Driving home from the airport not long ago, I chanced upon a local radio station's "Saturday Night Dance Party." Time evaporated. I was young, hot, newly out and free. Of course it all came crashing down, and I know I'm lucky to have survived, as Gloria said I would. But there were great songs and good times while it lasted.
Youngsters can bypass the snark and listen to whatever banal nonsense that's around these days.
What was your favorite disco memory?
In 1980 or so, I was probably 8 or 9 and my sister was 12 she went and got a jaunty burgundy satin beret and some clogs or boots, don't remember the shoes, just the beret. Our neighbor across the street was 12 also and he was quite the dancin' fool. He always wore nylon shirts with disco-y patterns on them and I don't think anyone else in the neighborhood was as into it as him. Naturally he was furious about my sister's new beret and didn't want anyone to think she was a better dresser, or discoer, than him. He went to a private Catholic school and had to wear his uniform during the week and was wearing it when my sis debuted her new clothes. She went outside in her beret and clogs and Chemin De Fers and was dancing around on the lawn and he just shook his head disgustedly and said, "Jenny, if I had my disco clothes on, I could out disco you any day!" My sis and I still say that every now and then.
RuPaul says his absolute favorite album is Donna Summer's Live And More. He had a job working for his uncle in 1978, delivering cars all over the country. He'd drive all night blasting that album and smoking pot. I was in the 9th grade at the time, and would wait all day to get home again and blast it. I actually prefer Donna live, that's always the sign of an exceptional singer.
OP, I adore disco.I was just a little guy at the time ,but I remember a lot and was exposed to a lot from that period. I had a much older brother and sister who played disco music a lot. Even my mother played a lot of disco music, a lot of Opera, and 40s and 50s music as well. My sister had a huge stack of albums from every singer and band under the sun. Both my sister and brother also used to work at a discotheque and met many famous guest performers. I remember my brother went to the disco wearing this disco shirt that was polyester and rayon and on the left side of his shirt was a couple disco dancing, LOL! My mother was invited to her fiend's house in those years who threw fantastic parties and everyone danced to the disco music all night. It was the kind of music that got everyone dancing and I mean everyone and having a blast. I think that period in music history, was pretty unique because no one felt excluded. It wasn't music that had set boundaries designed for only a certain group of people.It was for anyone and everyone who wanted to get up and dance.
My favorite memory was getting fucked on the floor while listening to the long version of Diana's LOVE HANGOVER.
Todays Dance music is the same disco beat, the song writing is just not as good. I hated disco, because it was the music my parents listened to, until I noticed this.
Disco and dance music back then could have harmonic variety and more importantly it was pretty
For me, "I Will Survive" is the epitome if great Disco.
What I liked about disco was that it often used whole orchestras. For the most part, I don't remember hearing brass and strings in pop music the way you did in disco. Of course, my idea of disco was more Kid Creole and the Coconuts & Cory Daye.
The other thing I liked about disco was that it had a sense of humor. I mean disco Star Wars? Disco I love Lucy Theme?
Disco became a thing when I was in middle school. My favorite AM radio station used to have one night a week devoted to it -- not just stuff that made the top 40 but club hits like St. Tropez's "One More Minute."
Do the Hustle! DoodoodooDoodoodoo!
I dreamed of doing the Hustle at Studio 54 or on the Love Boat, but I was a wee one then.
By the time I was buying my own music, disco was dead. Sad that I missed out. But enjoyed and appreciate new wave and punk. Could have bypassed the big hair band era.
My parents went nuts when the Movie, Saturday Night Fever came out. I always thought of Disco as my Parents Music.
[quote]Do the Hustle!
"Too Much Hot Sauce!"
How did disco die? Who killed it? Was it forced upon an unwilling public who finally got fed up and overthrew it? Or did people really love disco for a while and then change their minds?
Disco didn't die, it was renamed Dance Music. Just like Rave didn't die, it was renamed EDM.
It is all about re-packaging and marketing.
Disco became House and Trance etc. just think any electronic dance music out today and disco was the birthplace. I'd love to hear some remixing of some of the better dance disco tracks by some of today's producers. Be interesting to hear what they would do with the tracks.
And by better I mean tracks that relied heavily on the beat more so than lyrics and none of the gimmick songs like "Hustle" or "Disco Inferno" too corny. But songs like "Disco Heat" or "I Feel Love".
I hate all the disco songs like the one at 18. Stupid pop tune with a disco beat.
Any of the ones more about the music and less about lyrics with a good dance break are the ones that made the genre great and endured into electronica.
Two distinct memories:#1-Me taking my Italian Catholic NaNa to see Saturday Night Fever and her spending nearly the entire movie in what one could call *after-glow* after having seen "that beautiful Italian boy" in his underpants shakin his big salami to the BEE GEE's.#2-My first high school dance. Catholic all boys school, they would bring in girls from some sister academies and compel them to dance with us for credit. Me and my hot new friend Russell weren't having any of that shit, stealing away and finding ourselves in a janitorial closet sticking our hands down each others khakis and making out. Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive in the background. I would say to him, "Russell I want your muscle" all the time after that night.
I'm with r12. I love everything about that scene. John Travolta was hotter than hell back then.
I was 8-11 in 1976-79 when Disco was big, so I didn't get to experience any of the clubs, but I still recall the intoxicating feeling of rollerskating with Amii Stewart's "Knock on Wood" or "Le Freak" pulsating out of those 5-foot speakers.
I hate that I missed disco being popular. It's dance music with actual melody. That's the one element that made it great. Why do people prefer music WITHOUT melody?
Too many young'uns on this thread. If disco was your parents' music, this thread is not for you.
That said, I have two favorite disco memories.
The first one is from the very first time I went into a gay bar. Oh, how thrilled I was to sneak into The Fidler (Lancaster, PA) when I turned 18!! And no sooner did I get past the bouncer that a song came on that I'll never forget: Midnight Love Affair by Carol Douglas. It lasted 20+ minutes. Between the music and being surrounded by gay people for the very first time, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.
The second memory is from when I was stationed in Germany. A fellow gay soldier took me to Frankfurt to go to a gay bar that was hidden in a basement. The door had a sliding wooden peephole just like in the old speakeasy movies. It seemed so clandestine, and at the same time, made me feel oh-so-"cool" to be at such a place. ["Coolness" was the watchword when I was that age. That was always the goal -- to be "cool."]
We went downstairs and got situated, and the next thing I knew, I was hearing the beginning of MacArthur Park by Donna Summer, the slow part. Couples started to slow dance. I had never heard the song before (it was early 1978), and when it suddenly changed to a disco beat, I also felt my soul sing. I was 19, and I felt like I was home. Finally.
For the young people reading this, being gay back then, especially in a small town, meant sneaking around to find bars where you could meet other gays. Everything had a tinge of "Oooo! I might get caught!" to it that made going out to clubs fun in a way it's not today. Now, you can easily find out about gay clubs, events, parties, etc. But then, I had to do a road trip to Philly to sneak out of Giovanni's Room (Phila. gay bookstore) with a copy of the Philly Gay News tucked securely under my arm. [And CBT in THAT paper meant "cock and ball torture" and not "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy."]
I know it doesn't seem like that to you young'uns, but it really was a magical time.
Disco artists were women, gay men and African Americans. Of course the uber-culture became intent on destroying them.
Yeah r26, just like the "uber-culture" has destroyed rap.
You fucking idiot.
My favorite disco memory was of getting fisted by four men in a sling on the floor of The Anvil in 1979 while Peaches & Herb's Shake Your Groove Thing, Village People's In The Navy and Arpeggio's Love and Desire shook the walls. Ahhh, the memories.
Rap would be destroyed if it were possible r27, there's just more resistance to racism today. You fucking idiot.
Shake Your Groove Thing seems a little ... vigorous for fisting music?
I remember experiencing my first triple fisting/anal prolapse to this slow jam by one of the genre's truly great beauties:
Many of the people who were behind making disco so popular and fun were actually quite talented, even though it became hip to hate disco. Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, the Gibb brothers, Abba, Nile Rodgers and others.
There are disco tracks I still play almost on a daily basis - "Let's All Chant" and "Bad Girls" being two that I find even today energizing.
Highway robbery, murder in the first degree
I came out in Toronto just as disco was catching on. The friends i hung out with were politically active--we worked on the local gay newspaper, marched in parades, picketed Anita Bryant's visits to the city--but we also spent a lot of time at the bars and clubs. Some weekends we'd go dancing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.
I read the Toronto Police force back then was hyper aggressive towards gays. They used to bust up gays bars and even arrested the editors of the newspaper the "Body Politic". What a terrible time to live in Toronto. Were their actually bars in Toronto or did they do the secret basement clubs with black armoured doors thing?
Rap has been allowed to endure because it generates a lot of merchandising. People not only spend on the music but many other things as well. Liquor, cars, clothes are all associated products because rappers talk about all these things in their songs. Once again the dollar rules.
Rap is THE Dollarama of music.
I was hassled at the entrance to a disco because they feared my weight would crack the lighted floors they'd installed. I was only allowed to dance on the carpeted areas and the bouncer had his eye on me all evening. To say the least the era suffered from severe case of looksism.
Whatever happened to Alicia Bridges, who sang "I Love the Night Life"? From what I recall, she later came out as a lesbian, and even recorded an album for Olivia Records.
Tell us more, R4.
Anyone remember the Poop Deck at the Marlin Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale?
Just graduated, spent time with a firend who had come out. He showed me the place, Barry White was singing "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine..."
He was so right.
I feel fortunate to have been just the right age during that time. So many memories; so much not remembered at all.
There was one night at the Wave in Waikiki - after hours place filled with drunk gays, lesbians, military, some straights - when this girl got shot on the dance floor. They hauled her off and the music never stopped. That was also the night someone poured a bottle of poppers on my head. My hair has been unruly ever since.
I'd love to hear some suggestions for really good, classic disco.
Beyond the obvious (and no diss to Donna Summer, etc. but her work is well known.)
I'm thinking along the lines of Rose Royce, or some of the forefathers/foremothers of house...? Something that has a bit of that Chic/Nile Rodgers feel, or was really uplifting....
I've always loved this one. Uplifting despite the fatalistic narrator.
Thanks for this thread. Amazing memories. The sex. The dancing. The sex while dancing. It was pure debauchery but still somehow so much more innocent than today.
I was living in DC in the mid-70s and couldn't wait to go to The Other Side to dance my ass off. Not only is the club long gone, the entire neighborhood has been obliterated. Or redeveloped. Anyway, does anyone else remember it, down on Half St SE?
Someone was asking for great lesser-known disco songs. I recall that as the club got packed to capacity invariably the song Harmony was played and everyone in the place -friends, lovers, strangers, partners just for the moment -- would join in a sweaty drunken euphoric dance line that snaked all around the club and seemed like it would last forever.
Honestly, I miss those times. The energy, the idealism, the joy, the celebration of being different instead of conforming, and maybe more than anything the face-to-face cruising, the dance between strangers that led to some pretty strange and wonderful places. (Unlike the monosyllabic "sup" that passes for a come on online now.)
I know. Oh, dear. Mary! But there it is. Hmm.
I turned 10 years old in January 1977; so, obviously, I missed out on the disco hey-dey, in terms of going to clubs, and such. But, I loved the music as much as ANYONE else! It was a huge part of the soundtrack of my childhood & early teen years. KC & The Sunshine Band, TSOP, Bee Gees, Chic, The Jacksons, Donna Summer, etc.
My 13th birthday party was at Flippers Roller Disco, in WeHo, at which I had spent many a weekend afternoon, skating & boogey-ing down. Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" album was the the big-thing, then. Seemed like a song from that album -- as well as a Chic song, and a Donna Summer song -- were all played at least once an hour! Good times! :-D
My parents weren't into it. There were of the WW2/big-band generation. Well, actually, my mom kinda liked disco. I will never forget a particularly embarrassing incident, when I was 13 , in which my mom started belting out "Upside Down" at a stop-light in our neighborhood, while it was playing on the radio, and kinda boogeying in the drivers' seat. I laugh about it now -- I think it's AWESOME, now! But at the time, I was slinking down in the passenger seat, thinking, "oh gawd! I hope nobody I know sees this!"
[quote]reply 57 posted 04/01/2013 @ 09:44PM[flag]
On the Donna Summer tip, "Try Me, I Know We Can Make It" is great and underrated:
I had the album, and that was all on one side. Very hypnotic, and the bass rocks!
They are a bunch of freaks, but this is still a great disco song! "Blame it on the Boogie."
OMG, I used to love that song by Taveres! I'm in disco Heaven!!
The 80s was my disco era. In the 70s, in my 20s, I was settled in a 10 year relationship with a non-disco person, I remember though liking the music - getting those first 12" singles by Grace Jones, Blondie etc. Then that first gay superclub Heaven opened here in London in 1979 .... I began going there in the early 80s and had some crazy nights there.
I left that relationship in 1984 and the next year in Brighton in England (I was in London) when I was 39 I met a 25 year old disk jockey and that was another 10 years together (until his death), so at least I had my very own DJ ! - the stuff we loved at the time was Culture Club, Bronsnki Beat, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and disco classics: Fantasy - Lian Ross, Dont Leave Me This Way - Jeanne Tracey, those Sharon Redd, Lime, Oh Romeo (Saving myself for the one that I love), Trapped (Col Abrahams), Say I'm Your Nr 1 by Princess, American Love by Rose Laurens etc.
A decade later in the 90s and into the 2000s disco had evolvted into garage and clubbing as we continued grooving every Saturday night. Then I found a cute little bear and we are celebrating our 10th year this July....
R8, when I was a little guy, my mother bought me the record, Disco Donald Duck, LOL!
So many great songs, but the one I remember that always packed the dance floor was "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston.
Always loved that song
Thanks for the suggestions!
Love Arthur Russell.
Rhino put out a box set of disco classics several years ago.