the B-side, or indeed pretty much any of their hits.
But, hey, on Planet Vinyl we don’t dis anyone who makes music, especially when that music brings joy to millions of people. You still see people jumping around to the Village People’s hits, and enjoying themselves hugely. The music is fun and danceable.
More than that, there is a subversive streak to the Village People which entirely missed me when I heard them on the radio back in the late 1970s. I thought “In the Navy” was, well, a song encouraging people to join the navy. But listening to the lyrics now, one appreciates a certain double-entendre goin’ down.
If you like adventure, don’t you wait to enter
The recruiting office fast
Don’t you hesitate, there is no need to wait
They’re signing up new seamen fast
They must have had fun coming up with all that, and they sound like they are having fun in the singing, too. Unlike the guy in Little Britain, there was more than one gay in the village.
- Artist: Village People
- Title: In the Navy
- Tracks: A “In the Navy”, B “Manhattan Woman”
- Format: 7”, 45 rpm
- Label: RCA Victor
- Manufactured in: Australia
- Year: 1978
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