The Village People going strong
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Way before flash mobs and Gangnam Style, some 35 years ago or so, people around the world were doing the Y.M.C.A. dance steps. The Guinness Book of World Records cited The Village People’s Sun Bowl Stadium, USA concert as the world’s largest gathering of people doing Y.M.C.A. dance moves — with over 40,000 fans dancing in unison as the group performed the classic monster disco hit of the ’70s.

The Village People are still going strong, and they’re bringing their unstoppable and contagious energy to perform their greatest and best-loved hits to the Philippines, for a one-night only performance at the SMX Convention Center on Nov. 17.

The Village People’s iconic stature has created very influential impact on pop cultures all over the world. If you put together images of a police officer, a construction worker, a big biker, a soldier, a native American and a cowboy, nothing ever comes to mind but The Village People. From Halloween to retro and disco-themed parties, chances are you’ll find a gang being dressed up as The Village People.

Just to throw in some trivia on how they actually started, Jacques Morali, a French musical composer, has written songs and recorded by singer-actor Victor Willis, sometime in 1977. Initially, Morali and business partner, Henri Belolo, hired a couple of back-up dancers for Willis while doing the rounds of clubs, and prepping up for his guest performance at one of the biggest music variety shows during that time — Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. With a growing number of fans, they figured that a “permanent group” could work best. Hence, they put out a magazine ad that said: “Macho Types Wanted: Must Dance And Have A Moustache.”  Since then, it’s as if a prophecy has come to pass — the song Macho Men ushered them into the mainstream pop-dance audience; and soon afterwards all hell broke loose on dance floors worldwide when they released Y.M.C.A. in 1978.

The Village People dished out hit after hit after hit.  Go West, In The Navy, Milkshake, I Am What I Am and Can’t Stop The Music are just some of their biggest hits that shook the world and triggered a disco revolution, hailing them as Kings of Disco. They ruled over the ’70s until some parts of the ’80s. Their careers mellowed down at the onset of the new wave era.  Yet, their influence on music, pop culture, live performances has never waned. They’ve continued touring the world, guesting in television shows, and some members pursuing solo projects. The Village People’s characters, looks, costumes and music have constantly been imitated and parodied. You may find traces or references of Village People characters in the video game Grand Theft Auto, TV shows like The Muppets, The Simpsons, Married With Children, That 70s Show, and movies like Wayne’s World.  As if these are not enough, their albums, especially those Greatest Hits and Best Of compilations, are still raking in sales.  Thus, it comes no surprise that they have sold over 100 million records (and still counting) worldwide. Their Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which was awarded to them in September 2008, is indeed well-deserved.

It is quite common these days for trendy and novelty acts to gain and lose success almost overnight.  For The Village People, they proved the never-fail formula that trends come and go, but great music stays...long enough that not even time, can stop great the music!

The Village People live at the SMX Convention Center on November 17, 8:30 pm is brought to us by Red Stone Media Productions, in cooperation with Jinga Juice, Puerto Princesa Underground River, Esquire Financing Inc.,Talk TV,  2nd Avenue, Jack TV and Media Partners : The Philippine STAR, Business World, Business Mirror, Mellow 94.7, Monster Radio RX 93.1, Barangay LS 97.1, 101.1 YES FM, Pinas FM 95.5 and Barangay LS 97.1. Buy your tickets now at any TicketWorld and SM ticket outlets.


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