It’s really sad how, in the last week, we’ve lost two of the biggest Disco Icons. Donna Summer and Robin Gibb.
In playing Disco songs the past couple of weeks, I’ve never really talked about the genre itself and what made it so likable (and, I suppose, hateable).
It was upbeat. It was happy. It was easy to dance to… which made it easy to want to be a better dancer than all of the people who found it easy to dance to. It was sexy. It was drug-fueled. It was hedonistic. Even as the counter-culture eschewed dance music, Disco delighted in it. Even as prog rock was experimenting with abstract music, even as country rock was finding its feet (and anger), even as Led Zeppelin was changing damn near everything… Disco had 4/4 time and was upbeat and happy and easy to dance to.
It was counter-counter-culture.
Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” is a step above Make-Out Song? Above? Beyond. Her “Last Dance” was Disco’s “Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time”… except a woman was singing it. Her “Heaven Knows” was Disco’s sweet and straightforward love song. I think my favorite (today, anyway) of hers is I Feel Love.
Her gorgeous voice over synthpop… Ladytron before Ladytron and La Roux before La Roux.
The Brothers Gibb have given us so much as well… I won’t be able to do a better job eulogizing Robin Gibb than Brian Doherty did over at Reason so I’d ask you to read his post.
We’ve all heard the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever over and over again (and, if you haven’t, you *SHOULD*). The Robin song that I think is the best example of all of the above things said about disco is his “Juliet“. The album version (from the 70’s, where he still had all of his falsetto powers) is at the link there, but if you want to see how happy the song is capable of being, you need to watch this (sing along!):
So… what are you listening to?
I was shocked not so long ago to listen to the BeeGees not so long ago. It was Saturday Night Fever. I remember the people who were somewhat older than me and really into music all constantly ragged on the BeeGees. Death Before Disco, etc. I was shocked at how good it was.
A favorite of mine
And Barry Gibb was my first big star crush followed closely by Ringo not sure what that says about me
This week has been about shutting my office door and turning up Lana Del Rey. This clip is my favorite for two reasons: Check out her freaking dress, it’s awesome! Also, she is introduced by Daniel Radcliffe and he excites me.
I’m reminded of a funny story that I just had to mention while I’m here. I went out drinking with a friend after work. (I know it is Thursday, but it’s been a tough/awesome! week.) On the way home the radio played two songs back to back that made me laugh; Katy Perry’s, “I Kissed a Girl” and Hot Chelle Rae’s “tonight, tonight”.
Really? You want to play those songs one after the other?
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