Alicia Bridges scored big in 1978 with "I Love the Nightlife (Disco 'Round)," a celebratory disco single that reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100. It was her biggest moment in music and made her self-titled debut, released on Polydor, a definite part of the feel-good disco scene of the late '70s. The blues-tinged "Diamond in the Rough" and "Broken Woman" were mildly successful, but Bridges never regained her disco reign. She released one more album for Polydor, 1979's Play It as It Lays, then settled into a series of independent recordings and compilations, such as 1984's Hocus Pocus, 2007's Say It Sister and 2008's FauxDiva XX – that explored a wider range of inspirations. "I Love the Nightlife" has been included on dozens of disco compilations, including the soundtrack for The Last Days of Disco (which also features an update from Masters at Work's Nuyorican Soul project.
This splendid seven-disc set marks Alicia de Larrocha's 2003 retirement from the concert stage after an extraordinary career spanning more than seven decades. To many listeners, she is a peerless performer of Iberian (particularly Spanish and Catalan) music. Indeed, as her rendition of Manuel de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain demonstrates, this Catalan pianist brilliantly captures the indefinable magic and charm of Iberian music, revealing a timeless richness and depth that lesser artists, conforming to ideas of national style, often miss. It would be a mistake, however, to define de Larrocha as an "Iberian specialist." As this set demonstrates, her rich repertoire encompasses various traditions and a timespan from the late Baroque to the present, from Bach to Xavier Montsalvatge (1912-2002).