As Rob and I were whipping up new ways to mention Ray Parker Jr.
on Back and Forth, we got sidetracked and came up with 40-50 obscure-to-somewhat-popular club-friendly tracks released from 1976 through 1984 that have some form of Detroit connection. We intend to upload and talk about each one. (With a little luck, we'll make it to the middle.) Most of the selections aren't too well known, yet they're not all scarce. Odds are more likely they either narrowly escaped infamy or never stood a chance outside the region. There are quite a few instances, regardless of familiarity, where the Detroit connection isn't all that apparent.
Why 1976 through 1984? Many Motown/Northern soul/soul freaks have no interest in anything informed by disco, while the starting point for most Detroit techno heads is the day in 1985 when Model 500's "No UFOs" was pressed -- with A Number of Names, Cybotron, and Channel One viewed more like warning shots. These two loud factions leave a significant gap in Detroit music history, one that hasn't been discussed nearly as much as its surrounding years. (In Detroit sports history, 1976-1984 is called the Gary Danielson Era
.) While the songs we'll cover do have something in common with one another, and they're often intertwined personnel-wise, the sum doesn't resemble a scene or a neatly-bound era. We will nonetheless connect some dots and pull up songs you'll hopefully enjoy, whether you've forgotten about them or never knew of their existence.