Nutty’s Disco Week ends with his special music playlist with interesting facts…
After I posted my review of Saturday Night Fever, Thank God It’s Friday, Roller Boogie, and Skatetown U.S.A., tnothing ends this week better than my special playlist that I prepared for you guys! This playlist covers history the rise and fall of Disco music from that era. Just click the link above and let’s begin with the first part of playlist…
Act: I – In the beginning
MFSB – The Sound of Philadelphia
Van McCoy – The Hustle
Barry White – You See the Trouble With Me
Before the rise of Disco, the prototype of the genre. Four-on-the-floor drumbeat that mixed with strings and horns were basic formula of Disco songs back then. Its roots are basically Funk and Soul music. Most of songs from this era last around 3-5 minutes.
Act: II – Night Fever
Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
Tavares – More Than A Woman
Cheryl Lynn – Got To Be Real (12″ Version)
Donna Summer – I Feel Love [Extended Version]
Sylvester – You Make Me Feel Mighty Real
As I said, Saturday Night Fever heightened the popularity of Disco music from an underground movement and discotheque to a mainstream audience. Songs from the movie were extremely popular. Then, lots of people went to discotheques like Studio 54, which was the most popular one. And since music is the most important ingredient on the dancefloor, many remixers and record labels pulled out something called “Extended Remix” which is basically the same song with longer duration so everyone can have longer time of fun. There are songs that much better in an extended version than original version, like Cheryl Lynn – Got To Be Real. Also, have you ever noticed that sometimes there’s a part in these songs that has nothing but kick-drum beat? They put in the song so DJ at the night club can do a transition from first song to another song that has similar beats per minute.
In this era, Disco music is not only about strings and horns. They also emphasized on new technology like a synthesizer or higher beats-per-minute. Donna Summer’s I Feel Love is the very first song to put electronic sound in Disco record. If I remember correctly, when David Bowie and Brian Eno recorded the album “Low” in Germany, Brian heard this track and said something like “This is the future! People are going to be dancing to this kind of music for another 10-20 years!”. Yes, this is a root to any other music genre like Techno or House or Hi-NRG.
Act III – When Disco Jumped The Shark
Rod Stewart – Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?
Sesame Street – C is For Cookie
Meco – Star Wars Theme
Ethel Merman – There’s No Business Like Show Business
The downturn of Disco trend began with everybody trying to cash-in with this genre. From consumer goods to record labels, they tried so hard to connect themselves with this genre. But what about music industry? personally, I think it begins when artists like KISS, Rolling Stones, and Rod Stewart had their own Disco songs. Don’t get me wrong. I love their songs, but technically this made people took Disco less and less seriously and thought that it was just another bad fashion.
Plus, we have Disco renditions of everything. From Romeo & Juliet to Star Wars theme song to songs from Sesame Street to Ethel Merman’s songs, it became like a caricature of themselves at this point.
Act IV – The Last Day of Disco (sort of)
A Taste of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie
Earth Wind, and Fire – Boogie Wonderland
Lipps Inc – Funky Town
Most of the Disco songs at the last period are bland and not as exciting as what it used to be. This prompted media outlets to make a backlash at this trend. Like Disco Demolition Night, an infamous publicity held by Steve Dahl, a Dj who was fired from radio station that made transition from Rock radio to Disco radio, or TV series like WKRP in Cincinnati in which there’s an episode about Rock DJ who has to be host of Disco Dancing show on TV.
Luckily, there are few memorable songs from this era, including Lipps Inc. “Funky Town”, which most people regard as the last Disco song from golden era.
Act V – Rises From Ashes
Pointer Sisters – Automatic
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Although Disco’s backlash killed Bee Gees and other artists’ career, lots of artists still blended Disco music with new elements like drum machine or synthesizers to make interesting songs. We call it as “Post-Disco” genre. The best example of this genre is Michael Jackson who made one of the most popular album of 80’s, Thriller, which has several Post-Disco song like a title track or Wanna Be Startin’ Something.
And from then, dance music has evolved to many many directions, but we still remember Disco as the first one who made dancefloor become the hottest trend for the new generation.