Sunday, 20 March 2011
27: Nick Straker Band, “A Walk in the Park” (no.20, 1980)
When it comes to white boy disco, we think automatically of KC and his Sunshine Band, but spare a thought for British-born Straker, who - at the height of disco - went out to clear his head, and came back with this neglected masterpiece of pop-dance fusion. So simple was “A Walk in the Park”’s conceit - it is, essentially, just a song about a bloke going for a stroll - that it could pass through several permutations: a minor hit across Europe at the end of the 1970s, it then enjoyed a second life during the 80s as a hi-NRG anthem in gay clubs, where the idea of going for a walk in the park presumably took on a whole other significance. 25 years after its original release, it was reclaimed, with wearying irony (and inevitable promo-video chauvinism, hardly justified by the “seek[ing] a straighter path” lyric) as a flimsy remixed floor-filler: a bit like going for a walk in the park, and coming back with dog poo on your trainers.