Okay, so disco was not everyone’s cup of tea. Yet, some 30 or so years after its demise, and however much maligned, people still get up and dance to the music. Disco was most certainly a fad, the styles were awful (yet not as awful as some of the crap in the ’80s… remember parachute pants?) and was really never meant to stand the course of time. Although, however despised by some, much of the pop, hip/hop, electronica, and other forms of dance music that followed do owe a debt of gratitude to disco. Here are some of the better tunes to come out of the era that ran from approximately 1974 to 1980. Be sure to mention your favorites in the comments. Better yet, tell us what you think the top 3 Disco songs are and it may end up on a future list!
This may be the first in what was called the “Nu-Disco,” ushering in a more electronic sound. It was also one of the first to use the Moog Vocoder voice effect. The clip above is not featuring the band as they were a studio band – but the dancers are so awful it has to be seen to be believed. The best part: when the lady in pink does the robot at 02:11. here is a live version – almost worse than the above! Some consider this song to be the last disco number 1 hit in the US.
The band’s first of five #1 singles. Fun, infectious chorus of “do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.” And the cool opening features a recorded guitar solo at double speed over a normal-speed guitar line in the background.
A disco classic. Lots of heavy bass, big horns and the vocals are actually really phenomenal, especially when she goes into the rapid singing.
Originally released by the group in ’76, the song became a huge hit with the release of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It’s the song that Travolta does his dance solo to in the film – as you can see above.
A great funk/disco fusion, this is one of the band’s best, before Lionel Ritchie became all sappy and sentimental. Yes, she is indeed a “brick howwwse.”
This great song from a great band helped usher in the New Wave sound and was criticized for pandering to the disco set. It was a huge crossover hit and propelled the band into stardom. The video, by the way, was shot at the legendary Studio 54 disco in New York.
This early R&B/disco tune has led to many a midnight rendezvous. Like many of Mr. White’s tunes, it’s just damn sex on vinyl, only this one is his most danceable hit.
From Jackson’s first solo album, Off The Wall, this pure dance pop tune was the first of many #1 singles, before he got really freaky weird.
This massive hit became the band’s biggest song, among their huge list of hits. It is still hugely popular today, especially since it was prominently featured in the musical “Mama Mia.”
This anthem made the Village People one of the disco era’s most successful groups. Sure, there’s the whole gay thing, but for those less homophobic, you’ll still find crowds doing the YMCA thing on the dance floors at weddings everywhere.
Speaking of wedding songs…This song came out towards the end of the disco era, yet is still a favorite of wedding DJs. Kylie Minogue covered it in the ’90s and looked much hotter doing it than Kool.
Wild Cherry was a relatively unknown rock band playing in the mid-’70s, when a black audience member yelled, “Play some funky music, white boy.” The song hit #1 and sold a couple million copies, but was the band’s only hit.
Are you ready? This song won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for best original song. Really. It’s the most notable fact from the painful disco comedy “Thank God It’s Friday,” (starring Jeff Goldblum and Debra Winger). Donna Summer, already a disco diva, confirmed her status with this tune.
Probably one of the most famous disco tunes of all time, this song became an anthem for female empowerment and Gaynor’s only real hit. Covered by Cake, The Puppini Sisters and dozens of others, it remains a classic.
The film “Saturday Night Fever” truly kicked off the world’s obsession with disco, and this song kicked off the movie. Still enormously popular, this is a great song, no matter what your taste, it’s hard to dislike.