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The Trammps was an American disco band, who were based in Philadelphia and were one of the first disco bands. The band's first major success was with their 1972 cover version of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart". The first disco track they released was "Love Epidemic" in 1973. However, they are best known for their Grammy winning song, "Disco Inferno", originally released in 1976 becoming a UK pop hit and US R&B hit, then re-released in 1978 and becoming a US pop hit. The music journalist Ron Wynn noted "the Trammps' prowess can't be measured by chart popularity; Ellis' booming, joyous vocals brilliantly championed the celebratory fervor and atmosphere that made disco both loved and hated among music fans."
The seeds of the Trammps grew from the 1960s outfit, the Volcanos, who later became the Moods. With a number of line-up changes by the mid 1970s the band membership included Jimmy Ellis, Norman Harris and Earl Young, with Stanley Wade plus Robert Upchurch joining later on. Their debut chart entry came via their upbeat cover version of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart", a Top 20 US R&B chart hit in 1972.
Their single "Disco Inferno" (1976), which was included on the Grammy Award winning Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in 1977, reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1978.
Other major hits included "Hold Back the Night" (1975) (UK #5) and "That's Where the Happy People Go" (1976). In late 1977, the Trammps released the song "The Night the Lights Went Out" to commemorate the electrical blackout that affected New York on July 13, 1977.
Their signature song, "Disco Inferno", has been covered by Tina Turner and Cyndi Lauper. In addition, Graham Parker covered "Hold Back The Night" on the "The Pink Panther EP" in 1977, and reached #20 in the UK Singles Chart, and Top 60 in the US.
On September 19, 2005, the groups' signature record "Disco Inferno" was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in New York. During the ceremony, the original band members performed together for the first time in twenty five years.
Two versions of the group, with differing line-ups, currently tour the nostalgia circuit.
The Trammps' first album was viewed as an early disco effort, and while there is a good amount of disco here, it's fair to say that it's pretty Philly soul-rooted disco. The group were not an entirely faceless front for dance tracks, but a pretty solid harmonizing soul outfit, even if the mid-'70s Philly soul backing grooves are a little generic (if very accomplished). Three of these cuts had already been small R&B hits -- "Love Epidemic" (which seems to take no small inspiration from both the O'Jays' "Love Train" and James Brown's "Night Train"), "Where Do We Go From Here," and "Trusting Heart" -- though actually some other songs ("Stop and Think," "Save a Place," the B-side "I Know That Feeling") sound at least as worthy of single release. Away from the soul-funk-disco train, there was silky pillow talk balladry ("Every Dream I Dream Is You," "Down Three Dark Streets") and a lightly disco-fied cover of the Isley Brothers' "Shout," though it might have been the instrumental "Trammps Disco Theme" that pointed most firmly to their future successes. The 2002 CD reissue on Epic/Legacy adds three bonus tracks from the 1977 album Disco Champs that were actually recorded in 1973 and 1974, one of them an extended version of "Love Epidemic."
01."Stop and Think"
03."Every Dream I Dream Is You"
05."Save A Place"
06."Trammps Disco Theme"
07."Where Do We Go From Here"
08."Down Three Dark Streets"
09."I Know That Feeling"
11."Oh Waa Hey
12."Just Say The Word
13."Love Epidemic (extended version)