Homophobia was behind all the anti-disco hate of the 70s
We all know it, but have those trashy hard rockers from the 70s ever admitted this?
It was just as much an anti-black movement, at least effectively, since so many black performers were involved in the dance music movement.
I am a gay homosexual and I really thought disco was "okay at best" as a musical form but I knew it wouldn't last
Sorry, but it was hated because it required straight guys to at least make an effort to look good, and, more importantly, they had to know how to dance. Two big changes from rock and roll.
Of course, it didn't help that gay guys did both things better than the straight ever could.
You also have to remember that the ethics of the '70s began with rural idealism and hippie ethics. By the end of the decade the saturation of sexuality and offensive elitism of discotheques like Studio 54 created at least the illusion of a schism between the rich and the poor. It also inflamed a growing evangelical movement which did express itself as virulently homophobic once AIDS materialized.
The majority of "disco" artists were black so there certainly was an element of racism in the anti disco hatred.
[quote] I am a gay homosexual and I really thought disco was "okay at best" as a musical form but I knew it wouldn't last
Any of the straight homosexuals care to comment?
The hate stemmed from the fact that the music was mostly terrible.
R7 for the prize. With rare exceptions, the music sucked.
Perhaps but the music and lifestyle associated with disco sucked. It was lame and uncool. Let Europe keep that trash.
Only partly correct. Steve Dahl, a Chicago DJ who pretty much started the 'disco sucks' thing did so after he was fired from a rock station which flipped to Disco. Dahl himself said re: his Disco Demolition Night, "The worst thing is people calling Disco Demolition homophobic or racist. It just wasn't...we weren't thinking like that." (via Wiki)
Verdict: self-promoting douche.
Maybe it was because many people saw disco music as being uncreative and rather soulless. Let's face it, as musical genre's go, it was not very successful because it was all over after a few years.
please. There was just as much crap rock in the 70's as there was crap disco. The village People were about as representative of Disco as the Monkees were of Rock. And there were plenty of people working in dance music in the 70's like Kraftwerk,Giorgio Moroder, Gino Soccio, Niles Rogers, Roy Ayers and Arthur Russell who were some of the greatest musical innovators of the time.
If your attitude towards disco was formed by the gimmicky 1 hit wonders of the time, that speaks more to your shallow knowledge of the genre than the limitations of disco/funk/booogie/electro/italo etc as musical forms
I'm a music loving Gay man. I hated Disco and all it represented. It had nothing to do with race or orientation. Everyone I knew who hated disco hated it because it was lousy and elitist music.
r 11 it's still not over. Most of the new dance music being produced and reworked by up and coming producers today is heavily influenced by disco, and disco has been a pretty consistant influence in pop music since the early 90's and the emergence of Dee-lite.
Disco's influence is still being felt in today's music. Not bad for a soulless, uncreative and "flash in the pan" music.
I'm getting old, so my memory is fading, but did disco come before or after that brief (but oh so tragic) country/cowboy phase where everyone wore cowboy shirts and rode those mechanical bulls?
All you old ladies bitching about disco don't know what you are talking about.
Disco didn't die, it just went back underground and evolved.
[quote] Disco didn't die, it just went back underground and evolved.
Exactly. And, again, it took Europe and the rest of the world to embrace house music which was originally the sound of black gay clubs in Chicago, Detroit, and New York, before it got any airplay in America. As a kid growing up in Europe hearing those first house singles in the mid to late 80s was so exciting, it sounded like nothing else on the Top 40 radio.
It also stayed above ground as dance-pop. Madonna's entire career was based on dance music, and she's the Queen of Pop. I love how people whined about Donna Summer being nominated for the R&R Hall of Fame the same year Madonna was, but the same people weren't complaining about Madonna's nomination. I guess Donna, a vastly superior vocalist, just had too much of a tan..
For some strange reason I am remembering something from my childhood. It was on television, I think maybe the Mike Douglas show. And Anthony Newley was on. He was all excited telling everyone that he just came back from Paris and the big thing there was all the kids were dancing to Big Band music. "Its coming back folks! It back! Big Band is back!" he hollered, while the camera panned across the ecstatic reactions from the elderly and blue haired audience.
I dont know why this post is making me remember that.
Soulless and elitist are the last words I'd use to describe disco.
Who ARE you people? And yes, it heavily influenced all the "dance music" that followed. It's really all the same genre, just different names for each new incarnation.
It wasn't anti-gay or anti-black. It was, as R4 says, a reaction against what some of us saw as a fake, elitist trend. I was living in Chicago at the time (I remember Steve Dahl) and I thought it was ridiculous to have to pay a cover charge to get into a club, when there wasn't even a live band!
am a gay homosexual and I really thought disco was "okay at best" as a musical form but I knew it wouldn't last
As a musical form, it was more musical than rap.
Yes "gay homosexual" we've already heard from you. You're weird, I guess weird gay people don't like disco, the cool gays do.
People didn't steamroll over heavy metal, gangster rap or grundge records when those musical genres faded from the mainstream. Yes, it had to do with heterosexual males rejecting a genre they thought of as sissified and gay.
I preferred punk. Plenty of gay men and women were involved in early punk. The people I knew who hated disco actually loved the early disco, but not the money making PR crap it became. And yes, same thing happened to punk and most other musical genres.
Well then, can we please now have a Hip Hop Demolition movement and put this crap-music 6 feet under? This shit is played-out and should've faded away YEARS ago. I came of age in the "Hip Hop is cool and new" generation (mid/late 90s), and it speaks to the lack of creativity on the part of today's youth that they are STILL listening to music that was cool in the 90s.
[quote]all the kids were dancing to Big Band music
HUGE in 1999. What the hell happened?
Cherry Poppin' Daddy
I was born post-disco, but from what I could tell on TV/movies, it always seemed to me that disco was a type of music for gays, black people, and NY-type Italians. True or untrue?
[quote] HUGE in 1999. What the hell happened?
People got clued in on the fact that "Swingers" was not such a great movie and that Vince Vaughn wasn't the coolest guy ever.
I with you on most of your post R13. I don't like it because I find it lyrically and melody wise unimaginative and boring but I don't see it as elitist.
OP some people have more alternative taste than mainstream, it will always be that way.
I'm quite young and rock is my favorite genre but I also love disco. I think the reason it was trashed was mostly snobbery on the part of rock fans and lovers of other genres, plus other conservatives that already hated rock.
Disco wasn't meant to be deep and too complicated or revolutionary, it was dance music and as such it was perfect.
Why are some saying it's "dead"? Don't you think today's dance music is a direct descendant? Difference is that today's dance music is actually much worse than disco and it has taken over mainstream and is considered "music", not a niche - unfortunately.
Thanks for your comment, r38. I'm always suspicious of people who say they hate all disco music, since I prefer dance music but like plenty of rock too. Hating an entire genre suggests you're either very narrow-minded or there's an agenda involved.
[quote]I'm quite young
[quote]Difference is that today's dance music is actually much worse than disco and it has taken over mainstream and is considered "music"
Would that be a young at heart guy in his sixties looking for an open minded twink.
No. Many gay people, out and proud, rebelled against disco.
TO R35 I was a teen back then, you got the wrong impressing from available media. If Facebook was around you would see it differently.
I grew up in a small town, and basically, its was the first really cool thing to come around in a long time that didn't involve heavy meat noise, depressing lyrics and lame costumes.
It was fun, it had a beat, you could dance to it. So yes, gays loved it, and embraced it first like we always do.
Even if groups like the Village People are crap, it brought some gayness into music and social discussion. 70s Rock ignored gay people completely.
I also agree with the other post. The "disco sucks" phrase was an attempt by straight guys to kill the new music genre. I even remember see it on bumper stickers, like "baby on board" just as stupid.
r39, sure, there was plenty of bad disco but there was also plenty of great disco that has actually stood the test of time and has produced CLASSICS. Also, most disco singers had great voices, even amazing voices, unlike today's "great stars" that can't sing live to save their lives!
I don't see why it's so difficult to love many musical styles? They serve different purposes and moods.
Also, ALL genres have their crap!!!!
R41 your wrong unless you are like 70 years old. Every gay person I met LOVED, LOVED, LOVED disco.
I never went into a bar back then that didnt play disco or post disco. It was cool at the time and straight clubs sucked.
I agree R38 it is a direct descendant.
No need to be suspicious of people who don't like a particular genre of music. Peoples taste varies, they might enjoy a song here or there of a genre they generally don't like but most of us have decided preferences. I think my taste varies wildly but for some reason I rarely like mainstream stuff. That said I find I like a lot of the old motown.
lol r40. No, I'm a 32 year old woman.
It was pop, AM radio music, when the serious stuff was on FM. I was torn.
R41 that was because it was underground.
AM back then was where all new music was played. Not this religious/conservative crap in it now.
FM was new and high quality so the only ones who could afford to have their records played was highly financed artist backed by main stream music industry.
R25 you're right about Donna being a superior vocalist to Madonna and a legend in her own right. But Madonna is a superior everything else, it would be criminal not to induct the biggest selling, most influential and famous female music performer of all time. You can't even compare the success levels of the two, in fact Whitney should be in the R&R hall of fame before Donna. Madonna has also gotten her share of critical acclaim when she's on point that people tend to forget. Donna's success ended when the disco era came to an end, she scored 2 further top 10 hits in the 80's but her album sales were dreadful. Madonna came along and blew every female out of the water. By the way disco is still around it's just called dance music now.
R13... you think disco was "elitist" BWWAAA HAHAHAHAH AHAHAHHAAH HAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAH.
No, disco was hated because it was a shallow, disposable excuse for "music." It's only purpose was to make noise you could dance to. ANYBODY could have a disco hit; a tone-deaf porn star (Andrea True) had one. Donna Summer had a big disco hit where she simulated orgasm noises. There was a number one disco called "Disco Duck." There were a few good disco songs. But for the most part it was simply a specific type of commercial garbage. It was a FAD, and like all fads it mercifully burned out.
I'm not sure where the "elitist" vibe comes from. Disco was all about accessibility ... good beats, fun, and sex for everyone.
For the record, disco could also be "deep". Check out Donna's concept albums (Four Seasons of Love is a personal favorite).
What replaced disco was glam metal. Poison, Bon Jovi, Winger, etc. Guys made up to look androgynous or even ef-fem-n-8. I don't think homophobia was behind the disco hate, but I do think it killed glam metal.
There was a big "Disco Sucks" movement at my high school in the 70s, populated by kids who had no idea that disco music had anything to do with gay culture.
It was largely based on disdain for the overprocessed souless music, most of which really did suck if you didn't have a snootful of coke - and BTW some anti-drug sentiment was also behind "Disco Sucks". It was also based on knowing we weren't cool enough to get into discos.
r 51 you are trying to draw a line between disco and rock as if disco was wholly cheap shallow and disposable and rock was wholly profound, soulful and eternal. No such line exists. There was crap in Disco, but there was just as much crap in rock. Andrea True sucked, but so did KISS.
r1 owns this thread.
Some of anti-disco came from the fact that straight disco people tended to be insufferably smug and the other straight people didn't like this. I saw this again when Line Dancing took off, the line dancers got smug, and many people reacted against this.
If straight guys called disco "fag" it was the first use of a gay word being used synonymous to "bad." Gay guys just got caught (as usual) in the crossfire.
R51, it's been rehashed over and over in this thread, but I guess it needs to be repeated: Disco is clearly not dead. It may have faded for about a decade, but it's definitely a major force in pop music right now, if not more popular than ever. What is Gaga if not a disco artist? Madonna was a disco artist for the majority of her career. That song "I'm Glad You Came" is disco.
Anti disco hate? What are you talking about? Disco hated? It was fun and it was even chic- it brought together black and white one step more than Motown. Ever heard of Studio 54? Where does this kind of crap come from? I came of age and danced in the great clubs of NYC and elsewhere from 74 right through to the 90s when it gave way to "house" etc. I
What style was "Sing It Back" by Moloko from around 1999? It had a funky feeling that I liked.
[quote] I guess weird gay people don't like disco, the cool gays do
A revealing comment, although I suspect it wasn't meant to be. Thinking of one's self as a 'cool gay' makes other gays ignore you or roll their eyes.
Disco was never my kind of music, but everyone knows groups like the Village People (probably even including the moves in the music clips).
I learned to hate disco before I even knew what it was. Every pretentious twit who spent a summer in Europe (think of a young Gwyneth Paltrow) came back smoking unfiltered cigarettes and boring the shit out of me with "Tales From the Discotheques."
so basically, if you grew up in the city and actually got to go to the disco you loved it, but if you grew up in fly-overville and only got to see it on tv you thought it was elitist and shallow.
No amount of oversimplification will change the fact that no matter where they grew up people may find the music YOU love boring and uninspired. And visa versa.
You're trying way too hard to make it fit into a comfy little space... "it's because they from here" or "they grew up after disco" or "they hate gays"
They just have different taste than you do. What do you care? Do differences scare you that much?
Disco lasted longer than many people thought it would. What killed it was the over-commercialization, the bandwagon...everyone was doing disco, including Ethel Merman who came out with her own album. The cheap novelty crap like Disco Duck (which rhymes with Disco Suck(s) didn't help matters. When you see your parents wearing polyester pastel blue leisure suits and dancing the bump, and pointing fingers in various directions, it seemed like it was no longer cool. Because disco spanned generations it became TOO popular...and that made the downfall that much more steep.
The movie "Airplane!" had a gag where the plane is approaching a radio tower and the voiceover says "KT-- where DISCO LIVES FOREVER!" and then the plane crashes into it. Audiences would cheer. By that time, the country was ready to move on.
It never fails to surprise me how ill-informed some of your are when it comes to music.
Disco never went away. It, and hip-hop, inspired basically all dance music that has come in the years since.
Nile Rogers recalled a disco sucks rally he saw on TV where the crowd hung an image of Barry White in effigy. He was more horrified at the fact that the mostly white crowd was cheering at a black man being hanged.
"I'm not sure where the "elitist" vibe comes from. Disco was all about accessibility ... good beats, fun, and sex for everyone. "
No, it was about good beats, fun, and sex for good-looking people who could afford fancy clothes and drugs.
If I would have lived through disco, I would have LOVED that music, but it would be the anti-disco scruffy rocker boys that I would have been lusting after.
[quote]Disco never went away. It, and hip-hop, inspired basically all dance music that has come in the years since.
Hip-Hop isn't music, it's CRAP.
Oh charlie --
I thought you were old enough to recall the "Death to Disco" bonfire of dance albums in front of a full Yankee Stadium crowd in 1979.
I think your diapers need changing, Gramps at R70.
Not R70, but 27-years-old here, and while Hip-Hop was mostly crap when I was in high school (there was SOME good stuff), it is utter shit now.
I would LOVE a Hip Hop Demolition.
R72 is a retard. Hip-hop IS crap, frequently nauseating crap. I was standing at a bus stop and a car came by, with this blaring out of the stereo system:
"All you ladies pop yo' pussy like this
Shake your body, don't stop, don't miss
All you ladies pop yo' pussy like this
Shake your body, don't stop, don't miss
Just do it, do it, do it, do it, do it now
Lick it good
Suck this pussy just like you should - right now
Lick it good
Suck this pussy just like you should - my neck, my back
Lick my pussy and my crack"
To think the world was shocked when the Beatles sang 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'!
[quote]Lick it good Suck this pussy just like you should - right now Lick it good Suck this pussy just like you should - my neck, my back Lick my pussy and my crack"
Yes, R74, that song represents all of hip-hop.
My god some of you are idiots.
Some people thought it was wonderful, and loved it.
Some people thought it was crap, and hated it.
[quote]They just have different taste than you do. What do you care? Do differences scare you that much?
Ohmygod, YES! People who like what I don't like are all stupid assholes!
[quote]I was standing at a bus stop and a car came by, with this blaring out of the stereo system:
Well, that's what you get for standing at bus stops.
r74, yet you managed to figure out what song it was and found the lyrics. Admit it. You liked it.
My neck My Back by Khia is an awesome raunchy jam. I don't understand how those lyrics offend you when they are uttered by a black woman, yet you hang out on a chat room full of white men where one of the most popular catch phrases is "my pussy stinks" and popular threads include "hot guys preesented their taints"
These hip hop defenders make me feel ashamed to be of the same generation. *Facepalm*
FWIW, the raunchiness and vulgarity of the lyrics is only a tiny % of what makes the genre suck. The fact is: Hip Hop has NOT evolved for the better in the last 10-15 years. It has devolved.
It definitely makes me wish 70's disco were popular instead.
R83, you have no idea what you are talking about. And you're clearly too elderly to listen to any differing opinions, so why don't you just fuck off.
I love hip hop. It is real, raw, and creative. It is also overtly masculine. even female rappers are abashedly gangsta and Alpha,
I guess I came of age when we had songs like Sophisticated Sissy and the Sissy Strut and we didn't need all that posturing like some wild animal you've managed to cross.
[quote]I love hip hop. It is real, raw, and creative. It is also overtly masculine. even female rappers are abashedly gangsta and Alpha,
It's all NOISE.
Disco didn't make white people decamp for Country -- rap and hip-hop did.
Country and metal, actually...
[quote]And you're clearly too elderly to listen to any differing opinions, so why don't you just fuck off.
Pot, meet Kettle.
Who's getting their thong in a twist because of differing opinions.....
... why, that would be you, Pot @ R84
I wouldn't say the music sucked as much as it was repetitive.
It was also resurrected as "dance" music a few years later, beginning with songs like "Let The Music Play" by Shannon.
1979 was a fascinating year for music. No genre dominated. Many songs did turns at #1 that year, from "Love You Inside Out" to "Sad Eyes" to "The Pina Colada Song" and "My Sharona"
There's no one answer.
Surely, many people's hatred of disco actually was rooted in racism and/or homophobia.
Others, it was just the music.
Still, others a little bit of both.
And, I'm sure there were other reasons as well.
[quote] Surely, many people's hatred of disco actually was rooted in racism and/or homophobia.
Some people's hatred - yes.
Many people's hatred - no.
R13, R28, R41, R51, R61, R62, R64 are self-loathing gays. I'm sure that this problem extends way beyond disco. If we troll-dar them, we will probably find they are anti-labor snitches and anti-sex prudes as well.
Steve Dahl had a personal reason for hating disco, but all the fans at the riot were homophobes.
[quote] It was just as much an anti-black movement, at least effectively, since so many black performers were involved in the dance music movement.
Yeah, that's why white Americans hated Motown music so much.
Oh wait ... They loved Motown.
Illiterate dumbass at R84, I'm 27 and while I've never been a fan of Hip Hop, at least in the 90's there was some tiny amount of fresh talent (Lauryn Hill). Once southern Hip Hop took over from the East and West coasts, it all became truly unlistenable shit (Lil Wayne, WTF?).
If within 10 years, kids are still listening to this same Hip Hop shit, it might be the first time ever that teenagers are tuning into the same exact music as their parents. Oooh, now won't that be cool?
And if anyone sounds idiotic and pretentious, it is you, since you seem to think you know everything there is about music.
I want to hang out with R12.
I want to hang out with R25 too.
I agree that southern hip hop has pretty much ruined hip hop. It killed the lyrical mc. In the 80s you had people like Slick Rick, Biz Markie, Mc Lyte who had lyrics and could tell a story from beginning to end. You had to have talent then.
It's the same with much of the 90s. Biggie Smallz, Tupac,Nas, The Roots were serious lyricists. Again they could tell a story from beginning to end. However, today we have Soldier Boy and Little Wayne who just say any damn thing and don't make any sense. Hip Hop used to be about poetry, storytelling and it took talent and skill. Southern hip hop destroyed that. However, there are still some good acts, mostly underground/independent. I'm liking what I'm hearing from Azealia Banks.
Bless you R12 for speaking the truth.
they danced like weird chickens whose fresh kicks were headed south
Disco ran its course very quickly. It was so big,
so fast, that it wore out its welcome rather quickly. A lot of people just got sick of it.
In the late 70's through to 1981, pretty much every song in the Top 40 radio playlists was disco driven. This was a trend that had begun in July of 1974, with George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby". Retroactively, this was deemed to be the first top 40 hit from the disco genre. It was also the godfather to all of KC and the Sunshine Band and ABBA's catalogue.
But disco began a bit earlier in the dance clubs. A disc jockey would play multiple records, using transitions, which worked best with a steady 120 bpm dance rhythm. The word "disco" comes from the disc jockey's new art of turntablism.
But most music experts actually believe that the 1972 track by Manu Dibango from Cameroon "Soul Makossa" was deemed an early disco recording. Its discovery in a Brooklyn record store by a DJ with a weekly party launched the trend for a faster and more danceable black soul, with more focus on multiple instruments and less focus on funky basslines.
Soul Makossa is the source for Michael Jackson's homage to it in "Wanna Be Startin Something" and Rihanna's further homage in "Don't Stop the Music". Most anyone can recall this riff (even though it had been changed by MJ and Rihanna), as the 'mama say mama sa mama co sah', which was originally sung 'mama co mama sah mama ma co sah' by Dibango.
No one mentioned Outkast as one of the better hip-hop acts.
[quote][R13], [R28], [R41], [R51], [R61], [R62], [R64] are self-loathing gays. I'm sure that this problem extends way beyond disco. If we troll-dar them, we will probably find they are anti-labor snitches and anti-sex prudes as well.
Why yes, that's why disco and hip-hop are categorized as "progressive" music.
Rock music historians and critics generally agree that punk was a reaction to the gaudiness of 1970s stadium rock and the creation of rock royalty like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. In San Francisco, it was also understood to be a reaction to the longhair drug culture represented by the Grateful Dead. This didn’t mean that punkers didn’t do drugs, but that their consumption was not a requirement. Other musical reasons for punk would most certainly be the 1970s popularity of bands like Journey, Kansas and Foreigner that played a particular inconsequential type of rock that strayed into schlock all too often. Then there was disco; an extension of the music known as funk (which had its own roots and street credibility), disco quickly became the equivalent to the 1960s music known as bubblegum. In other words, it was easy to ignore but still catchy with about as much substance as the inside of a ping pong ball. From its roots in the urban black ghetto, disco became the symbol of the rich cocaine-fueled subculture symbolized best by Manhattan’s Studio 54. The BeeGees were the masters of this beat in its worst incarnations. Vapidity defined.
Disco was dominated by the Divas of Disco -- Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Vicki Sue Robinson, Sylvester -- a far cry from the straight white boys who ruled Rock (Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith).
If they weren't motivated by hate of gays, then why did they not also hate techno and house music with the same passion? Of course they were motivated by hate of gays. And all of you disco hating gays, you were all anti-gay bigots back then too, and probably in the closet besides!
House and Techno music had more men, masculine men, associated with it than disco, which was dominated by Diva-type women. Mainstream America tends not to like Diva type women or genres dominated by them.
The gays killed disco.
They put out that horrific piece of shit "Can't Stop the Music" and that was the end of it.
While techno music was arguably more "masculine", in the sense of R111's post, house music has always maintained very strong connection to its beginnings in black gay clubs. Most of house tracks that crossed over was fronted by big lunged black divas, more so than disco during its 70s heyday.
House music definitely has a very long associated with "flaming" gay men and fat black women, but it has been sampled enough by hip hop to have some street cred. It at least has urban (as in hip hop) sensibilities to save it from the stigma of being viewed as too effem.
Using the tools of post-feminist critical analysis, Barbara Bradby sees dance music as a culture that subjugates the female. She states that “women have once again been equated with sexuality, the body, emotion and nature in dance music, while men have been assigned to the realm of culture, technology and language.” (157) However, Bradby also acknowledges the role of female vocalists in bringing house out of the underground to reach a wider, more diverse audience. (156)
Loza identifies in her article “Sampling (hetero)sexuality” a desire to “focus on how electronic dance music, to borrow Barbara Bradby’s apt formulation, ‘samples sexuality’ in the diva loop.” (Loza 350). The diva loop became an especially common component of house tracks with modern improvements in production software, and essentially takes the tail end of a phrase and repeats it in succession in order to build the dance floor into a kind of orgiastic climax. As has proven to be the case, this effect has crossed into pop pastiche, and can be heard in the time (dirty bit)and other euro-pop hits involving female vocalists. The feminist critique re-genders the role of the diva and suggests that “each sexy computerised simulation of the diva brings the hetero male achingly closer to those essential truths of sex and race.” (Loza 353) The voice of the singer is mediated, manipulated and re-presented through the filter of the ‘masculine’ pursuit. (Amico 365) For Loza, the representation of the female in house music serves simply to celebrate the hegemony of heterosexual masculinity. Amico suggests by ‘building a climax’ through techniques like the diva loop and the breakdown, house music allows dancers to build up their “muscular masculinity”, though in this case he is referring to an idealized image of muscularity fetishized by homosexual club-goers. (361)
Masculinity is represented in house music through the composition of the rhythmic elements of the music itself. The drum, in this case the 4/4 kick drum, is the dominant representative instrument in house, and it cannot be ignored that in popular music drummers and percussionists have been overwhelmingly male. By impelling dancers into physical action – remaining on the dance floor for hours on end – the drumbeat also engenders the construction of masculinity through a physical response. (Amico 364) One who dances the night away is effectively participating in a ‘sport’ in which masculinity is perpetuated by continuous physical activity; this occurs regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the participant.
Disco was too campy and flaming for America. At least house music has tried to masculinize itself, bring in elements of hip hop.
Carlos and Carmen Vidal just had a child
A lovely girl with a crooked smile
Now they gotta split 'cause the Bronx ain't fit
For a kid to grow up in
Let's find a place they say, somewhere far away
With no blacks, no Jews and no gays
apropos of nothing
I recently acquired the 1980 album DIANA by Diana Ross which has led me to go back and check out the work of Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. They were incredible producers AND musicians. Just go back and listen to the Chic albums, WE ARE FAMILY by Sister Sledge and DIANA.
uh, ok, r117
chicago radio personality Steve Dahl, who spearheaded the Disco Demolition movement of 1979, was once accues of being racist and homophobic because he hated disco.
Actually, he hated disco becuase he got fired from a radio station that changed format from rock to disco.
His big novelty hit song, "Do You Think I'm Disco?" (a parody of Rod Stewart, of course) made fun of an Italian-American named Tony in a white three-piece suit.
To Middle America, Disco was not black or gay. it was Saturday Night Fever.
From some quarters, probably. From others, racism. From still others, dislike of plastic crap that passed itself off as disco in the mainstream.
It was a combination of things, but homophobia and racism definitely had a big part in it.
However, it was also massively commercialized and overexposed by 1979-ish, when the Disco Demolition night brought things to a pretty abrupt halt.
What was really great in the beginning had been copied, co-opted and commercialized to the point where all the unique qualities had been drained out of it.
But even post "disco" dance music had a lot of fans. As mentioned above, the Nile Rodgers sound made its way into a lot of great New Wave music. And the era from 1982-ish to the end of the 80s was possibly the most racially diverse era in the rock era.
Prince and Michael Jackson led the way, pop stars were on the R&B charts, and it was all way more diverse than before -- and more diverse than the constant, repetitive shit on Top 40 now.
Homophobia had fuck all to do with people hating disco. Average middle Americans did not go to gay clubs, and most did not have the slightest clue what kind of music was played there.
Maybe, just maybe, the repetitive synth thump thump thump beat became tiresome.
actually r117 is correct. Niles Rogers was one of the great all time producers. why the bitchy comment r118, when you yourself were just geeking out over academic analysis of the "diva loop"?
Love OutKast, R105! That's good southern hip hop. A Tribe Called Quest, Arrested Development, De La Soul, Digital Underground,Digable Planets, and on and on are truly missed. But the record labels aren't looking for talent and skill anymore, they prefer Lil Wayne.
I was lucky to have disco AND new wave as the soundtrack for my youth.
It is hard to be manly and listen to disco, unlike rock, hip hop, and soul. Even EMO is more masculine than disco.
I like reading this thread. Interesting perspectives of this time.
"that song represents all of hip-hop.
My god some of you are idiots."
You're an idiot if you think "My Neck, My Back" was an aberration. There are LOTS of hip hop songs that are nothing but shit like that. Another example is "Me So Horny" by the immortal hip hop band Two Live Crew. Their million selling album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" had the hit single that contained these lyrics:
You said it yourself, you like it like I do
Put your lips on my dick, and suck my asshole too
I'm a freak in heat, a dog without warnin'
My appetite is sex, 'cause me so horny
Fuckie suckie, fuckie suckie, me fuckie suckie
Fuckie suckie, fuckie suckie, me fuckie suckie
Fuckie suckie, suckie, me fuckie suckie
Fuckie suckie, suckie, me fuckie suckie
Fuckie suckie, fuckie suckie
Disco is now respectable. Donna Summer is about to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Push, push in the bush.
Push, push in the bush.
R130 it's about time. Anyway disco never went away, the backlash was so severe that by the early '80's they started calling disco "dance music". I mean Madonna is a disco artist through and through. Her first album in 1983 is so disco it hurts, if it were released in 1978 instead of 1983 it would of been labeled a disco album instead of a dance album.
[quote]It is hard to be manly and listen to disco, unlike rock, hip hop, and soul. Even EMO is more masculine than disco.
Some of you are so fucking ridiculous.
"Homophobia had fuck all to do with people hating disco. Average middle Americans did not go to gay clubs, and most did not have the slightest clue what kind of music was played there. "
It's true. I was a teenager who lived in Podunk suburbia then, and as far as anyone there knew, Disco was about straight people screwing around and hoovering coke.
Honestly, from what we read in the media, it seemed like the shallowest, most useless lifestyle possible. If I'd known it was part of "gay lib" (as it was known in those days), I might not have hated it quite as much.
I wasn't even alive for it, but I strongly prefer disco to rock. For one thing, disco used acoustic instruments and fabulous singers. The anti-disco movement was a bunch of fucking rockist hypocrites. There were anti-rock people in the fifties using the exact same arguments. The rockists became them on Disco Demolition Night. That was the day rock crossed the line from rebellion into out-and-out fascism.
I went to a revival house screening of [italic]Airplane![/italic] about three years ago. The anti-disco "joke" got exactly zero laughs [it also contradicts the [italic]Saturday Night Fever[/italic] parody earlier in the film], and this was with a very receptive audience who laughed at the jokes that were actually funny.
Black music was dominating the charts in the 70s. Racist DJ's and music execs didn't like it, and they started a 'disco sucks' smear campaign.
One of the most prevalent disco artists still working today, being involved with hip and exiting artists. Nile Rodgers musical genius, cancer survivor and still fab!
On the plus side: it was obvious that the creators of disco music had a solid music background, the melodies were strong/hummable and often the chord-structures had a strong jazz-influence (f.i. the use Major/minor 7th's). Today's dance music sounds monotonous to me and lacks musical substance, and is hard to enjoy unless you're on drugs.
Disco died becauase it had become worn out, particularly after Saturday Night Fever. The mustic was relatively one-dimensional. It did morph into "dance" music a few years later, so it never really died, much like "rock-n-roll" gave way to "rock."
The other factor was Studio 54's velvet rope. The hottest disco in the world built its reputation on turning people away at the door. You can do that for only so long before the party moves elsewhere, in this case to the punk scene in the village, with no VIPs and no velvet rope.
Throw in Studio 54's tax problems and closing, and you have the perfect storm for the death of disco. In no way was it racist. Hell, one of the most popular mainstream disco acts of all time was The Village People.
I was there
the people who couldn't dance not even if their lives depended on it were the ones who hated Disco Music
The fact that many gays hated disco does not signify anything but further confirmation that many gays are self-loathing. Homophobia was the core of the anti-disco hate period.
The same people who hated disco also hated musicals because, according to them, it was unnatural for people to "burst out in song." A curious business, to say the least, since no music would ever be heard anywhere ever if nobody ever "burst out" in song.
What made it annoying was that every single song, everywhere, had to be turned into a disco song. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was turned into a disco song. You turned on the radio and everything was disco. Bands like the Ramones came out of that period. There was a lot of disco backlash because it was so overdone. Some singers, like Donna Summer, were just great singers and would have sounded great singing anything. A lot of no-talents and has-beens jumped on the disco bandwagon to eke out a career.
Keep in mind, plenty of people of the era were rock purists and wanted to hear rock on the radio. Disco was like the Blob, assimilating everything that stood in its way.
Well, the toothpaste is out of the tube now. There's no squeezing it back in again.
Thank you, OP. Racism probably as well.
This could be the Eurovision thread that got deleted.
In our little community, we had to take over the basement of the VFW hall to play disco records. There was no velvet rope there. This was probably 1974. Disco was about a dancing democracy. You wanted to look nice, but nobody really spent a lot of money on clothes, we were just more creative with it.
Steve Rubell probably did as much to kill disco as Steve Dahl did.
This whole old thread has just blown my mind. I was very young during the disco heyday, and I admit am straight, but it never dawned on me that the open hatred shown towards all things disco was in fact homo-hate in disguise.
Thank you for enlightening those of us who were clueless.
I remember I had a boyfriend back then who did his best to get me out of Disco and into Alternative Music. I remember he played me "I Zimbra" from The Talking Heads to show me you could dance to it. The Cars were also a great Disco/New Wave transition group.
Then New Wave totally took over and I was glad. Disco was so tired. Except for exceptions like Sylvester, etc. I'd been dancing to Disco since the first 12 inch record played in NYC (Eddie Kendricks "Girl You Need a Change of Mind" . . . and I was definitely ready for something else.
Disco was not "elitist." That's a non-starter. Nobody judged Donna Summer by Studio 54.
[quote] There was a big "Disco Sucks" movement at my high school in the 70s, populated by kids who had no idea that disco music had anything to do with gay culture.
Tell us the name of this high school in the 1970s where there was no homophobia. Credibility Gap.
Disco held no appeal to straight white boys who couldn't dance.
Was the reaction to '70s funk (War, Grand Funk Railroad, Earth, Wind & Fire) similarly negative?
Grand Funk Railroad was not a funk group, despite the name.
I know this thread is as old as dirt, but I am laughing my ass off everytime that dude pipes up with, "as a gay homosexual..."
Steve Dahl has written an OP-ed for the upcoming 35th anniversary of the 'Disco Demolition' where he claims it was wasn't homophobic.
At some point during the annual coverage of the event you may hear it being referred to as racist and homophobic. It was not.
So how did racism and homophobia get attached to Disco Demolition?
In 1996, VH1 was attempting to expand from the music video template of MTV by creating documentaries and original programming. One of their first was “The Seventies,” a look at the decade in popular culture. A producer asked me to contribute a commentary about Disco Demolition. I saw the event as a romp, not of major cultural significance. I had no interest in claiming responsibility for killing disco. My target was Disco DAI, which was smothered in spring of 1980. The interview coincided with my quitting WMVP (a story for another day). I missed it.
Blowing off that interview was a mistake. The producers reframed the event through the lens of 1996 sensibilities. For the first time, the event was labeled racist and homophobic. It was a cheap shot, made without exploration, and it served as a pivot point for their documentary. It has lived on, thanks to Google.
[quote]offensive elitism of discotheques
Not only elitism, but the strange elitism of Tony from the paint store dressed up in a white suit, and Steve Rubell, who should have been selling shoes, both manning the door and keeping out people other than those they deemed their betters.
They were the first nobodies who thought the road to success was to rob from the poor to give to the rich -- this is what all popular culture is all about now -- but they were the first, and very offensive to most Americans then.
Am I the only who likes that cultural cliquishness is not as big a thing as it once was? I'm generally opposed to elitism and snobbishness, but what if I want to like different types of music? What if I want to wear a jean jacket one day, and a nice suit the next?
I don't know if it's becasue of the internet, or ipods, or what, but I feel like there's been a cultural move away from the clique fights that have been going on since at least the mods vs. the rockers thing of the 60's. You're more likely to see people who are a little bit into everything now, and that's probably a good thing.
[quote]They were the first nobodies who thought the road to success was to rob from the poor to give to the rich -- this is what all popular culture is all about now -- but they were the first, and very offensive to most Americans then.
[quote]Keep in mind, plenty of people of the era were rock purists and wanted to hear rock on the radio. Disco was like the Blob, assimilating everything that stood in its way.
One could make the same argument about rock. There was a similar anti-rock backlash 20 years earlier, and the anti-disco backlash was no different in its mentality.
[quote]Steve Dahl has written an OP-ed for the upcoming 35th anniversary of the 'Disco Demolition' where he claims it was wasn't homophobic.
Even if he insists it was not, this movement sure attracted bigots like moths to a flame.
Steve Dahl's comments quoted at R159 are disingenuous trash. Note he immediately blames MTV like he's some Midwestern parent worried that Duran/Duran will turn their children into gay Satan worshipers.
Quite a few well-researched and intelligent articles have been written about disco and urban/dance music of the era. While it's true there were many people who had no idea about the bigotry behind the anti-disco movement -- think "WKRP" and their liberal sensibilities while being anti-disco -- racism, sexism and homophobia played a pretty big part in the entire situation.
To claim MTV made it up and now Google perpetuates the lie just shows Dahl for the creep he always was.
I have never heard disco discribed as elitist. So strange, what a convoluted interpretation. The door men who worked the velvet ropes at Studio 54 hardly embodied "disco music". Someone sounds VERY bitter, nearly 4 decades later.
I'd venture the largest audience to appreciate and support disco were those who heard it primarily through radio play and their own music collections. Even the "discotheque-going public" was largely suburbanites and bridge-and-tunnel types all across America, in cities big and small, going to their local strip mall disco and not social climbers trying to catch a glimpse of Liza or Grace Jones at some coke-fueled bacchanalia in Manhattan.
[quote]Note he immediately blames MTV like he's some Midwestern parent worried that Duran/Duran will turn their children into gay Satan worshipers.
I've never met any gays who worshipped Satan or anyone who gave a shit about Duran Duran.
[quote]think "WKRP" and their liberal sensibilities while being anti-disco
Despite its MOR-discoish opening theme song.
In my experience the racism was more obvious. Disco was seen as being for immigrants.
[quote]it never dawned on me that the open hatred shown towards all things disco was in fact homo-hate in disguise.
"Rock purists" have always expressed thinly veiled homophobia, racism and misogyny over popular music that's not sufficiently "rock" (read: head-bashingly macho and lily-white). This arguably started with disco, music produced by and targeted to women, gays and minorities, but it carried over in the 80s to New Wave, New Romantics and synth pop acts, as well as HiNRG (disco's early 80s successor in all but name) and other forms of Urban music, including Rap and Hip Hop. It's the same mentality that rejects girl groups, female rockers and rock frontwomen as well.
I love rock (and every other genre I listed above, plus many more) but it has an unseemly veneer of male, hetero and white supremacism that is hard to deny.
I disagree with this post. I am a 49 year old gay white male. I grew up in the '70s/early '80s. I thought disco was okay, but I much preferred rock. I loved Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Van Halen, Boston, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush and bands of that ilk. Disco was great to dance to but when I hit the lake with friends, we jammed to rock.
Most of my friends were gay as well. They loved rock too. I had a few disco albums and singles during that time. I never hated the genre, it just wasn't my favorite. I never heard anything about racism or homophobia. I think people just burned out on it. Besides, many disco acts were anglo and/or had white members (Bee Gees, KC & the Sunshine Band, Teena Marie, Gary's Gang, etc.), so I don't think the racism thing washes. Just my thought.
It was not homophobia -- it was yelling "fag" because the word "metrosexual" did not yet exist.
Tony Paint Cans was a metrosexual
PS on r173 -- it was not only the clothes, it was the clothes and the smug superiority shown towards those who wore jeans and Ts and didn't dance
R-172 back again. I had a meeting down the hall and had to cut my last post short.
Over-saturation is what did disco in. I can remember in early 1978 going to sleep listening to Aerosmith's "Train Kept A Rollin" on my favorite FM rock station on the radio and waking up to Chic's "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah) playing the next morning.
Rock, pop and country stations were turning disco overnight. Disco was everywhere in 1978/1979. Even rock TV shows like The Midnight Special and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert were going disco. Don Kirshner's ROCK Concert had segments every week featuring 'Don's Disco Dancers.'
I had straight friends who hated disco, but not because of racism or homophobia. They felt threatened (as did I) that our choices in music were being taken away by corporate suits. While I liked some disco, I became sick of it fairly quickly. In early 1979, the Billboard charts were dominated by disco.
I was relieved in the summer of '79 when rock struck back (The Knack's "My Sharona", Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me", Kiss' "I Was Made For Lovin' You", Bad Company's "Rock n Roll Fantasy", The Cars' "Let's Go", Van Halens' "Dance The Night Away) and let us know we could still have a choice in what was played on the radio.
The Comiskey Park "Disco Sucks" protest was a strike back at the corporate suits, not gays or people of color.
I am proudly gay. I loved rock back then, but I could also shake my booty once in a while and enjoy it. When my choices in what I could listen to on the radio were limited to the genre that corporate suits chose for me, that's when I rebelled.
From what I remember, many disco acts were white and very few of the artists were gay or openly gay, so I never understood the racism/homophobia argument.
The argument assumes that all gay men of the time listened to disco, disco, disco and nothing but. Please! I knew many gay men, including myself, who loved classical, folk, rock, punk, new wave, metal, R&B, Motown, blues, country, etc.
The music became very corporate and mechanistic. Remember, punk, the music that rendered disco obsolete was, at the time, quite outsiderish and gay. The gutter rose up and ripped down the glitter.
[quote]The Comiskey Park "Disco Sucks" protest was a strike back at the corporate suits, not gays or people of color.
How thoughtful of you, to travel back in time to an event you apparently didn't witness or participate in first hand, and poll everyone in attendance to determine that of the thousands of fans who took part, not one of them ever expressed a shred of homophobia or racism.
r178 I lived in Chicago then!
I'm not of the disco era at all because of my age, but I think Donna Summer and Sylvester were really fucking good!
They could have done a disco duet or something.
Cee Lo Green owes his entire career to the late Sylvester. And the late Donna Summer could just sing anything.
I'm as gay as they come and I think disco SUCKED. Fucking garbage music.
"Ant-disco hate of the 70s"?
I was there, at Studio 54 and all the great gay clubs (not that Studio was not)... hate?
Where does this stuff come from?
Disco was hot, popular, fun and produced some great music not to mention and genre of dance music that lasts until the present.
[quote]The Comiskey Park "Disco Sucks" protest was a strike back at the corporate suits, not gays or people of color.
And look what they replaced disco with: the most vuglar, noisy, tuneless, heterosexist, crassly commercial music of all-time.
I kind of feel bad for R168/R169, and will look upon him as a particularly esoteric troll rather than a very silly person.
Dunno what to do with R182, though. Surely anyone who was at Studio 54 also remembers the "Disco Sucks" movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Then again, I suppose if you remember being at Studio 54, you weren't actually AT Studio 54.
Is R182 aware that disco died?
Was he in a coma from 1978 until...well, now?
I was 10 in 1979, so I can't claim to know what adults felt about music in 1979, but I remember "disco sucks" and the general backlash. It was everywhere.
Seriously...can too much coke and qualuudes lead to a 35-year blackout?
It crushed us financially since we had to change our extensive wardrobe glitter pants, platform shoes and kerchiefs.
I went to Fire Island yesterday and I could imagine the writhing, sexy, joyful bodies dancing to Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Teddy Pendegrast, etc. it was fun, rejoiceful music. Is a dark 17 minute long deep house mix by Junior Vazquez as fun? Hardly.
"Tell us the name of this high school in the 1970s where there was no homophobia. Credibility Gap. "
Oh, there was plenty of homophobia at my high school, R154, but more ignorance and insularity. As far as the "Disco Sucks" kids at my school knew, discos were populated exclusively by shallow straight druggies.
How we avoided having any clue about gay culture I don't know, but we did.
Disco was a huge change from rock but some of us liked them both. Rock was never really about dancing but disco was and we had fun. Plus disco had better coke.
I still like them both.
I'm gay, and was around back in the '70s. Disco sucked, plain and simple. Hated it.
r166, racism, sexism and homophobia involved in the Disco Sucks movement? Huh? I hated disco then and hate it now. I never felt that fellow disco haters hated the music for it being gay, or non-white. We hated it because it SUCKED.
I saw it as elitist. Rock was influenced by the hippies, and the folk singers. They tended to buck the standards of the day. With Disco, on the other hand, you had to be good looking,breathtakingly hunky, very well dressed or at least dressed according to their standards not your own, it was polyester vs the scruffy more down to earth look of rock. Plus, the music really, really, really sucked. As for it giving birth to the dance crap of today, well, that stuff sucks too!
r114, what a bunch of bs.
Disco birthed house music in the '80s which went on to birth dozens of other dance music genres exploding throughout Europe. America, the birthplace of soul, funk, disco and house, showed far less appreciation for these genres than the rest of the world. The pendulum is finally swinging back with EDM's huge mainstream popularity in US.
As for disco being 'elitist', not really an accurate characterization. Disco came from the lowest rung of society. Primarily created by black artists and appreciated by blacks, latinos, gays, and women. These were not groups considered to be part of the social elite. Even Studio 54 was famous for having a mix of old, young, rich, poor, gays, straights, blacks, whites, celebrities, and unknowns. It was this mix that made the club legendary (along with the sex and drugs). Certainly, the scene was about sexuality, body consciousness, and aspirational glamour and glitz. The celebration of dance was tribal and communal.
Rock music was rooted in a completely different sensibility. It was primarily popular among white, hetero males and did not require much body movement beyond a bit of head banging, air guitar, and devil's horn signs while standing around it a ratty t-shirt and jeans. The typical rock band had a white hetero lead singer rocking his phallic symbol guitar. He was on a pedestal, the focal point of the performance and the alpha male who gets all the pussy (à la Ted Nugent and David Lee Roth). This was what the average straight, white, teenage boy aspired to be rather than a dressed up male sex object from Saturday Night Fever.
All the disco mourners, go get the Criterion edition of "Last Days Of Disco" and self-soothe.
It was a fad that collapsed into parody. Disco Sucks was a stunt by a radio DJ, who are almost universally awful assholes.
If anything, "Urban Cowboy" ushered in a country&western fad that followed the Disco fad. Hair metal was an 80s thing. In between was pop/punk, New Wave, New Romantics...the thesis presented here is ludicrous.
Rick James, bitch
[quote]I'm as gay as they come and I think disco SUCKED. Fucking garbage music.
Then turn in your gay card, if you think disco sucks.
What's funny is somebody uploaded some airchecks from the summer of "79 on-line this week of WDAI-Disco DAI (the station Dahl hated for firing him that was the impetus for his anti-disco campaign)and in one of the clips the on-air deejay makes mention that people are phoning the station, yelling "disco sucks" and then hanging up. I'm sure those callers were doing this based on Dahl's rants.
[quote]A lot of no-talents and has-beens jumped on the disco bandwagon to eke out a career.
No different than today, probably worse. Now anyone with no singing skills can become a musical performer with AutoTune.
[quote]I'm gay, and was around back in the '70s. Disco sucked, plain and simple. Hated it.
Your protests did nothing to reverse the decline in the quality of American popular music.
There was no "bigotry behind the anti-disco movement".
There wasn't even really an anti-disco movement outside of graffiti and a few t-shirts.
There were people who didn't like disco for a number of reasons but it was mostly because disco was seen as talentless, mindless music.
And if bigotry was so rampant isn't it funny that there was no "anti-Motown" movement? Black performers always held their own on the Top-40.
People were ready for a change from James Taylor, Helen Reddy, John Denver, Joni Mitchell, Roberta Flack, Harry Chapin, Don Mclean, Anne Murray, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Jim Croce.... that type of music that dominated the airwaves in the early 70s. It was just a natural progression.
Dancing had been out of fashion for so long. People wanted glamour again.
As I remember it performers like Barry White, Isaac Hayes, the Ojays brought in this new sound and pretty soon you had white groups picking it up.
For some it was truly the day the music died... but it had nothing to do with racism. Sorry.
[quote]And if bigotry was so rampant isn't it funny that there was no "anti-Motown" movement?
There was. It was called the Ku Klux Klan.
[quote] There was. It was called the Ku Klux Klan.
That's right, I remember them protesting outside of the Ed Sullivan Theatre every time he had on the Temptations, The 4-Tops, The Supremes...
R191's wonderfully circular argument: Disco sucks because disco sucks.
Disco was only "gay" in the cities. Small-town people perceived it as just another breeder dance craze. But most straight guys can't dance, so they did their best to torpedo it.
What followed was a brief period of country artists topping the charts ('80 -'82), before New Wave came and crushed the phobes once again- yay.
The country-western craze coincided with the short-lived popularity of Jimmy Carter.