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VH1 and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. Meet The Mackies See all Shows. Jones Couples Therapy With Dr. Jenn Couples Therapy With Dr. By the early s, the terms disc jockey and DJ were in use to describe radio presenters. During WWII, because of restrictions set in place by the Nazi occupiers, jazz dance halls in Occupied France played records instead of using live music. By , the term was used in Paris to describe any of these type of nightclubs.
By the following year the term was being used in the United States to describe that type of club, and a type of dancing in those clubs. In there were an estimated 25, mobile discos and 40, professional disc jockeys in the United Kingdom.
Mobile Discos referred to Disc Jockeys for hire that brought their own equipment to office parties, weddings and the like. They included using music venues with a loud, overwhelming sound, free-form dancing, trippy lighting, colorful costumes, and the use of hallucinogenic drugs. But at The Loft and many other early, private discotheques , men could dance together without fear of police action thanks to Mancuso's underground business model.
The first article about disco was written in by Vince Aletti for Rolling Stone magazine. Philadelphia soul and New York soul were evolutions of the Motown sound , and were typified by the lavish percussion , lush string orchestra arrangements and expensive record production processes that became a prominent part of mids disco songs.
The genre was also shaped by Tom Moulton , who wanted to extend the enjoyment of dance songs—thus creating the extended mix or " remix ", going from a three-minute 45 rpm single to the much longer 12" record. Frankie Knuckles was not only an important disco DJ; he also helped to develop house music in the s, a contribution which earned him the honorific title of " Godfather of House ".
DJs would select songs and grooves according to what the dancers wanted, transitioning from one song to another with a DJ mixer and using a microphone to introduce songs and speak to the audiences.
Other equipment was added to the basic DJ setup, providing unique sound manipulations, such as reverb , equalization, and echo effects unit. Using this equipment, a DJ could do effects such as cutting out all but the throbbing bassline of a song, and then slowly mixing in the beginning of another song using the DJ mixer's crossfader.
From to , disco music continued to increase in popularity as many disco songs topped the charts. The Hues Corporation 's " Rock the Boat ", a US number-one single and million-seller, was one of the early disco songs to reach number one. The same year saw the release of " Kung Fu Fighting ", performed by Carl Douglas and produced by Biddu , which reached number one in both the UK and US, 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.
In the northwestern sections of the United Kingdom, the Northern Soul explosion, which started in the late s and peaked in , made the region receptive to Disco, which the region's Disc Jockeys were bringing back from New York City. Gaynor's number-one disco song was " I Will Survive ", released in , which was seen as a symbol of female strength and a gay anthem. Electric Light Orchestra 's song " Evil Woman ", although described as Orchestral Rock , featured a violin sound that became a staple of disco.
In , however, ELO did release two "true" disco songs: In , American singer and songwriter Donna Summer recorded a song which she brought to her producer Giorgio Moroder entitled " Love to Love You Baby " which contained a series of simulated orgasms. The song was never intended for release but when Moroder played it in the clubs it caused a sensation. Moroder released it and it went to number 2. It has been described as the arrival of the expression of raw female sexual desire in pop music.
A minute 12 inch single was released. The 12" single became and remains a standard in discos today. In , her multi-million selling vinyl single disco version of " MacArthur Park " was number one on the Billboard Hot chart for three weeks and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Summer's recording, which was included as part of the "MacArthur Park Suite" on her double album Live and More , was eight minutes and forty seconds long on the album.
The shorter seven-inch vinyl single version of the MacArthur Park was Summer's first single to reach number one on the Hot ; it does not include the balladic second movement of the song, however. A remix of "Mac Arthur Park" by Summer topped the Billboard Dance Charts marking five consecutive decades with a number-one song on the charts. In December , the film Saturday Night Fever was released. It was a huge success and its soundtrack became one of the best-selling albums of all time. The idea for the film was sparked by a New York magazine  article titled "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night" which supposedly chronicled the disco culture in mids New York City, but was later revealed to have been fabricated.
Chic was formed mainly by guitarist Nile Rodgers —a self-described "street hippie" from late s New York—and bassist Bernard Edwards. Other successful songs by Chic include the often-sampled " Good Times " and " Everybody Dance " The group regarded themselves as the disco movement's rock band that made good on the hippie movement's ideals of peace, love, and freedom.
Every song they wrote was written with an eye toward giving it "deep hidden meaning" or D. Sylvester , a flamboyant and openly gay singer famous for his soaring falsetto voice, scored his biggest disco song in — " You Make Me Feel Mighty Real ", and " Dance Disco Heat ", his singing style was said to have influenced the singer Prince. At that time, disco was one of the forms of music most open to gay performers.
They were known for their onstage costumes of typically male-considered jobs and ethnic minorities and achieved mainstream success with their hit song " Macho Man ". Other songs include " Y. The biggest hit by Ian Dury and the Blockheads , best known as a new wave band, was " Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick " , featuring a strong disco sound.
Even mainstream rock artists adopted elements of disco. Progressive rock group Pink Floyd used disco-like drums and guitar in their song " Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 " ,  which became their only number-one single in both the US and UK.
Geils Band did " Come Back " Pre-existing non-disco songs and standards would frequently be "disco-ized" in the s. The rich orchestral accompaniment that became identified with the disco era conjured up the memories of the big band era—which brought out several artists that recorded and disco-ized some big band arrangements including Perry Como , who re-recorded his song " Temptation ", in , as well as Ethel Merman , who released an album of disco songs entitled The Ethel Merman Disco Album in Easy listening icon Percy Faith , in one of his last recordings, released an album entitled Disco Party and recorded a disco version of his famous " Theme from A Summer Place " in Classical music was even adapted for disco, notably Walter Murphy 's " A Fifth of Beethoven " , based on the first movement of Beethoven 's 5th Symphony and "Flight 76" , based on Rimsky-Korsakov 's " Flight of the Bumblebee " , and Louis Clark 's Hooked On Classics series of albums and singles.
Even the I Love Lucy theme was not spared from being disco-ized. Many original television theme songs of the era also showed a strong disco influence, such as "Keep Your Eye On the Sparrow" theme from Baretta , performed by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Several parodies of the disco style were created. Rick Dees , at the time a radio DJ in Memphis, Tennessee , recorded " Disco Duck " and "Dis-Gorilla" ; Frank Zappa parodied the lifestyles of disco dancers in " Disco Boy " on his Zoot Allures album, and in " Dancin' Fool " on his Sheik Yerbouti album; "Weird Al" Yankovic 's eponymous debut album includes a disco song called "Gotta Boogie", an extended pun on the similarity of the disco move to the American slang word " booger ".
Comedian Bill Cosby devoted his entire album Disco Bill to disco parodies. By the mids, the United States was dealing with the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal.
Also by this time the economic prosperity of the previous decade had declined, and unemployment, inflation and crime rates had soared. Disco music and disco dancing provided an escape from these negative economic issues.
As well, in the s, the key counterculture of the s , the hippie movement, was fading away. The disco movement was far more than just music. It was also a subculture based around nightclubs, dance clubs, and DJs. In Beautiful Things in Popular Culture , Simon Frith highlights the sociability of disco and its roots in s counterculture. Film critic Roger Ebert called the popular embrace of disco's exuberant dance moves an escape from "the general depression and drabness of the political and musical atmosphere of the late seventies.
Nirvana is the dance; when the music stops, you return to being ordinary. By the end of the s, a strong anti-disco sentiment developed among rock fans and musicians, particularly in the United States. Rock artists such as Rod Stewart and David Bowie who added disco elements to their music were accused of being sell outs. The punk subculture in the United States and United Kingdom was often hostile to disco  although in the UK, many early Sex Pistols fans such as the Bromley Contingent and Jordan quite liked disco, often congregating at nightclubs such as Louise's in Soho and the Sombrero in Kensington.
The track " Love Hangover " by Diana Ross , the house anthem at the former, was cited as a particular favourite by many early UK Punks. Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys , in the song "Saturday Night Holocaust", likened disco to the cabaret culture of Weimar -era Germany for its apathy towards government policies and its escapism. Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo said that disco was "like a beautiful woman with a great body and no brains", and a product of political apathy of that era.
Anti-disco sentiment was expressed in some television shows and films. In one scene of the comedy film Airplane! July 12, , became known as "the day disco died" because of Disco Demolition Night , an anti-disco demonstration in a baseball double-header at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The event, which involved exploding disco records, ended with a riot, during which the raucous crowd tore out seats and pieces of turf, and caused other damage.
The Chicago Police Department made numerous arrests, and the extensive damage to the field forced the White Sox to forfeit the second game to the Detroit Tigers , who had won the first game. Six months prior to the chaotic event in December , popular progressive rock radio station WDAI WLS-FM had suddenly switched to an all-disco format, disenfranchising thousands of Chicago rock fans and leaving Dahl unemployed. The latter also helped bring the house music genre to the airwaves, ending the backlash somewhat with Chicago emerging as the birthplace of house.
On July 21, , the top six records on the U. Dahl stated in a interview that disco was "probably on its way out [at the time]. But I think it [Disco Demolition Night] hastened its demise". The anti-disco backlash, combined with other societal and radio industry factors, changed the face of pop radio in the years following Disco Demolition Night.
Starting in the s, country music began a slow rise in American main pop charts. Emblematic of country music's rise to mainstream popularity was the commercially successful movie Urban Cowboy. The continued popularity of power pop and the revival of oldies in the late s was also related to the disco backlash; the film Grease was emblematic of this trend.
Somewhat ironically, the star of both films was John Travolta , who in had starred in Saturday Night Fever , which remains one of the most iconic disco films of the era.
During this period of decline in disco's popularity, several record companies folded, were reorganized, or were sold. Midsong International Records ceased operations in Salsoul Records continues to exist in the s, but primarily is used as a reissue brand. Many groups that were popular during the disco period subsequently struggled to maintain their success—even those that tried to adapt to evolving musical tastes. The Bee Gees , for instance, had only one top entry 's " One " and three more top songs despite recording and releasing far more than that and completely abandoning disco in their s and s songs in the United States after the s, even though numerous songs they wrote and had other artists perform were successful.
Of the handful of groups not taken down by disco's fall from favor, Kool and the Gang , Donna Summer , the Jacksons —and Michael Jackson in particular—stand out: In spite of having helped define the disco sound early on,  they continued to make popular and danceable, if more refined, songs for yet another generation of music fans in the s and beyond. Factors that have been cited as leading to the decline of disco in the United States include economic and political changes at the end of the s, as well as burnout from the hedonistic lifestyles led by participants.
In January , rock critic Robert Christgau argued that homophobia , and most likely racism , were reasons behind the backlash,  a conclusion seconded by John Rockwell.
Nonetheless, the attacks on disco gave respectable voice to the ugliest kinds of unacknowledged racism, sexism and homophobia. Steve Dahl , who had spearheaded Disco Demolition Night, denied any racist or homophobic undertones to the promotion, 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. In , the music industry in the United States underwent its worst slump in decades, and disco, despite its mass popularity, was blamed. The producer-oriented sound was having difficulty mixing well with the industry's artist-oriented marketing system. Record producer Giorgio Moroder 's soundtracks to American Gigolo , Flashdance and Scarface which also had a heavy disco influence proved that the style was still very much embraced.
Queen 's album, Hot Space was inspired by the genre as well. In the s, disco and its legacy became more accepted by music artists and listeners alike, as more songs and films were released that referenced disco. In the early s, an updated genre of disco called "nu-disco" began breaking into the mainstream.
The song's disco influence, which appears on Know Your Enemy , was described as being "much-discussed". A Man After Midnight ". In addition to her disco-influenced attire to award shows and interviews, her Confessions Tour also incorporated various elements of the s, such as disco balls, a mirrored stage design, and the roller derby. The success of the "nu-disco" revival of the early s was described by music critic Tom Ewing as more interpersonal than the pop music of the s: Disco was a music of mutual attraction: Its dancefloor is a space for immediate pleasure, but also for promises kept and otherwise.
All of s great disco number ones explore how to play this hand. Madison Avenue look to impose their will upon it, to set terms and roles. Spiller is less rigid. In , several s-style disco and funk songs charted, and the pop charts had more dance songs than at any other point since the late s. In addition, Arcade Fire 's Reflektor featured strong disco elements.
In , disco songs or disco-styled pop songs are showing a strong presence on the music charts as a possible backlash to the s-styled synthpop, electro house and dubstep that have been dominating the current charts. Justin Timberlake's song " Can't Stop the Feeling! The Martian , a film, extensively uses disco music as a soundtrack, although for the main character, astronaut Mark Watney, there's only one thing worse than being stranded on Mars: Diana Ross was one of the first Motown artists to embrace the disco sound with her successful outing " Love Hangover " from her self-titled album.
At the request of Motown that he produce songs in the disco genre, Marvin Gaye released " Got to Give It Up " in , despite his dislike of disco. He vowed not to record any songs in the genre, and actually wrote the song as a parody.
Stevie Wonder released the disco single " Sir Duke " in as a tribute to Duke Ellington , the influential jazz legend who had died in It contained the disco single " Baby That's Backatcha ". Other Motown artists who scored disco hits include: Several of Motown's solo artists who left the label went on to have successful disco songs. Mary Wells , Motown's first female superstar with her signature song " My Guy " written by Smokey Robinson , abruptly left the label in She briefly reappeared on the charts with the disco song "Gigolo" in Jimmy Ruffin , the elder brother of the Temptations lead singer David Ruffin , was also signed to Motown, and released his most successful and well-known song " What Becomes of the Brokenhearted " as a single in Ruffin eventually left the record label in the mids, but saw success with the disco song " Hold On To My Love ", which was written and produced by Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees , for his album Sunrise.
Edwin Starr , known for his Motown protest song " War " , reentered the charts in with a pair of disco songs, " Contact " and " H.