Emergency Exit

Mike Thompson: Keyboards

Genre: Rock

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For dancing in the 1970s, you could hardly beat Emergency Exit, with a relaxed sound that’s a blessing to a dedicated dancer. They played bars like Ledbetter’s, where there was a little more than average room for dancing, and by Autumn 1975 were playing weekends at Infinity. Their music was middle-of-the-road rock, Blood, Sweat and Tears/Chicago, but it was just right to dance to, and you could even understand the lyrics if you were listening for them.

Tricks. melodic twists. and gimmicked flourishes abounded in their dance-music adaptations. Keyboardist Mike Thompson was chiefly responsible for the incongruous insertions. He could add a Keith Emerson-like phrase to a mundane Doobie Brothers song, or a quote from Weather Report's "Mysterious Traveler" to "Compared To What." The band was clever and diverting enough to make the most repugnant radio rehash fun to listen to.

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