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monsoon

What really killed Disco

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I am always surprised at the number of people who like listening to this genre of music these days and especially those who were born long after it's run. (generally accepted to be 1975-1979) Today we have commercials with these tunes and a lot of modern music has Disco sampled onto it. So what caused Disco to abruptly die? I think it was this......

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I tend to think of today's house music as a disco of the modern era. For me the question is not what killed disco, but what reincarnated it?

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That was painful to watch. You very well might have a point. It was a mercy killing after that commercial.

I know I'm going to sound like an old fart here, but disco was fun and mindless, had ridiculous lyrics, and songs ended after approximately 3 minutes. House music (IMO) is a thumping bass line, a sampling here and there of another artists music, lyrics that have no purpose, and the songs go on for days.

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KISS When KISS came out with a disco song (I was made for lovin' you), it ruined both the legitimacy of KISS as a Rock n Roll band (which they have recaptured), and the legitimacy of Disco as a valid musical genre (also recaptured). The mix of the two was mutually destructive, in my opinion....

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I think Disco eventually was assimilated into other genres but then was repackaged into techno, house, rave, etc.

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I remember the advent of Disco in 1975 like it was yesterday. At the time I thought it was the worst music I had ever heard. I was probably one of the first people in Hickory, N.C. with a "Disco Sucks" t-shirt.:)

Disco took over all the gay bars first. Overnight it replaced dance music by the Stones, the Who, and even Elvis..........that's what burned me up the most about it. It replaced music that was much better! Yes, hard to believe, when Brown Sugar by the Stones was blaring in gay bars in 1972, the dance floors were packed.

Today when I hear those formerly loathsome Disco songs, they seem kinda fun and kooky, mostly harmless. But musically most of that stuff remains quite BAD. I went back and listened to some of Donna Summer's pre 1979 music, and it sounded as horrible as ever--hehhee

I guess ya either love Disco or hate it~~I don't hate it anymore, but at one time I totally despized it!

btw MadVlad I totally agree, when KISS came out with a Disco-inspired song is when I stopped listening to KISS. I think that's when Ace Frehley left KISS as well.

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KISS When KISS came out with a disco song (I was made for lovin' you), it ruined both the legitimacy of KISS as a Rock n Roll band (which they have recaptured), and the legitimacy of Disco as a valid musical genre (also recaptured). The mix of the two was mutually destructive, in my opinion....

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Disco began around 1975 and ended around 1979-80. It was at it peak in 1978. So it was short lived.

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I'm a severe, severe music nerd...thus I watched the entire History Of Rock series that ran on Discover about 10-12 years ago; there were episodes devoted to all the major movements, disco among them. There were a few intriguing observations that popped up:

Skunk Baxter, who was in Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, noted that musicians hated disco, because it was one of the most automated and faceless (save for the diva up front) form of music production to have occurred at the time, so disco - and punk as well - was a threat to musicians with any older notion of what craft was, and how it was defined. Disco and punk (and hip hop and electronica, which also had 70s roots) did serious damage to the division between 'audience' and 'artist', were democratizing in a sense, and redefined a lot of the art pretenses that had crept into popular music.

Quincy Jones also noted that - in his opinion (and mine, personally) there was both racism and homophobia in the anti-disco backlash. This sentiment has a lot of credibility - but some weak spots as well. Gay influences in other forms of music (especially 1st wave punk, and - as hindsight has shown - a few hard rock bands as well) have tended to be swept under the rug, but as social historian Greg Tate noted, disco also put a lot of more artistically ambitious black artists and musicians of the late 60s/early 70s out of business, so the racism angle only goes so far...

Of course, disco was also trendy, and all trends eventually run into a backlash...witness the rise and fall of psychedelia, or new wave, or hair metal....

Some of it I like (Chic was a great group IMO, very sonically creative and they had a nice sense of irony in their lyrics), a lot hasn't stood the test of time, but most of it wasn't intended to; it was usually created as utilitarian music of the moment, or for the spirit of the times. I think all of these little musical movements do tend to capture the social spirit of specifc points in history in a cool way...

As for rock bands dabbling in disco (apart from the aforementioned KISS), or making an attempt - a few others:

The Rolling Stones: Emotional Rescue, Miss You

David Bowie: Stay, Fame, Beauty & The Beast

Rod Stewart: Do You Think I'm Sexy

Steely Dan: The Fez

ELO: Don't Bring Me Down

Roxy Music: Love Is The Drug

Lou Reed: Disco Mystic

Elton John's "Victim Of Love" disc

Blondie & The Bee Gees both began as rock bands...

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As for Disco's relation to House and Techno, etc., yes there is a common ground here. The driving inspiration behind Disco never really died at all, it just lost popularity and evolved. Of Electronica, there are several sub-genres: House, Trance, Ambient, and Hip-Hop. House, Techno, JPop, Happy Hardcore, Eurobeat, Disco, etc. all fall into the House group. I don't recall exactly what Disco turned into immediately, but it went through a few evolutions and became known as Techno, then continued to evolve further and separated into House, Eurobeat, and the others. It can be said, however, that Disco was the genesis of all Electronica, though the elements of Disco itself are completely non-existant amongst other major groups of Electronca which drew much inspiration from other sources. (Trance, hypnotics; Ambient, natural sound; Hip-Hop, reggae.)

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..... I don't recall exactly what Disco turned into immediately, but it went through a few evolutions and became known as Techno, then continued to evolve further and separated into House, Eurobeat, and the others. It can be said, however, that Disco was the genesis of all Electronica, though the elements of Disco itself are completely non-existant amongst other major groups of Electronca which drew much inspiration from other sources. (Trance, hypnotics; Ambient, natural sound; Hip-Hop, reggae.)

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There are a few Disco songs that are quite good, that have stood the test of time. Here are a few of my favorites (from a genre I never liked)

"We are Family" by Sister Sledge (who doesn't love that one?)

"Best of My Love" by the Emotions

"Disco Inferno" by the Trammps

"If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman

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For you youngsters who didn't live through the Disco Era, here are just a few examples of why Disco as a genre was thoroughly discredited by 1982:

"Disco Duck" by Rick Dees (this was actually played on the radio!!!!!)

"Shake Your Booty" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band

"Ring My Bell" by Anita Ward

"I Feel Love" by Donna Summer (surely the most convoluted rythym track of any 70s song)

***all four of these, which I consider in the gutter of Disco, are on youtube for you fortunate folks that have never heard them. lol

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I don't think Disco died... it evolved like the other genres. I'd say it's now Dance.

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Then there are the hits like

Night Fever (Bee Gees)

Staying Alive (Bee Gees)

Dont Stop Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)

Goodtimes (Chic)

La Freak (Chic)

Car Wash (Rose Royce)

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"***all four of these, which I consider in the gutter of Disco, are on youtube for you fortunate folks that have never heard them. lol "

Charlotteman, how could you have missed the nadir of disco, "Boogie Shoes?"

Oh, no! Now I have that tune in my head!

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As for rock bands dabbling in disco (apart from the aforementioned KISS), or making an attempt - a few others:

The Rolling Stones: Emotional Rescue, Miss You

David Bowie: Stay, Fame, Beauty & The Beast

Rod Stewart: Do You Think I'm Sexy

Steely Dan: The Fez

ELO: Don't Bring Me Down

Roxy Music: Love Is The Drug

Lou Reed: Disco Mystic

Elton John's "Victim Of Love" disc

Blondie & The Bee Gees both began as rock bands...

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An example of the Disco inspired music from the late 80s. It's a shame you don't ever hear this genre of music anymore.

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An example of the Disco inspired music from the late 80s. It's a shame you don't ever hear this genre of music anymore.

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, but disco was fun and mindless, had ridiculous lyrics, and songs ended after approximately 3 minutes.

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you forgot the disco dead... shakedown street. and then there's frank zappa's entire album dedicated to making fun of disco... sheik yerbouti.

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it's gone, but some of this new music is bring it back, I still listening to it, listening to it now, Jimmy Bo Horne....gimme some.

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