Under the name Dinosaur, avant-garde cellist/composer Arthur Russell and a number of his New York City based associates were responsible for the first disco single released on Sire. That 1979 single, "Kiss Me Again," featured guitar from David Byrne (Talking Heads), bass from Wilbur Bascomb Jr. (a seasoned session hand), drums from Allan Schwartzberg (another journeyman who had worked with the likes of Yoko Ono, Bob James, and Tom Verlaine), vocals from Myriam Naomi Valle (a member of Desmond Child & Rouge), and cello and production work from Russell. Though the spectacular single failed to catch fire commercially, it -- like many of the other disco releases overseen by Russell -- became an underground dance classic, thanks in no small part to Paradise Garage DJ Larry Levan. Throughout the course of the early '80s, Russell released a number of singles under his own name and as/with Loose Joints, Lola, and Indian Ocean. In 1982, Russell and William Socolov founded the Sleeping Bag label, which would become an influential independent rap label with releases from Mantronix and EPMD. However, the label's inaugural release was another Russell-affiliated project, Dinosaur L's 24 24 Music LP. The album's "Go Bang" was released in the 12" format with a remix from François Kevorkian that also played a significant role in the New York City club scene. Russell's involvement with dance music fizzled out in the latter half of the '80s, but he continued to work in avant-garde circles until his death in 1992. ~ Andy Kellman
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