Disco is a musical style originating in the early 1970s. It began to
emerge from America's urban nightlife scene, where it had been
curtailed to house parties and makeshift discotheques from the middle
of the decade onwards, after which, it began making regular mainstream
appearances, gaining popularity and increasing airplay on radio. Its
popularity was achieved sometime during the mid-1970s to the early
1980s. Its initial audiences in the U.S. were club-goers, both male
and female, from the African American, Italian American, Latino,
gay, and psychedelic communities in
Philadelphia and New York City
during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Disco can be seen as a reaction
against both the domination of rock music and the stigmatization of
dance music by the counterculture during this period. Several dances
styles were also developed during this time including the Bump and the
The disco sound often has several components, a "four-on-the-floor"
beat, an eighth note (quaver) or 16th note (semi-quaver) hi-hat
pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat, and a prominent,
syncopated electric bass line. In most disco tracks, string sections,
horns, electric piano, and electric rhythm guitars create a lush
background sound. Orchestral instruments such as the flute are often
used for solo melodies, and lead guitar is less frequently used in
disco than in rock. Many disco songs use electronic synthesizers,
particularly in the late 1970s.
Well-known disco performers include Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Gloria
Gaynor, KC and the Sunshine Band, the Village People, Thelma Houston,
and Chic. While performers and singers garnered much public
attention, record producers working behind the scenes played an
important role in developing the "disco sound". Many non-disco artists
recorded disco songs at the height of disco's popularity, and films
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Thank God It's Friday (1978)
contributed to disco's rise in mainstream popularity.
By the late 1970s, most major U.S. cities had thriving disco club
scenes, where DJs would mix a seamless sequence of dance records.
Studio 54, a venue popular among celebrities, was a well-known disco
club of that time. Discotheque-goers often wore expensive, extravagant
and sexy fashions. There was also a thriving drug subculture in the
disco scene, particularly for drugs that would enhance the experience
of dancing to the loud music and the flashing lights, such as cocaine
and Quaaludes, a drug that was so common in disco subculture that it
was nicknamed "disco biscuits".
Disco clubs were also sometimes
associated with promiscuity.
Disco was the last mass popular music movement that was driven by the
baby boom generation.
Disco was a worldwide phenomenon, but its
popularity drastically declined in the United States in 1980, and by
1982 it had lost most of its mainstream popularity in the states.
Disco Demolition Night, an anti-disco protest held in
Chicago on July
12, 1979, remains the most well-known of several "backlash" incidents
across the country that symbolized disco's declining fortune.
Disco was a key influence in the later development of electronic dance
music and house music.
Disco has had several revivals, including in
2005 with Madonna's highly successful album Confessions on a Dance
Floor, and again in 2013 and 2014, as disco-styled songs by artists
Daft Punk (with
Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers), Justin
Timberlake, Breakbot, and Bruno Mars—notably Mars' "Uptown
Funk"—filled the pop charts in the UK and the US.
1.1 Origins of the term and type of nightclub
1.1.1 Early to Mid 1970s United Kingdom Usage
1.2 1966–74: Proto-disco and early history of disco music
1.3 1974–77: Rise to the mainstream
1.4 1977–79: Pop pre-eminence
1.5 Reasons for popularity
1.6 1979–81: Backlash and decline
1.6.1 Impact on music industry
1.6.2 Factors contributing to disco's decline
1.7 2000–present: Success of nu-disco and disco revival
2 Regional scenes
2.1 Role of Motown
2.2 Euro disco
3 Musical characteristics
Disco clubs and culture
4.3 Drug subculture and sexual promiscuity
5 Influence on other music
Post-disco and dance
5.2 TV themes
5.3 DJ culture
Hip hop and electro
5.6 House music
6 See also
7 References and notes
8 Further reading
9 External links
Origins of the term and type of nightclub
The term disco is derived from discothèque (French for "library of
phonograph records", but it was subsequently used as a term for
nightclubs in Paris). By the early 1940s, the terms disc jockey and DJ
were in use to describe radio presenters. During WWII, because of
restrictions set in place by the Nazi occupiers, jazz dance halls in
Occupied France played records instead of using live music. Eventually
more than one of these jazz venues had the proper name discothèque.
By 1959, the term was used in Paris to describe any of these type of
nightclubs. That year, a young reporter named Klaus Quirini started to
select and introduce records at the Scotch-Club in Aachen, West
Germany. By the following year the term was being used in the United
States to describe that type of club, and a type of dancing in those
clubs. By 1964, discotheque and the shorthand disco were used to
describe a type of sleeveless dress worn when going out to nightclubs.
In September 1964, Playboy magazine used the word disco as a shorthand
for a discothèque-styled nightclub.
Early to Mid 1970s United Kingdom Usage
In 1974 there were an estimated 25,000 mobile discos and 40,000
professional disc jockeys in the United Kingdom. Mobile Discos
referred to Disc Jockeys for hire that brought their own equipment to
office parties, weddings and the like. "
Disco Dance Music" referred to
Simon Reynolds has described Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll
Part 2 as the first hybrid disco-rock song.
1966–74: Proto-disco and early history of disco music
In Philadelphia, R&B musicians and audiences from the Black,
Italian, and Latino communities adopted several traits from the hippie
and psychedelia subcultures. They included using music venues with a
loud, overwhelming sound, free-form dancing, trippy lighting, colorful
costumes, and the use of hallucinogenic drugs. Psychedelic
soul groups like the Chambers Brothers and especially Sly and the
Family Stone influenced proto-disco acts such as Isaac Hayes, Willie
Hutch and the soul style known as the
Philadelphia Sound. In
addition, the perceived positivity, lack of irony, and earnestness of
the hippies informed proto-disco music like MFSB's album Love Is the
Message. To the mainstream public M.F.S.B. stood for "Mother
Father Sister Brother"; to the tough areas where they came from it was
understood to stand for "Mother Fuckin' Son of a Bitch", a reference
to their playing skill and musical prowess.
A forerunner to disco-style clubs was the private dance parties held
New York City
New York City DJ
David Mancuso in The Loft, a members-only club in
his home in 1970. When Mancuso threw his first house parties, the
gay community (members of whom comprised much of The Loft's attendee
roster) was often harassed by police in New York gay bars and dance
clubs. But at The Loft and many other early, private discotheques, men
could dance together without fear of police action thanks to Mancuso's
underground business model. The first article about disco was written
in 1973 by
Vince Aletti for
Rolling Stone magazine. In 1974, New
WPIX-FM premiered the first disco radio show.
Philadelphia soul and
New York soul
New York soul were evolutions of the Motown
sound, and were typified by the lavish percussion, lush string
orchestra arrangements and expensive record production processes that
became a prominent part of mid-1970s disco songs. Early songs with
disco elements include "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (the Supremes, 1966),
"Soul Makossa" (Manu Dibango, 1972), "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
(1972) Eddie Kendricks' "Keep on Truckin'" (1973) and "The Love I
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (1973). "Love Train" by the
O'Jays (1972), with M.F.S.B. as the backup band, hit Billboard Number
1 in March 1973, and has been called "disco".
Major disco clubs had lighted dance floors, with the lights flashing
to complement the beat.
Early disco was dominated by record producers and labels such as
Salsoul Records (Ken, Stanley, and Joseph Cayre), West End Records
(Mel Cheren), Casablanca (Neil Bogart), and Prelude (Marvin
Schlachter), to name a few. The genre was also shaped by Tom Moulton,
who wanted to extend the enjoyment of dance songs — thus creating
the extended mix or "remix", going from a three-minute 45 rpm single
to the much longer 12" record. Other influential DJs and remixers who
helped to establish what became known as the "disco sound" included
David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Shep Pettibone, Larry Levan, Walter
Gibbons, and Chicago-based Frankie Knuckles.
Frankie Knuckles was not
only an important disco DJ; he also helped to develop house music in
the 1980s, a contribution which earned him the honourific title of
"Godfather of House".
"The [disco] DJ was central to the ritual of 1970's dance culture, but
the dancing crowd was no less important, and it was the combination of
these two elements that created the conditions for the dance floor
dynamic." In disco parties and clubs, a "...good DJ didn't only
lead dancers...[to the dance floor,] but would also feel the mood of
the dance floor and select records according to this energy (which
could be communicated by the vigor of the dancing, or level of the
crowd's screams, or sign language of dancers directed towards the
booth)." Disco-era DJs would often remix (re-edit) existing songs
using reel-to-reel tape machines, and add in percussion breaks, new
sections, and new sounds. DJs would select songs and grooves according
to what the dancers wanted, transitioning from one song to another
DJ mixer and using a microphone to introduce songs and speak to
the audiences. Other equipment was added to the basic DJ setup,
providing unique sound manipulations, such as reverb, equalization,
and echo effects unit. Using this equipment, a DJ could do effects
such as cutting out all but the throbbing bassline of a song, and then
slowly mixing in the beginning of another song using the DJ mixer's
Disco hit the television airwaves with the music/dance variety show
Soul Train in 1971 hosted by Don Cornelius, then Marty Angelo's Disco
Television Show in 1975, Steve Marcus'
77, Eddie Rivera's Soap Factory, and Merv Griffin's Dance Fever,
hosted by Deney Terrio, who is credited with teaching actor John
Travolta to dance for his role in the hit movie, Saturday Night Fever,
as well as DANCE, based out of Columbia, South Carolina.
1974–77: Rise to the mainstream
Carl Douglas feat.
Biddu - "Kung Fu Fighting" (1974)
"Kung Fu Fighting" (1974), performed by
Carl Douglas and produced by
Biddu, helped popularize disco music.
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Giorgio Moroder is known as the "Father of
From 1974 to 1977, disco music continued to increase in popularity as
many disco songs topped the charts. In 1974, "Love's Theme" by Barry
White's Love Unlimited
Orchestra became the second disco song to reach
number one on the Billboard Hot 100, after "Love Train".
released "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)", featuring vocals by the
Three Degrees, and this was the third disco song to hit number one;
"TSOP" was written as the theme song for Soul Train.
The Hues Corporation's 1974 "Rock the Boat", a U.S. number 1 single
and million-seller, was one of the early disco songs to hit number 1.
The same year saw the release of "Kung Fu Fighting", performed by Carl
Douglas and produced by Biddu, which reached number 1 in both the U.K.
and U.S., and became the best-selling single of the year and one
of the best-selling singles of all time with eleven million records
sold worldwide, helping to popularize disco music to a great
extent. Another notable chart-topping disco hit that year was
George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby".
Gloria Gaynor in 1976.
In the northwestern sections of the United Kingdom, the Northern Soul
explosion, which started in the late 1960s and peaked in 1974, made
the region receptive to Disco, which the region's Disc Jockeys were
bringing back from New York City. George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby"
became the United Kingdom's first number one disco single.
Also in 1974,
Gloria Gaynor released the first side-long disco mix
vinyl album, which included a remake of the Jackson 5's "Never Can Say
Goodbye" and two other songs, "Honey Bee" and her disco version of
"Reach Out (I'll Be There)", first hit number one on the Billboard
disco/dance charts in November 1974. Gaynor's number one disco hit was
"I Will Survive", released in 1978, which was seen as a symbol of
female strength and a gay anthem. Also in the mix, Vincent
Orchestra contributed with their 1975 Latin flavored
orchestral dance hit "Salsoul Hustle", reaching number 4 in the
Billboard Dance Chart and the 1976 hits "Tangerine" and "Nice 'n'
Harry Wayne Casey
Harry Wayne Casey ("KC") and Richard Finch, Miami's KC and
the Sunshine Band had a string of disco-definitive top-five hits
between 1975 and 1977, including "Get Down Tonight", "That's the Way
(I Like It)", "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty", "I'm Your
Boogie Man" and "Keep It Comin' Love". Electric Light Orchestra's 1975
hit "Evil Woman", although described as Orchestral Rock, featured a
violin sound that became a staple of disco. In 1979, however, ELO did
release two "true" disco songs: "Last Train To London" and "Shine A
Donna Summer 1977
In 1975, American singer and songwriter
Donna Summer recorded a song
which she brought to her producer
Giorgio Moroder entitled "Love to
Love You Baby" which contained a series of simulated orgasms. The song
was never intended for release but when Moroder played it in the clubs
it caused a sensation. Moroder released it and it went to number 2. It
has been described as the arrival of the expression of raw female
sexual desire in pop music. A 17-minute
12 inch single
12 inch single was released.
The 12" single became and remains a standard in discos today.
In 1977 Summer released "I Feel Love", which combined disco with its
Hi-NRG and electronic music, was a massive world wide hit. In
1978, her multi-million selling vinyl single disco version of
"MacArthur Park" was number one on the
Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100 chart for
three weeks and was nominated for the
Grammy Award for Best Female Pop
Vocal Performance. Summer's recording, which was included as part of
the "MacArthur Park Suite" on her double album Live and More, was
eight minutes and forty seconds long on the album. The shorter
seven-inch vinyl single version of the MacArthur Park was Summer's
first single to reach number one on the Hot 100; it does not include
the balladic second movement of the song, however. A 2013 remix of
"Mac Arthur Park" by Summer hit number 1 on the Billboard Dance Charts
marking five consecutive decades with a number 1 hit on the
charts. From 1978 to 1979, Summer continued to release hits such
as "Last Dance", "Bad Girls", "Heaven Knows", "No More Tears (Enough
Is Enough)", "Hot Stuff", "Dim All the Lights", and "On the Radio",
all very successful songs, landing in the top five or better, on the
Billboard pop charts.
Bee Gees used Barry Gibb's falsetto to garner hits such as "You
Should Be Dancing", "Stayin' Alive", "Night Fever", "More Than A
Woman" and "Love You Inside Out". Andy Gibb, a younger brother to the
Bee Gees, followed with similarly-styled solo hits such as "I Just
Want to Be Your Everything", "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" and
"Shadow Dancing". In 1975, hits such as Van McCoy's "The Hustle" and
Summer's version of "Could It Be Magic" brought disco further into the
mainstream. Other notable early disco hits include The Hues
Corporation's "Rock the Boat" (1974), Barry White's "You're the First,
the Last, My Everything" (1974), Labelle's "Lady Marmalade"
(1975),Silver Convention's "Fly Robin Fly" (1975) and Johnny Taylor's
Disco Lady (1976).
1977–79: Pop pre-eminence
Yvonne Elliman - "If I Can't Have You" (1977)
Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You," written by the
Bee Gees (1977)
from Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track, the
best-selling soundtrack album of all time.
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In December 1977, the film
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever was released. It was a
huge success and its soundtrack became one of the best-selling albums
of all time. The idea for the film was sparked by a 1976 New York
magazine article titled "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night"
which supposedly chronicled the disco culture in mid-1970s New York
City, but was later revealed to have been fabricated. Some critics
said the film "mainstreamed" disco, making it more acceptable to
heterosexual white males.
Chic was formed mainly by guitarist
Nile Rodgers — a self described
"street hippie" from late 1960s New York — and bassist Bernard
Edwards. "Le Freak" was a popular 1978 single of theirs that is
regarded as an iconic song of the genre. Other hits by
the often-sampled "Good Times" (1979) and "Everybody Dance" (1979).
The group regarded themselves as the disco movement's rock band that
made good on the hippie movement's ideals of peace, love, and freedom.
Every song they wrote was written with an eye toward giving it "deep
hidden meaning" or D.H.M.
Bee Gees had several disco hits on the soundtrack of Saturday
Night Fever in 1977
Sylvester, a flamboyant and openly gay singer famous for his soaring
falsetto voice, scored his biggest disco hits in 1979 – "You Make Me
Feel (Mighty Real)", and "Dance (
Disco Heat)", his singing style was
said to have influenced the singer Prince. At that time, disco was one
of the forms of music most open to gay performers.
Village People were a singing/dancing group created by Jacques
Henri Belolo to target disco's gay audience. They were
known for their onstage costumes of typically male-considered jobs and
ethnic minorities and achieved mainstream success with their 1978 hit
song,"Macho Man", other songs include "Y.M.C.A." (1979) and "In the
The Jacksons (previously "the Jackson 5") did many disco songs from
1975 to 1980, including "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" (1978),
"Blame it on the Boogie" (1978), "Lovely One" (1980), and "Can You
Feel It" (1980)—all sung by Michael Jackson, whose 1979 solo album,
Off the Wall, included several disco hits, including the album's title
song, "Rock with You", "Workin' Day and Night", and his second
chart-topping solo hit in the disco genre, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get
Blondie - "Heart of Glass" (1978)
Blondie's "Heart of Glass" (1978) combined disco with new wave music,
Roland CR-78 drum machine.
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Disco's popularity led many non-disco pop and some rock artists to
record disco songs at the height of its popularity. Many of their
songs were not "pure" disco, but were instead rock or pop songs with
(sometimes inescapable) disco influence or overtones. Notable examples
include funk artist Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman" (1978), Earth, Wind
& Fire's "September" (1978) and "Boogie Wonderland" with the
Emotions (1979), Blondie's "Heart of Glass" (1979), Cher's "Take Me
Home" (1979), Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" (1978), David Bowie's "John
I'm Only Dancing (Again)" (1979), Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm
Sexy?" (1979), Frankie Valli's "Swearin' to God" (1975) and "Grease"
(1978, the only disco song on the soundtrack to the film of the same
name), George Benson's "Give Me the Night" (1980), Diana Ross's "Love
Elton John and Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My
Heart" (1976), M's "Pop Muzik" (1979), Barbra Streisand's "The Main
Event" (1979), Dan Hartman's "Instant Replay" (1978), and Steely
Dan’s “Peg” (1977). The biggest hit by Ian Dury and the
Blockheads, best known as a new wave band, was "Hit Me with Your
Rhythm Stick" (1978), featuring a strong disco sound.
Even hard-core mainstream rockers mixed elements of disco with their
typical rock 'n roll style in songs.
Progressive rock group Pink
Floyd, when creating their rock opera The Wall, used disco-style
components in their song, "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2"
(1979)—which became the group's only number 1 hit single (in
both the US and UK). The Eagles gave nods to disco with "One of These
Nights" (1975) and "
Disco Strangler" (1979), Paul McCartney &
Wings did "Goodnight Tonight" (1979), Queen did "Another One Bites the
Dust" (1980), the Rolling Stones did "Miss You" (1978) and "Emotional
Rescue" (1980), Electric Light Orchestra's "Shine a Little Love" and
"Last Train to London" (both 1979),
Chicago did "Street Player"
(1979), the Kinks did "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" (1979), Bryan
Adams did "Let Me Take You Dancing" (1978), the
Grateful Dead did
"Shakedown Street", and the
J. Geils Band
J. Geils Band did "Come Back" (1980). Even
hard rock group KISS jumped in with "I Was Made For Lovin' You"
(1979). Ringo Starr's album
Ringo the 4th
Ringo the 4th (1978) features a strong
[clarification needed]The disco sound was also adopted by "non-pop"
artists, including the 1979 U.S. number one hit "No More Tears (Enough
Is Enough)" by
Easy listening singer
Barbra Streisand in a duet with
Country music artist
Connie Smith covered Andy Gibb's "I
Just Want to Be Your Everything" in 1977, Bill Anderson did "Double S"
in 1978, and
Ronnie Milsap recorded "Get It Up" and covered Tommy
Tucker's "Hi-Heel Sneakers" in 1979.
Also noteworthy are John Paul Young's "Love Is in the Air" (1977),
Patrick Hernandez's "Born to Be Alive" (1978), Cheryl Lynn's "Got to
Be Real" (1978), Evelyn "Champagne" King's "Shame" (1978), Sister
Sledge's "We Are Family" (1979), Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell" (1979),
Lipps Inc.'s "Funkytown" (1979), Geraldine Hunt's "Can't Fake the
Feeling" (1980), Alicia Bridges' "I Love the Nightlife" (1978) and
Walter Murphy's various attempts to bring classical music to the
mainstream, most notably his disco hit "A Fifth of Beethoven" (1976),
which was inspired by Beethoven's fifth symphony.
The a cappella jazz group the
Manhattan Transfer had a disco hit with
the 1979 "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone" theme.
Pre-existing non-disco songs and standards would frequently be
"disco-ized" in the 1970s. The rich orchestral accompaniment that
became identified with the disco era conjured up the memories of the
big band era—which brought out several artists that recorded and
disco-ized some big band arrangements including Perry Como, who
re-recorded his 1929 and 1939 hit, "Temptation", in 1975, as well as
Ethel Merman, who released an album of disco songs entitled The Ethel
Album in 1979.
Myron Floren, second-in-command on The Lawrence Welk Show, released a
recording of the "
Clarinet Polka" entitled "
Bobby Vinton adapted "The Pennsylvania Polka" into a song
Easy listening icon Percy Faith, in one of his
last recordings, released an album entitled
Disco Party (1975) and
recorded a disco version of his famous "Theme from A Summer Place" in
Classical music was even adapted for disco, notably Walter
Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven" (1976, based on the first movement of
Beethoven's 5th Symphony) and "Flight 76" (1976, based on
Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee"), and Louis Clark's Hooked
On Classics series of albums and singles.
Notable disco hits based on movie and television themes included a
medley from Star Wars, "
Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" (1977) by Meco,
and "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone" (1979) by the
I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy theme was not spared from being disco-ized. Many
original television theme songs of the era also showed a strong disco
influence, such as "Keep Your Eye On the Sparrow" (theme from Baretta,
Sammy Davis, Jr. and later a hit single for Rhythm
Heritage), "Theme from S.W.A.T." (from S.W.A.T, original and single
versions by Rhythm Heritage), and Mike Post's "Theme from Magnum,
Several parodies of the disco style were created. Rick Dees, at the
time a radio DJ in Memphis, Tennessee, recorded "
Disco Duck" (1976)
and "Dis-Gorilla" (1977);
Frank Zappa parodied the lifestyles of disco
dancers in "
Disco Boy" on his 1976
Zoot Allures album, and in "Dancin'
Fool" on his 1979
Sheik Yerbouti album; "Weird Al" Yankovic's
eponymous 1983 debut album includes a disco song called "Gotta
Boogie", an extended pun on the similarity of the disco move to the
American slang word "booger". Comedian
Bill Cosby devoted his entire
Disco Bill to disco parodies.
Reasons for popularity
The reflective light disco ball was a fixture on the ceilings of many
By the mid-1970s, the United States was dealing with the aftermath of
Vietnam War and the
Watergate scandal. Also by this time the
economic prosperity of the previous decade had declined, and
unemployment, inflation and crime rates had soared.
Disco music and
disco dancing provided an escape from these negative economic issues.
As well, in the 1970s, the key counterculture of the 1960s, the hippie
movement, was fading away. The disco movement was far more than just
music. It was also a subculture based around nightclubs, dance clubs,
and DJs. In Beautiful Things in Popular Culture, Simon Frith
highlights the sociability of disco and its roots in 1960s
counterculture. "The driving force of the New York underground dance
scene in which disco was forged was not simply that city's complex
ethnic and sexual culture but also a 1960s notion of community,
pleasure and generosity that can only be described as hippie," he
says. "The best disco music contained within it a remarkably powerful
sense of collective euphoria."
Roger Ebert called the popular embrace of disco's
exuberant dance moves an escape from "the general depression and
drabness of the political and musical atmosphere of the late
seventies." Pauline Kael, writing about the disco-themed film
Saturday Night Fever, said the film and disco itself touched on
"something deeply romantic, the need to move, to dance, and the need
to be who you'd like to be. Nirvana is the dance; when the music
stops, you return to being ordinary."
1979–81: Backlash and decline
Man wearing a
Disco Sucks T-shirt.
By the end of the 1970s, a strong anti-disco sentiment developed among
rock fans and musicians, particularly in the United States.
Disco was criticized as mindless, consumeristic, overproduced and
escapist. The slogans "disco sucks" and "death to disco"
became common. Rock artists such as
Rod Stewart and
David Bowie who
added disco elements to their music were accused of being sell
The punk subculture in the United States and United Kingdom was often
hostile to disco (although in the UK, many early
Sex Pistols fans
such as the
Bromley Contingent and Jordan quite liked disco, often
congregating at nightclubs such as Louise's in Soho and the Sombrero
in Kensington. The track "Love Hangover" by Diana Ross, the house
anthem at the former, was cited as a particular favourite by many
early UK Punks. Also, the film
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and
its soundtrack album contained a disco medley of
Sex Pistols songs,
entitled Black Arabs and credited to a group of the same name.) Jello
Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, in the song "Saturday Night Holocaust",
likened disco to the cabaret culture of Weimar-era
Germany for its
apathy towards government policies and its escapism. Mark Mothersbaugh
Devo said that disco was "like a beautiful woman with a great body
and no brains", and a product of political apathy of that era. New
Jersey rock critic
Jim Testa wrote "Put a Bullet Through the Jukebox",
a vitriolic screed attacking disco that was considered a punk call to
arms. Steve Hillage, shortly prior to his transformation from a
progressive rock musician into an electronic artist at the end of the
1970s with the inspiration of disco, disappointed his rockist fans by
admitting his love for disco, with Hillage recalling "it's like I'd
killed their pet cat."
Anti-disco sentiment was expressed in some television shows and films.
A recurring theme on the show
WKRP in Cincinnati
WKRP in Cincinnati was a hostile
attitude towards disco music. In one scene of the 1980 comedy film
Airplane!, a city skyline features a radio tower with a neon-lighted
station callsign. A disc jockey voiceover says: "WZAZ in Chicago,
where disco lives forever!" Then a wayward airplane slices the radio
tower with its wing, the voiceover goes silent, and the lighted
callsign goes dark.
July 12, 1979, became known as "the day disco died" because of Disco
Demolition Night, an anti-disco demonstration in a baseball
Comiskey Park in Chicago. Rock-station DJs Steve
Dahl and Garry Meier, along with Michael Veeck, son of
Sox owner Bill Veeck, staged the promotional event for disgruntled
rock fans between the games of a White Sox doubleheader. The event,
which involved exploding disco records, ended with a riot, during
which the raucous crowd tore out seats and pieces of turf, and caused
other damage. The
Chicago Police Department made numerous arrests, and
the extensive damage to the field forced the White Sox to forfeit the
second game to the
Detroit Tigers, who had won the first game.
Six months prior to the chaotic event (in December 1978), popular
progressive rock radio station WDAI (WLS-FM) had suddenly switched to
an all-disco format, disenfranchising thousands of
Chicago rock fans
and leaving Dahl unemployed. WDAI, who despite surviving the backlash
and still had good ratings at this point, continued to play Disco
until it flipped to a short-lived hybrid Top 40/Rock format in May
Disco outlet that also competed against WDAI at the
time, WGCI-FM, would later incorporate R&B and Pop Songs into the
format, eventually evolving into an Urban Contemporary outlet that it
continues with today. The latter also helped brought the House Music
genre to the airwaves, ending the backlash somewhat with Chicago
emerging as the birthplace of the
House music genre.
On July 21, 1979, the top six records on the U.S. music charts were
disco songs. By September 22, there were no disco songs in the US
Top 10 chart, with the exception of Herb Alpert's instrumental "Rise,"
a smooth jazz composition with some disco overtones. Some in the
media, in celebratory tones, declared disco "dead" and rock
revived. Karen Mixon Cook, the first female disco DJ, stated that
people still pause every July 12 for a moment of silence in honor of
Disco. Dahl stated in a 2004 interview that disco was "probably on its
way out. But I think it [
Disco Demolition Night] hastened its
Impact on music industry
The anti-disco backlash, combined with other societal and radio
industry factors, changed the face of pop radio in the years following
Disco Demolition Night. Starting in the 1980s, country music began a
slow rise in American main pop charts. Emblematic of country music's
rise to mainstream popularity was the commercially successful 1980
movie Urban Cowboy. Somewhat ironically, the star of the film was John
Travolta, who only three years before had starred in Saturday Night
Fever, a film that featured disco culture.
During this period of decline in disco's popularity, several record
companies folded, were reorganized, or were sold. In 1979, MCA Records
purchased ABC Records, absorbed some of its artists, and then shut the
RSO Records founder
Robert Stigwood left the label in 1981
TK Records closed in the same year.
Salsoul Records continues to
exist in the 2000s, but primarily is used as a reissue brand.
Casablanca Records had been releasing fewer records in the 1980s, and
was shut down in 1986 by parent company PolyGram.
Many groups that were popular during the disco period subsequently
struggled to maintain their success—even those that tried to adapt
to evolving musical tastes. The Bee Gees, for instance, had only one
top-10 hit (1989's "One") and three more top-40 hits (despite
recording and releasing far more than that and completely abandoning
disco in their 1980s and 1990s songs) in the United States after the
1970s, even though numerous songs they wrote and had other artists
perform were successful. Of the handful of groups not taken down by
disco's fall from favor, Kool and the Gang, Donna Summer, the
Michael Jackson in particular—stand out: In spite of
having helped define the disco sound early on, they continued to
make popular and danceable, if more refined, songs for yet another
generation of music fans in the 1980s and beyond. Earth, Wind &
Fire also survived the disco backlash and continued to produce hits at
roughly the same pace for several more years, in addition to an even
longer string of R&B chart hits that lasted into the 1990s.
Factors contributing to disco's decline
Village People group were created to target disco's gay audience
by featuring popular gay fantasy personae. For example, one of the
performers is dressed as a black leather-clad "Leatherman".
Factors that have been cited as leading to the decline of disco in the
United States include economic and political changes at the end of the
1970s, as well as burnout from the hedonistic lifestyles led by
participants. In the years since
Disco Demolition Night, some
social critics have described the backlash as implicitly macho and
bigoted, and an attack on non-white and non-heterosexual
cultures. The backlash also made its way into US politics
with the election of conservative
Ronald Reagan in 1980 which also led
to Republican control of the
United States Senate
United States Senate for the first time
since 1954, plus the subsequent rise of the
Religious Right around the
In January 1979, rock critic
Robert Christgau argued that homophobia,
and most likely racism, were reasons behind the backlash, a
conclusion seconded by John Rockwell. Craig Werner wrote: "The
Anti-disco movement represented an unholy alliance of funkateers and
feminists, progressives and puritans, rockers and reactionaries.
Nonetheless, the attacks on disco gave respectable voice to the
ugliest kinds of unacknowledged racism, sexism and homophobia."
Legs McNeil, founder of the fanzine Punk, was quoted in an interview
as saying, "the hippies always wanted to be black. We were going,
'f**k the blues, f**k the black experience'." He also said that disco
was the result of an "unholy" union between homosexuals and
Steve Dahl, who had spearheaded
Disco Demolition Night, denied any
racist or homophobic undertones to the promotion, saying, "It's really
easy to look at it historically, from this perspective, and attach all
those things to it. But we weren't thinking like that." It has
been noted that British punk rock critics of disco were very
supportive of the pro-black/anti-racist reggae genre as well as the
more pro-gay new romantics movement. Christgau and
Jim Testa have
said that there were legitimate artistic reasons for being critical of
In 1979, the music industry in the United States underwent its worst
slump in decades, and disco, despite its mass popularity, was blamed.
The producer-oriented sound was having difficulty mixing well with the
industry's artist-oriented marketing system. Harold Childs, senior
vice president at A&M Records, told the
Los Angeles Times that
"radio is really desperate for rock product" and "they're all looking
for some white rock-n-roll".
Gloria Gaynor argued that the music
industry supported the destruction of disco because rock music
producers were losing money and rock musicians were losing the
spotlight. However, disco music remained relatively successful in
the early 1980s, with big hits like Irene Cara's "Flashdance... What a
Feeling", Michael Jackson's "Thriller", K.C. and the Sunshine Band's
last major hit, "Give It Up", and Madonna's first album had strong
Record producer Giorgio Moroder's soundtracks to
Flashdance and Scarface (which also had a heavy disco
influence) proved that the style was still very much embraced. Queen's
Hot Space was inspired by the genre as well.
In the 1990s, disco and its legacy became more accepted by music
artists and listeners alike, as more songs and films were released
that referenced disco. Examples of songs during this time that were
influenced by disco included Deee-Lite's "Groove Is in the Heart"
(1990), U2's "Lemon" (1993), Blur's "Girls & Boys" (1994) &
"Entertain Me" (1995), Pulp's "
Disco 2000" (1995), and Jamiroquai's
"Canned Heat" (1999), while films such as
Boogie Nights (1997) and The
Last Days of
Disco (1998) featured primarily disco soundtracks.
2000–present: Success of nu-disco and disco revival
Students from Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education,
Mexico City dancing to disco during a cultural event on campus
In the early 2000s, an updated genre of disco called "nu-disco" began
breaking into the mainstream. A few examples like Daft Punk's "One
More Time" and Kylie Minogue's "Love At First Sight" became club
favorites and commercial successes. Several nu-disco songs were
crossovers with funky house, such as Spiller's "Groovejet (If This
Ain't Love)" and Modjo's "Lady (Hear Me Tonight)", both songs sampling
older disco songs and both reaching number 1 on the UK Singles Chart
in 2000. Robbie Williams' disco hit "Rock DJ" was the UK's fourth
best-selling single the same year. Rock band Manic Street Preachers
released a disco song, "Miss Europa
Disco Dancer", in 2001. The song's
disco influence, which appears on Know Your Enemy, was described as
being "much-discussed". In 2005, Madonna immersed herself in the
disco music of the 1970s, and released her album Confessions on a
Dance Floor to rave reviews. In addition to that, her song "Hung Up"
became a major top ten hit and club staple, and sampled ABBA's 1970s'
hit "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)". In addition to her
disco-influenced attire to award shows and interviews, her Confessions
Tour also incorporated various elements of the 1970s, such as disco
balls, a mirrored stage design, and the roller derby.
The success of the "nu-disco" revival of the early 2000s was described
by music critic Tom Ewing as more interpersonal than the pop music of
the 1990s: "The revival of disco within pop put a spotlight on
something that had gone missing over the 90s: a sense of music not
just for dancing, but for dancing with someone.
Disco was a music of
mutual attraction: cruising, flirtation, negotiation. Its dancefloor
is a space for immediate pleasure, but also for promises kept and
otherwise. It’s a place where things start, but their resolution,
let alone their meaning, is never clear. All of 2000s great disco
number ones explore how to play this hand. Madison Avenue look to
impose their will upon it, to set terms and roles.
Spiller is less
rigid. 'Groovejet' accepts the night’s changeability, happily sells
out certainty for an amused smile and a few great one-liners."
In 2013, several 1970s' style disco and funk songs charted, and the
pop charts had more dance songs than at any other point since the late
1970s. The biggest disco hit of the year as of June was "Get
Lucky" by Daft Punk, featuring
Nile Rodgers on guitar. Random Access
Memories also ended up winning
Album of the Year at the 2014
Grammys. Other disco-styled songs that made it into the top 40
were Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (No. 1), Justin Timberlake's "Take
Back the Night" (No. 29), Bruno Mars' "Treasure" (No. 5) and
Michael Jackson's posthumous release "Love Never Felt So Good" (No.
9). In addition, Arcade Fire's
Reflektor featured strong disco
elements. In 2014, disco music could be found in Lady Gaga's
Artpop and Katy Perry's "Birthday". Other disco songs from
2014 include "I Want It All" By
Karmin and 'Wrong Club" by the Ting
Other top ten hits from 2015 like Mark Ronson's disco groove-infused
"Uptown Funk", Maroon 5's "Sugar", the Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face"
and Jason Derulo's "Want To Want Me" also ascended the charts and have
a strong disco influence.
Disco mogul and producer Giorgio Moroder
also re-appeared with his new album Déjà Vu in 2015 which has proved
to be a modest success. Other songs from 2015 like "I Don't Like It, I
Love It" by Flo Rida, "Adventure of a Lifetime" by Coldplay, "Back
Robin Thicke and "Levels" by
Nick Jonas feature disco
elements as well. In 2016, disco songs or disco-styled pop songs are
showing a strong presence on the music charts as a possible backlash
to the '80s-styled Synthpop, Electro House and Dubstep that have been
dominating the current charts. Justin Timberlake's 2016 song "Can't
Stop the Feeling!", which shows strong elements of disco, became the
26th song to debut at number-one on the
Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100 in the
history of the chart. The Martian, a 2015 film, extensively uses disco
music as a soundtrack, although for the main character, astronaut Mark
Watney, there's only one thing worse than being stranded on Mars: it's
being stranded on Mars with nothing but disco music. "Kill the
Lights", featured on an episode of the HBO television series "Vinyl"
(2016) and with Nile Rodgers' guitar licks, hit no. 1 on the US Dance
chart in July 2016.
Role of Motown
Diana Ross in 1976
Diana Ross was one of the first
Motown artists to embrace the disco
sound with her successful 1976 outing "Love Hangover" from her
self-titled album. Her 1980 dance classics "Upside Down" and "I'm
Coming Out" were written and produced by
Nile Rogers and Bernard
Edwards of the group Chic. the Supremes, the group that made Ross
famous, scored a handful of hits in the disco clubs without Ross, most
notably 1976's "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking" and, their last
charted single before disbanding, 1977's "You're My Driving Wheel".
At the request of
Motown that he produce songs in the disco genre,
Marvin Gaye released "Got to Give It Up" in 1978, despite his dislike
of disco. He vowed not to record any songs in the genre, and actually
wrote the song as a parody.
Stevie Wonder released the disco single
"Sir Duke" in 1977 as a tribute to Duke Ellington, the influential
jazz legend who had died in 1974.
Smokey Robinson left the Motown
group the Miracles for a solo career in 1972 and released his third
A Quiet Storm
A Quiet Storm in 1975, which spawned and lent its name to
the "Quiet Storm" musical programming format and subgenre of R&B.
It contained the disco hit "Baby That's Backatcha". Other Motown
artists who scored disco hits include: Robinson's former group, the
Miracles, with "Love Machine" (1975),
Eddie Kendricks with "Keep On
Truckin'" (1973), the Originals with "Down to Love Town" (1976) and
Thelma Houston with her cover of the Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
song "Don't Leave Me This Way" (1976). The label continued to release
successful disco songs into the 1980s with Rick James' "Super Freak"
(1981), and the Commodores' "Lady (You Bring Me Up)" (1981).
Several of Motown's solo artists who left the label went on to have
successful disco hits. Mary Wells, Motown's first female superstar
with her signature song "My Guy" (written by Smokey Robinson),
abruptly left the label in 1964. She briefly reappeared on the charts
with the disco song "Gigolo" in 1980. Jimmy Ruffin, the elder brother
of the Temptations lead singer David Ruffin, was also signed to
Motown, and released his most successful and well-known song "What
Becomes of the Brokenhearted" as a single in 1966. Ruffin eventually
left the record label in the mid-1970s but had a 1980 hit with the
disco song "Hold On (To My Love)", which was written and produced by
Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, for his album Sunrise. Edwin Starr, most
famous for his
Motown protest song "War" (1970), reentered the charts
in 1979 with a pair of disco songs, "Contact" and "H.A.P.P.Y. Radio".
Kiki Dee became the first white British singer to sign with
the US, and released one album, Great Expectations (1970), and two
singles "The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday" (1970) and "Love
Makes The World Go Round" (1971), the latter giving her first ever
chart entry (number 87 on the US Chart). She soon left the company and
signed with Elton John's The Rocket Record Company, and in 1976 had
her biggest and best-known hit, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", a disco
duet with John. The song was intended as an affectionate disco-style
pastiche of the
Motown sound, in particular the various duets recorded
Marvin Gaye with
Tammi Terrell and Kim Weston. Michael Jackson
released many successful solo singles under the
Motown label, like
"Got To Be There" (1971), "Ben" (1972) and a cover of Bobby Day's
"Rockin' Robin" (1972). He went on to score hits in the disco genre
with "Rock with You" (1979), "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (1979)
and "Billie Jean" (1983) for Epic Records.
Motown groups who had left the record label charted with disco
Michael Jackson was the lead singer of the Jackson 5, one of
Motown's premier acts in the early 1970s. They left the record company
in 1975 (Jermaine Jackson, however, remained with the label) after
hits like "I Want You Back" (1969) and "ABC" (1970), and even the
disco hit "Dancing Machine" (1974). Renamed as 'the Jacksons' (as
Motown owned the name 'the Jackson 5'), they went on to find success
with disco songs like "Blame It on the Boogie" (1978), "Shake Your
Body (Down to the Ground)" (1979) and "Can You Feel It?" (1981) on the
Epic label. the Isley Brothers, whose short tenure at the company had
produced the hit "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" in 1966,
went on release successful disco songs like "That Lady" (1973) and
Disco Night (Rock Don't Stop)" (1979). Gladys Knight and the
Pips, who recorded the most successful version of "I Heard It Through
the Grapevine" (1967) before Marvin Gaye, scored hits such as "Baby,
Don't Change Your Mind" (1977) and "Bourgie, Bourgie" (1980) in the
The Detroit Spinners
The Detroit Spinners were also signed to the
Motown label and had a
hit with the Stevie Wonder-produced song "It's A Shame" in 1970. They
left soon after, on the advice of fellow
Detroit native Aretha
Franklin, to Atlantic Records, and there had disco hits like "The
Rubberband Man" (1976). In 1979, they released a successful cover of
Elton John's "Are You Ready for Love", as well as a medley of the Four
Seasons' song "Working My Way Back to You" and Michael Zager's
"Forgive Me, Girl". The Four Seasons themselves were briefly signed to
Motown's MoWest label, a short-lived subsidiary for R&B/soul
artists based on the West Coast, and there the group produced one
album, Chameleon (1972) - to little commercial success in America.
However, one single, "The Night", was released in Britain in 1975, and
thanks to popularity from the
Northern Soul circuit, reached number 7
on the UK Singles Chart. The Four Seasons left
Motown in 1974 and went
on to have a disco hit with their song "December, 1963 (Oh, What a
Night)" (1975) for Warner Curb Records.
Norman Whitfield was a producer at Motown, renowned for creating
innovative "psychedelic soul" songs. The genre later developed into
funk, and from there into disco. The Undisputed Truth, a Motown
recording act assembled by Whitfield to experiment with his
psychedelic soul production techniques, found success with their 1971
song "Smiling Faces Sometimes". The disco single "You + Me = Love"
(number 43) in 1976, which also made number 2 on the US Dance Charts.
In 1977, singer, songwriter and producer
Willie Hutch signed with
Whitfield's new label. He had been signed to
Motown since 1970, scored
a disco hit with his song "In and Out". The group
Rose Royce produced
the album soundtrack to the 1976 film Car Wash, which contained the
huge disco hit "Car Wash".
Stacy Lattisaw signed with
Motown after achieving success in
the disco genre. In 1980, she released her album Let Me Be Your Angel,
which produced the disco hits "Dynamite" and "Jump to the Beat" on the
Cotillion label. Lattisaw continued to enjoy success as a contemporary
R&B/pop artist throughout the 1980s. She signed with
1986, and achieved most success when teaming up with Johnny Gill,
releasing the 1989 song "Where Do We Go From Here?" from her last ever
album, What You Need, before retiring. In addition, her first ever
single, back in 1979, was a disco cover of "When You're Young and in
Love", which was most famously recorded by
Motown female group the
Marvelettes in 1967.
Additionally, the debut single of Shalamar, the group originally
created as a disco-driven vehicle by
Soul Train creator Don Cornelius,
was "Uptown Festival" (1977), a medley of 10 classic
Motown songs sung
over a 1970s disco beat.
Main article: Euro disco
Donna Summer - "I Feel Love" (1977)
Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" (1977), produced by Giorgio Moroder, was
Euro disco song.
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As disco's popularity sharply declined in the United States, abandoned
by major U.S. record labels and producers, European disco continued
evolving within the broad mainstream pop music scene. European
acts Silver Convention, Love and Kisses, Munich Machine, and American
Donna Summer and the Village People, were acts that defined the
Euro disco sound. Producers Giorgio Moroder, whom AllMusic
described as "one of the principal architects of the disco sound" with
Donna Summer hit "I Feel Love" (1977), and Jean-Marc Cerrone
were involved with Euro disco. The German group
Kraftwerk also had an
influence on Euro disco.
ABBA in 1974.
Dalida in 1967.
By far the most successful
Euro disco act was ABBA. This Swedish
quartet, which sang in English, had hits such as "Waterloo" (1974),
"Fernando" (1976), "Take a Chance on Me" (1978), "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
(A Man After Midnight)" (1979), and their signature smash "Dancing
Queen" (1976)—ranks as the eighth best-selling act of all time.
Other prominent European pop and disco groups were
Luv' from the
Netherlands and Boney M., a group of four West Indian singers and
dancers masterminded by West German record producer Frank Farian.
Boney M. charted worldwide hits with such songs as "Daddy Cool", "Ma
Baker" and "Rivers Of Babylon". Another
Euro disco act was the French
Amanda Lear, where Euro-disco sound is most heard in Enigma ("Give A
Bit Of Mmh To Me") song (1978).
Dalida released "J'attendrai" ("I Will Wait"), the first
major French disco hit, which also became a big hit in Canada, Europe
Dalida successfully adjusted herself to disco era and
released at least a dozen of songs that charted among top number 10 in
Europe and wider. Claude François, who re-invented himself as
the king of French disco, released "La plus belle chose du monde", a
French version of the
Bee Gees hit record, "Massachusetts", which
became a big hit in
Europe and "Alexandrie Alexandra" was
posthumously released on the day of his burial and became a worldwide
hit. Cerrone's early hit songs, "Love in C Minor", "Give Me Love" and
"Supernature" became major hits in the U.S. and Europe.
Dancers at a German discoteque in 1977
Raffaella Carrà is the most successful disco act. Her
greatest international hit single was "Tanti Auguri" ("Best Wishes"),
which has become a popular song with gay audiences. The song is also
known under its Spanish title "Para hacer bien el amor hay que venir
al sur" (which refers to Southern Europe, since the hit was recorded
and taped in Spain). The Estonian version of the song "Jätke võtmed
väljapoole" was performed by Anne Veski. "A far l'amore comincia tu"
("To make love, your move first") was another success for her
internationally, known in Spanish as "En el amor todo es empezar", in
German as "Liebelei", in French as "Puisque tu l'aimes dis le lui",
and in English as "Do It, Do It Again". It was her only entry to the
UK Singles Chart, reaching number 9, where she remains a one-hit
wonder. In 1977, she recorded another hit single, "Fiesta" ("The
Party" in English) originally in Spanish, but then recorded it in
French and Italian after the song hit the charts. "A far l'amore
comincia tu" has also been covered in Turkish by a Turkish popstar
Ajda Pekkan as "Sakın Ha" in 1977. Recently, Carrà has gained new
attention for her appearance as the female dancing soloist in a 1974
TV performance of the experimental gibberish song
"Prisencolinensinainciusol" (1973) by Adriano Celentano. A remixed
video featuring her dancing went viral on the internet in
2008. In 2008 a video of a performance of her
only UK hit single, 'Do It, Do It Again', was featured in the Dr. Who
episode 'Midnight'. Rafaella Carrà worked with
Bob Sinclar on the new
single "Far l'Amore" which was released on
YouTube on March 17, 2011.
The song charted in different European countries.
Disco bass pattern. Play (help·info)
Rock & disco drum patterns: disco features greater subdivision of
the beat, which is four-to-the-floor Play (help·info)
Chic – "Good Times" (1979).
Disco composition, frequently sampled in
early hip hop music.
Chic – "Le Freak"
Chic – "Le Freak" (1978).
Disco composition that does not use
Sister Sledge – "Got to Love Somebody"
Sister Sledge – "Got to Love Somebody" (1979). Example demonstrates
the use of keyboards and horns in disco music.
Sister Sledge – "Reach Your Peak"
Sister Sledge – "Reach Your Peak" (1980). Example demonstrates the
use of electric guitar and vocals in disco music.
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The music typically layered soaring, often-reverberated vocals, often
doubled by horns, over a background "pad" of electric pianos and
"chicken-scratch" rhythm guitars played on an electric guitar. "The
'chicken scratch' sound is achieved by lightly pressing the strings
against the fretboard and then quickly releasing them just enough to
get a slightly muted scratching [sound] while constantly strumming
very close to the bridge." Other backing keyboard instruments
include the piano, electric organ (during early years), string synth,
and electromechanical keyboards such as the
Fender Rhodes electric
Wurlitzer electric piano, and Hohner Clavinet. Synthesizers are
also fairly common in disco, especially in the late 1970s.
The rhythm is laid down by prominent, syncopated basslines (with heavy
use of broken octaves, that is, octaves with the notes sounded one
after the other) played on the bass guitar and by drummers using a
drum kit, African/Latin percussion, and electronic drums such as
Simmons and Roland drum modules. The sound was enriched with solo
lines and harmony parts played by a variety of orchestral instruments,
such as harp, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, saxophone, trombone,
clarinet, flugelhorn, French horn, tuba, English horn, oboe, flute
(sometimes especially the alto flute and occasionally bass flute),
piccolo, timpani and synth strings, string section or a full string
Most disco songs have a steady four-on-the-floor beat, a quaver or
semi-quaver hi-hat pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat, and a
heavy, syncopated bass line. Other Latin rhythms such as the rhumba,
the samba and the cha-cha-cha are also found in disco recordings, and
Latin polyrhythms, such as a rhumba beat layered over a merengue, are
commonplace. The quaver pattern is often supported by other
instruments such as the rhythm guitar and may be implied rather than
Songs often use syncopation, which is the accenting of unexpected
beats. In general, the difference between a disco, or any dance song,
and a rock or popular song is that in dance music the bass drum hits
four to the floor, at least once a beat (which in 4/4 time is 4 beats
per measure), whereas in rock the bass hits on one and three and lets
the snare take the lead on two and four (the "backbeat").
further characterized by a 16th note division of the quarter notes as
shown in the second drum pattern below, after a typical rock drum
The orchestral sound usually known as "disco sound" relies heavily on
string sections and horns playing linear phrases, in unison with the
soaring, often reverberated vocals or playing instrumental fills,
while electric pianos and chicken-scratch guitars create the
background "pad" sound defining the harmony progression. Typically,
all of the doubling of parts and use of additional instruments creates
a rich "wall of sound". There are, however, more minimalistic flavors
of disco with reduced, transparent instrumentation, pioneered by Chic.
Giorgio Moroder again became responsible for a development in
Donna Summer and
Pete Bellotte he wrote the song "I
Feel Love" for Summer to perform. It became the first well-known disco
hit to have a completely synthesised backing track. The song is still
considered to have been well ahead of its time. Other disco producers,
most famously Tom Moulton, grabbed ideas and techniques from dub music
(which came with the increased Jamaican migration to
New York City
New York City in
the 1970s) to provide alternatives to the "four on the floor" style
that dominated. DJ
Larry Levan utilized styles from dub and jazz and
remixing techniques to create early versions of house music that
sparked the genre.
The "disco sound" was much more costly to produce than many of the
other popular music genres from the 1970s. Unlike the simpler,
four-piece band sound of the funk, soul of the late 1960s, or the
small jazz organ trios, disco music often included a large pop band,
with several chordal instruments (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer),
several drum or percussion instruments (drumkit, Latin percussion,
electronic drums), a horn section, a string orchestra, and a variety
of "classical" solo instruments (for example, flute, piccolo, and so
Disco songs were arranged and composed by experienced arrangers and
orchestrators, and record producers added their creative touches to
the overall sound using multitrack recording techniques and effects
units. Recording complex arrangements with such a large number of
instruments and sections required a team that included a conductor,
copyists, record producers, and mixing engineers. Mixing engineers had
an important role in the disco production process, because disco songs
used as many as 64 tracks of vocals and instruments. Mixing engineers
and record producers, under the direction of arrangers, compiled these
tracks into a fluid composition of verses, bridges, and refrains,
complete with orchestral builds and breaks. Mixing engineers and
record producers helped to develop the "disco sound" by creating a
distinctive-sounding, sophisticated disco mix.
Early records were the "standard" 3 minute version until Tom
Moulton came up with a way to make songs longer. Moulton wanted to
make longer songs, so that he could take a crowd of dancers at a club
to another level and keep them dancing longer. He found that was
impossible to make the 45-RPM vinyl discs of the time longer, as they
could usually hold no more than 5 minutes of good-quality music.
With the help of José Rodriguez, his remasterer/mastering engineer,
he pressed a single on a 10" disc instead of 7". They cut the next
single on a 12" disc, the same format as a standard album. Moulton and
Rodriguez discovered that these larger records could have much longer
songs and remixes. Twelve-inch records, even for singles, fast became
the standard format for all DJs of the disco genre.
Because record sales were often dependent on dance floor play by DJs
in leading nightclubs, DJs were also important to the development and
popularization of disco music. By selecting and playing disco songs,
DJs helped to make certain songs more or less popular. Notable disco
DJs include the first female disco DJ in the US, Karen Mixon Cook, and
many other DJs, such as Jim Burgess, Walter Gibbons, John "Jellybean"
Benitez, Richie Kaczar of Studio 54, Rick Gianatos,
Francis Grasso of
Sanctuary, Larry Levan,
Ian Levine and David Mancuso. DJs not only
played songs in clubs; they also remixed, looped and live-mixed these
songs from the DJ booth, changing the ways songs sounded. For example,
a DJ might use the intro or bassline from a popular disco track and
beatmatch and layer the vocals from a second song over top. As well,
some DJs were also record producers who created and produced disco
songs in the recording studio. Larry Levan, for example, is as well
known for his prolific record producer work as for his contributions
as a DJ.
Disco clubs and culture
See also: Circuit parties
Blue disco quad roller skates.
By the late 1970s most major U.S. cities had thriving disco club
scenes, but the largest scenes were in San Francisco, Miami, and most
notably New York City. The scene was centered on discotheques,
nightclubs, and private loft parties where DJs would play disco hits
from discs and records through PA systems for the patrons who came to
dance. Powerful, bass-heavy, hi-fi sound systems were viewed as a key
part of the disco club experience. "Mancuso introduced the
technologies of tweeter arrays (clusters of small loudspeakers, which
emit high-end frequencies, positioned above the floor) and bass
reinforcements (additional sets of subwoofers positioned at ground
level) at the start of the 1970s in order to boost the treble and bass
at opportune moments, and by the end of the decade sound engineers
such as Richard Long had multiplied the effects of these innovations
in venues such as the Garage." The DJs played "... a smooth
mix of long single records to keep people 'dancing all night
long'". Some of the most prestigious clubs had elaborate lighting
systems that throbbed to the beat of the music.
In the 1970s, notable discos included "Artemis" in Philadelphia,
"Studio One" in Los Angeles, "Leviticus" in New York, "Dugan's Bistro"
in Chicago, and "The Library" in Atlanta. In the late 70s,
Studio 54 in
New York City
New York City was arguably the most well known nightclub
in the world. This club played a major formative role in the growth of
disco music and nightclub culture in general. The Copacabana, another
New York nightclub dating to the 1940s, had a revival in the late
1970s when it embraced disco; it would become the setting of a Barry
Manilow hit song of the same name.
Disco dancers typically wore loose slacks for men and flowing dresses
for women, which enabled ease of movement on the dance floor.
In the early years, dancers in discos danced in a "hang loose" or
"freestyle" approach. At first, many dancers improvised their own
dance styles and dance steps. Later in the disco era, popular dance
styles were developed, including the "Bump", "Penguin", "Boogaloo",
"Watergate" and the "Robot". By October 1975 The Hustle reigned. It
was highly stylized, sophisticated and overtly sexual. Variations
included the Brooklyn Hustle,
New York Hustle and Latin Hustle.
During the disco era, many nightclubs would commonly host disco dance
competitions or offer free dance lessons. Some cities had disco dance
instructors or dance schools, which taught people how to do popular
disco dances such as "touch dancing, "the hustle, and the cha cha. The
pioneer of disco dance instruction was Karen Lustgarten in San
Francisco in 1973. Her book The Complete Guide to
(Warner Books, 1978) was the first to name, break down and codify
popular disco dances as dance forms and distinguish between disco
freestyle, partner and line dances. The book hit the New York Times
bestseller list for 13 weeks and was translated into Chinese, German
In Chicago, the Step By Step disco dance TV show was launched with the
sponsorship support of the Coca-Cola company. Produced in the same
Don Cornelius used for the nationally syndicated
dance/music television show, Soul Train, Step by Step's audience grew
and the show became a success. The dynamic dance duo of Robin and
Reggie led the show. The pair spent the week teaching disco dancing to
dancers in the disco clubs. The instructional show which aired on
Saturday mornings had a following of dancers who would stay up all
night on Fridays so they could be on the set the next morning, ready
to return to the disco on Saturday night knowing with the latest
personalized dance steps. The producers of the show, John Reid and
Greg Roselli, routinely made appearances at disco functions with Robin
and Reggie to scout out new dancing talent and promote upcoming events
such as "
Disco Night at White Sox Park".
Some notable professional dance troupes of the 1970s included Pan's
People and Hot Gossip. For many dancers, a key source of inspiration
for 1970s disco dancing was the film
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever (1977). This
developed into the music and dance style of such films as Fame (1980),
Disco Dancer (1982),
Flashdance (1983), and The Last Days of Disco
(1998). Interest in disco dancing also helped spawn dance competition
TV shows such as
Dance Fever (1979).
Disco fashions were very trendy in the late 1970s. Discothèque-goers
often wore glamorous, expensive and extravagant fashions for nights
out at their local disco club. Some women would wear sheer, flowing
dresses, such as
Halston dresses or loose, flared pants. Other women
wore tight, revealing, sexy clothes, such as backless halter tops,
"hot pants" or body-hugging spandex bodywear or "catsuits". Men
would wear shiny polyester
Qiana shirts with colourful patterns and
pointy, extra wide collars, preferably open at the chest. Men often
Pierre Cardin suits, three piece suits with a vest and
double-knit polyester shirt jackets with matching trousers known as
the leisure suit. Men's leisure suits were typically form-fitted in
some parts of the body, such as the waist and bottom, but the lower
part of the pants were flared in a bell bottom style, to permit
freedom of movement.
During the disco era, men engaged in elaborate grooming rituals and
spent time choosing fashion clothing, both activities that would have
been considered "feminine" according to the gender stereotypes of the
era. Women dancers wore glitter makeup, sequins or gold lamé
clothing that would shimmer under the lights. Bold colours were
popular for both genders. Platform shoes and boots for both genders
and high heels for women were popular footwear. Necklaces and
medallions were a common fashion accessory. Less commonly, some disco
dancers wore outlandish costumes, dressed in drag, covered their
bodies with gold or silver paint, or wore very skimpy outfits leaving
them nearly nude; these uncommon get-ups were more likely to be seen
New York City
New York City loft parties and disco clubs.
Drug subculture and sexual promiscuity
Cocaine is a psychoactive white powder that is typically administered
via insufflation into the nasal cavity.
In addition to the dance and fashion aspects of the disco club scene,
there was also a thriving club drug subculture, particularly for drugs
that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud, bass-heavy
music and the flashing coloured lights, such as cocaine (nicknamed
"blow"), amyl nitrite "poppers", and the "... other
quintessential 1970s club drug Quaalude, which suspended motor
coordination and gave the sensation that one's arms and legs had
turned to "Jell-O."
Quaaludes were so popular at disco clubs that
the drug was nicknamed "disco biscuits".
Paul Gootenberg states that "[t]he relationship of cocaine to 1970s
disco culture cannot be stressed enough..." During the 1970s, the
use of cocaine by well-to-do celebrities led to its "glamorization"
and to the widely held view that it was a "soft drug".
also popular because its stimulating effect "...fueled all-night
parties" at disco clubs. LSD, marijuana, and "speed"
(amphetamines) were also popular in disco clubs, and the use of these
drugs "...contributed to the hedonistic quality of the dance floor
experience." Since disco dances were typically held in liquor
licensed-nightclubs and dance clubs, alcoholic drinks were also
consumed by dancers; some users intentionally combined alcohol with
the consumption of other drugs, such as Quaaludes, for a stronger
According to Peter Braunstein, the "massive quantities of drugs
ingested in discotheques produced the next cultural phenomenon of the
disco era: rampant promiscuity and public sex. While the dance floor
was the central arena of seduction, actual sex usually took place in
the nether regions of the disco: bathroom stalls, exit stairwells, and
so on. In other cases the disco became a kind of 'main course' in a
hedonist's menu for a night out." At The Saint nightclub, a high
percentage of the gay male dancers and patrons would have sex in the
club; they typically had unprotected sex, because in 1980, HIV-AIDS
had not yet been identified. At The Saint, "...dancers would
elope to an un[monitored] upstairs balcony to engage in sex." The
promiscuity and public sex at discos was part of a broader trend
towards exploring a freer sexual expression in the 1970s, an era that
is also associated with "swingers clubs, hot tubs, [and] key
Famous disco bars included the
Paradise Garage and
Crisco Disco as
well as "... cocaine-filled celeb hangouts such as Manhattan's
Studio 54," which was operated by
Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager.
Studio 54 was notorious for the hedonism that went on within; the
balconies were known for sexual encounters, and drug use was rampant.
Its dance floor was decorated with an image of the "Man in the Moon"
that included an animated cocaine spoon.
Influence on other music
Post-disco and dance 
Post-disco and Electronic dance music
The transition from the late-1970s disco styles to the early-1980s
dance styles was marked primarily by the change from complex
arrangements performed by large ensembles of studio session musicians
(including a horn section and an orchestral string section), to a
leaner sound, in which one or two singers would perform to the
accompaniment of synthesizer keyboards and drum machines.
In addition, dance music during the 1981–83 period borrowed elements
from blues and jazz, creating a style different from the disco of the
1970s. This emerging music was still known as disco for a short time,
as the word had become associated with any kind of dance music played
in discothèques. Examples of early-1980s' dance sound performers
include D. Train, Kashif, and Patrice Rushen. These changes were
influenced by some of the notable R&B and jazz musicians of the
1970s, such as Stevie Wonder, Kashif and Herbie Hancock, who had
pioneered "one-man-band"-type keyboard techniques. Some of these
influences had already begun to emerge during the mid-1970s, at the
height of disco's popularity.
During the first years of the 1980s, the disco sound began to be
phased out, and faster tempos and synthesized effects, accompanied by
guitar and simplified backgrounds, moved dance music toward the funk
and pop genres. This trend can be seen in singer Billy Ocean's
recordings between 1979 and 1981. Whereas Ocean's 1979 song American
Hearts was backed with an orchestral arrangement played by the Los
Symphony Orchestra, his 1981 song "One of Those Nights (Feel
Like Gettin' Down)" had a more bare, stripped-down sound, with no
orchestration or symphonic arrangements. This drift from the original
disco sound is called post-disco. In this music scene there are rooted
subgenres, such as Italo disco, techno, house, dance-pop, boogie, and
early alternative dance. During the early 1980s, dance music
dropped the complicated song structure and orchestration that typified
the disco sound.
During the 1970s, many TV theme songs were produced (or older themes
updated) with disco influenced music. Examples include S.W.A.T.
(1975), Wonder Woman (1975),
Charlie's Angels (1976), NBC Saturday
Night At The Movies (1976),
The Love Boat
The Love Boat (1977), The Donahue Show
CHiPs (1977), The Professionals (1977), Three's Company
(1977), Dallas (1978),
NBC Sports broadcasts (1978),
Kojak (1977), The
Hollywood Squares (1979). The British science fiction program Space:
1999 (1975) also featured a soundtrack strongly influenced by disco,
especially in the show's second season.
See also: List of DJ Magazine's Top 100 DJs
The precise variable pitch control on the
Technics SL-1200 MK2, first
sold in 1978, helped DJs to develop better beatmatching, a crucial
skill for creating a seamless transition from one song to another.
The rising popularity of disco came in tandem with developments in the
role of the DJ. DJing developed from the use of multiple record
turntables and DJ mixers to create a continuous, seamless mix of
songs, with one song transitioning to another with no break in the
music to interrupt the dancing. The resulting
DJ mix differed from
previous forms of dance music in the 1960s, which were oriented
towards live performances by musicians. This in turn affected the
arrangement of dance music, since songs in the disco era typically
contained beginnings and endings marked by a simple beat or riff that
could be easily used to transition to a new song. The development of
DJing was also influenced by new turntablism techniques, such as
beatmatching, a process facilitated by the introduction of new
turntable technologies such as the
Technics SL-1200 MK 2, first sold
in 1978, which had a precise variable pitch control and a direct drive
motor. DJs were often avid record collectors, who would hunt through
used record stores for obscure soul records and vintage funk
recordings. DJs helped to introduce rare records and new artists to
In the 1970s, individual DJs became more prominent, and some DJs, such
as Larry Levan, the resident at Paradise Garage, Jim Burgess, Tee
Francis Grasso became famous in the disco scene. Levan, for
example, developed a cult following amongst club-goers, who referred
to his DJ sets as "Saturday Mass". Some DJs would use reel to reel
tape recorders to make remixes and tape edits of songs. Some DJs who
were making remixes made the transition from the DJ booth to becoming
a record producer, notably Burgess. Scott developed several
innovations. He was the first disco DJ to use three turntables as
sound sources, the first to simultaneously play two beatmatched
records, the first user of electronic effects units in his mixes and
an innovator in mixing dialogue in from well-known movies into his
mixes, typically over a percussion break. These mixing techniques were
also applied to radio DJs, such as Ted Currier of
WKTU and WBLS.
Grasso is particularly notable for taking the DJ “profession out of
servitude and [making] the DJ the musical head chef”. Once he
entered the scene, the DJ was no longer responsible for waiting on the
crowd hand and foot, meeting their every song request. Instead, with
increased agency and visibility, the DJ was now able to use his own
technical and creative skills to whip up a nightly special of
innovative mixes, refining his personal sound and aesthetic, and
building his own reputation. Known as the first DJ to create a take
his audience on a narrative, musical journey, Grasso discovered that
music could effectively shift the energy of the crowd, and even more,
that he had all this power at his fingertips.
Main article: Rave
Strobing lights flash at a rave dance event in Vienna, 2005
About five years after the disco era came to a close in the late
1970s, rave culture began to emerge from the acid house scene.
Rave culture incorporated disco culture's same love of dance music
played by DJs over powerful sound systems, recreational drug and club
drug exploration, sexual promiscuity, and hedonism. Although disco
culture started out underground, it eventually thrived in the
mainstream by the late 1970s, and major labels commodified and
packaged the music for mass consumption. In contrast, the rave culture
started out underground and stayed underground. In part this was to
avoid the animosity that was still surrounding disco and dance music.
The rave scene also stayed underground to avoid law enforcement
attention that was directed at the rave culture due to its use of
secret, unauthorized warehouses for some dance events and its
association with illegal club drugs like Ecstasy.
Hip hop and electro
Hip hop music
Hip hop music and Electro (music)
The disco sound had a strong influence on early hip hop. Most of the
early hip hop songs were created by isolating existing disco
bass-guitar lines and dubbing over them with MC rhymes. The Sugarhill
Gang used Chic's "Good Times" as the foundation for their 1979 hit
"Rapper's Delight", generally considered to be the song that first
popularized rap music in the United States and around the world. In
Afrika Bambaataa released the single "Planet Rock", which
incorporated electronica elements from Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe
Express" and "Numbers" as well as YMO's "Riot in Lagos".
The Planet Rock sound also spawned a hip hop electronic dance trend,
electro music, which included songs such as Planet Patrol's "Play at
Your Own Risk" (1982), C Bank's "One More Shot" (1982), Cerrone's
"Club Underworld" (1984), Shannon's "Let the Music Play" (1983),
Freeez's "I.O.U." (1983), Midnight Star's "Freak-a-Zoid" (1983), Chaka
Khan's "I Feel For You" (1984).
Main article: House music
Like disco, house music was based around DJs creating mixes for
dancers in clubs. Pictured is DJ Miguel Migs, mixing using DJ-CD
House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in
Chicago in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in Chicago,
House music quickly spread to other American cities such
as Detroit, New York City, and Newark – all of which developed their
own regional scenes. In the mid-to-late 1980s, house music became
Europe as well as major cities in South America, and
Australia. Early house music commercial success in
songs such as "Pump Up The Volume" by
MARRS (1987), "House Nation" by
House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy of House (1987), "Theme from
S'Express (1988) and "Doctorin' the House" by Coldcut
(1988) in the pop charts. Since the early to mid-1990s, house music
has been infused in mainstream pop and dance music worldwide.
Early house music was generally dance-based music characterized by
repetitive four on the floor beats, rhythms mainly provided by drum
machines, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and synthesized basslines.
While house displayed several characteristics similar to disco music,
it was more electronic and minimalistic, and the repetitive rhythm
of house was more important than the song itself. As well, house did
not use the lush string sections that were a key part of the disco
House music in the 2010s, while keeping several of these core
elements, notably the prominent kick drum on every beat, varies widely
in style and influence, ranging from the soulful and atmospheric deep
house to the more minimalistic microhouse.
House music has also fused
with several other genres creating fusion subgenres, such as euro
house, tech house, electro house and jump house.
Main article: Post-punk
The post-punk movement that originated in the late 1970s both
supported punk rock's rule breaking while rejecting its move back to
raw rock music. Post-punk's mantra of constantly moving forward
lent itself to both openness to and experimentation with elements of
disco and other styles.
Public Image Limited
Public Image Limited is considered the
first post-punk group. The group's second album
Metal Box fully
embraced the "studio as instrument" methodology of disco. The
group's founder John Lydon, the former lead singer for the Sex
Pistols, told the press that disco was the only music he cared for at
No wave was a subgenre of post-punk centered in New York City. For
shock value, James Chance, a notable member of the no wave scene,
penned an article in the East Village Eye urging his readers to move
uptown and get "trancin' with some superadioactive disco voodoo funk".
James White and the Blacks
James White and the Blacks wrote a disco album Off White.
Their performances resembled those of disco performers (horn section,
dancers and so on). In 1981
ZE Records led the transition from no
wave into the more subtle mutant disco (post-disco/punk) genre.
Mutant disco acts such as Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Was Not Was,
Liquid Liquid influenced several British post-punk acts such
as New Order, Orange Juice and A Certain Ratio.
Main article: Dance-punk
In the early 2000s the dance-punk (new rave in the United Kingdom)
emerged as a part of a broader post punk revival. It fused elements of
punk-related rock with different forms of dance music including disco.
Klaxons, LCD Soundsystem, Death From Above 1979, the Rapture and
Shitdisco were among acts associated with the
Main article: Nu-disco
Nu-disco is a 21st-century dance music genre associated with the
renewed interest in 1970s and early 1980s disco, mid-1980s Italo
disco, and the synthesizer-heavy
Euro disco aesthetics. The
moniker appeared in print as early as 2002, and by mid-2008 was used
by record shops such as the online retailers Juno and Beatport.
These vendors often associate it with re-edits of original-era disco
music, as well as with music from European producers who make dance
music inspired by original-era American disco, electro and other
genres popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is also used to
describe the music on several American labels that were previously
associated with the genres electroclash and French house.
Number-one dance hits of 1978 (USA)
Number-one dance hits of 1979 (USA)
References and notes
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Macmillan, 2006. p.204–206: " 'Broadly speaking, the typical New
York discotheque DJ is young (between 18 and 30) and Italian,'
journalist Vince Lettie declared in 1975...Remarkably, almost all of
the important early DJs were of Italian extraction...Italian Americans
have played a significant role in America's dance music
culture...While Italian Americans mostly from Brooklyn largely created
disco from scratch..."
^ Shapiro, Peter (October 27, 2017). "Turn the Beat Around: The Secret
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^ "The birth of disco". Oxford Dictionaries. October 2012. Retrieved
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^ Reynolds, Simon(2016). 'Shock and Awe. Glam Rock and Its Legacy from
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^ a b
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Retrieved on August 9, 2009.
^ (1998) "The Cambridge History of American Music",
ISBN 978-0-521-45429-2, ISBN 978-0-521-45429-2, p.372:
"Initially, disco musicians and audiences alike belonged to
marginalized communities: women, gay, black, and Latinos"
^ (2002) "Traces of the Spirit: The Religious Dimensions of Popular
Music", ISBN 978-0-8147-9809-6, ISBN 978-0-8147-9809-6,
New York City
New York City was the primary center of disco, and the
original audience was primarily gay African Americans and Latinos."
^ Psychedelic Soul Allmusic
^ "But the pre-
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever dance underground was actually
sweetly earnest and irony-free in its hippie-dippie positivity, as
evinced by anthems like M.F.S.B.'s 'Love Is the Message.'" – Village
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^ A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of
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^ "This record was a collaboration between Philip Oakey, the
big-voiced lead singer of the techno-pop band the Human League, and
Giorgio Moroder, the Italian-born father of disco who spent the '80s
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^ Paul Stanley, a guitarist for the rock group Kiss became friends
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created the first rock-disco song." Barnes, Terry (November 27, 1999).
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1 Berry, Mick & Gianni, Jason (2003). "The Drummer's Bible: How to
Play Every Drum Style from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco", p.67: "Disco
incorporates stylistic elements of Rock,
Funk and the
while also drawing from Swing, Soca, Merengue and Afro-Cuban styles",