Disco
Overview
Disco is a genre of dance music
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

, gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

, psychedelic
Psychedelic
The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words ψυχή and δηλοῦν , translating to "soul-manifesting". A psychedelic experience is characterized by the striking perception of aspects of one's mind previously unknown, or by the creative exuberance of the mind liberated from its ostensibly...

, and other communities in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Disco also was a reaction by New York City's gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

, as well as black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 and Latino
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 communities against both the domination of rock music and the stigmatization of dance music by the counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 during this period.
Quotations

"Disco is a major influence in the world of fashion. It is a dynamic factor in contemporary advertising. It is a message from every consumer that there has been a rediscovery of America's greatest by-product: fun."

Neil Bogart at the 1977 Disco Forum

"Disco is from hell, okay? And not the cool part of hell with all the murderers, but the lame ass part where the really bad accountants live."

Hyde- That 70's Show

Encyclopedia
Disco is a genre of dance music
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

, gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

, psychedelic
Psychedelic
The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words ψυχή and δηλοῦν , translating to "soul-manifesting". A psychedelic experience is characterized by the striking perception of aspects of one's mind previously unknown, or by the creative exuberance of the mind liberated from its ostensibly...

, and other communities in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Disco also was a reaction by New York City's gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

, as well as black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 and Latino
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 communities against both the domination of rock music and the stigmatization of dance music by the counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 during this period. Women embraced disco as well, and the music eventually expanded to several other popular groups of the time. In what is considered a forerunner to disco style clubs, in February 1970, the New York City DJ David Mancuso
David Mancuso
David Mancuso created the popular "by invitation only" parties in New York City later known as "The Loft". The first party "Love Saves The Day" was in 1970...

 opened The Loft
The Loft
The Loft is the location for the first underground dance party that was created by David Mancuso on February 14, 1970 in New York. Since then, the term The Loft has come to represent Mancuso's own version of a non-commercial party where no alcohol, food, or beverages are sold...

, a members-only private dance club set in his own home. Allmusic claims some have argued that Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an American songwriter, musician, singer and actor. Hayes was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the...

 and Barry White
Barry White
Barry White, born Barry Eugene Carter , was an American composer and singer-songwriter.A five-time Grammy Award-winner known for his distinctive bass voice and romantic image, White's greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with the Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring...

 were playing what would be called disco music as early as 1971. According to the music guide there is disagreement as to what the first disco song was. Claims have been made for Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio Moroder
Hansjörg "Giorgio" Moroder is an Italian record producer, songwriter and performer based in Los Angeles. When in Munich in the 1970s, he started his own record label called Oasis Records, which several years later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records...

's "Son Of My Father
Son of my Father
"Son Of My Father" is a song popularised by Chicory Tip. Giorgio Moroder, the co-writer, also recorded it and had a minor hit.Originally written by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte in Italian as Tu sei mio padre and recorded under the moniker Giorgio. A copy found its way to studio manager Roger...

" (1972) Manu Dibango
Manu Dibango
-External links:*...

's "Soul Makossa
Soul Makossa
"Soul Makossa" is a 1972 single by Cameroonian makossa saxophonist Manu Dibango. It is often cited as one of the first disco records. In 1972 David Mancuso found a copy in a Brooklyn West Indian record store and often played it at his Loft parties. The response was so positive that the few copies...

" (1972), Jerry Butler
Jerry Butler (singer)
Jerry Butler is an American soul singer and songwriter. He is also noted as being the original lead singer of the R&B vocal group, The Impressions, as well as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.Butler is also an American politician...

's "One Night Affair" (1972), the Hues Corporation
Hues Corporation
The Hues Corporation was a pop and soul trio formed in Santa Monica, California in 1969. They are best known for their 1974 hit, "Rock the Boat" which sold over two million copies.-Career:...

's "Rock the Boat
Rock the Boat (Hues Corporation song)
"Rock the Boat" is a disco song by the group Hues Corporation in 1974. "Rock the Boat" was written by Waldo Holmes, who also wrote the Blacula songs....

" (1974), George McCrae
George McCrae
George McCrae is an American soul and disco singer, most famous for his 1974 hit "Rock Your Baby".-Early life and career:...

's "Rock Your Baby
Rock Your Baby
"Rock Your Baby" is a popular song by George McCrae. Written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC and the Sunshine Band, "Rock Your Baby" was one of the landmark recordings of early disco music...

" (1974). and "Kung Fu Fighting
Kung Fu Fighting
"Kung Fu Fighting" is a disco song written by Jim Brusatto and Vivian Hawke performed by Carl Douglas, and composed and produced by Biddu. It was released as a single in 1974, at the cusp of a chopsocky film craze, and eventually rose to the top of the British and American charts, in addition to...

" (1974) by Biddu
Biddu
Biddu or Biddu Appaiah is an Indian-British music producer, composer, song-writer and singer who produced and composed many hit records worldwide during a career spanning five decades...

 and Carl Douglas
Carl Douglas
Carl Douglas is a former Jamaican-born, UK-based, singer, best known for his song "Kung Fu Fighting", which hit number one in both the UK Singles Chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. The R.I.A.A. awarded gold disc status on 27 November, and it won a Grammy Award for Best Selling Single...

. The first article about disco was written in September 1973 by Vince Aletti
Vince Aletti
Vince Aletti is an American music journalist and photography critic.Vince Aletti was the first person to write about disco , writing a weekly column about disco for the music trade magazine Record World and reporting about early clubs like David Mancuso's Loft for The Village Voice in the late...

 for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1974 New York City's WPIX-FM premiered the first disco radio show.

Musical influences include funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

, Latin and soul music
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

. The disco sound has soaring, often reverberated vocals over a steady "four-on-the-floor" beat, an eighth note
Eighth note
thumb|180px|right|Figure 1. An eighth note with stem facing up, an eighth note with stem facing down, and an eighth rest.thumb|right|180px|Figure 2. Four eighth notes beamed together....

 (quaver) or 16th note (semi-quaver) hi-hat
Hi-hat
A hi-hat, or hihat, is a type of cymbal and stand used as a typical part of a drum kit by percussionists in R&B, hip-hop, disco, jazz, rock and roll, house, reggae and other forms of contemporary popular music.- Operation :...

 pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat, and a prominent, syncopated electric bass
Bass guitar
The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

 line sometimes consisting of octaves. The Fender Jazz Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
The Jazz Bass was the second model of electric bass created by Leo Fender. The bass is distinct from the Precision Bass in that its tone is brighter and richer in the midrange and treble with less emphasis on the fundamental harmonic...

 is often associated with disco bass lines, because the instrument itself has a very prominent "voice" in the musical mix. In most disco tracks, strings, horns, electric pianos, and electric guitars create a lush background sound. Orchestral instruments such as the flute are often used for solo melodies, and unlike in rock, lead guitar
Lead guitar
Lead guitar is a guitar part which plays melody lines, instrumental fill passages, guitar solos, and occasionally, some riffs within a song structure...

 is rarely used. Some disco songs employ the use of electronic instruments such as synthesizers
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

.

Well-known late 1970s disco performers included Donna Summer
Donna Summer
LaDonna Adrian Gaines , known by her stage name, Donna Summer, is an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s. She has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. Summer is a five-time Grammy winner and was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach...

, The Bee Gees
Bee Gees
The Bee Gees are a musical group that originally comprised three brothers: Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio was successful for most of their 40-plus years of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a pop act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as a...

, KC and the Sunshine Band
KC and the Sunshine Band
KC and the Sunshine Band is an American musical group. Founded in 1973 in Miami, Florida, their style has included funk, R&B, and disco. Their most well known songs include the disco hits "That's the Way ", " Shake Your Booty", "I'm Your Boogie Man", "Keep It Comin' Love", "Get Down Tonight", "Give...

, The Trammps
The Trammps
The Trammps were an American disco band, who were based in Philadelphia and were one of the first disco bands. The band's first major success was with their 1972 cover version of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart". The first disco track they released was "Love Epidemic" in 1973...

, Van McCoy
Van McCoy
Van Allen Clinton McCoy was an accomplished musician, music producer, arranger, songwriter, and orchestra conductor. He is known best for his 1975 internationally successful song "The Hustle", which is still played in dance halls and on radio to this day more than thirty years since his death...

, Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor is an American singer, best known for the disco era hits; "I Will Survive" , "Never Can Say Goodbye" , "Let Me Know " and "I Am What I Am" .-Early career:Gaynor was a singer with the Soul...

, The Village People, Chic
Chic (band)
Chic was an African American disco and R&B band that was organized during 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards. It is known best for its commercially successful disco songs, including "Dance, Dance, Dance " , "Everybody Dance" , "Le Freak" , "I Want Your Love" , "Good Times"...

, and The Jacksons
The Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 , later known as The Jacksons, were an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana...

. Summer would become the first well-known and most popular disco artist (eventually having the title "The Queen of Disco" bestowed upon her by various critics) and would also play a part in pioneering the electronic sound
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

 that later became a prominent element of disco. While performers and singers garnered the lion's share of public attention, producers working behind the scenes played an equal, if not more important role in disco, since they often wrote the songs and created the innovative sounds and production techniques that were part of the "disco sound." Many non-disco artists recorded disco songs at the height of disco's popularity, and films such as Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 drama film directed by John Badham and starring: John Travolta as Tony Manero, an immature young man whose weekends are spent visiting a local Brooklyn discothèque; Karen Lynn Gorney as his dance partner and eventual friend; and Donna Pescow as Tony's former dance...

and Thank God It's Friday
Thank God It's Friday
The triple album was, unlike the movie, a commercial success. It contained contributions from some of the biggest names in disco at the time, including Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Thelma Houston, The Commodores, and many others....

contributed to disco's rise in mainstream popularity. According to music writer Piero Scaruffi
Piero Scaruffi
Piero Scaruffi received a degree in Mathematics in 1982 from University of Turin, where he did work on the General Theory of Relativity. For a number of years he was the head of the Artificial Intelligence Center at Olivetti, based in Cupertino, California. He has been a visiting scholar at...

 the disco phenomenon spread quickly because the "collective ecstasy" of disco was cathartic and regenerative and led to freedom of expression. Disco was the last mass popular music movement that was driven by the baby boom generation.

Disco music was a worldwide phenomenom, but the July 1979 Disco Demolition Night
Disco Demolition Night
Disco Demolition Night was a promotional event that took place on Thursday, July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, during which a crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field. It was held during the twi-night doubleheader baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and...

 in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 had shown that an angry backlash against disco and its culture had emerged in the United States. The popularity of disco in America declined markedly as a result of that event, and by the early 1980s many musical acts associated with disco struggled to get airplay on the radio. A few artists still managed to score disco hits in the early 1980s, but the term "disco" became unfashionable in the new decade and was eventually replaced. Now "dance music", although retaining some of the elements of disco, described the new sound of the 1980s, and breakdancing described the new craze. Many of the successful acts after the 1970s have incorporated some elements of disco into their sound, especially since the year 2000. Disco is considered the father of several dance music genres that have emerged since the 1970s, such as House
House music
House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, United States in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino American, and gay communities; first in Chicago circa 1984, then in other...

, Latin Freestyle, Hi-NRG
Hi-NRG
Hi-NRG describes a form of high-tempo disco music as well as a genre of electronic dance music originating in the United States during the late 1970s...

, Nu-Disco
Nu-disco
Nu-disco is a 21st century dance music genre associated with a renewed interest in 1970s and early 1980s disco, mid-1980s Italo disco, and the synthesizer-heavy Eurodisco aesthetics. The moniker appeared in print as early as 2002, and by mid-2008 was used by record shops such as the online...

, Italo Disco
Italo disco
Italo disco encompasses much of the dance music output in Europe during the 1980s. It is one of the world's first forms of mostly electronic dance music and evolved during the late 1970s and early 1980s in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and other parts of Europe...

, and Eurodisco.

Pre 1974: Early history

The term "discotheque" was coined in Europe to describe clubs where there was no live music played. Jimmy Saville played records of big band
Big band
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately twelve to twenty-five musicians...

 music in dance halls in Leeds, England during World War Two . These types of clubs emerged in the United States where they were also described as "Discotheques" following the 1960 popularity of dance "The Twist" which emerged from a Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker is an American singer-songwriter. He is widely known for popularizing the twist dance style, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist"...

 hit of the same name
The Twist (song)
"The Twist" is a twelve bar blues song that gave birth to the Twistdance craze. The song was written and originally released in 1959 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side but his version was only a moderate 1960 hit, peaking at 28 on the Billboard Hot 100...

. "Disco" which is shorthand for "Discotheque" emerged as the preferred name for this type of club and the music genre associated with these clubs after the Rolling Stone magazine article described above.

During the 1960s and 70s in New York City, musicians and audiences from the female, homosexual, black, and Latino communities, who were marginalized at the time, adopted several traits from the hippies and psychedelia. They included overwhelming sound, free-form dancing, "trippy" lighting, colorful costumes, and hallucinogens Psychedelic soul
Psychedelic soul
Psychedelic soul, sometimes called black rock, is a sub-genre of soul music, which mixes the characteristics of soul with psychedelic rock...

 groups like the Chambers Brothers and especially Sly and The Family Stone influenced proto-disco acts such as Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an American songwriter, musician, singer and actor. Hayes was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the...

, Willie Hutch
Willie Hutch
Willie McKinley Hutchison, known professionally as Willie Hutch was an American singer, songwriter as well as a record producer and recording artist for the Motown record label during the 1970s and 1980s....

 and the Philadelphia Sound. In addition, the positivity, lack of irony, and earnestness of the hippies informed proto-disco music like M.F.S.B.'s "Love Is the Message".

Philly
Philadelphia soul
Philadelphia soul, sometimes called the Philadelphia Sound or Sweet Philly, is a style of soul music characterized by funk influences and lush instrumental arrangements, often featuring sweeping strings and piercing horns. The subtle sound of a glockenspiel can often be heard in the background of...

 and New York soul were evolutions of the Motown sound. The Philly Sound is typified by lavish percussion
Percussion instrument
A percussion instrument is any object which produces a sound when hit with an implement or when it is shaken, rubbed, scraped, or otherwise acted upon in a way that sets the object into vibration...

 and lush strings, which became a prominent part of mid-1970s disco songs. Early songs with disco elements include "Bla, Bla Diddly" (Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio Moroder
Hansjörg "Giorgio" Moroder is an Italian record producer, songwriter and performer based in Los Angeles. When in Munich in the 1970s, he started his own record label called Oasis Records, which several years later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records...

 (1966), "You Keep Me Hangin' On
You Keep Me Hangin' On
Vanilla Fudge's 1967 psychedelic/hard rock remake of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" reached #6 on the Hot 100 chart two years after the release of the Supremes' recording. While the version released on 45 RPM single was under three minutes long, the album version was extended to six minutes and...

" (The Supremes
The Supremes
The Supremes, an American female singing group, were the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.Originally founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, The Supremes' repertoire included doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes, psychedelic soul, and disco...

, 1966), "Only the Strong Survive
Only the Strong Survive (Jerry Butler song)
"Only the Strong Survive" is a 1968 song by Jerry Butler, released on his album The Ice Man Cometh. It was the most successful single of his career, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was #1 for two weeks on the Billboard Black Singles Chart, in March and April 1969, respectively."Only the...

" (Jerry Butler
Jerry Butler (singer)
Jerry Butler is an American soul singer and songwriter. He is also noted as being the original lead singer of the R&B vocal group, The Impressions, as well as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.Butler is also an American politician...

, 1968), "Message to Love" (The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience were an English-American psychedelic rock band that formed in London in October 1966. Comprising eponymous singer-songwriter and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the band was active until June 1969, in which...

, 1969), "Soul Makossa
Soul Makossa
"Soul Makossa" is a 1972 single by Cameroonian makossa saxophonist Manu Dibango. It is often cited as one of the first disco records. In 1972 David Mancuso found a copy in a Brooklyn West Indian record store and often played it at his Loft parties. The response was so positive that the few copies...

" (Manu Dibango
Manu Dibango
-External links:*...

, 1972), Eddie Kendricks
Eddie Kendricks
Eddie Kendricks was an American singer and songwriter. Noted for his distinctive falsetto singing style, Kendricks co-founded the Motown singing group The Temptations, and was one of their lead singers from 1960 until 1971. His was the lead voice on such famous songs as "The Way You Do The Things...

' Keep on Truckin'
Keep on Truckin' (song)
"Keep on Truckin" is a 1973 hit song recorded by Eddie Kendricks for Motown Records' Tamla label. The song was Kendricks' first major hit as a solo artist, coming two years after his departure from The Temptations...

 (1973) and "The Love I Lost
The Love I Lost
"The Love I Lost" is a soul/disco song by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Originally written as a ballad by Philly soul songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the song was transformed into a disco song. It was released from the Black & Blue album in late 1973...

" by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes were an American singing group, one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s. The group's repertoire included soul, R&B, doo-wop, and disco...

, 1973).

The early disco sound was largely an urban American phenomenon with producers and labels such as SalSoul Records (Ken, Joe and Stanley Cayre), West End Records (Mel Cheren), Casablanca (Neil Bogart), and Prelude (Marvin Schlachter) to name a few.

The disco sound was also shaped by Tom Moulton
Tom Moulton
Tom Moulton is an American record producer, and originator of the remix, the breakdown section, and the 12-inch single vinyl format.-Life and career:Thomas Jerome Moulton was born in Schenectady, New York, United States....

 who wanted to extend the enjoyment of the music — thus creating the extended mix or "Remix
Remix
A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. This term is also used for any alterations of media other than song ....

". This has influenced many other latter genres such as techno
Techno
Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan in the United States during the mid to late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno, in reference to a genre of music, was in 1988...

, and pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

. DJs and remixers would often remix (that is,, re-edit) existing songs using reel-to-reel tape machines. Their remixed versions would add in percussion breaks, new sections, and new sounds. Other influential DJs and remixers who helped to establish what became known as the "disco sound" included David Mancuso
David Mancuso
David Mancuso created the popular "by invitation only" parties in New York City later known as "The Loft". The first party "Love Saves The Day" was in 1970...

, Nicky Siano
Nicky Siano
Nicky Siano was a resident DJ at Studio 54. Siano was born in Brooklyn, New York.In 1971 at the age of 16 he got his first djing gig, with the help of Robin Lord, and in 1972 he opened The Gallery in SoHo, Manhattan with his older brother Joe Siano. At the time he was considered to be the best DJ...

, Shep Pettibone
Shep Pettibone
Robert E. Pettibone, Jr. is a record producer, remixer, songwriter and club DJ, one of the most prolific of the 1980s. His earliest work known to the public was for one of New York City's top disco/dance radio stations, WRKS 98.7 "Kiss" FM, and later as remixer/producer for the disco label Salsoul...

, Larry Levan
Larry Levan
Larry Levan was a DJ best known for his decade-long residency at the New York City night club Paradise Garage, which has been described as the prototype of the modern dance club. He developed a cult following who referred to his sets as "Saturday Mass"...

, Walter Gibbons
Walter Gibbons
Walter Gibbons was an American record producer, early disco DJ and remixer.-Influence:He was an important part of the early 1970s New York disco underground scene, influencing garage and House music DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan. He also laid the foundations for early 1980s...

, and Chicago-based "Godfather of House" Frankie Knuckles
Frankie Knuckles
Frankie Knuckles is an American DJ, record producer and remix artist. He played an important role in developing house music as a Chicago DJ in the 1980s and he helped to popularize house music in the 1990s, with his work as a producer and remixer...

.

Disco hit the television airwaves with Soul Train
Soul Train
Soul Train is an American musical variety show that aired in syndication from October 1971 to March 2006. In its 35-year history, the show primarily featured performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists, although funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists have also appeared.As a nod to Soul Trains...

 in 1971 hosted by Don Cornelius
Don Cornelius
Donald Cortez "Don" Cornelius is an American television show host and producer who is best known as the creator of the nationally syndicated dance/music franchise Soul Train, which he hosted from 1971-1993...

, then Marty Angelo's Disco Step-by-Step Television Show in 1975, Steve Marcus' Disco Magic/Disco 77, Eddie Rivera's Soap Factory and Merv Griffin
Merv Griffin
Mervyn Edward "Merv" Griffin, Jr. was an American television host, musician, actor, and media mogul. He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in movies and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986 Griffin hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show on Group W Broadcasting...

's Dance Fever
Dance Fever
Dance Fever is an American musical variety series that aired weekly in syndication from January 1979 to September 1987. The series was created and produced by Merv Griffin and written by Tony Garofalo....

, hosted by Deney Terrio
Deney Terrio
Denis George Mahan , better known as Deney Terrio, is an American choreographer, former film actor and one-time host of the television musical variety series Dance Fever from 1979 to 1985...

, who is credited with teaching actor John Travolta
John Travolta
John Joseph Travolta is an American actor, dancer and singer. Travolta first became known in the 1970s, after appearing on the television series Welcome Back, Kotter and starring in the box office successes Saturday Night Fever and Grease...

 to dance for his upcoming role in the hit movie Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 drama film directed by John Badham and starring: John Travolta as Tony Manero, an immature young man whose weekends are spent visiting a local Brooklyn discothèque; Karen Lynn Gorney as his dance partner and eventual friend; and Donna Pescow as Tony's former dance...

.

1974–1979: Chart-topping songs

From 1974 through 1978, Disco music continued to increase in popularity as many disco songs topped the charts. The Hues Corporation
Hues Corporation
The Hues Corporation was a pop and soul trio formed in Santa Monica, California in 1969. They are best known for their 1974 hit, "Rock the Boat" which sold over two million copies.-Career:...

's 1974 "Rock The Boat
Rock the Boat (Hues Corporation song)
"Rock the Boat" is a disco song by the group Hues Corporation in 1974. "Rock the Boat" was written by Waldo Holmes, who also wrote the Blacula songs....

", a U.S. #1 single
Single (music)
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP or a CD. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it can still appear...

 and million-seller, was one of the early disco songs to hit #1. The same year saw the release of "Kung Fu Fighting
Kung Fu Fighting
"Kung Fu Fighting" is a disco song written by Jim Brusatto and Vivian Hawke performed by Carl Douglas, and composed and produced by Biddu. It was released as a single in 1974, at the cusp of a chopsocky film craze, and eventually rose to the top of the British and American charts, in addition to...

", produced by Biddu
Biddu
Biddu or Biddu Appaiah is an Indian-British music producer, composer, song-writer and singer who produced and composed many hit records worldwide during a career spanning five decades...

 and sung by Carl Douglas
Carl Douglas
Carl Douglas is a former Jamaican-born, UK-based, singer, best known for his song "Kung Fu Fighting", which hit number one in both the UK Singles Chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. The R.I.A.A. awarded gold disc status on 27 November, and it won a Grammy Award for Best Selling Single...

, which reached #1 in both the U.K. and U.S., and became the best-selling single of the year and one of the best-selling singles of all time with eleven million records sold worldwide, helping to popularize disco music to a great extent. Other chart-topping disco hits that year included "Walking in Rhythm
Walking in Rhythm
"Walking in Rhythm" is a smooth rhythm and blues & jazz song by The Blackbyrds. The song tells the tale of a man who is passionately desperate to get back home to his female companion. The song charted in March 1975 and reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune was similarly well...

" by The Blackbyrds
The Blackbyrds
The Blackbyrds were an American rhythm and blues and jazz-funk fusion group, formed in Washington, D.C. in 1973.-History:The group was inspired by trumpeter Donald Byrd and featured some of his Howard University students: Kevin Toney , Keith Killgo , Joe Hall , Allan C. Barnes , and Barney Perry...

, "Rock Your Baby
Rock Your Baby
"Rock Your Baby" is a popular song by George McCrae. Written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC and the Sunshine Band, "Rock Your Baby" was one of the landmark recordings of early disco music...

" by George McCrae
George McCrae
George McCrae is an American soul and disco singer, most famous for his 1974 hit "Rock Your Baby".-Early life and career:...

, and "Love's Theme
Love's Theme
"Love's Theme" is an instrumental piece recorded by Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra and released in 1973. It is one of the few instrumental and purely orchestral singles to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, in early 1974...

" by Barry White
Barry White
Barry White, born Barry Eugene Carter , was an American composer and singer-songwriter.A five-time Grammy Award-winner known for his distinctive bass voice and romantic image, White's greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with the Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring...

's Love Unlimited Orchestra. Also in 1974, Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor is an American singer, best known for the disco era hits; "I Will Survive" , "Never Can Say Goodbye" , "Let Me Know " and "I Am What I Am" .-Early career:Gaynor was a singer with the Soul...

 released the first side-long disco mix
Disco mix
A disco mix is a method of producing a recording of a song which was used in the 1970s for disco music, a funk/soul-influenced, dance-oriented pop music style. A disco mix uses orchestral build-ups to a full rich sound and then contrasts this full sound with "breaks" in which only percussion plays...

 vinyl
Gramophone record
A gramophone record, commonly known as a phonograph record , vinyl record , or colloquially, a record, is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove...

 album
Album
An album is a collection of recordings, released as a single package on gramophone record, cassette, compact disc, or via digital distribution. The word derives from the Latin word for list .Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one half of the album...

, which included a remake of The Jackson 5
The Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 , later known as The Jacksons, were an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana...

's "Never Can Say Goodbye
Never Can Say Goodbye
"Never Can Say Goodbye" is a song written by Clifton Davis and originally recorded by The Jackson 5. Released as a single in 1971, it was one of the group's most successful songs...

" and two other songs, "Honey Bee
Honey bee
Honey bees are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis...

" and "Reach Out (I'll Be There)". MFSB
MFSB
MFSB was a pool of more than thirty studio musicians based at Philadelphia’s famed Sigma Sound Studios. They worked closely with the production team of Gamble and Huff and producer/arranger Thom Bell, and backed up such groups as Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the O’Jays, the Stylistics, the...

 (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) released TSOP
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)
"TSOP " is a 1974 hit recording by MFSB featuring vocals by The Three Degrees. A classic example of the Philadelphia soul genre, it was written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff as the theme for the American musical television program Soul Train, which specialized in African American musical...

 (The Sound of Philadelphia), a 1974 hit recording featuring vocals by The Three Degrees, which became the first disco song to reach number one, after Love's Theme, on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

. In 1978 Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr performed one of the best singles of all time in disco music "Shine on Silver Moon" from the album "Marilyn and Billy". Also significant during this early disco period was Miami's KC and the Sunshine Band
KC and the Sunshine Band
KC and the Sunshine Band is an American musical group. Founded in 1973 in Miami, Florida, their style has included funk, R&B, and disco. Their most well known songs include the disco hits "That's the Way ", " Shake Your Booty", "I'm Your Boogie Man", "Keep It Comin' Love", "Get Down Tonight", "Give...

. Formed by Harry Wayne Casey
Harry Wayne Casey
Harry Wayne "K.C." Casey is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. He is most famous for his group, KC and the Sunshine Band, and as a producer of several hits for other artists.-Early years:...

 ("KC") and Richard Finch, KC and the Sunshine Band had a string of disco-definitive top-five hits between 1975 and 1977, including "Get Down Tonight
Get Down Tonight
"Get Down Tonight" is a song released in 1975 on the eponymous album by the disco group KC and the Sunshine Band. The song became widely successful, becoming the first of their five number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart...

", "That's the Way (I Like It)
That's the Way (I Like It)
"That's the Way " is a song written by H.W. Casey and Richard Finch, and recorded and released in 1975 by KC and the Sunshine Band for their eponymous second album...

", "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty
(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty
" Shake Your Booty" is a song recorded and released in 1976 by KC and the Sunshine Band for the album Part 3. The song became their third number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as their third number-one on the soul singles chart. The song was met with a degree of controversy, since the...

", "I'm Your Boogie Man
I'm Your Boogie Man
"I'm Your Boogie Man" is a popular song by KC and the Sunshine Band from their 1976 album Part 3. Richard Finch told Songfacts that this was written about a DJ at a Miami, Florida radio station called Robert W. Walker, who was the first to give their hit single "Get Down Tonight" airplay. In 1977...

" and "Keep It Comin' Love
Keep It Comin' Love
"Keep It Comin' Love" is a 1977 disco song recorded by KC and the Sunshine Band. It appeared on their 1977 album Part 3. The song, like its predecessor "That's the Way ", became widely successful due to its sexual double entendres...

".

The Bee Gees
Bee Gees
The Bee Gees are a musical group that originally comprised three brothers: Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio was successful for most of their 40-plus years of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a pop act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as a...

 used Barry Gibb's
Barry Gibb
Barry Alan Crompton Gibb, CBE , is a singer, songwriter and producer. He was born in the Isle of Man to English parents. With his brothers Robin and Maurice, he formed The Bee Gees, one of the most successful pop groups of all time. The trio got their start in Australia, and found their major...

 falsetto
Falsetto
Falsetto is the vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the modal voice register and overlapping with it by approximately one octave. It is produced by the vibration of the ligamentous edges of the vocal folds, in whole or in part...

 to garner hits such as "You Should Be Dancing
You Should Be Dancing
"You Should Be Dancing" is a single by the Bee Gees, from the album, Children of the World, in 1976. The single hit number one for one week on the American Billboard Hot 100, number one for seven weeks on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, and in July the same year, reached number five on the UK...

", "Stayin' Alive
Stayin' Alive
"Stayin' Alive" is a song by the pop group Bee Gees from the Saturday Night Fever motion picture soundtrack. The song was written by the Bee Gees and produced by the Bee Gees, Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson. It was released on 13 December 1977, as the second single from the Saturday Night Fever...

", "Night Fever
Night Fever
"Night Fever" is a disco song, written and performed by The Bee Gees. It first appeared on the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. Producer Robert Stigwood wanted to call the film Saturday Night, but singer Robin Gibb expressed hesitation at the title. Stigwood liked the title Night Fever but was...

" and "More Than A Woman
More Than a Woman (Bee Gees song)
"More Than a Woman" is a disco song written by the Bee Gees for the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever....

". Andy Gibb
Andy Gibb
Andy Gibb was an English singer and teen idol, and the youngest brother of the family whose other male siblings formed the Bee Gees: Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb.-The early years:...

, a younger brother to the Bee Gees, followed with similarly-styled solo hits such as "I Just Want to Be Your Everything
I Just Want to Be Your Everything
"I Just Want to Be Your Everything" was a hit song by pop singer Andy Gibb. The first single released from his debut album, Flowing Rivers, it became the first of three consecutive number one Billboard Hot 100 singles for Gibb...

," "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water
(Love Is) Thicker Than Water
" Thicker Than Water" is a 1977 song by Andy Gibb.A demonstration of the Gibb brothers' U.S. chart domination in 1978, this song replaced the song by Andy's brothers, the Bee Gees, with their #1 single "Stayin' Alive", when it reached #1 on the Hot 100 on March 4. This song was replaced at number...

" and "Shadow Dancing
Shadow Dancing (song)
"Shadow Dancing" is a song by Andy Gibb that reached number one for seven weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. According to Billboard's Book Of Number One Hits, Gibb became the first solo artist in the history of the U.S. pop charts to have his first three singles hit the number-one spot...

." In 1975, hits such as Van McCoy
Van McCoy
Van Allen Clinton McCoy was an accomplished musician, music producer, arranger, songwriter, and orchestra conductor. He is known best for his 1975 internationally successful song "The Hustle", which is still played in dance halls and on radio to this day more than thirty years since his death...

's "The Hustle
The Hustle (song)
"The Hustle" is a famous disco song by songwriter/arranger Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony. It scored #1 on the "Billboard Hot 100" and the "Hot Soul Singles" charts during the summer of 1975. It also peaked at #9 on the Australian Singles Chart and #3 in the UK...

" and Donna Summer
Donna Summer
LaDonna Adrian Gaines , known by her stage name, Donna Summer, is an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s. She has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. Summer is a five-time Grammy winner and was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach...

's "Love to Love You Baby
Love to Love You Baby
Love to Love You Baby is the second album by Donna Summer, and her first to be released internationally and in the US. Her previous album Lady of the Night was released only in the Netherlands. Love to Love You Baby was released in the US on August 27, 1975.-History:In the summer of 1975, Summer...

" and "Could It Be Magic
Could It Be Magic
"Could It Be Magic" is a song by Adrienne Anderson and Barry Manilow. It was included on Manilow's 1973 debut album, Barry Manilow.Due to its popularity, it was released as a single in 1975, two years after it had originally been recorded, where it reached #6 in the United States.Manilow's...

" brought disco further into the mainstream. Other notable early disco hits include The Jacksons’s "Dancing Machine
Dancing Machine
"Dancing Machine" is a 1973 song recorded by The Jackson 5, released as a single in 1974. The group's first US Top Ten hit since 1971's "Sugar Daddy", "Dancing Machine" reached number two on the Billboard pop music charts in May 1974, and number one on the R&B charts...

" (1974), Barry White
Barry White
Barry White, born Barry Eugene Carter , was an American composer and singer-songwriter.A five-time Grammy Award-winner known for his distinctive bass voice and romantic image, White's greatest success came in the 1970s as a solo singer and with the Love Unlimited Orchestra, crafting many enduring...

’s "You're the First, the Last, My Everything
You're the First, the Last, My Everything
"You're the First, the Last, My Everything" is a popular song recorded by Barry White. Written by White, Tony Sepe and Peter Radcliffe and produced by White, "You're the First, The Last, My Everything" was White's fourth top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, reaching #2; it spent a...

" (1974), LaBelle
Labelle
Labelle is an American all female singing group who were a popular vocal group of the 1960s and 1970s. The group was formed after the disbanding of two rival girl groups in the Philadelphia/Trenton areas, the Ordettes and the Del-Capris, forming as a new version of the former group, later changing...

’s "Lady Marmalade
Lady Marmalade
"Lady Marmalade" was also covered by Italian pop star Sabrina. It was released in 1987 as the album's second single by Baby Records. In some countries, including France and the Netherlands, the song was known as "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? " and was released in 1988.-Track listings:7" maxi#...

" (1975) and Silver Convention
Silver Convention
Silver Convention was a German euro disco recording act of the 1970s. The group was originally named Silver Bird Convention, or Silver Bird.-Career:...

’s "Fly Robin Fly" (1975). Chic
Chic (band)
Chic was an African American disco and R&B band that was organized during 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards. It is known best for its commercially successful disco songs, including "Dance, Dance, Dance " , "Everybody Dance" , "Le Freak" , "I Want Your Love" , "Good Times"...

's "Le Freak
Le Freak
"Le Freak" is a successful 1978 disco song by the disco band Chic. It was the band's third single album and first Billboard Hot 100 and soul music number-one song. Along with the tracks, "I Want Your Love" and "Chic Cheer", "Le Freak" scored number one on the disco charts for seven weeks...

" (1978) became a classic and is heard almost everywhere disco is mentioned; other hits by Chic include the often-sampled "Good Times" (1979) and "Everybody Dance
Everybody Dance (song)
"Everybody Dance" is the second single from the first album Chic by the Chic. It features Norma Jean Wright on lead vocals. Luther Vandross appears on background vocals...

" (1978). Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

 also scored his second chart-topping solo hit in the disco genre with "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" is a single by American recording artist Michael Jackson. Released under Epic Records on July 28, 1979, the song is the first single from Jackson's fifth studio album, entitled Off the Wall. Written by Jackson, it is in the key of B major and in common time...

" (1979). Martin Dow, an influential DJ at the time in Key West, FL was the resident DJ at The Monster, who pioneered the NYC sound across the state and was a recipient of the IRAA Gold Record for the Atlantic Records hit single "Dance, Dance, Dance
Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)
"Dance, Dance, Dance " is a 1977 disco song recorded by Chic. It was the group's first hit, reaching #6 on both the pop and R&B charts and reached #1 on the dance play charts. Luther Vandross provided backup vocals...

" by Chic. He was influenced by Roy Thode, a NYC DJ who played in many NYC clubs at the time and was a close friend of Jim Burgess. Roy and Martin were notable for their ability to phase and mix three turntables simultaneously.

Diana Ross
Diana Ross
Diana Ernestine Earle Ross is an American singer, record producer, and actress. Ross was lead singer of the Motown group The Supremes during the 1960s. After leaving the group in 1970, Ross began a solo career that included successful ventures into film and Broadway...

 was one of the first Motown artists to embrace the disco sound with her hugely successful 1976 outing "Love Hangover
Love Hangover
"Love Hangover" was the fourth number one single for Motown singer Diana Ross. It was released in March 1976, and rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Soul Singles and Hot Dance Club Play charts simultaneously....

" from her self-entitled album. Ross would continue to score disco hits for the rest of the Disco era, including the 1980 dance classics "Upside Down
Upside Down
"Upside Down" is a hit song by Diana Ross released on the Motown label. It was the first single taken from her 1980 album diana and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 6, 1980. It also hit number one on the Billboard Disco/Dance and R&B charts...

" and "I'm Coming Out
I'm Coming Out
"I'm Coming Out" is a hit single released by Motown singer Diana Ross in 1980, written and produced by Chic members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers for her album diana .-Background:...

", (the latter immediately becoming a favorite in the gay community). Ironically enough, the group Ross led to superstardom during the 1960s, The Supremes
The Supremes
The Supremes, an American female singing group, were the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.Originally founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, The Supremes' repertoire included doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes, psychedelic soul, and disco...

, scored a handful of hits in the disco clubs without Ross, most notably 1976's "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking
I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking
"I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking" is a disco-styled soul single composed by the Holland brothers Eddie and Brian, members of the former Holland–Dozier–Holland team and was released as a single by Motown vocal group The Supremes in 1976 on the Motown label. It was the first single since "Your...

" and, their last charted single before disbanding, 1977's "You're My Driving Wheel". Also noteworthy are Cheryl Lynn
Cheryl Lynn
Lynda Cheryl Smith , known better by her professional name Cheryl Lynn, is a female African-American disco, R&B and soul singer known best for her 1978 disco song, "Got to Be Real".-Early career:...

's "Got to Be Real
Got To Be Real
"Got to Be Real" is a 1978 disco song by Cheryl Lynn from her self-titled album. The song, which was Lynn's debut single, was penned by David Paich, David Foster, and Lynn, and has since been called one of the defining moments in disco. Along with the tracks, "Star Love" and "You Saved My Day",...

" (1978), Evelyn "Champagne" King's "Shame
Shame
Shame is, variously, an affect, emotion, cognition, state, or condition. The roots of the word shame are thought to derive from an older word meaning to cover; as such, covering oneself, literally or figuratively, is a natural expression of shame....

", (also 1978), Cher
Cher
Cher is an American recording artist, television personality, actress, director, record producer and philanthropist. Referred to as the Goddess of Pop, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes and a Cannes Film Festival Award among others for her work in...

's "Take Me Home" (1979), Sister Sledge
Sister Sledge
Sister Sledge is an American musical group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 1972 and consisting of four sisters: Kim Sledge Debbie Sledge , Joni Sledge , and Kathy Sledge . They are granddaughters of the former opera singer Viola Williams. The sisters used to perform under the name of "Mrs...

's "We Are Family
We Are Family (song)
"We Are Family" is a 1979 dance hit song by Sister Sledge, composed by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. Rodgers and Edwards offered the song to Atlantic Records; although the record label initially declined, the track was released as a single from the album of the same name and quickly began to...

" (also 1979), Geraldine Hunt
Geraldine Hunt
Geraldine Hunt is an [United States|American]] R&B singer best known for the 1980 #1 Hot Dance Music/Club Play hit "Can't Fake the Feeling".-Life and career:...

's "Can't Fake The Feeling" (1980), and Walter Murphy
Walter Murphy
Walter Anthony Murphy, Jr. is an American instrumentalist, songwriter, and arranger. He rose to fame with the hit instrumental "A Fifth of Beethoven", a disco adaptation of passages from the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, in 1976, when disco was at the height of its...

's various attempts to bring classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 to the mainstream, most notably his hit "A Fifth of Beethoven
A Fifth of Beethoven
"A Fifth of Beethoven" is a disco instrumental recorded by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band. It was adapted by Murphy from the first movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. The record was produced by noted production music and sound effects recording producer Thomas J. Valentino. It was one of...

" (1976).

The rich orchestral accompaniment that became identified with the disco era conjured up the memories of the big band
Big band
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately twelve to twenty-five musicians...

 era which brought out several artists that recorded and disco-ized some big band arrangements including Perry Como
Perry Como
Pierino Ronald "Perry" Como was an American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with them in 1943. "Mr...

, who re-recorded his 1929 and 1939 hit, Temptation, in 1975, as well as Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman was an American actress and singer. Known primarily for her powerful voice and roles in musical theatre, she has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage." Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm", "Everything's...

, who released an album of disco songs entitled The Ethel Merman Disco Album
The Ethel Merman Disco Album
The Ethel Merman Disco Album is a 1979 album by American Broadway legend Ethel Merman. Over the years, the album became a camp classic and vinyl copies were highly sought out by collectors....

in 1979. The disco fad was even picked up by more unexpected musicians, such as country artists Bill Anderson (Double S), Connie Smith
Connie Smith
Connie Smith is an American country music artist. She began her career in 1963 after winning a local talent contest near Columbus, Ohio, which attracted the attention of country songwriter Bill Anderson...

 (with her cover of Andy Gibb's "I Just Want to Be Your Everything
I Just Want to Be Your Everything
"I Just Want to Be Your Everything" was a hit song by pop singer Andy Gibb. The first single released from his debut album, Flowing Rivers, it became the first of three consecutive number one Billboard Hot 100 singles for Gibb...

" and Ronnie Milsap
Ronnie Milsap
Ronnie Lee Milsap is an American country music singer and pianist. He was one of country’s most popular and influential performers of the 1970s and 1980s...

 (High Heel Sneakers). Myron Floren
Myron Floren
Myron Floren was an American musician best known as the accordionist on The Lawrence Welk Show between 1950 and 1982...

, second-in-command on The Lawrence Welk Show
The Lawrence Welk Show
The Lawrence Welk Show is an American televised musical variety show hosted by big band leader Lawrence Welk. The series aired locally in Los Angeles for four years , then nationally for another 27 years via the ABC network and first-run syndication .In the years since first-run syndication...

, released a recording of the Clarinet Polka
Clarinet Polka
The Clarinet Polka or A Hupfata − a popular musical composition from the end of the 19th century...

 entitled "Disco Accordion." Even the I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy
I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, on the Columbia Broadcasting System...

theme wasn't spared from being disco-ized. Other notable disco hits based on movie and television themes included the medley from Star Wars, "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" (1977), by Meco
Meco
Meco is an American record producer and musician, as well as the name of a band or production team based around him...

, and "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone" by The Manhattan Transfer
The Manhattan Transfer
The Manhattan Transfer is an American vocal music group. There have been two manifestations of the group, with Tim Hauser being the only person to be part of both...

 (1979).

Prominent European pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 and disco groups were Luv'
Luv'
Luv is a Dutch pop girl group that scored a string of hit records in Continental Europe as well as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1979, Luv' was "Holland's best export act" and thus received the "Conamus Export Prize"...

 from the Netherlands and Boney M
Boney M
Boney M. is a Eurodisco group created by German record producer Frank Farian. Originally based in Germany, the four original members of the group's official line-up were Jamaicans Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams from Montserrat and Bobby Farrell from Aruba...

, a group of four West Indian singers and dancers masterminded by West German record producer Frank Farian
Frank Farian
Frank Farian , is a German record producer and songwriter. He started out as a trained cook before moving into the music industry...

. Boney M
Boney M
Boney M. is a Eurodisco group created by German record producer Frank Farian. Originally based in Germany, the four original members of the group's official line-up were Jamaicans Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams from Montserrat and Bobby Farrell from Aruba...

 charted worldwide hits with such songs as "Daddy Cool", "Ma Baker
Ma Baker
"Ma Baker" is a 1977 disco hit single by German disco band Boney M. It was the first single of their second album Love for Sale and their third consecutive chart-topper in Germany and their best yet placing in the UK, peaking at #2 although only a minor single in the US .-The song:Frank Farian's...

" and "Rivers of Babylon
Rivers of Babylon
"Rivers of Babylon" is a rastafarian song written and recorded by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of the Jamaican reggae group The Melodians in 1970. The Melodians' original versions of the song appeared in the sound track to the 1972 movie The Harder They Come and the 1999 Nicolas Cage movie...

". In France, Claude Francois
Claude François
Claude François was a French pop singer, songwriter and dancer. He wrote "Comme d'habitude," the original version of "My Way."-Early life:...

 who re-invented himself as the king of French disco, released "La plus belle chose du monde" a French version of the Bee Gees
Bee Gees
The Bee Gees are a musical group that originally comprised three brothers: Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio was successful for most of their 40-plus years of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a pop act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as a...

 hit record, "Massachusetts
Massachusetts (Bee Gees song)
"Massachusetts" is a song written, recorded, and released by the Bee Gees in 1967 and later appearing on their 1968 album, Horizontal. It was their first Number 1 hit in the UK and eventually became one of the best selling singles of all times....

" which became a big hit in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and "Alexandrie Alexandra" was posthumously released on the day of his burial which became a worldwide hit; "Dalida
Dalida
Dalida , born with Italian name of Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti, was a world-famous singer and actress born in Egypt with Italian origins but naturalised French with the name Yolanda Gigliotti. She spent her early years in Egypt amongst the Italian Egyptian community, but she lived most of her adult...

 released "J'attendrai
J'attendrai
"J'attendrai" is a French popular song recorded by Rina Ketty in 1938. It is a translation of the Italian song "Tornerai" composed by Dino Olivieri and Nino Rastelli in 1933; the French lyrics were written by Louis Potérat...

", which became a big hit in Canada and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, and Cerrone
Cerrone
Marc Cerrone is a French disco drummer, singer-songwriter and record producer.Marc Cerrone has sold over thirty million albums and has often performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people at huge concerts and events such as The 2005 Dance Party Live in Versailles and The 2000 Los Angeles...

's early hit songs – "Love In C Minor", "Give Me Love" and "Supernature
Supernature (Cerrone song)
Supernature is the title track of Cerrone's 1977 album. "Supernature ", along with the tracks "Give Me Love" and "Love is Here", hit #1 on the disco/dance charts early in 1978. The single crossed over to both the pop charts, where it peaked at #70 and the soul charts, where it peaked at #72...

" – became major hits in the U.S. and Europe.

Eurodisco

Eurodisco was not as funky, more pop oriented, and less soul
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

 influenced than American styled disco. European acts Silver Convention
Silver Convention
Silver Convention was a German euro disco recording act of the 1970s. The group was originally named Silver Bird Convention, or Silver Bird.-Career:...

, Love and Kisses, Munich Machine, and American acts Donna Summer
Donna Summer
LaDonna Adrian Gaines , known by her stage name, Donna Summer, is an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s. She has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. Summer is a five-time Grammy winner and was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach...

, and the Village People
Village People
Village People is a concept disco group that formed in the United States in 1977, well known for their on-stage costumes depicting American cultural stereotypes, as well as their catchy tunes and suggestive lyrics....

 were acts that defined the late 1970s Eurodisco sound. Producers Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio Moroder
Hansjörg "Giorgio" Moroder is an Italian record producer, songwriter and performer based in Los Angeles. When in Munich in the 1970s, he started his own record label called Oasis Records, which several years later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records...

 whom Allmusic described as "one of the principal architects of the disco sound" and Jean-Marc Cerrone were involved with Eurodisco. The highly influential German group Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk is an influential electronic music band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The group was formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970, and was fronted by them until Schneider's departure in 2008...

 is regarded by some as the first Eurodisco act.

1978–1980: Pop pre-eminence

In December 1977 the film Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 drama film directed by John Badham and starring: John Travolta as Tony Manero, an immature young man whose weekends are spent visiting a local Brooklyn discothèque; Karen Lynn Gorney as his dance partner and eventual friend; and Donna Pescow as Tony's former dance...

was released. The film was marketed specifically to broaden disco's popularity beyond its primarily homosexual, black, and latin audience. It was a huge success and its soundtrack became one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Disco's popularity led many non-disco artists to record disco songs at the height of its popularity. Many of their songs were not "pure" disco, but were instead rock or pop songs with (sometimes inescapable) disco influence or overtones. Notable examples include Blondie
Blondie (band)
Blondie is an American rock band, founded by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band was a pioneer in the early American New Wave and punk scenes of the mid-1970s...

's ""Heart of Glass
Heart of Glass (song)
"Heart of Glass" is a song by American New Wave band Blondie, written by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. Featured on the band's third studio album, Parallel Lines, it was released as a single in January 1979 and topped the charts in several countries, including the US and UK.Rolling...

" (1978), Cher
Cher
Cher is an American recording artist, television personality, actress, director, record producer and philanthropist. Referred to as the Goddess of Pop, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes and a Cannes Film Festival Award among others for her work in...

's "Hell on Wheels
Hell on Wheels
The phrase "Hell on Wheels" was originally used to describe the itinerant collection of flimsily assembled gambling houses, dance halls, saloons, and brothels that followed the army of Union Pacific railroad workers westward as they constructed the American transcontinental railroad in the...

" (1979), The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

' "Miss You" (1978), Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow is an American singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, producer, conductor, and performer, best known for such recordings as "Could It Be Magic", "Mandy", "Can't Smile Without You", and "Copacabana ."...

’s "Copacabana
Copacabana (song)
"Copacabana", also known as "Copacabana ", is a 1978 song which was sung by Barry Manilow and written by Jack Feldman, Barry Manilow, and Bruce Sussman.-Song information:...

" (1978), David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

 "John I'm Only Dancing (Again)" (1975), Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
Roderick David "Rod" Stewart, CBE is a British singer-songwriter and musician, born and raised in North London, England and currently residing in Epping. He is of Scottish and English ancestry....

's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" is a 1978 hit song for Rod Stewart. It was written by Stewart and Carmine Appice, and produced by Tom Dowd."Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" spent one week at the top of the British charts in December 1978 and four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, starting 10 February 1979...

" (1979), The Kinks
The Kinks
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1964. Categorised in the United States as a British Invasion band, The Kinks are recognised as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era. Their music was influenced by a...

's "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" (1979), Electric Light Orchestra
Electric Light Orchestra
Electric Light Orchestra were a British rock group from Birmingham who released eleven studio albums between 1971 and 1986 and another album in 2001. ELO were formed to accommodate Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne's desire to create modern rock and pop songs with classical overtones...

’s "Shine a Little Love
Shine A Little Love
"Shine a Little Love" is a song by the Electric Light Orchestra. It was released as a single in the US in May 1979 and in the UK in June of the same year.-Summary:...

", "Don't Bring Me Down
Don't Bring Me Down
"Don't Bring Me Down" is a song by the band Electric Light Orchestra, and is the last track from their 1979 album Discovery. It is their highest charting hit in the US to date.-History:...

", and "Last Train to London
Last Train to London
"Last Train to London" is the fifth track from the Electric Light Orchestra album Discovery.The song was released in 1980 in the UK as a double A-side single with "Confusion". It peaked at #8 in the UK Singles Chart. However, in the US the two songs charted separately, with "Confusion" charting in...

" (1979), George Benson
George Benson
George Benson is a ten Grammy Award winning American musician, whose production career began at the age of twenty-one as a jazz guitarist....

's "Give Me the Night" (1980), Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

's "Another One Bites the Dust
Another One Bites the Dust
"Another One Bites the Dust" is a song by the English rock band Queen. Written by bass guitarist John Deacon, the song featured on the group's eighth studio album The Game . The song was a worldwide hit, charting number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100, number two on the R&B charts and...

" (1980), Paul McCartney & Wings' "Goodnight Tonight
Goodnight Tonight
"Goodnight Tonight" is Wings' disco-inflected single which included a spirited flamenco guitar break. It peaked at number five in both the United Kingdom and United States during 1979. The track did not appear on Wings' then-current LP Back to the Egg , however it was included on the 1987 McCartney...

" (1979), and Kiss
KISS (band)
Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973. Well-known for its members' face paint and flamboyant stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting,...

' "I Was Made For Lovin' You
I Was Made For Lovin' You
I Was Made for Lovin' You" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, originally released on their 1979 album Dynasty. It was released as the A-side of their first single from the album. It was the band's second Gold single, selling over 1 million copies. The single was certified Platinum in the...

" (1979).

Several parodies of the disco style were created, most notably "Disco Duck
Disco Duck
"Disco Duck" is a satirical disco novelty song performed by Memphis disc jockey Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots. It became a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week in October 1976 . It also made the top 20 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart, peaking at number 15...

" and "Dancin' Fool". Rick Dees
Rick Dees
Rigdon Osmond "Rick" Dees III is an American comedic performer, entertainer, and radio personality, best known for his internationally syndicated radio show The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown and for the novelty song "Disco Duck." He is a People's Choice Award recipient, a Grammy-nominated...

, at the time a radio DJ in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, recorded "Disco Duck"; Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

 parodied the lifestyles of disco dancers in "Dancin' Fool" on his 1979 Sheik Yerbouti
Sheik Yerbouti
Sheik Yerbouti is a double vinyl album by Frank Zappa made up of material recorded in 1977 and 1978. It was first released on March 3 1979 as the first release on Zappa Records and re-issued on compact disc, first in unauthorized form by EMI in 1986 and then by Rykodisc in 1990 and then again in 1995...

 album.

1979–1981 Backlash and decline

Though disco music had enjoyed several years of popularity, an anti-disco sentiment manifested itself, particularly in America. Many musicians and fans of a variety of rock music styles expressed strong disapproval of the long running popularity of disco and its highly identifiable culture, especially as the decade was coming to a close. Among these critics, the slogans "disco sucks" and "death to disco" were common by the late 1970s and appeared in written form in places ranging from tee shirts to graffiti. Radio DJs organized mass burnings of Bee Gees
Bee Gees
The Bee Gees are a musical group that originally comprised three brothers: Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio was successful for most of their 40-plus years of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a pop act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as a...

 albums and posters. Rock artists such as Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
Roderick David "Rod" Stewart, CBE is a British singer-songwriter and musician, born and raised in North London, England and currently residing in Epping. He is of Scottish and English ancestry....

 and David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

 who added disco elements to their music were accused of being sell outs
Sell Out
The first release by Boston hard rock band Halfcocked. It came out in 1998 on Curve of the Earth Records.-Track listing:#"Crash" – 3:24 #"Holly Wood" – #"Return of the Living Dead" – #"Superstar" –...

, although disco was done by many musical acts at the time.

The punk subculture
Punk subculture
The punk subculture includes a diverse array of ideologies, and forms of expression, including fashion, visual art, dance, literature, and film, which grew out of punk rock.-History:...

 both in the United States and United Kingdom was often very critical, and even downright hostile towards disco. Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra is an American musician, spoken word artist and leading figure of the Green Party of the United States. Biafra first gained attention as the lead singer and songwriter for San Francisco punk rock band Dead Kennedys...

 of The Dead Kennedys likened disco to the cabaret culture of Weimar Germany for its apathy towards government policy and its escapism (which Biafra saw as delusional). He sang about this in the song "Saturday Night Holocaust", the B-side of the song "Halloween
Halloween (Dead Kennedys song)
"Halloween" is the seventh and final single by the Dead Kennedys. It was released in December 1982 on Alternative Tentacles...

". Mark Mothersbaugh
Mark Mothersbaugh
Mark Allen Mothersbaugh is an American musician, composer, singer and painter. He is the co-founder of the new wave band Devo and has been its lead singer since 1972. His other musical projects include work for television series, films, and video games....

 of Devo
Devo
Devo is an American band formed in 1973 consisting of members from Kent and Akron, Ohio. The classic line-up of the band includes two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs and the Casales . The band had a #14 Billboard chart hit in 1980 with the single "Whip It", and has maintained a cult...

 has said that Disco was "like a beautiful woman with a great body and no brains" and a product of political apathy of that era. Aside from Mothersbaugh's and Biafra's criticism, punk fans shared the "disco sucks" sentiment of other rock fans. New Jersey rock critic Jim Testa wrote "Put a Bullet Through The Jukebox", a vitriolic screed attacking disco that was a punk call to arms.

July 12, 1979 became known as "the day disco died" because of an anti-disco demonstration held in Chicago. Rock station DJs Steve Dahl
Steve Dahl
Steven Robert Dahl has been an American radio personality and humorist for more than thirty years. He is currently podcasting, and releases the podcasts for download daily from his own website as well as the iTunes store...

 and Garry Meier
Garry Meier
Garry Meier is a Chicago-based radio personality and is currently the afternoon host on WGN-AM 720 in Chicago, heard weekdays 3-7 PM CT.- Beginnings :...

, along with Michael Veeck, son of White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

 owner Bill Veeck
Bill Veeck
William Louis Veeck, Jr. , also known as "Sport Shirt Bill", was a native of Chicago, Illinois, and a franchise owner and promoter in Major League Baseball. He was best known for his publicity stunts to raise attendance. Veeck was at various times the owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis...

, staged Disco Demolition Night
Disco Demolition Night
Disco Demolition Night was a promotional event that took place on Thursday, July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, during which a crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field. It was held during the twi-night doubleheader baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and...

,
a promotional event with an anti-disco theme, between games at a White Sox doubleheader for disgruntled rock fans. During this event, which involved exploding disco records, the raucous crowd tore out seats and turf in the field and did other damage to Comiskey Park
Comiskey Park
Comiskey Park was the ballpark in which the Chicago White Sox played from 1910 to 1990. It was built by Charles Comiskey after a design by Zachary Taylor Davis, and was the site of four World Series and more than 6,000 major league games...

. It ended in a riot in which the Chicago Police Department
Chicago Police Department
The Chicago Police Department, also known as the CPD, is the principal law enforcement agency of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States, under the jurisdiction of the Mayor of Chicago. It is the largest police department in the Midwest and the second largest local law enforcement agency in the...

 made numerous arrests. The damage done to the field forced the White Sox to forfeit the second game to the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

 who won the first game. The stadium suffered thousands of dollars in damage.

On July 21, 1979 six days after the riot, the top six records on the US music charts were disco songs. By September 22, two months later, there were no disco songs in the US Top 10 chart. The media, in celebratory tones, declared disco dead and rock revived.

The anti-disco backlash, combined with other societal and radio industry factors, changed the face of pop radio in the years following Chicago's disco-demolition night. Top 40 radio stations did a turn-around and avoided playing music by black and latin artists in general to avoid being labeled with the dreaded "disco" tag, although not all minority acts (as with whites acts) were disco artists. Country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 also finally began a slow rise into favor on the main pop chart starting in the 1980s as it was a departure from disco. John Travolta
John Travolta
John Joseph Travolta is an American actor, dancer and singer. Travolta first became known in the 1970s, after appearing on the television series Welcome Back, Kotter and starring in the box office successes Saturday Night Fever and Grease...

 had a hit with the film Urban Cowboy
Urban Cowboy
Released as a 2× vinyl record album, re-released on CD in 1995.Side A:#Hello Texas – Jimmy Buffett #All Night Long – Joe Walsh #Times Like These – Dan Fogelberg #Nine Tonight – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band...

in 1980.

The television industry, taking a cue from the music industry, responded with its anti-disco agenda as well. A recurring theme on the television show WKRP in Cincinnati
WKRP in Cincinnati
WKRP in Cincinnati is an American situation comedy that featured the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show was created by Hugh Wilson and was based upon his experiences working in advertising sales at Top 40 radio station WQXI in Atlanta...

was a hateful attitude towards disco music. The comedic trio Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker
Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker
Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker are an American comedy filmmaking trio consisting of Jim Abrahams and brothers David and Jerry Zucker who specializes in slapstick comedy films during the 1980s and the early 1990s...

 also lampooned the anti-disco sentiment in their 1980 smash comedy film Airplane!
Airplane!
Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures...

In one scene, there is a city skyline featuring a radio tower with a neon
Neon
Neon is the chemical element that has the symbol Ne and an atomic number of 10. Although a very common element in the universe, it is rare on Earth. A colorless, inert noble gas under standard conditions, neon gives a distinct reddish-orange glow when used in either low-voltage neon glow lamps or...

-lighted station callsign. A disc jockey
Disc jockey
A disc jockey, also known as DJ, is a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. Originally, "disc" referred to phonograph records, not the later Compact Discs. Today, the term includes all forms of music playback, no matter the medium.There are several types of disc jockeys...

 voiceover then says: "WZAZ in Chicago, where disco lives forever!" Then the wayward airplane slices the radio tower with its wing, the voiceover goes silent, and the lighted callsign on the tower goes black.

It was also during this decline of disco that several record companies were folded, reorganized, or sold. In 1979, MCA Records
MCA Records
MCA Records was an American-based record company owned by MCA Inc., which later gave way to the larger MCA Music Entertainment Group , of which MCA Records was still part. MCA Records was absorbed by Geffen Records in 2003...

 purchased ABC Records
ABC Records
ABC Records was an American record label, founded in New York City in 1955 as ABC-Paramount Records. It originated as the main popular music label operated the Am-Par Record Corporation, the music subsidiary of the American Broadcasting Company . ABC-Paramount Records' first president was Samuel H....

 and absorbed some of its artists and then shut the label down. Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records was an American record label started by Neil Bogart, who partnered with Cecil Holmes, Larry Harris, and Buck Reingold in 1973, and based in Los Angeles. The label was formed after all of them had left Buddah Records and secured financing by Warner Bros. Records to start the venture...

, which managed to hang on until 1986, had been releasing far fewer records in the 80s, and was shut down by parent company PolyGram
PolyGram
PolyGram was the name of the major label recording company started by Philips from as a holding company for its music interests in 1945. In 1999 it was sold to Seagram and merged into Universal Music Group.-Hollandsche Decca Distributie , 1929-1950:...

 Records. RSO Records
RSO Records
RSO Records was a record label, formed by rock and roll and musical theatre impresario Robert Stigwood in 1973. The "RSO" stands for the Robert Stigwood Organisation. The company's main headquarters were at 67 Brook Street, in London's Mayfair...

 founder Robert Stigwood
Robert Stigwood
Robert Stigwood is an impresario and entertainment entrepreneur who relocated to England in 1954...

 left the label in 1981. TK Records
TK Records
TK Records was an American record label started by record distributor, Henry Stone in Miami, Florida, one of several labels that he founded in the 1960s and 1970s...

 was closed in 1981. Salsoul Records
Salsoul Records
This article is about the record label. For SalSoul the Puerto Rican Salsa radio station see Cadena Salsoul.Salsoul Records was a New York City based record label founded by brothers Joseph Cayre, Kenneth Cayre, and Stanley Cayre . Salsoul released about 300 disco 12-inch singles, and a string of...

 hung on until 1984 and was closed.

Factors

A bad economy, political chaos that led to the election of Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and burnout
Burnout (psychology)
Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest. Research indicates general practitioners have the highest proportion of burnout cases; according to a recent Dutch study in Psychological Reports, no less than 40% of these experienced high levels of...

 brought on by the hedonistic lifestyles led by participants (along with the emergence of AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

) have been cited as factors leading to the decline of the disco genre. Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor is an American singer, best known for the disco era hits; "I Will Survive" , "Never Can Say Goodbye" , "Let Me Know " and "I Am What I Am" .-Early career:Gaynor was a singer with the Soul...

 argued that the music industry supported the destruction of disco because rock music producers were losing money and rock musicians were losing the spotlight. Disco was criticized for being elitist
Elitism
Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most...

. Songs such as Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

's satirical song "Dancin' Fool"
Sheik Yerbouti
Sheik Yerbouti is a double vinyl album by Frank Zappa made up of material recorded in 1977 and 1978. It was first released on March 3 1979 as the first release on Zappa Records and re-issued on compact disc, first in unauthorized form by EMI in 1986 and then by Rykodisc in 1990 and then again in 1995...

 and Steve Dahl
Steve Dahl
Steven Robert Dahl has been an American radio personality and humorist for more than thirty years. He is currently podcasting, and releases the podcasts for download daily from his own website as well as the iTunes store...

's "Do Ya Think I'm Disco?" described patrons of exclusive discos as being overdressed and vapid.
In January 1979, rock critic Robert Christgau
Robert Christgau
Robert Christgau is an American essayist, music journalist, and self-proclaimed "Dean of American Rock Critics".One of the earliest professional rock critics, Christgau is known for his terse capsule reviews, published since 1969 in his Consumer Guide columns...

 wrote that homophobia
Homophobia
Homophobia is a term used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay and in some cases bisexual, transgender people and behavior, although these are usually covered under other terms such as biphobia and transphobia. Definitions refer to irrational fear, with the...

, and most likely racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

, were reasons behind the backlash. a conclusion seconded by John Rockwell
John Rockwell
John Rockwell is a music critic, editor, and dance critic. He studied at Phillips Academy, Harvard, the University of Munich, and the University of California, Berkeley, earning a Ph.D. in German culture....

 in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

. In the years since Disco Demolition night, social critics have described the backlash as implicitly macho and bigoted, and an attack on non-white and non-heterosexual cultures. Legs McNeil
Legs McNeil
Roderick Edward "Legs" McNeil is a writer and rock music historian. He is the co-founder and a writer for Punk Magazine; he is also a former senior editor at Spin Magazine, and the founder and editor of Nerve magazine .- Punk Magazine:At the age of 18, McNeil gathered with two high school...

, founder of the fanzine
Fanzine
A fanzine is a nonprofessional and nonofficial publication produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest...

 Punk
Punk (magazine)
Punk is a music magazine/fanzine created by cartoonist John Holmstrom, publisher Ged Dunn and "resident punk" Legs McNeil in 1975. Its use of the term "punk rock," coined by writers for Creem magazine a few years earlier, led to its worldwide acceptance as the definition for the new bands that were...

, was quoted in an interview as saying, "the hippies always wanted to be black. We were going, 'fuck the blues, fuck the black experience'." He said that disco was the result of an unholy union between homosexuals and blacks. Harold Childs senior vice president at A&M Records
A&M Records
A&M Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that operates under the mantle of its Interscope-Geffen-A&M division.-Beginnings:...

 told the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

"radio is really desperate for rock product", "they're all looking for some white rock-n-roll". Steve Dahl has denied the charges, saying "It's really easy to look at it historically, from this perspective, and attach all those things to it. But we weren't thinking like that." It has been noted that British punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 critics of disco were very supportive of the pro-black/anti-racist reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 genre. Both Christgau and Testa acknowledged that there were legitimate artistic reasons for being critical of disco.

1990–Present: Resurgence

In the late 1980s and increasingly through the 1990s, a revival of the original disco style began to emerge. In the early 2000s, the disco-influenced genre known as dance-punk
Dance-punk
Dance-punk is a music genre that emerged in the late 1970s, and is closely associated with the post-punk and No Wave movements.-Predecessors:...

 enjoyed increased popularity. Dance-punk bands fused seemingly ideologically contradictory elements of punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 with different forms of dance music, especially disco (Post punk took influences from disco, either as experimentation or as parody).

In the mid to late 2000s, many disco-influenced songs have become hits. Music producer Ian Levine
Ian Levine
Ian Levine is an English songwriter, producer, and DJ. He is also a well-known fan of the long-running television show Doctor Who.Levine attended Arnold School in Blackpool from 1963 to 1970...

 has also produced many new songs for the compilation album Disco 2008, a tribute to Disco music using original material. Disco tributes continue to be popular draws. The World's Largest Disco
World's Largest Disco
The World's Largest Disco is an annual event held at the Buffalo Convention Center in Buffalo, New York each year the Saturday after Thanksgiving...

, an annual celebration held over Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving (United States)
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday,...

 weekend in Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

, draws thousands of disco fans in 1970s-era attire. In addition to playing disco hits of the era, artists from the 1970s perform live. One place where disco has never gone away is English Junior schools. By 1975 discos began for young children, and are still an annual feature in many schools today.

Musical characteristics

The "disco sound", while unique, almost defies a unified description, as it is an ultra-inclusive art form that draws on as many influences as it produces interpretations. Jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

, calypso
Calypso music
Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago from African and European roots. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of enslaved Africans, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song...

, rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

, Latin, soul
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

, funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

, and new technologies — just to name a few of the obvious — were all mingled with aplomb. Vocals can be frivolous or serious love intrigues — all the way to extremely serious socially-conscious commentary.

The music tended to layer soaring, often-reverberated vocals, which are often doubled by horns, over a background "pad" of electric pianos and wah-pedaled "chicken-scratch" guitars. Other backing keyboard instruments include the piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

, organ (during early years), string synth, and electroacoustic keyboards such as the Fender Rhodes piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, and Hohner Clavinet. Synthesizers are also fairly common in disco, especially in the late 1970s. The rhythm is laid down by prominent, syncopated basslines (with heavy use of octaves) played on the bass guitar
Bass guitar
The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

 and by drummers using a drum kit
Drum kit
A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person ....

, African/Latin percussion
Latin percussion
The term Latin percussion refers to any number of a large family of musical percussion instruments used in Latin music, which in turn is a very loosely related group of musical styles, mainly from the Latin American region, and ultimately having roots or influences in African tribal...

, and electronic drum
Electronic drum
An electronic drum is an electronic synthesizer which mimics an acoustic drum kit.The electronic drum usually consists of a set of pads mounted on a stand in a disposition similar to an acoustic drum kit. The pads are discs with a rubber or cloth-like coating. Each pad has a sensor which generates...

s such as Simmons and Roland
Roland Corporation
is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972, with ¥33 million in capital. In 2005 Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. Today it has factories in Japan,...

 drum modules
Sound module
A sound module is an electronic musical instrument without a human-playable interface such as a keyboard, for example. Sound modules have to be "played" using an externally connected device...

). The sound is enriched with solo lines and harmony parts played by a variety of orchestral instruments, such as harp
Harp
The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard. Organologically, it is in the general category of chordophones and has its own sub category . All harps have a neck, resonator and strings...

, violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

, viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

, cello
Cello
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

, trumpet
Trumpet
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air...

, saxophone
Saxophone
The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...

, trombone
Trombone
The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate...

, clarinet
Clarinet
The clarinet is a musical instrument of woodwind type. The name derives from adding the suffix -et to the Italian word clarino , as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed...

, flugelhorn
Flugelhorn
The flugelhorn is a brass instrument resembling a trumpet but with a wider, conical bore. Some consider it to be a member of the saxhorn family developed by Adolphe Sax ; however, other historians assert that it derives from the valve bugle designed by Michael Saurle , Munich 1832 , thus...

, French horn, tuba
Tuba
The tuba is the largest and lowest-pitched brass instrument. Sound is produced by vibrating or "buzzing" the lips into a large cupped mouthpiece. It is one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra, first appearing in the mid-19th century, when it largely replaced the...

, English horn, oboe
Oboe
The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. In English, prior to 1770, the instrument was called "hautbois" , "hoboy", or "French hoboy". The spelling "oboe" was adopted into English ca...

, flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

 (sometimes especially the alto flute
Alto flute
The alto flute is a type of Western concert flute, a musical instrument in the woodwind family. It is the next extension downward of the C flute after the flûte d'amour. It is characterized by its distinct, mellow tone in the lower portion of its range...

 and occasionally bass flute
Bass flute
The bass flute is the bass member of the flute family. It is in the key of C, pitched one octave below the concert flute. Because of the length of its tube , it is usually made with a "J" shaped head joint, which brings the embouchure hole within reach of the player...

), piccolo
Piccolo
The piccolo is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The piccolo has the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written...

, timpani
Timpani
Timpani, or kettledrums, are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum, they consist of a skin called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. They are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet...

 and synth strings
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

 or a full-blown string orchestra
String orchestra
A string orchestra is an orchestra composed solely or primarily of instruments from the string family. These instruments are the violin, the viola, the cello, the double bass , the piano, the harp, and sometimes percussion...

.

Most disco songs have a steady four-on-the-floor beat, a quaver or semi-quaver hi-hat
Hi-hat
A hi-hat, or hihat, is a type of cymbal and stand used as a typical part of a drum kit by percussionists in R&B, hip-hop, disco, jazz, rock and roll, house, reggae and other forms of contemporary popular music.- Operation :...

 pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat, and a heavy, syncopated bass line. This basic beat would appear to be related to the Dominican merengue
Merengue music
Merengue is a type of music and dance from the Dominican Republic. It is popular in the Dominican Republic and all over Latin America. Its name is Spanish, taken from the name of the meringue, a dessert made from whipped egg whites and sugar...

 rhythm. Other Latin rhythms such as the rhumba, the samba and the cha-cha-cha are also found in disco recordings, and Latin polyrhythm
Polyrhythm
Polyrhythm is the simultaneous sounding of two or more independent rhythms.Polyrhythm in general is a nonspecific term for the simultaneous occurrence of two or more conflicting rhythms, of which cross-rhythm is a specific and definable subset.—Novotney Polyrhythms can be distinguished from...

s, such as a rhumba beat layered over a merengue, are commonplace. The quaver pattern is often supported by other instruments such as the rhythm guitar and may be implied rather than explicitly present. It often involves syncopation
Syncopation
In music, syncopation includes a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected in that they deviate from the strict succession of regularly spaced strong and weak but also powerful beats in a meter . These include a stress on a normally unstressed beat or a rest where one would normally be...

, rarely occurring on the beat unless a synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

 is used to replace the bass guitar. In general, the difference between a disco, or any dance song, and a rock or popular song is that in dance music the bass hits four to the floor, at least once a beat (which in 4/4 time is 4 beats per measure), whereas in rock the bass hits on one and three and lets the snare take the lead on two and four. Disco is further characterized by a 16th note division of the quarter notes established by the bass as shown in the second drum pattern below, after a typical rock drum pattern.

The orchestral sound usually known as "disco sound" relies heavily on strings and horns playing linear phrases, in unison with the soaring, often reverberated vocals or playing instrumental fills, while electric pianos and chicken-scratch guitars create the background "pad" sound defining the harmony progression. Typically, a rich "wall of sound
Wall of Sound
The Wall of Sound is a music production technique for pop and rock music recordings developed by record producer Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, California, during the early 1960s...

" results. There are, however, more minimalistic flavors of disco with reduced, transparent instrumentation, pioneered by Chic.

In 1977, Giorgio Moroder
Giorgio Moroder
Hansjörg "Giorgio" Moroder is an Italian record producer, songwriter and performer based in Los Angeles. When in Munich in the 1970s, he started his own record label called Oasis Records, which several years later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records...

 again became responsible for a development in disco. Alongside Donna Summer
Donna Summer
LaDonna Adrian Gaines , known by her stage name, Donna Summer, is an American singer/songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970s. She has a mezzo-soprano vocal range. Summer is a five-time Grammy winner and was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach...

 and Pete Bellotte
Pete Bellotte
Peter J. Bellotte is a British songwriter and record producer, most famous for hismain body of work with Donna Summer alongside his partner Giorgio Moroder...

 he wrote the song "I Feel Love
I Feel Love
"I Feel Love" is a song by Donna Summer, taken from her 1977 concept album I Remember Yesterday.The song constituted the "future" segment of the album, which represented a stylistic progress through time...

" for Summer to perform. It became the first well-known disco hit to have a completely synthesised backing track. The song is still considered to have been well ahead of its time. Other disco producers, most famously Tom Moulton
Tom Moulton
Tom Moulton is an American record producer, and originator of the remix, the breakdown section, and the 12-inch single vinyl format.-Life and career:Thomas Jerome Moulton was born in Schenectady, New York, United States....

, grabbed ideas and techniques from dub music (which came with the increased Jamaican migration to New York City in the seventies) to provide alternatives to the four on the floor style that dominated. Larry Levan
Larry Levan
Larry Levan was a DJ best known for his decade-long residency at the New York City night club Paradise Garage, which has been described as the prototype of the modern dance club. He developed a cult following who referred to his sets as "Saturday Mass"...

 utilized style keys from dub
Dub music
Dub is a genre of music which grew out of reggae music in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae...

 and jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 and more as one of the most successful remixers of all time to create early versions of house music
House music
House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, United States in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino American, and gay communities; first in Chicago circa 1984, then in other...

 that sparked the genre.

Production

The "disco sound" was much more costly to produce than many of the other popular music genres from the 1970s. Unlike the simpler, four-piece band sound of the funk, soul of the late 1960s, or the small jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 organ trio
Organ trio
An organ trio, in a jazz context, is a group of three jazz musicians, typically consisting of a Hammond organ player, a drummer, and either a jazz guitarist or a saxophone player. In some cases the saxophonist will join a trio which consists of an organist, guitarist, and drummer, making it a quartet...

s, disco music often included a large pop band, with several chordal instruments (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer), several drum or percussion instruments (drumkit, Latin percussion, electronic drums), a horn section
Horn section
In music, a horn section can refer to several groups of musicians. It can refer to the musicians in a symphony orchestra who play the horn . In a British-style brass band it refers to the tenor horn players. In popular music, it can also refer to a small group of wind instrumentalists who augment a...

, a string orchestra
String orchestra
A string orchestra is an orchestra composed solely or primarily of instruments from the string family. These instruments are the violin, the viola, the cello, the double bass , the piano, the harp, and sometimes percussion...

, and a variety of "classical" solo instruments (for example,, flute, piccolo, and so on.).

Disco songs were arranged
Arrangement
The American Federation of Musicians defines arranging as "the art of preparing and adapting an already written composition for presentation in other than its original form. An arrangement may include reharmonization, paraphrasing, and/or development of a composition, so that it fully represents...

 and composed by experienced arrangers and orchestrators
Orchestration
Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting for orchestra music composed for another medium...

, and producers added their creative touches to the overall sound. Recording complex arrangements with such a large number of instruments and sections required a team that included a conductor, copyist
Copyist
A copyist is a person who makes written copies. In ancient times, a scrivener was also called a calligraphus . The term's modern use is almost entirely confined to music copyists, who are employed by the music industry to produce neat copies from a composer or arranger's manuscript.-Music...

s, record producer
Record producer
A record producer is an individual working within the music industry, whose job is to oversee and manage the recording of an artist's music...

s, and mixing engineers
Audio engineering
An audio engineer, also called audio technician, audio technologist or sound technician, is a specialist in a skilled trade that deals with the use of machinery and equipment for the recording, mixing and reproduction of sounds. The field draws on many artistic and vocational areas, including...

. Mixing engineers had an important role in the disco production process, because disco songs used as many as 64 tracks of vocals and instruments. Mixing engineers compiled these tracks into a fluid composition of verses, bridges, and refrains, complete with orchestral build
Orchestral build
Orchestral build is a term used in disco music to describe the systematic overlapping of prerecorded elements of the symphony orchestra during an interlude of a song....

s and breaks
Break (music)
In popular music, a break is an instrumental or percussion section or interlude during a song derived from or related to stop-time – being a "break" from the main parts of the song or piece....

. Mixing engineers helped to develop the "disco sound" by creating a distinctive-sounding disco mix
Disco mix
A disco mix is a method of producing a recording of a song which was used in the 1970s for disco music, a funk/soul-influenced, dance-oriented pop music style. A disco mix uses orchestral build-ups to a full rich sound and then contrasts this full sound with "breaks" in which only percussion plays...

.

Early records were the "standard" 3 minute version until Tom Moulton
Tom Moulton
Tom Moulton is an American record producer, and originator of the remix, the breakdown section, and the 12-inch single vinyl format.-Life and career:Thomas Jerome Moulton was born in Schenectady, New York, United States....

 came up with a way to make songs longer, wanting to take a crowd to another level that was impossible with 45-RPM vinyl discs of the time (which could usually hold no more than 5 minutes of good-quality music). With the help of José Rodriguez, his remasterer, he pressed a single on a 10" disc instead of 7". They cut the next single on a 12" disc, the same format as a standard album. This method fast became the standard format for all DJs of the genre.

Because record sales were often dependent on floor play in clubs, DJs
Disc jockey
A disc jockey, also known as DJ, is a person who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. Originally, "disc" referred to phonograph records, not the later Compact Discs. Today, the term includes all forms of music playback, no matter the medium.There are several types of disc jockeys...

 were also important to the development and popularization of disco music. Notable DJs include Rex Potts (Loft Lounge, Sarasota, Florida), Karen Cook, Jim Burgess
Jim Burgess (producer)
James Michael "Jim" Burgess was a disco record producer and New York DJ of the 1970s, and was variously referred to as "one of the hottest DJ's and Remixers of the Disco era"...

, Walter Gibbons
Walter Gibbons
Walter Gibbons was an American record producer, early disco DJ and remixer.-Influence:He was an important part of the early 1970s New York disco underground scene, influencing garage and House music DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan. He also laid the foundations for early 1980s...

, John "Jellybean" Benitez, Richie Kaczar of Studio 54
Studio 54
Studio 54 was a highly popular discotheque from 1977 until 1991, located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York, USA. It was originally the Gallo Opera House, opening in 1927, after which it changed names several times, eventually becoming a CBS radio and television studio. In 1977 it...

, Rick Gianatos, Francis Grasso
Francis Grasso
Francis Grasso ) was an American disc jockey from New York City, best known for inventing the technique of slip-cueing and later beatmatching which is the foundation of the modern club DJ's technique.Grasso started his DJ career in 1967 at a New York nightclub called Salvation II...

 of Sanctuary, Larry Levan
Larry Levan
Larry Levan was a DJ best known for his decade-long residency at the New York City night club Paradise Garage, which has been described as the prototype of the modern dance club. He developed a cult following who referred to his sets as "Saturday Mass"...

, Ian Levine
Ian Levine
Ian Levine is an English songwriter, producer, and DJ. He is also a well-known fan of the long-running television show Doctor Who.Levine attended Arnold School in Blackpool from 1963 to 1970...

, Neil "Raz" Rasmussen & Mike Pace of L'amour Disco in Brooklyn, Preston Powell of Magique, Jennie Costa of Lemontrees, Tee Scott, Tony Smith of Xenon
Xenon
Xenon is a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54. The element name is pronounced or . A colorless, heavy, odorless noble gas, xenon occurs in the Earth's atmosphere in trace amounts...

, John Luongo, Robert Ouimet of The Limelight
The Limelight
The Limelight is the name of a chain of nightclubs that were owned and operated by Peter Gatien, located in Atlanta, Hollywood, Florida, and London, and formerly in New York City and Chicago.-History:...

, and David Mancuso
David Mancuso
David Mancuso created the popular "by invitation only" parties in New York City later known as "The Loft". The first party "Love Saves The Day" was in 1970...

.

Disco clubs and culture

In October 1975 notable discos included "Studio One" in Los Angeles, "Leviticus" in New York and "The Library" in Atlanta.

By the late 1970s most major U.S. cities had thriving disco club scenes, but the largest scenes were in San Francisco, Miami, and most notably New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The scene was centered on discotheques, nightclubs, and private loft parties where DJs would play disco hits through powerful PA systems for the patrons who came to dance. The DJs played "...a smooth mix of long single records to keep people 'dancing all night long'". Some of the most prestigious clubs had elaborate lighting systems that throbbed to the beat of the music.

At the height of the disco era, McFaddin Ventures were operating many successful and profitable nightclubs. In an effort to maximize profit, McFaddin Ventures in Houston, Texas commissioned a study on the stimulation of males and females during the playing of music. They accordingly custom tuned their speakers to make their numerous clubs more exciting.

In the late 1970s, Studio 54
Studio 54
Studio 54 was a highly popular discotheque from 1977 until 1991, located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York, USA. It was originally the Gallo Opera House, opening in 1927, after which it changed names several times, eventually becoming a CBS radio and television studio. In 1977 it...

 was arguably the most well known nightclub in the world. This club played a major formative role in the growth of disco music and nightclub
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

 culture in general.

Disco dancing

In the early years dancers in discos danced in a "hang loose" style. Popular dances included "Bump", "Penguin", "Boogaloo, "Watergate" and the "Robot". By October 1975 The Hustle
Hustle (dance)
The Hustle is a catchall name for several disco dances which were extremely popular in the 1970s. Today it mostly refers to the unique partner dance done in ballrooms and nightclubs to disco music. It has some features in common with swing dance. Its basic steps are somewhat similar to the...

 reigned. It was highly stylized, sophisticated and sexy. Variations included the Brooklyn Hustle, New York Hustle and Latin Hustle.

During the disco era, many nightclubs would commonly host disco dance competitions or offer free instructional lessons. Some cities had disco dance instructors or dance schools which taught people how to do popular disco dances such as "touch dancing", "the hustle" and "the cha cha
Cha-cha-cha (dance)
The Cha-cha-cha is the name of a dance of Cuban origin.It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín in 1953...

". The pioneer of disco dance instruction was Karen Lustgarten in San Francisco in 1973. Her book The Complete Guide to Disco Dancing (Warner Books, 1978) was the first to name, break down and codify popular disco dances as a dance form and distinguish between disco freestyle, partner and line dances. The book hit the New York Times Best Seller List for 13 weeks and was translated into Chinese, German and French.

Some notable professional dance troupes of the 1970s included Pan's People
Pan's People
Pan's People were a British TV dance troupe, who are usually associated with the BBC TV music chart show Top of the Pops.In an era before pop videos, they danced to songs whose original artists were not available to perform them live...

 and Hot Gossip
Hot Gossip
-Formation:Arlene Phillips came to London to learn and teach developing American Jazz dance routines. Employed as a dance teacher, she taught at locations including the Pineapple Dance Studios and the Italia Conti Stage School. In 1974, Phillips started forming the core of a troupe; Italia Conti...

. For many dancers, the primary influence of the 1970s disco age is still predominantly the film Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 drama film directed by John Badham and starring: John Travolta as Tony Manero, an immature young man whose weekends are spent visiting a local Brooklyn discothèque; Karen Lynn Gorney as his dance partner and eventual friend; and Donna Pescow as Tony's former dance...

(1977). This developed into the music and dance style of such films as Fame (1980), Flashdance
Flashdance
Another song used in the film, "Maniac", was also nominated for an Academy Award. It was written by Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky, and was inspired by the 1980 horror film Maniac. The lyrics about a killer on the loose were rewritten so that it could be used in Flashdance...

(1983),"The Last Days of Disco
The Last Days of Disco
The Last Days of Disco is a 1998 sardonic comedy-drama film written and directed by Whit Stillman and loosely based on his travels and experiences in various nightclubs in Manhattan, including Studio 54. The film concerns a group of Ivy League and Hampshire graduates falling in and out of love in...

"(1998). It also helped spawn dance competition TV shows such as Dance Fever
Dance Fever
Dance Fever is an American musical variety series that aired weekly in syndication from January 1979 to September 1987. The series was created and produced by Merv Griffin and written by Tony Garofalo....

 (1979).

Disco fashion

Disco fashions were very trendy in the late 1970s. Discothèque-goers often wore expensive and extravagant fashions for nights out at their local disco, such as sheer, flowing Halston
Halston
Roy Halston Frowick, also known as Halston was a clothing designer of the 1970s. His long dresses or copies of his style were popular fashion wear in mid-1970s discotheques.-Early life and career:...

 dresses for women and shiny polyester Qiana
Qiana
Qiana is a silky nylon fiber first developed by DuPont in 1968 . Initially intended for high-end fashions, it became a popular material in the 1970s for faux-silk, men's shirts, displaying bold patterns. The shirts were generally cut tight and included wide collars to fit over the collars of the...

 shirts for men with pointy collars, preferably open at the chest, often worn with double-knit polyester shirt jackets with matching trousers known as the leisure suit. Necklace
Necklace
A necklace is an article of jewellery which is worn around the neck. Necklaces are frequently formed from a metal jewellery chain. Others are woven or manufactured from cloth using string or twine....

s and medal
Medal
A medal, or medallion, is generally a circular object that has been sculpted, molded, cast, struck, stamped, or some way rendered with an insignia, portrait, or other artistic rendering. A medal may be awarded to a person or organization as a form of recognition for athletic, military, scientific,...

lions were a common fashion accessory
Fashion accessory
Fashion accessories are decorative items that supplement and complement clothes, such as jewelery, gloves, handbags, hats, belts, scarves, wigs, watches, sunglasses, pins, stockings, bow ties, hand fans, leg warmers, leggings, neckties, suspenders, and tights....

.

Hedonism: drug subculture and sexual promiscuity

In addition to the dance and fashion aspects of the disco club scene, there was also a thriving drug subculture
Subculture
In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

, particularly for drugs that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud music and the flashing lights, such as cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 (nicknamed "blow"), amyl nitrite "poppers
Poppers
Poppers is a slang term for various alkyl nitrites inhaled for recreational purposes, particularly isopropyl nitrite and isobutyl nitrite , and now more rarely, butyl nitrite and amyl nitrite...

", and the "...other quintessential 1970s club drug Quaalude, which suspended motor coordination
Motor coordination
thumb|right|Motor coordination is shown in this animated sequence by [[Eadweard Muybridge]] of himself throwing a diskMotor coordination is the combination of body movements created with the kinematic and kinetic parameters that result in intended actions. Such movements usually smoothly and...

 and gave the sensation that one’s arms and legs had turned to Jell-O
Jell-O
Jell-O is a brand name belonging to U.S.-based Kraft Foods for a number of gelatin desserts, including fruit gels, puddings and no-bake cream pies. The brand's popularity has led to it being used as a generic term for gelatin dessert across the U.S. and Canada....

." According to Peter Braunstein
Peter Braunstein
Peter Braunstein is a former New York City-based journalist, writer, and playwright who became infamous for committing an October 31, 2005 sexual assault and leading police on a multi-state manhunt until his capture and self-injury in Memphis, Tennessee on December 16, 2005.Dubbed the "halloween...

, the "massive quantities of drugs ingested in discotheques produced the next cultural phenomenon of the disco era: rampant promiscuity
Promiscuity
In humans, promiscuity refers to less discriminating casual sex with many sexual partners. The term carries a moral or religious judgement and is viewed in the context of the mainstream social ideal for sexual activity to take place within exclusive committed relationships...

 and public sex
Public sex
Public sex refers to sexual acts that take place in public or semi-public places, and does not necessarily imply that the sexual activity takes place outdoors. Public places where sex acts can be performed include a car , on a beach, in the woods, as well as in a theatre, bus, street, besides...

. While the dance floor was the central arena of seduction
Seduction
In social science, seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person to engage. The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally "to lead astray". As a result, the term may have a positive or negative connotation...

, actual sex usually took place in the nether regions of the disco: bathroom stalls, exit stairwells, and so on. In other cases the disco became a kind of 'main course' in a hedonist’s
Hedonism
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

 menu for a night out."

Famous disco bars included the very important Paradise Garage
Paradise Garage
The Paradise Garage was a discotheque notable in the history of modern gay and nightclub cultures and in dance and pop music. It was founded by Michael Brody, its sole proprietor, and was located at 84 King Street, in the Hudson Square neighborhood of New York City. It operated from 1976 to 1987...

 and Crisco Disco as well as "...cocaine-filled celeb
Celebrity
A celebrity, also referred to as a celeb in popular culture, is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media...

 hangouts such as Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

's Studio 54
Studio 54
Studio 54 was a highly popular discotheque from 1977 until 1991, located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York, USA. It was originally the Gallo Opera House, opening in 1927, after which it changed names several times, eventually becoming a CBS radio and television studio. In 1977 it...

", which was operated by Steve Rubell
Steve Rubell
Steve Rubell was an American entrepreneur and co-owner of the New York disco Studio 54.-Early life:Rubell and his brother Don spent their childhoods with their parents in Brooklyn, New York. His father worked for the U.S. Postal Service and later became a tennis pro...

 and Ian Schrager
Ian Schrager
Ian Schrager is an American hotelier and real estate developer. Often associated with co-creating of the Boutique Hotel genre. Originally, he gained fame as co-owner and co-founder of Studio 54.-Early years:...

. Studio 54 was notorious for the hedonism
Hedonism
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

 that went on within; the balconies were known for sexual encounters, and drug use was rampant. Its dance floor was decorated with an image of the "Man in the Moon
Man in the Moon
The Man in the Moon is an imaginary figure resembling a human face, head or body, that observers from some cultural backgrounds typically perceive in the bright disc of the full moon...

" that included an animated cocaine spoon
Cocaine spoon
A cocaine spoon, referred to as a "coke spoon", or simply "spoon", is an instrument used in the process of insufflating cocaine. The spoons are usually long and slender metallic objects with varying designs and patterns, with a small bowl at the end...

.

1982–1990: Post disco and dance

The transition from the late-1970s disco styles to the early-1980s dance styles was marked primarily by the change from complex arrangements performed by large ensembles
Big band
A big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totaling approximately twelve to twenty-five musicians...

 of studio session musicians (including a horn section
Horn section
In music, a horn section can refer to several groups of musicians. It can refer to the musicians in a symphony orchestra who play the horn . In a British-style brass band it refers to the tenor horn players. In popular music, it can also refer to a small group of wind instrumentalists who augment a...

 and an orchestral string section
String section
The string section is the largest body of the standard orchestra and consists of bowed string instruments of the violin family.It normally comprises five sections: the first violins, the second violins, the violas, the cellos, and the double basses...

), to a leaner sound, in which one or two singers would perform to the accompaniment of synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

 keyboards
Keyboard instrument
A keyboard instrument is a musical instrument which is played using a musical keyboard. The most common of these is the piano. Other widely used keyboard instruments include organs of various types as well as other mechanical, electromechanical and electronic instruments...

 and drum machine
Drum machine
A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums or other percussion instruments. They are used in a variety of musical genres, not just purely electronic music...

s.

In addition, dance music
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

 during the 1981–83 period borrowed elements from blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

 and jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, creating a style different from the disco of the 1970s. This emerging music was still known as disco for a short time, as the word had become associated with any kind of dance music played in discothèques. Examples of early 1980s dance sound performers include D. Train
D. Train
D. Train was an American R&B duo, who scored several significant hits on both the Billboard Dance and R&B charts during the first half of the 1980s.-Overview:...

, Kashif
Kashif (musician)
Kashif Saleem is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and record producer.-Career:Kashif became well-known from playing keyboards in the renowned funk band B.T. Express. He played synthesizer bass using the miniMoog while touring with the group...

, and Patrice Rushen
Patrice Rushen
Patrice Rushen is a Grammy Award-winning African American R&B and jazz vocalist, composer and pianist.-Biography:...

. These changes were influenced by some of the notable R&B and jazz musicians of the 1970s, such as Stevie Wonder, Kashif and Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock is an American pianist, bandleader and composer. As part of Miles Davis's "second great quintet," Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound...

, who had pioneered "one-man-band
Multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

"-type keyboard techniques. Some of these influences had already begun to emerge during the mid-1970s, at the height of disco’s popularity.

During the first years of the 1980s, the disco sound began to be phased out, and faster tempos and synthesized effects, accompanied by guitar and simplified backgrounds, moved dance music toward the funk and pop genres. This trend can be seen in singer Billy Ocean
Billy Ocean
Billy Ocean is a Trinidad-born English Grammy Award winning popular music performer who had a string of rhythm and blues international pop hits in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the most popular British-based R&B singer / songwriter of the early to mid-1980s...

's recordings between 1979 and 1981. Whereas Ocean's 1979 song American Hearts was backed with an orchestral arrangement played by the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, his 1981 song "One of Those Nights (Feel Like Gettin' Down)" had a more bare, stripped-down sound, with no orchestration or symphonic arrangements. This drift from the original disco sound is called post-disco
Post-disco
Post-disco refers to a historically significant period in popular music history beginning with the commercial death of disco music in the late 1970s and ending with the mainstream appearance of house music in late 1980s.The stripped-down musical trends followed from the DJ- and producer-driven,...

. In this music scene there are rooted sub-genres, such as italo-disco, techno
Techno
Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan in the United States during the mid to late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno, in reference to a genre of music, was in 1988...

, house
House music
House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, United States in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino American, and gay communities; first in Chicago circa 1984, then in other...

, dance-pop
Dance-pop
Dance-pop is dance-oriented pop music that originated in the early 1980s. Developing from post-disco, it is generally up-tempo music intended for clubs with the intention of being danceable or merely dancey...

, boogie
Boogie (genre)
Boogie is an electronic/funk-influenced variation of post-disco.Boogie, as one of the post-disco subgenres, lacks the four-on-the-floor beat, which is a "traditional" rhythm of disco music. Aside from the moderate influence of synthpop, boogie heavily draws from funk music...

, and early alternative dance
Alternative dance
Alternative dance or indie dance is a musical genre that mixes rock subgenres with electronic dance music...

. During the early 1980s, dance music dropped the complicated melodic structure and orchestration which typified the disco sound.

TV themes

During the 1970s, many TV theme songs were produced (or older themes updated) with disco influenced music. Examples include S.W.A.T.
S.W.A.T. (TV series)
----S.W.A.T. is a 1970s American television series about the adventures of the WCPD's Olympic Division Special Weapons And Tactics team operating in an unidentified California city....

(1975), Charlie's Angels
Charlie's Angels
Charlie's Angels is a television series about three women who work for a private investigation agency, and is one of the first shows to showcase women in roles traditionally reserved for men...

(1976), NBC Saturday Night At The Movies (1976), The Love Boat
The Love Boat
The Love Boat is an American television series set on a cruise ship, which aired on the ABC Television Network from September 24,1977, until May 24,1986.The show starred Gavin MacLeod as the ship's captain...

(1977), The Donahue Show (1977), CHiPs
CHiPs
CHiPs is an American television drama series produced by MGM Studios that originally aired on NBC from September 15, 1977, to July 17, 1983. CHiPs followed the lives of two motorcycle police officers of the California Highway Patrol...

(1977), The Professionals (1977), Dallas
Dallas (TV series)
Dallas is an American serial drama/prime time soap opera that revolves around the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family in the oil and cattle-ranching industries. Throughout the series, Larry Hagman stars as greedy, scheming oil baron J. R. Ewing...

(1978), Kojak
Kojak
Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, bald New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. It aired from October 24, 1973, to March 18, 1978, on CBS. It took the time slot of the popular Cannon series, which was moved one hour earlier...

(1978), and 20/20 or Mike Post
Mike Post
Mike Post is an American multi-Grammy and Emmy Award winning composer best known for scoring some of the most popular TV theme songs in the United States, for primetime series such as Law & Order, NYPD Blue, The Rockford Files, LA Law, Quantum Leap, Magnum, P.I., Hill Street Blues, among numerous...

 & Pete Carpenter
Pete Carpenter
Peter Clarence "Pete" Carpenter , was an American jazz trombonist, musical arranger, and a veteran of television theme song scoring....

's Showtime (1983) from The A-Team
The A-Team
The A-Team is an American action adventure television series about a fictional group of ex-United States Army Special Forces personnel who work as soldiers of fortune, while on the run from the Army after being branded as war criminals for a "crime they didn't commit". The A-Team was created by...

, which kept the disco sound throughout the 1980s. The British Science Fiction program Space: 1999
Space: 1999
Space: 1999 is a British science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons and originally aired from 1975 to 1977. In the opening episode, nuclear waste from Earth stored on the Moon's far side explodes in a catastrophic accident on 13 September 1999, knocking the Moon out of orbit and...

(1975) also featured a soundtrack strongly influenced by disco. This was especially evident in the show's second season.

DJ culture

The rising popularity of disco came in tandem with developments in turntablism
Turntablism
Turntablism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using phonograph turntables and a DJ mixer.The word 'turntablist' was coined in 1995 by DJ Babu to describe the difference between a DJ who just plays records, and one who performs by touching and moving the records, stylus and mixer...

 and the use of records to create a continuous mix of songs. The resulting DJ mix
DJ mix
A DJ mix or DJ mixset is a sequence of musical tracks typically mixed together to appear as one continuous track. When a DJ mix or DJ mixset is recorded onto some medium, it is often referred to as a mix tape...

 differed from previous forms of dance music, which were oriented towards live performances by musicians. This in turn affected the arrangement of dance music, with songs since the disco era typically containing beginnings and endings marked by a simple beat or riff that can be easily slipped into the mix.

Rave culture

As the Disco era came to a close in the late 1970s, Rave
Rave
Rave, rave dance, and rave party are parties that originated mostly from acid house parties, which featured fast-paced electronic music and light shows. At these parties people dance and socialize to dance music played by disc jockeys and occasionally live performers...

 culture began to see significant growth. Rave culture incorporated Disco culture's same love of dance music, drug exploration, sexual promiscuity, and hedonism
Hedonism
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

. Although disco culture had thrived in the mainsteam, the rave culture would make an effort to stay underground to avoid the animosity that was still surrounding disco and dance music.

Hip hop and electro

The disco sound had a strong influence on early hip hop
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

. Most of the early rap/hip-hop songs were created by isolating existing disco bass-guitar lines and dubbing over them with MC rhymes. The Sugarhill Gang
The Sugarhill Gang
The Sugarhill Gang is an American hip hop group, known mostly for their 1979 hit, "Rapper's Delight", the first hip hop single to become a Top 40 hit. The song uses the instrumental track from the classic hit "Good Times" by Chic as its foundation....

 used Chic
Chic (band)
Chic was an African American disco and R&B band that was organized during 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards. It is known best for its commercially successful disco songs, including "Dance, Dance, Dance " , "Everybody Dance" , "Le Freak" , "I Want Your Love" , "Good Times"...

's "Good Times" as the foundation for their 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight
Rapper's Delight
"Rapper's Delight" is a 1979 single by American hip hop trio The Sugarhill Gang. While it was not the first single to feature rapping, it is generally considered to be the song that first popularized hip hop in the United States and around the world. The song's opening lyric "I said a hip hop, a...

", generally considered to be the song that first popularized Rap music in the United States and around the world. In 1982, Afrika Bambataa released the single "Planet Rock
Planet Rock (song)
"Planet Rock" is a 1982 song by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force. In the background and hooks featured Marvella Murray, Yvette Murray, Melissa Johnson and Sandra Wheeler. Although it was only a minor hit in the US, Canada, and UK, it helped change the foundations of hip-hop and dance music...

", which incorporated electronica
Electronica
Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing...

 elements from Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk is an influential electronic music band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The group was formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970, and was fronted by them until Schneider's departure in 2008...

's "Trans-Europe Express
Trans-Europe Express (album)
Trans-Europe Express is the sixth studio album by German electronic music band Kraftwerk. Recorded in mid-1976 in Düsseldorf, Germany, the album was released in March 1977 on Kling Klang Records. The album's themes were influenced by friends who suggested writing songs about the Trans-Europ...

" and "Numbers" as well as YMO
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Sakamoto first worked with Hosono as a member of his live band in 1976, while Takahashi recruited Sakamoto to produce his debut solo recording in 1977 following the split of the Sadistic Mika Band...

's "Riot in Lagos". The "Planet Rock" sound also spawned a hip-hop electronic dance
Electronic dance music
Electronic dance music is electronic music produced primarily for the purposes of use within a nightclub setting, or in an environment that is centered upon dance-based entertainment...

 trend, electro music, which included songs such as Planet Patrol
Planet Patrol
Planet Patrol is an American electro group from the 1980s. The members were Arthur Baker, John Robie, and a quintet of vocalists led by Herbert J. Jackson: lead singer Joseph Lites, Rodney Butler, Michael Anthony Jones, and the late Melvin Franklin...

's "Play At Your Own Risk" (1982), C Bank's "One More Shot" (1982), Cerrone
Cerrone
Marc Cerrone is a French disco drummer, singer-songwriter and record producer.Marc Cerrone has sold over thirty million albums and has often performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people at huge concerts and events such as The 2005 Dance Party Live in Versailles and The 2000 Los Angeles...

's "Club Underworld" (1984), Shannon
Shannon (singer)
Shannon is an American singer. She is best known for her 1983 million-selling record, "Let the Music Play". The record re-defined the electro funk sound that would eventually be called freestyle music.-Biography:...

's "Let the Music Play" (1983), Freeez
Freeez
Freeez were a United Kingdom dance music group from London, known initially as one of the UK's main jazz-funk bands of the early 1980s. Initiated by John Rocca, Freeez consisted of various musicians, originally with Rocca and others such as Andy Stennet Freeez were a United Kingdom dance music...

's "I.O.U." (1983), Midnight Star
Midnight Star
Midnight Star is an R&B and electro-funk group that had a string of R&B hits in the 1980s.-Band history:The group was formed in 1976 at Kentucky State University by trumpeter Reggie Calloway, vocalist Belinda Lipscomb, guitarist/vocalist Melvin Gentry, bassist Kenneth Gant, multi-instrumentalist...

's "Freak-A-Zoid" (1983), Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan , frequently known as the Queen of Funk, is a 10-time Grammy Award winning American singer-songwriter who gained fame in the 1970s as the frontwoman and focal point of the funk band Rufus. While still a member of the group in 1978, Khan embarked on a successful solo career...

's "I Feel For You
I Feel for You
"I Feel for You" is a song written by Prince that originally appeared on his 1979 self-titled album. It became a hit single in 1984 for female R&B singer Chaka Khan, appearing on her album, which was also called I Feel for You...

" (1984).

Post punk

The Post Punk movement that originated in the late 1970s both supported Punk Rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

's rule breaking while rejecting its back to raw rock music
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 element. Post Punk's mantra of constantly moving forward lent itself to both openness to and experimentation with elements of disco and other styles. Public Image Limited is considered the first Post Punk group. The group's second album Metal Box
Metal Box
Metal Box is the second album by Public Image Ltd, released in 1979 by Virgin Records.The title refers to the album's original packaging, which consists of a metal 16mm film canister embossed with the band's logo and containing three 12" 45rpm records...

 fully embraced the studio as instrument methodology of disco. The group's founder John Lydon
John Lydon
John Joseph Lydon , also known by the former stage name Johnny Rotten, is a singer-songwriter and television presenter, best known as the lead singer of punk rock band the Sex Pistols from 1975 until 1978, and again for various revivals during the 1990s and 2000s...

 told the press that disco was the only music he cared for at the time. No Wave
No Wave
No Wave was a short-lived but influential underground music, film, performance art, video, and contemporary art scene that had its beginnings during the mid-1970s in New York City. The term No Wave is in part satirical word play rejecting the commercial elements of the then-popular New Wave genre...

 was a sub genre of post punk centered in New York City. For shock value, James Chance
James Chance
James Chance, also known as James White , is an American saxophonist, songwriter and singer....

 who was a notable member of the No Wave scene penned an article in the East Village Eye urging his readers to move uptown and get "trancin' with some superadioactive disco voodoo funk". His band James White and the Blacks wrote a disco album Off White
Off White
Off White is a 1979 No Wave album by James White, also known as James Chance.-Side one:# "Contort Yourself" – 6:15 # "Stained Sheets" – 5:51# " Heat Wave" – 3:55...

. Their performances resembled those of disco performers (horn section, dancers and so on.). In 1981 ZE Records
ZE Records
ZE Records was originally a New York-based record label, started in 1978 by Michael Zilkha and Michel Esteban. It has been re-established by Esteban since 2003.-History:Michael Zilkha ZE Records (always written with two capital letters) was originally a New York-based record label, started in...

 led the transition from No Wave into the more subtle Mutant disco (post-disco/punk) genre. Mutant disco acts such as Kid Creole and the Coconuts
Kid Creole and the Coconuts
Kid Creole and the Coconuts is an American musical group created and led by August Darnell. Its music incorporates a variety of styles and influences, in particular "American and Latin American, South American, Caribbean, Trinidadian, Calloway" and conceptually inspired by the big band era...

, Was Not Was, ESG
ESG (band)
ESG are a band that emerged from the South Bronx, New York, U.S. in the early 1980's. Trouser Press called it "one of the most dynamic bands that New York could offer at the top of the '80s." ESG have been influential across a wide range of musical genres, including hip hop, post punk, disco,...

 and Liquid Liquid
Liquid Liquid
Liquid Liquid is a New York City post-punk, post-disco band, originally active from 1980 to 1983. They are perhaps best known for their track, "Cavern", which was covered by the Sugar Hill Records house band as the backing track for Grandmaster + Melle Mel's old school rap classic, "White Lines "...

 influenced several British Post Punk acts such as New Order
New Order
New Order are an English rock band formed in 1980 by Bernard Sumner , Peter Hook and Stephen Morris...

, Orange Juice
Orange Juice
Orange Juice was a Scottish post-punk band founded in the middle class Glasgow suburb of Bearsden as the Nu-Sonics in 1976. Edwyn Collins formed the Nu-Sonics with his school-mate Alan Duncan and was subsequently joined by James Kirk and Steven Daly, who left a band called The Machetes. The band...

 and A Certain Ratio
A Certain Ratio
A Certain Ratio are a Post-punk band formed in 1977 in Manchester, England. While originally part of the punk rock movement, they soon added funk and dance elements to their sound. They are sometimes referred to as "post punk funk"...

.

Nu-disco

Nu-disco is a 21st century dance music genre associated with the renewed interest in 1970s and early 1980s disco, mid-1980s Italo disco, and the synthesizer-heavy Eurodisco aesthetics. The moniker appeared in print as early as 2002, and by mid-2008 was used by record shops such as the online retailers Juno and Beatport. These vendors often associate it with re-edits of original-era disco music, as well as with music from European producers who make dance music inspired by original-era American disco, electro and other genres popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is also used to describe the music on several American labels that were previously associated with the genres electroclash
Electroclash
Electroclash is a style of music that fuses New Wave and electronic dance music. It emerged in New York and Detroit in the later 1990s, pioneered by acts including I-F and those associated with Gerald Donald, and is associated with acts including Peaches, Adult, and Fischerspooner...

 and deep house
Deep house
Deep house is a subgenre of house music that fuses elements of Chicago house into the 1980s jazz-funk and touches of soul music. In the early compositions , influences of jazz music were most frequently brought out by using more complex chords than simple triads which are held for many bars and...

.

See also

  • Number-one dance hits of 1978 (USA)
    Number-one dance hits of 1978 (USA)
    These are the Billboard magazine Hot Dance Club Play number one hits of 1978.-See also:*1978 in music*List of number-one dance hits *List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Dance chart-References:...

  • Number-one dance hits of 1979 (USA)
    Number-one dance hits of 1979 (USA)
    These are the Billboard magazine Hot Dance Club Play number one hits of 1979.-See also:*1979 in music*List of number-one dance hits *List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Dance chart-References:...

  • Philadelphia International Records
    Philadelphia International Records
    Philadelphia International Records is a record label founded by writer-producers, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff in 1971. It was famous for showcasing the sub-genre of Philadelphia soul music and released a string of worldwide hits during the decade.-History:...

  • Stealth disco
    Stealth disco
    Stealth disco refers to the act of being videotaped dancing or rocking out behind or near someone who is doing something serious and does not notice. This is sometimes referred to as stealthing that person, a process which often concludes with emailing them the footage...


Further reading

  • Michaels, Mark (1990). The Billboard Book of Rock Arranging. ISBN 978-0-8230-7537-9.
  • Jones, Alan and Kantonen, Jussi (1999). Saturday Night Forever: The Story of Disco. Chicago, Illinois: A Cappella Books. ISBN 978-1-55652-411-0.
  • Article on the 30th Annversary of Saturday Night Fever DVD, re-mastered by writer John Reed.
  • Campion, Chris. Walking on the Moon:The Untold Story of the Police and the Rise of New Wave Rock. John Wiley & Sons, 2009. ISBN 978-0470282403

  • Brewster, Bill and Broughton, Frank (1999) Last Night a DJ Saved my Life: the History of the Disc Jockey Headline Book Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7472-6230-5
  • Lawrence, Tim (2004) Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970–1979. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-3198-8.
  • Angelo, Marty (2006) Once Life Matters: A New Beginning. Impact Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9618954-4-0.
  • Shapiro, Peter (2005) Turn The Beat Around – The Secret History of Disco. Faber And Faber. ISBN 978-0-86547-952-4 ISBN 978-0-86547-952-4
  • Echols, Alice (Professor of American studies and history Rutgers University
    Rutgers University
    Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey , is the largest institution for higher education in New Jersey, United States. It was originally chartered as Queen's College in 1766. It is the eighth-oldest college in the United States and one of the nine Colonial colleges founded before the American...

    ) (2010) Hot Stuff – Disco and the Remaking of American Culture. W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.. ISBN 978-0-393-06675-3
  • Gillian, Frank (2007) Discophobia: Antigay Prejudice and the 1979 Backlash against Disco Journal of the History of Sexuality – Volume 15, Number 2, May 2007, pp. 276–306 E-ISSN: 1535-3605 Print ISSN: 1043-4070
  • Disco Inferno 2.0: A Slightly Less Hedonistic Comeback Charting the DJs, labels, and edits fueling an old new craze article by Andy Beta for The Village Voice
    The Village Voice
    The Village Voice is a free weekly newspaper and news and features website in New York City that features investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts and music coverage, and events listings for New York City...

    (November 2008)
  • Can you feel the force? by Paul Lester
    Paul Lester
    Paul Lester is a British music journalist, author and broadcaster from Elstree, North London.- Career :He began his career as a freelance, writing for Melody Maker in the early 1990s, as well as City Limits, 20/20 , Sky Magazine and The Jewish Chronicle...

     for The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

     February 23, 2007
  • When ‘Disco Sucks!’ echoed around the world by Tony Sclafani for MSNBC
    MSNBC
    MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

     July 10, 2009
  • Aletti, Vince
    Vince Aletti
    Vince Aletti is an American music journalist and photography critic.Vince Aletti was the first person to write about disco , writing a weekly column about disco for the music trade magazine Record World and reporting about early clubs like David Mancuso's Loft for The Village Voice in the late...

     (2009) THE DISCO FILES 1973–78: New York's underground week by week DJhistory.com ISBN 978-0-9561896-0-8
  • How the Knack Conquered Disco by Daniel J. Flynn
    Daniel J. Flynn
    Daniel J. Flynn is an American conservative and author of the book A Conservative History of the American Left , in addition to the books Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation's Greatness and Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid...

     for The American Spectator
    The American Spectator
    The American Spectator is a conservative U.S. monthly magazine covering news and politics, edited by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and published by the non-profit American Spectator Foundation. From its founding in 1967 until the late 1980s, the small-circulation magazine featured the writings of authors...

     February 18, 2010

External links

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