Saturday, December 04, 2004

Village People

The Village People were a disco band of the late 1970s. The gay-themed group was well known for their outrageous on-stage costumes (the members dressing up as a police officer, an American Indian chief, a construction worker, a soldier, and a cowboy) as for their catchy tunes and lyrics, which had gay themes which are often considered to be subtle enough to be missed by some heterosexuals.
Although the band sang in English, it has been created (in 1977) and managed by two French musicians, Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo (see picture (, who also wrote their songs. It was therefore somewhat artificial, like Frank Farian's Boney M or Trevor Horn's Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
The band's name references the somewhat gay area of New York City named Greenwich Village. Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo got the inspiration for creating an assembly of American man archetypes while walking through the Village one day and meeting gay men dressed in various fantasy ways.
Their hit "In The Navy" was considered by the United States Navy for use in a recruiting advertising campaign on television and radio. They contacted Belolo, who decided to give the rights for free but at the condition that the Navy helps them to shoot the music video. Less than a month later The Village People arrived at the San Diego Naval base. The Navy provided them with a war ship, several airplanes and hundreds of Navy men. However, when the video started showing and the Navy started the parallel ad campaign some newspapers protested against using taxpayer money to fund music videos (and especially for a morally dubious group). The Navy cancelled the campaign as a result. The scandal boosted the popularity of the song tremendously.

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