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D.C. LaRue ‘Cathedrals’ (greg wilson edit)
Previously limited vinyl only 2007.
Pressed in 2007 as ‘DC La Groove’, just a few months after I'd put it together, this instantly became a big tune for me and was later included on my Essential Mix in 2009 (ESSENTIAL MIX (by greg wilson for bbc radio 1 2009) by gregwilson) and was most recently featured at the camptastic NYC Downlow in Glastonbury last June (GLASTONBURY NYC DOWNLOW 24.06.11 (greg wilson live mix) by gregwilson/).
I’d always been captivated by the lyrics of ‘Cathedrals’ (I’ve copied below what I wrote about the original version for my Time Capsule series), and used to play it when it first came out in ’76, but I wanted a version that placed the emphasis on the superb rhythm section. I’d initially planned to retain some of the vocal, but eventually decided an instrumental would work best for my purposes. I set about removing the vocal sections and, having thrown in some samples for good measure, I knew I had an edit that would do the business.
Here’s what I wrote in November 2006 for the Nov ‘76 edition of Time Capsule:
“D.C. LaRue's 'Cathedrals' is an acknowledged classic of the Disco era. Released on Pyramid in the US, like many dance records of the time it broke via the gay scene in New York and would climb to number 6 on the Billboard Disco chart. Connecticut born LaRue (real name David Charles L'Heureux) had started out in the music business as a graphic designer, the capacity in which he first met the people at Pyramid. 'Cathedrals', underpinned by a wonderful groove, is a unique sounding record, the lyrics of which I always found somewhat haunting, especially the core question 'where are they now?' and the line that gives the track its title 'they could fill cathedrals' - there was certainly something about 'Cathedrals' that was slightly disquieting. Years later, following the devastation of the gay community in New York as a result of the AIDS virus, 'Cathedrals', listened to in hindsight, seemed to take on something of a prophetic tone - it was almost as though the words could have been written post, rather than pre-AIDS. In an interview in Blues & Soul following the tracks UK release (it had topped the B&S singles chart - a rare occurrence for a white artist, particularly one releasing his first UK single), LaRue explained the meaning of the lyrics: "It's a story about urban sexuality in America. It deals with the actual consciousness of promiscuity that exists in discos around America today - you know, the situation where a guy picks up a girl or another guy at a disco and they go home and make love even before they know each other's name". He continued: "It's such an empty, fruitless way of living to my mind and that's basically what Cathedrals deals with - the emptiness and waste of humanity that this situation creates'. These final words would prove forebodingly true in a way he could never have imagined when he said them.”
Full text and Nov ’76 programme here:
Greg Wilson – October 2011