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Disco

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

A Brand New Lyric Video (Kinetic Typography) From Horse Meat Disco

It is almost customary for artists to opt for kinetic typography via lyric videos. Horse Meat Disco use this animation technique aka moving text so that you can sing along to their Nu-Disco single, “Jump Into The Light”. 

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lyric video kinetic typography

It is almost customary for artists to opt for kinetic typography via lyric videos. Horse Meat Disco use this animation technique also known as moving text so that you can sing along to their Nu-Disco single, “Jump Into The Light”. What’s more, fonts come to life as they evoke emotions. If you’re looking for ideas to embellish your visual project, this music video could be a source of inspiration. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter the low budget for music videos, just with a vivid palette, you can catch the eye of anyone who appreciates your work.

Most importantly, vocals of the legendary Kathy Sledge (Sister Sledge’s lead singer) still sound amazing. It lacks the groovy strings of the classic Disco anthem “He’s The Greatest Dancer”, however, it has the right beats required for maximum enjoyment. “Jump Into The Light” is an ear-pleasing jam that brings back so many good nightlife memories to mind. Not to mention, the delicious funky instrumentation was co-produced by Luke Solomon. Well, these London-based DJs never disappoint with their top-quality tunes.

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Disco

Video Premiere: Kylie Minogue – Say Something

Galactic Disco is back in style again! One of my favorite singers, Kylie Minogue just premiered her new visuals for “Say Something”.

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kylie minogue say something
Galactic Disco is back in style again! One of my favorite singers, Kylie Minogue just premiered her new visuals for “Say Something”. The 15th studio album from the Australian popstar is entitled ‘DISCO’ and will be out in stores on November 6th. In the clip, I believe she plays the role of a cosmic goddess who charms everyone with her super sweet vocals. Add to this, the right amount of trippy electronics that let your imagination fly. Arguably even better are her lyrics which portray a beautiful message of love despite the distance. Like a fine wine, Kylie gets better with age. On a side note, she managed to do this piece of art in the middle of a global pandemic, well, she deserves a special round of applause!

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Lyrics

We’re a million miles apart
In a thousand ways
Baby, you can light up the dark
Like a solar-scape
And I can almost feel you coming
And your heartbeat race
Someone, somebody or something
In the choice we make
I, I think about you

Whoah whoah whoah whoah yeah
I can’t help thinkin’ ‘bout you
I’m always thinkin’ ‘bout you
Whoah whoah whoah whoah yeah
S, s, s, say something
Say something
Tell me how you’re feeling

Oh we all got wanderlust
In the darkest place
So we’re going with our heart
Yeah it’s all the rage
Oh we’re just
Just trying to find ourselves
In the storms we chase
Baby in an endless Summer
We can find our way
I, I think about you

Coz love is love, it never ends
Can we all be as one again
Coz love is love, it never ends
Can we all be as one again

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Disco

“Hypnotized” By Purple Disco Machine Gets A Retro Music Video!

Purple Disco Machine joins forces with Sophie and the Giants on “Hypnotized”. The retro music video looks wonderful and it surely brings back memories of the late 70s. 

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retro music video

Purple Disco Machine joins forces with Sophie And The Giants on “Hypnotized”. The retro music video looks wonderful and it surely brings back memories of the late 70s. Moreover, the psychedelic visuals will literally hypnotize you, as well as the ear-pleasing vocals. Likewise, the chorus makes this tune a future classic. You can tell Purple Disco Machine guarantees good times putting his stamp of a funky groove. The producer from Dresden, Germany has received positive feedback from his fans who consider this Nu-Disco anthem his latest masterpiece. Without a doubt, the contemporary Disco scene is alive thanks to him. I can’t wait to discover more cool stuff…

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Lyrics

Feel buried alive, this city is airtight
Suffocatin’, lonely in the crowds
I’m surrounded by all the screens of their lies
Screamin’ into space to drown them out

I fell down so low, found nowhere to go
But I know you wait for me
You wait for me
So far out of sight, stepped into the white
But I know you wait for me

I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
‘Cause I’ve been hypnotized by the lights
But I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
Yeah, it’s taken time to realize
But I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight

So hold me tight, I just wanna fade out
Somewhere we can shut the world away
I’m ready to hide far from the fallouts
They won’t find us in the paradise we’ll make

I fell down so low, found nowhere to go
But I know you wait for me
You wait for me
So far out of sight, stepped into the white
But I know you wait for me

I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
‘Cause I’ve been hypnotized by the lights
But I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
Yeah, it’s taken time to realize
But I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight

Free fallin’ from the high
I’m followin’ the voice I know
Free fallin’ from the high

I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
‘Cause I’ve been hypnotized by the lights
But I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
Yeah, it’s taken time to realize
But I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight
I’m comin’ home, I’m comin’ back down tonight

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Disco

“Attention”, Michael Aguilar Premieres A Disco-Filled Jam!

Queer singer-songwriter Michael Aguilar creates a disco-filled jam for the LGBT community. The feel-good track called “Attention” comes accompanied by his first-ever music video.

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"Attention", Michael Aguilar Premieres A Disco-Filled Jam!
Queer singer-songwriter Michael Aguilar creates a disco-filled jam for the LGBT community. The feel-good track called “Attention” comes accompanied by his first-ever music video. At a time when the world is suffering due to the pandemic, this new single invites everyone to show off funky dance moves in self-isolation. You can tell he puts a lot of passion for singing, plus, lending a sultry sheen to the whole composition. The 27-year-old artist whose musical heroes are Britney Spears and Dua Lipa is set to drop a debut EP in December. So far, I believe it’s a groundbreaking material that is sure to exceed expectations. A masterful fusion of Pop and Disco that still seem entertaining for radio plays, so stay tuned!

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Disco

Watch This Colorful Animated Clip From Disco Icon Breakbot!

French Disco icon, Breakbot surprises his fans with a colorful animated clip for his new cut, “Be Mine Tonight”. The late 70s-tinged sound brings to mind Studio 54 themed parties.

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Watch This Colorful Animated Clip From Disco Icon Breakbot!
French Disco icon, Breakbot surprises his fans with a colorful animated clip for his new cut, “Be Mine Tonight”. The late 70s-tinged sound brings to mind Studio 54 themed parties. However, visuals portray a different story of a girl playing around a Pump It Up machine. In fact, Director Gary Levesque captured the beauty of this popular arcade game. Plus, it’s impossible to resist to that funky groove. In case you need some tunes for your next quarantine dance party, I think “Be Mine Tonight” is the perfect option. On another subject, there are some rumors that a new album from Breakbot is coming anytime soon. Isn’t that incredible? Only time will tell, stay alert!

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