On 12 January 1980, “Let Me Sleep Alone“ by Cugini peaked at #88.
I have a soft spot for songs that have a good sense of humor; they can be in any genre — rap, country, madrigals — if they sell a good joke well, I’ll probably like it. “Let Me Sleep Alone” is a disco song that does this. Before yesterday, I’d never heard this song before, nor had I heard of Cugini, but now I can’t get it, or the crazed-Rod-Stewart vocals, out of my head. Dude meets a foxy lady, they go to Studio 54, and even though she clearly wants to get into his stuffed skin-tight polyester bell-bottom leisure suit, he’s having none of it. He wants to dance and go home alone. It’s a refreshing departure from all of those other disco songs told from the point of view of the prospective pants-diver. This guy’s just into the music. And the brazen false rhyme that makes for the humor — you can kiss my lips, indeed — is adorable. Frankly, I’m just thrilled this song isn’t what I feared it was going to be: a ballad about a guy whose girl dumped him and he wants the bittersweet memories to let him sleep at night. Anyway, in case you think the humor in this song is unintended, look at that album cover: the B-side is called “You Give Good Boogie”; this man has a good sense of humor, and I rest my case.
I can’t find anything easily on the internet about Cugini (isn’t that the name for clam-shell-shaped pasta?) and really I don’t need to; there’s no reason for me to believe that this guy is more than a one-off. I’m content with knowing that “Let Me Sleep Alone” exists and smiling to myself whenever someone is describes as having “a lot of class.”