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History Of The Disco Sound You Didn’t Know About

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History Of The Disco Sound You Didn't Know About
The classic Disco sound can be defined by a prominent drum machine beat, funky bassline and itchy ‘chicken scratch’ rhythm, played tautly and close to the neck of an electric guitar. Sumptuous string arrangements, generally high vocals and a jangle of hi-hat cymbals add a theatricality befitting the glittering environments and colorfully dressed patrons of the discos themselves, as do dramatic piano glissandi that tend to come sweeping out of nowhere. Upbeat lyrics almost exclusively about love, empowerment or disco dancing complete a heady mix.

The roots of Disco can be heard in the dance rhythms, punchy vocals and jingly hi-hat of Motown records in the 60s, and the smoother, string-laden Philadelphia Sound that began to challenge Detroit as the dominant force in soul music on the cusp of the 60s and 70s.

history disco
A lot of the inspiration for Disco can be attributed to MFSB, the house band at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios, which played on one of the first hits with a recognizable Disco sound: “Love Train” by vocal harmony group The O’Jays. MFSB stood for Mother Father Sister Brother, if you want the clean version, or Mother-Fucking Sons of Bitches if you want to know how hot they played. Either way, “Love Train” had most of what you could want from a Disco song, including its call for unity and inclusion – People all over the world,  join hands – that was central to New York’s club ethos.

It came out in 1972 and topped the US charts early the following year. Other contenders for Disco’s first big hit include “Rock The Boat” by the Hues Corporation and the orchestral instrumental “Love’s Theme” by Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra.

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Arguably the record that really nailed down the sound of Disco, though, was “Rock Your Baby” by George McCrae, which became a worldwide chart-topper in the summer of 1974. The song was written by Harry Wayne Casey – the ‘KC’ from KC and the Sunshine Band – and his bandmate Richard Finch. They cut the backing track as a Sunshine Band record at TK Records in Miami but Casey couldn’t manage the song’s high notes. McCrae happened to be on hand to stand in and went on to sell 11 million copies. As well as McCrae’s sky-high Ah-AHHs and calls for his Woooo-man to hold me in your arms and rock your baby, the record was one of the first to feature a drum machine.

KC and the Sunshine band weren’t left on the sidelines by McCrae’s success. With Casey on vocals and keyboards, the group went on to enjoy a string of Disco hits, including “Get Down Tonight”, “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty”, and “That’s The Way (I Like It)”. As the white leader of a large band of predominantly black musicians and backing singers, Casey epitomised Disco’s multiculturalism.

disco sound history
Gloria Gaynor, meanwhile, became the music’s first female diva with an album specially made for the dance clubs. Produced by Jay Ellis, Meco Monardo, Tony Bongiovi and Harold Wheeler – collectively known as the Disco Corporation of America – the first side of her 1974 long-player “Never Can Say Goodbye” comprised just three songs, “Honey Bee”, the title track and “Reach Out, I’ll Be There”, run together into a continuous 19-minute swathe of music, characterised by a thumping beat, swirling strings and Gaynor’s soaring vocals. It was an industry first and Gaynor, who had been singing in clubs since the mid- 60s, was initially unsure about the extended format, observing that there were large stretches of music when she wasn’t singing. The producers told her: “You better learn to disco dance, then!”

The risk paid off when the disc took the dancefloors by storm and DJs played the whole 19 minutes. The extracted single, a cover of the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye”, was the first song to top the Disco Action chart when it was introduced by music trade paper Billboard to chronicle the emerging New York scene. It also made the Top 10 of the US pop charts and took Gaynor around the world, hitting No.3 in Canada and No.2 in the UK.

Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

Disco

The Most Epic Cover Of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” Sung By Sam Smith

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The Most Epic Cover Of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" Sung By Sam Smith
“I Feel Love”
is one of those timeless Disco hits that never goes out of fashion at the clubs. If Donna Summer were alive today, she would be proud of Sam Smith‘s epic cover. The popular British singer joined forces with Disclosure‘s Guy Lawrence to create a modern version that is as fantastic as the original. Singing in falsetto like the Bee Gees is not an easy task at all. However, Smith shows off his vocal power and versatility with the proper technique. In the past, Madonna also did a good cover of “I Feel Love”, nevertheless, this one literally shines like a mirror Disco ball. Do you agree?…

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Disco

Italo Disco Is Back Thanks To Adana Twins’ Newest Hit “My Computer”

You may wonder why “My Computer” by Adana Twins is so fuckin’ addictive. Sure enough, this fantastic hit is inspired by vintage basslines and snappy percussion.

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Italo Disco
You may wonder why “My Computer” by Adana Twins is so fuckin’ addictive. Sure enough, this fantastic hit is inspired by vintage basslines and snappy percussion. Perhaps, the duo’s new sonic direction will influence other producers to bring back Italo Disco. Best of all, the use of vocoders is really heavy on this track, which reminds me a bit of Daft Punk and Kraftwerk. With the help of Glowal, these guys make joint efforts to achieve something memorable. Moreover, the clip directed by Selam X will transport you to a pretty odd digital world. Overall, it’s fun to watch. 😁

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Disco

67-Year-Old Disco Pioneer Cerrone Warns Us About “The Impact” Of Global Warming

I truly believe in the devastating effects of global warming as does Disco pioneer Cerrone.

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disco pioneer
I truly believe in the devastating effects of global warming as does Disco pioneer Cerrone. Interestingly, this month he dropped a music video for his new single “The Impact”. Sure enough, this clip contains a message raising awareness through atmospheric synths sounds + post-apocalyptic scenes. Above all, there’s a kind of magic in his melodies as it produces a whole bunch of tension into your ears, which resonates with the concept of his track.

On the other hand, it features some powerful lines of a speech by Jane Goodall, the famous British anthropologist who is now working for the preservation of the environment with her foundation. In my opinion, you don’t have to be a scientist in order to save the planet. Actually, everyone must assume the mission of protecting our planet to have no regrets in the future.

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Disco

New Video Alert: Peggy Gou – Starry Night

Without a doubt, Peggy Gou is the most popular female DJ & Producer from South Korea. The good news here lies in the fact that she released the music video for her #1 hit “Starry Night”.

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New Video Alert: Peggy Gou - Starry Night
Without a doubt, Peggy Gou is the most popular female DJ & Producer from South Korea. The good news here lies in the fact that she released the music video for her #1 hit “Starry Night”. The dreamy visuals shine a light on the enigmatic Asian culture.  Prepare yourself to see some peculiar scenes, which range from martial arts to wonderful landscapes. In addition, there’s a touch of fantasy that makes it visually irresistible for all of us. Certainly, Disco music is her forte and I hope she pursues this style in the future. Directed by Jonas Lindstroem, I would dare to say “Starry Night” is accompanied by one of the best videos of 2019.

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Peggy Gou - Starry Night
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Peggy Gou - Starry Night
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Without a doubt, Peggy Gou is the most popular female DJ & Producer from South Korea. The good news here lies in the fact that she released the music video

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Disco

Prepare Yourself For Funkyness! Purple Disco Machine Puts Out “Emotion”

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Purple Disco Machine
Tino Piontek is best known for his alias Purple Disco Machine. He came into the spotlight in 2013 with his biggest hit to date, “My House”. Six years have gone by, and this creative Producer is topping again the charts with “Emotion”. So, prepare yourself for real funkyness. Despite the animated visuals below look cheap, the tune is truly AMAZING. The energy of his Disco productions is so high you can reach nirvana at the club or even on any dancefloor. Take a listen right here and tell your friends about this upbeat gem!

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