Earlier this week, I found myself sidetracked for a bit over a thread on the htmf site, the local bulletin board site that I tend to wander through from time to time, in search of tidbits from this corner of the World Wide Web.
Somehow a thread got hijacked and diverted onto the theme of some of the big songs of the Disco era, a momentary jump into the time machine and a transit back to the days of big hair, big shoes and wide pants and that never ending Disco beat…
Now I have to admit that while not a devotee of the musical styling’s of that era, I did from time to time find myself exposed to the sounds and trappings of that time which few now wish to talk about.
The late seventies to some were the sign of the musical apocalypse, as Rock and Roll radio stations gave way to 24 hour a day Dance parties and disco night clubs with their mirror balls and fashion parades took over many a city nightlife.
The era of Studio 54 and all of its excesses came to symbolize all that Disco was about, every large or medium city seemed to have its own version of the "In club", where most went to be seen as opposed to listen to the music. In fact it seemed for the most part, that the music was merely the elevator music of the times, providing the atmosphere of the night life, a background mix of sounds always accentuated by the booming beat of the bass.
There were a number of one hit wonders to come out of that era and more than a few artists that managed to navigate the boom and bust era of the disco craze in fine style, Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, Village People, Chic and KC and Sunshine band to name a few all found that the disco beat was the ticket to fame and fortune for the late seventies.
The flash point of the Disco explosion was 1977 and the motion picture Saturday Night Fever featuring John Travolta as a hardware store stock boy by day, but dancing God to Brooklyn by night.
In its day the movie and the soundtrack owned the theatres and the record stores and only the country stations and the revolutionaries at the album rock stations avoided the non stop musical interlude offered from it.
The bubble would last until the late part of 1979 when the backlash began and the retreat was sounded for a musical flash that would no longer rule the charts or the clubs. But it is still a sound that can be heard from time to time today, found in the techno sounds and like minded offerings of Madonna and her fellow travellers.
There still seems to be life in the memories of the Disco era, with the producer of Saturday Night Fever offering a retrospective most recently found on tour in Asia.
Tonight on the Music Club, if for no other reason than to provide a history lesson for the young and to scare the hell out of the old timers, we take you back to the time of change.
A lost half decade or so when the music was considered hot and even award winning. The Tramps would pick up a Grammy award for their heat inducing efforts, which urged us all to burn, baby, burn in a disco inferno…
Recording—Saturday Night Fever soundtrack