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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 18 October 2017 at 5:43pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Any thoughts on disco? 

I like it in "small doses". And I do enjoy catchy disco songs, but would I describe myself as a fan? I guess not.

It has been very influential and lives on in many different forms. But is disco itself still alive? Hanging on by a thread? Or as dead as a dodo? There never seems to be a consensus on whether disco is still thriving, on "life support" or dead? Its influences certainly live on.

So, what do you think of disco? 

EDIT: Confession time: I have played disco music whilst driving, but please don't tell anyone. 


Edited by Robbie Parry on 18 October 2017 at 5:44pm
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James Best
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Posted: 18 October 2017 at 7:05pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I enjoyed it back in its heyday but as my musical tastes expanded it was left behind rather quickly. I don't hate it and I occasionally listen to an old tune on my laptop, but disco was very much a style of music that was focused on the social climate of its time. As we moved on to the 80's its relevance fell like a stone.

That said, I did own the album soundtrack for "Saturday Night Fever" and played it a lot more than a 12 year old should have :-) 

I do like seeing it used as part of movies that are supposed to take place in the 70's as it helps to establish the setting. The recent movie adaptation of "Starsky and Hutch" (with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson) comes to mind.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 18 October 2017 at 7:30pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I have softened tremendously on that genre. 
I wouldn't come within 10 miles of it back in it's heyday. Now I don't mind a little Donna Summer or Olivia Newton John every now and again. 

I agree with James with the period movie soundtrack. 
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David Miller
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Posted: 18 October 2017 at 8:45pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

There was tons and tons of crap, but the best disco was some of the best music of the decade. I also liked when rock artists incorporated disco -- Pink Floyd's especially ran with disco guitar in songs in a way both ridiculous and awesome.

This speech from Last Days of Disco:


 QUOTE:
Disco will never be over. It will always live in our minds and hearts. Something like this that was this big, and this important, and this great, will never die. Oh for a few years, maybe many years it will be considered passe and ridiculous. It will be misrepresented, caricatured and sneered at, or worse, completely ignored. People will laugh about John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, white polyester suits and platform shoes and going like this! [Mimics Saturday Night Fever pose] But we had nothing to do with those things and still loved disco. Those who didn't understand will never understand. Disco was much more, and much better than all that. Disco was too great and too much fun to be gone forever. It has got to come back someday. I just hope it will be in our own lifetimes.
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Chris Marquardt
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Posted: 18 October 2017 at 9:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Like any genre of music, it has its good and bad representatives. Most
is mediocre at best, but every once in a while there’s a song that
elevates itself above the rest.

Currently I’m playing drums for a high school variety show whose
theme is Billboard’s top 100 hits of all time. Disco is represented twice
in this show: Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” is okay and harmless
enough. “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees, though... There’s a level of
sophistication in the songwriting, arranging and overall feel of the song
that gives it a certain timelessness. Plus, you can do CPR to it!
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 18 October 2017 at 9:51pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply


Let me put it this way:  A full disco album can get mighty tiresome, pretty quickly.

A great disco single can be 3 or 4 minutes of pure 1970's pop bliss.



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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 19 October 2017 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Shaun, you hit the nail on the head, my friend!
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 19 October 2017 at 1:45pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

When I was growing up in the 80s, disco was perhaps the most cringeworthy genre of music possible, with the Bee Gees being the patron saints of the uncool.

Times have changed though and in the early 90s the rehabilitation of the genre began with a big Abba revival (and one could argue disco merely transmogrified into House in the 80s). 

I think many dismiss Disco too easily as a catchy fad, but the simplicity of the four-on-the-floor beat allowed powerful, enduring records to be built on top. Is there a more unifying song than Dancing Queen?Jeff Lynne dabbled heavily in disco at times with ELO, and I think it worked just fine -- Last Train to London and Shine a Little Love are classic songs, built on the rock-solid base of four-on-the-floor. As Lynne said of disco, "I loved it. I loved the strictness of it. It really helped the group because I could really get a good punch going."

I think Saturday Night Fever actually holds together as well as most double-albums (which is to say, probably would have been tighter as a normal album), Chic had some decent albums that were mainly disco and other major artists have done enduring work in the genre: Off the Wall by Michael Jackson, Hot Stuff by Donna Summer, You're My First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White, to name but a few.

In recent years, Daft Punk, Mark Ronson and the Weeknd have shown there remains a big appetite for disco-inflected music.


Edited by Peter Martin on 19 October 2017 at 1:47pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 19 October 2017 at 3:36pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I suppose it's worth mentioning how influential and ubiquitous it as far as TV, comics and even wrestling is concerned (we all remember WCW wrestler Disco Inferno, right?). ;-)
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 20 October 2017 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I like some of it,Bee Gees and as Peter Mentioned,two
ELO tracks,both from the album Discovery(Disco-VERY)
which i love! On a related note,cult Prog artist Steven
Wilson has recently released an 80`s inspired album,one
song in particular `Permanating` is a falsetto
voiced,disco beat,joyous perfect pop song,the `Prog`
fans on his Facebook page were apoplectic that it wasn`t
23 minutes of 12/16 time,music to slash your wrists too!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 20 October 2017 at 1:59pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

One thing I will say: disco, whatever your mileage, is always fun. Never boring! 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 20 October 2017 at 6:43pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Time to start a waltz thread. :)
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 20 October 2017 at 11:28pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Andre Rieu anyone?
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 21 October 2017 at 12:08am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Let us not forget that Kiss dabbled in Disco with I Was
Made For Loving You!
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 21 October 2017 at 8:00am | IP Logged | 15 post reply


(Which, incidentally, is one of my favorite disco singles of the '70s.  Certainly, there are die-hard KISS fans who loathe it, but I think it's fantastic.  Loved it as a kid in '79, still love it today!)



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Bill Collins
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Posted: 21 October 2017 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Yes I think it's one of their best,
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 22 October 2017 at 12:58pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

There are some disco acts, and songs, that were very good. However, the majority is sheer trash.

And I hate hate HATE ABBA.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 October 2017 at 2:07pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Me too, Brian. I thought I was the only one. ;-)

If you ever show up on these shores, a pint of Guinness is on me! 
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 22 October 2017 at 3:16pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Queen's disco album,Hot Space was a couple of years too
late and disastrous!
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 22 October 2017 at 5:43pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply


I wouldn't even call ABBA a disco group, though... they were a pop act of the '70s, who couldn't help but be influenced by some of the disco sounds of the day.  Their songs are much more timeless today, than a lot of the big dance hits from way-back-when.



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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 23 October 2017 at 2:07pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Same thing could be said of the BEE GEES, who actually got their start in the '60s.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 23 October 2017 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

And yes, I also like "I Was Made For Loving You." 
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 23 October 2017 at 2:16pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Disco and rock weren't too far removed from each other...clearly.

KISS dabbled in it. So did The Rolling Stones with "Miss You." Queen's bass line in "Another One Bites the Dust" was inspired by the one in "Good Times" by Chic (which was also lifted for "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang).

Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" seems more rock than disco, to me.

Everything in moderation. I think the problem was disco was there was just too much of it. Some of it is quite good.



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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 23 October 2017 at 3:29pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply


Heck, yeah, Brian!  The pre-1975 Bee Gees songs are wonderful... for the longest time, I gravitated to the more popular disco songs of theirs (a lot of it having to do with growing up with them on the radio, from about '75 to '80), and I've had THEIR GREATEST HITS: THE RECORD 2-disc set since its release in 2001...

...don't know why it took so long, but something just finally clicked within the past 6-8 months, and I cannot stop listening to their original '60s and early '70s songs... such beautiful harmonies, and such great songs, too!



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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 23 October 2017 at 5:07pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

The Bee Gees wrote and produced the "Islands in the Streams" single for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.

And the melody ended up sampled for "Ghetto Supastar."

To say their music transcends genre is putting it mildly...

Shaun, that 2001 greatest hits collection should have a version of the song sung by the Bee Gees, too. With a Ghetto Supastar line near the end...



Edited by Brian Rhodes on 23 October 2017 at 5:09pm
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