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Picks and Pans Review: Live and Sleazy

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The Village People

In this case at least, the sleazy sides of the group are better. This is a double album, a la Donna Summer’s Live and More. The first disc, recorded in concert in California, is nothing more than old hits like Macho Man and In the Navy. Having to pay for that rehash to get the second record isn’t fair, yet the studio album deserves a listen. After four disco LPs, the Peeps are boogeying over to rock, and several cuts here fuse the two sounds nicely. One, aptly called Rock and Roll Is Back Again, showcases the new man in the policeman’s uniform, Ray Simpson. (Victor Willis, who shouts his way through the live album, quit the group in August.) Ray, brother of Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson, also enlivens the up-tempo Save Me; a separate ballad version of the same tune is the album’s happiest surprise. Biggest disappointment is Sleazy, which David Hodo, overdoing the macho construction worker, sings as though there really were nails in his mouth.