VST & Company

VST & Company was a Filipino disco group prominent during the late 1970s in the Philippines. Considered[by whom?] to be the pioneer and icon of what is known as the Manila Sound, VST & Co. released disco singles such as "Swing It, Baby", "Magsayawan", "Ipagpatawad Mo", "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" and "Disco Fever". The group rose to fame with other bands that were grouped under the Manila Sound genre, such as Hotdog, Cinderella and The Boyfriends. VST & Co. eventually faded from popularity when OPM (Original Pilipino Music), a new musical genre, emerged and rose to prominence in the late 1970s. VST & Company was composed of Vic Sotto (vocals, musical arranger, producer), Spanky Rigor (bass, vocals, producer), Val Sotto (vocals), Celso Llarina (rhythm guitar, vocals, producer), Monet Gaskell (vocals), Male Rigor (vocals), Roger Rigor (vocals), the late Jun Medina (vocals), Joey de Leon (composer, lyricist), Homer Flores (musical arranger, keyboards), Chito Ilagan (bass), Ben Escasa (percussion), Fred Concepcion (trumpet), Boy Alcaide (drums) and Clod Baria (trombone). The all-male group's name, "V.S.T", was said to represent the names of three lead vocalists, "Val, Spanky and Tito."[citation needed] Other speculations were that the acronym stood for "Very Special Talaga", or "Vicor Super Team" — implying supremacy in the roster of Vicor Music Corporation. VST is also being used by Tito Sotto, which means "Vicente Sotto the Third" and by Vic Sotto, "Vic Sot To." Foreign artists such as the Bee Gees, ABBA and Donna Summer heavily influenced the style of VST & Company during the mid to late 1970s, when disco was the dominant musical genre that ruled the airwaves. Vic Sotto, now a prominent comedian, also wrote songs for the group and performed the single "Disco Fever" with the group. The band's lineup consisted of different Filipino musicians throughout its existence until it disbanded in the 1980s. Among the group's singles catalog are disco hits such as "Rock Baby, Rock", "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" and "Magsayawan". VST & Company used a mix of Filipino and English lyrics in some songs (e.g. "Etcetera"). The group also released love songs that can be likened to contemporary Kundiman jingles, albeit with a twist of disco, which became widely accepted by listeners. Prominent among these love songs are "Ikaw Lang Ang Aking Mahal" ("You Are my Only Love"), "Kiss...Kiss", "Ipagpatawad Mo" ("Forgive Me"), "Etcetera", "I-Swing Mo Ako" ("Swing Me"), "Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko" ("Sing it, I'll Dance it") and "Mabuti Pa Nung Bata" ("Better When We Were Young"). The band has left a lasting legacy as their disco songs are still being played in rotation, whether by radio or television, and from what is now called Philippine disco classics.