Show Mobile Navigation

15 Great Disco Tunes

Steeveedee . . . Comments

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!


Lipps, Inc., 1980

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.


Get Down Tonight
KC & The Sunshine Band, 1975

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.


Turn The Beat Around
Vicki Sue Robinson, 1976

A disco classic. Lots of heavy bass, big horns and the vocals are actually really phenomenal, especially when she goes into the rapid singing.


You Should Be Dancing
Bee Gees, 1976

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.


Brick House
Commodores, 1977

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.”


Heart Of Glass
Blondie, 1979

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.


You’re The First, The Last, My Everything
Barry White, 1974

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.


Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Michael Jackson, 1979

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.


Dancing Queen
ABBA, 1976

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.”


Village People, 1978

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.


Kool and the Gang, 1980

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.


Play That Funky Music
Wild Cherry, 1976

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.


Last Dance
Donna Summer, 1978

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.


I Will Survive
Gloria Gaynor, 1978

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.


Stayin’ Alive
Bee Gees, 1977

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.

Contributor: Steeveedee

  • jajdude

    Boogied guns on the list, g – no Miles Rationis though?

  • Copaface

    Yayy I love these songs! :D
    Since I got a laptop I have pretty much downloaded every son I’ve ever wanted and got extremely bored when I found I could think of nothing else to download and resorted to downloading entire soundtracks of Disney films and musicals I loved as a kid (Oliver!, Annie etc…)
    But this has given me a few more ideas :D
    Thank youuuuu!

    PS – This may be a little more modern and might not even be disco music but I Am Not Your Gameboy by Freezepop is a fit song :)

  • Arnaud

    I love Disco music !!!
    It was fun, it had energy, and it was totally danceable, contrary to most of the depressing songs of today.
    Those were the days !!!…

  • ‘Disco Lies’ by Moby from the album ‘Last Night’… it’s great…
    plus the albums by Darude like Rush and Sandstorm also hve some great tracks suitable for disco..

  • Star

    Cool List

  • cheesedrummer

    oh yes!!
    great list.

    what about disco inferno – the trammps? notable mention??

  • Nelia

    Haha, great songs! I hadn’t realized how much I like disco until I kept saying “ooh! I love that song!” for about 13 items on this list.

  • White Satyr

    Interesting fact: Stayin’ Alive also has a perfect rhythm for CPR. So if you ever have to do it, you know what song to sing.

  • BooRadley

    Disco sucks!

  • mexecution

    I’ve been a fan of the site first time commentie? Anyways this list sucks there’s a reason disco isn’t around anymore cuz it sucked than and it will always suck big donkey dick

  • Copaface

    Fuck off, disco rules!

  • Disco Stu

    likes disco music.

  • slipstick

    Every time I hear “Stayin’ Alive” I think back to the disco scene in “Airplane!”

    Disco isn’t really my thing. I prefer some of the rock from the era, but it seems to be a fairly solid list.

  • c

    Aaaaaaah, the Bee-Gee’s!

    MY EARS!!


  • Brosiusjb

    14 ain’t bad! I’m glad to know there are great disco tunes, I had never even heard a good one.

  • Brosiusjb

    I mean 15, still ain’t bad.

  • foohy

    *sigh* disco…really? What happened to the mystery lists? The unexplained phenomena? Top Ten Crazy Cults!?

  • Tricia

    Gotta love the disco. I have Dancing Queen on my iPod and generally pass it if someone else is listening. It’s a closet habit. :)

  • pyderz

    Supprised isnt top 30 lol good choice in songs, summer of 69 shuld be there

  • heavybison

    A disco list without BoneyM??? Wtf!!

  • Matt

    Can we have an honorable mention for Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell”?

  • Mom424

    Hahaha, an oxymoron in the title. Really though, I guess if I had to pick iconic disco tunes most of these would be on my list. Mind you where is Rod Stewart’s Do You think I’m sexy?. And despite the Oscar nod, I think I would have included Love to Love You Baby rather than Last Dance by Donna Summer.

  • pilkington

    le freak chic

  • jhoyce07

    i love some of these songs.. wanna groove on..yeoww!

  • Cybogen

    I was hoping to see “Disco Inferno” in the list. Burn baby burn disoc inferno…burn that mother down. Great list though…reminder of the 70’s era

  • Spocker

    “Great” and “Disco” are two words that should never, ever be used together…unless it’s this:

    Great, Disco is dead!

  • MT

    I love this list. I spent a few Saturday nights in Disco’s and the whole era was a blast. Donna Summer was the Queen. I’ll also add my vote for Disco Inferno.

  • pufonthis

    Did we really need a list for this?

  • Sunshine

    I like disco music, but I’m not really sure we needed a list for it as pufonthis (27) said.

    Be that as it may, I’m suprised ‘On the Radio’ by Donna Summer wasn’t on the list. For me that is the essential Donna Summer tune, and I think it defines disco music more so than Last Dance. Cute list anyway, I guess.

  • astraya

    Good memories and bad memories.
    Good = the music, though sometimes now I cringe just a tiny bit. One of the greatest evenings of my life was talking to the man who ran the karaoke at my local pub about 5 years, and remembering more 1970s songs than he did.
    Bad = everything else about my adolescence and teen years. Being a monumentally shy, partly deaf (therefore can’t stand noisy places), high academic (therefore dorky), preacher’s kid in a small city was not a recipe for social success.

    Re “Staying Alive” and CPR. I read an article about that last year. They found another song with the same beat was “Another One Bites the Dust”, which they didn’t think was quite appropriate! I suspect that most of these songs have approximately the same beat.

  • whitewolf

    Disco rules! :P

  • damien_karras

    Copaface: my son has been abducted… please release him from your laptop

  • Michael

    Disco Inferno should be on this list (at #1)

  • moonbeam

    I was in high school during the whole disco era. It was all I could do not to kill myself. Everywhere you went these “tunes” were playing; the bars, shops, malls, restaurants, it was relentless. The more cheerful and up beat, the worse it felt. It was so plastic and manufactured. Sadly, some of the musicians and singers had talent, but they were never able to live down selling themselves out for this trend. Thankfully Punk Rock came out as a backlash against this, and put an end to it. Sure, every generation has its crappy corporation generated “music,” but in the seventies it overpowered and drowned out the more real and creative music. If you looked hard enough there was better stuff being released. Just as the fifties weren’t really like the cartoon like stereotypes you see in the movies (like Grease), there was more to the seventies than this garbage. By the way, many of us resisted the horrible clothes, too.

  • Tha

    Really only one Donna Summer song need be on the list, and that’s “I Feel Love.” That song’s production was ground breaking. Allegedly, Bowie heard it and said, “I want my next album to sound like that.” It really was ahead of its time.

  • ghost

    Notable Omissions:

    It’s Raining Men- The Weather Girls
    Disco Duck- Rick Dees
    Macho Man- The Village People

  • J

    Eh, Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough and Heart of Glass are all-time great songs, but I hate every other song on that list.

  • Borka

    Yes,Yes and Yes….my kind of list…

    Stayin` Alive number 1 ? god damn it yeah

  • Randall

    NOOOOOOO. This is ridiculous.

    Sorry, but this is just a “pick the greatest (and mostly lamest) hits” list, NOT a list of truly GREAT disco songs (there WERE some, in fact).

    To begin with, leaving off Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”—one of the greatest songs of the 70s, period—is an unforgivable omission. As is leaving off Donna’s “Love to Love You Baby.” I mean, come on.

    But worse, unless I’m mistaken there’s NOTHING here from Philadelphia–the town that’s basically RESPONSIBLE for most of the disco sound. (New York just made it huge). Where is “TSOP” (The Sound of Philadelphia)?

    And where the hell is Chic? Where is “Disco Inferno”? Where’s Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up?” Where’s Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way?”

    There are a dozen others I could mention.

    I mean, I’m sorry… I know I’m known around here for starting trouble over these music lists… but for chrissakes… this is another one that sounds EXACTLY like it was written by someone who wasn’t THERE, but is looking back on what what they THINK the era was like. If this guy (who wrote the list) was even alive in the 70s, I’m willing to bet the boat that he wasn’t living in or near any major eastern city, where disco was prevalent and alive. You couldn’t possibly be, and not know the glaring omissions this list has.

    But I grew up in the 70s, in and near New York. I vas dere, charlie.

    Disco, back in OUR day, was for the most part godawful (and some of the choices on this list certainly fit that bill) but not ALL of it was–particularly at the very beginning, back in 73-74, and—oddly enough–at the very end, around 1980. In between, a great deal of drek. But the one thing disco shared with the early punk and New Wave was its wonderful disposable quality–one great song would pop up out of nowhere and then be gone. That happened many times with disco. But it also produced some true classics, like the aforementioned Donna Summer tunes.

    And one other thing, “Steeveedee”—don’t tell me the clothes in the EIGHTIES were worse than the styles of the SEVENTIES. That’s just ridiculous. Sorry, Steevee, but rebelling against the puke-making clothing styles of the 70s is what the 80s were all about—it was the death knell of silly bell bottom pants, and it banished polyester from the list of acceptable fibers (not that polyester went away–but after 1980, it was worn only by proles and throwbacks, and sad cases “not in the know.”) The 80s brought the death of ridiculously wide ties and lapels, of the terrible leisure suit, and of a dozen other nausea-inducing fashion mistakes of that nasty era of miasma and vapidity. Yes, there were some bad fashion mistakes in the 80s as well–I don’t deny that for a moment. But EVERY era has its gut wrenching fashions—some of the stuff people are wearing today will be laughed at twenty years hence, I guarantee it. But the 70s had WAY more than its share of crumminess.

    We had bad presidents, a bad economy, horribly bad television, bad fashions (and by the way, what GOOD fashion was there in the 70s? At least the 80s and the 60s had SOME. But there is literally NOTHING that came to be in 70s fashion that you’d want to go back and wear again, today) mostly bad movies (with a few notable exceptions–but here, if anything, the 80s WERE almost worse) the country was in miserable shape, no matter how you look at it. For all its silliness, I’ll still take the 80s any day, over that.

    But back to the point—there’s a lot of truly great music missing from this list—and to include, instead, the BEE GEES of ALL “artists”–and not just ONCE but TWICE—well, sorry… but on that, this list fails. Shamefully.

    *comment held in moderation for use of ‘ONCE’*

  • Copaface

    damien_karras: Lol. You died in the end of the film. So surely you cannot be able to point out my grammatical mistakes x]

  • Callie

    Slipstick (13) I do the same thing! It always reminds me of that scene!

    I did a Polar Bear Plunge this past weekend and afterwards we hung around for awhile…I’m pretty sure all of these songs were played. You can’t help but bop around.

  • GTT

    LOL… My office doesnt allow the tunes to come up but I just realized how much I liked these songs as I was able to sing pretty much all of them in my head! :D And I´m only 27 so it´s not like I heard these in my childhood!!

    Any time I hear “I will survive” my husband has to cover his ears while I belt this out as loud as I possibly can! :D

  • dustoffmom

    Disco Inferno! Just thinking it in my head makes me want to hop up and start dancing! List is not complete without it.

  • SCF

    Tha, you’re absolutely right! “I Feel Love” is my absolute favorite Donna Summer song. It has such a fantastic beat, and if one didn’t know any better, could easily mistake it as a techno realease of the late 90s rather than disco. I’d have to say “I Feel Love”, along with “Disco Inferno”, and … I’ll probably get crucified for this, but I love “Found a Cure” by Peaches and Herb. Those are my top 3.

  • Bre

    #15 was already on a list for worst songs
    ?? Now all of a sudden it’s good?

  • Bwkee

    The Hustle!

  • spence425

    what a frightening list…

    the thought of disco music makes me shudder.

    but, to all those who enjoy it, i hope you enjoy this list.

  • Randall

    Hmmmm… I posted a comment here that went into moderation—but now it’s vanished. Was it THAT bad?

  • bwmyers18

    Anyone not thinking these songs are influential needs to go RIGHT NOW and download Cake’s version of “I Will Survive”. Funkiest bass line EVER in a song. Period.

  • Randall

    cyn/jfrater, etc.:

    Have I been censored?

  • The Tantalizer

    DISCO IS DEAD… it died for a reason… cuz it sucks

  • Gazza_c

    Play that funky music… Hellsyeah!

  • Steeveedee

    I figured there would be a lot of the “disco sucks” comments. I love all kinds of music, but disco just reminds me of some great times. I remember as a teen in the mid/late ’70s, my older brother was a total rock fan and would always tell me “disco sucks.” But while I was out at teen discos meeting girls and having a blast, he was hanging with his buddies doing nothing. Hmmm…

  • robert

    What about Earth, Wind & Fire – Let’s Groove?

    Ottawan – D.I.S.C.O.?

    Rod Stewart – Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?

    Patrick Hernandez – Born To Be Alive?

    Sylvester – Do You Wanna Funk?

    Donna Summer – Hot Stuff?

    Rick James – Super Freak?

    and so on and on…

  • damien_karras

    Randall is being censored? Say it ain’t so! (The end of Western civilization as we know it…)

  • Yves

    Kung-foo Fighting! wooha

  • smurff

    Right up my alley – well done

  • kbenjy

    Don’t Leave Me This Way- Thelma Houston

  • Randall

    OKAY…. apparently I WAS censored… (?) At any rate, the comment I posted earlier has disappeared… and unfortunately I didn’t save a copy.

    SO.. I’ll just repeat that I didn’t think much of this list. Not because of the subject matter–there was, in fact, SOME very good disco music—but because of the choices, and even more so, on account of the glaring omissions.

    Chief amongst which was the omission of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and “Love to Love You Baby,” But also for the unforgivable omission of anything from Philadelphia, the town that was the true home of disco (New York just made it popular). “TSOP” (The Sound of Philadelphia) Should have at least been on here. I also noted that Thelma Houston wasn’t on here, and neither was Marvin Gaye. Neither was “Disco Inferno.”

    I felt this list was just someone picking out some of the “greatest hits” of disco—which is not by any means the same as “the greatest SONGS or tunes” of disco.

    I also took umbrage at Steeveedee’s suggestion that the fashions of the 80s were far worse than those in the 70s. I hardly think so. Every decade has its crap, but the 70s was replete with it. The 80s had it share, but there’s still stuff that was mainstream, in the 80s, that we wouldn’t feel ashamed to wear today. Not so for the 70s. The 80s brought us the end of bell bottoms, wide lapels, platform shoes, and brought disapproval to the wearing of polyester.

    But the main point was, I felt the list didn’t work because of the many truly great songs that were left off–and because stuff like the Bee Gees, who were awful, were included.

    Why my original post was deleted, I’d like to know. I also entered one yesterday on the recent sports thread that disappeared. What’s going on?

  • Randall

    OKAY… AGAIN I just posted something and AGAIN my comment is in moderation. Why? What’s going on here?

  • Cyn

    admin. note re: moderation-
    i will try to include a *note* in comments released from moderation as to why they were routed there in the first place. so if you had comments not post, go back and check them now. (as for other admins – they’ll do whatever)

    under heading of ‘dead horse’-
    comments are automatically routed into moderation on the basis of your word choice and what has been previously set up as filtered words by J. if you take issue w/ what words are being automatically filtered, you should take that up w/ J.
    keep in mind tho..most of those words eliminate spam, obscenities and other crap from your viewing pleasure of this section of the site.

    as for thinly veiled derogatory commentory about this process..i am quite tired of that hence the use of the term ‘dead horse’. personally, i find it offensive. i am glad there are filters in place. i am so happy someone is keeping an eye on comments here. this is such an easier place to read than most sites that are over run w/ porn and ‘little blue pill’ ads in their comment sections. so i have no prob w/ the minor and relatively infrequent inconvenience of having comments go into moderation on a site i frequent FOR FREE. so stop bitching!

  • blackbit

    Loving your work, this list is pure fromage but so uplifting! It really takes me back.

  • smurff

    Somebody mad at you Randall ?

  • Randall


    No problem. The issue for me was—I’ve had comments go into moderation before–it happens from time to time and I fully expect it. But they never then just wholly disappear. This morning the first one I posted was totally gone for quite some time—it didn’t even say “your comment is awaiting moderation” anymore. And that puzzled me. And then I put this together with the fact that I swore I posted something late yesterday on another thread—and now can’t find it. It just threw me. I thought maybe there was some glitch going on.

  • Cyn

    ya’ll really need to check out the navbar-
    mailto:[email protected]
    tells you about the site and how to contact J. and there are other buttons there you should check out too.

    so if you do take issue w/ anything on this site, i would prefer you do so via email and not use the comment section to complain.

    as for comments not showing –
    you will get a message ‘pending moderation’ or something like that. if your comment does not even appear either your system is messed up or like what has been happening on this site for the last several minutes…it is this site that is experiencing technical difficulties. it does appear to have just been a ‘burp’. if it does continue…contact J. but anyone who has been online for more than 5 mins knows that stuff happens. servers overload. code degrades. blah, blah, blah. so just be patient. and i’d appreciate the first response to it not being LV is out to get you! LV isn’t.
    but i might be! ;)

  • Steeveedee

    Hey Randall,
    Thanks for your comment. First off, it’s all subjective, isn’t it? You’re allowed to have your favorites. These songs were not chosen based on number of records sold or anything. More based on popularity and longevity and opinion. Yes, there were a lot of other popular songs, and anyone leaving a comment could add to the list. Your suggestions are absolutely valid, as are many others in these comments. But no suggestion should invalidate any other selection just because you say it so. That’s what being subjective and having an opinion is all about. So, relax, okay. Oh, and yes, Randall, I was around during this period. I was in high school in Philadelphia, where a lot of this sound came from, so I am more than vaguely familiar with it. T.S.O.P. is a great song, but is it as easily recognizable to the common person as say YMCA? Probably not. Oh, and as far as the fashions, let’s all be honest, there are bad fashions from every era. Was fashion worse in the ’80s than the ’70s? Again, matter of opinion. Wide lapels and Sansa-Belt polyester slacks were cheesy, but at the time, it was cool. No need to get condescending. It’s music, it’s fashion, not life or death.

  • bucslim

    I’m probably gonna have to by on Randall’s side on this. Those two Donna Summer songs were / are totally righteous disco songs. And just like him, I was there, and most of it was crap, but Donna Summer ruled. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have minded so much if you just put Donna Summer’s catalog here, you’d be more right than you were when you published this.

    God knows it’s hard to take criticism when you write one of these, I had my share after my first attempt. And my list even had hard cold facts. This is a little more on the subjective side, but Love to Love You Baby or I Feel Love not being on a disco list is like a Whopper not being on the menu at a Burger King. I mean, ‘BRING ME A WHOPPER!!’

    Trust me, after going through it, you were relieved when an actual good song came along during all of that crapola. I love me some Wild Cherry, but I’m not even sure that was disco – more like funky RnB. Same with Brickhouse – don’t mess with me I was a Commodore freak – first concert I ever attended. They did some disco later, but Brickhouse is funk plain and simple.

    I think we can do better here. . .

  • bucslim

    I don’t really give a shit much about the fasion argument. But the 70’s were fuckin brutal. All you gotta do is look at the album covers of some of this stuff and you’ll soon put on your Member’s Only jacket and brush your mullet.

    I had bellbottoms so big if I fell down the stairs I had a reasonably good chance of floating down as the pants would open up like a chute so that I could delicately touch down on my platform shoes. As an added bonus the wide collar of the polysheen shirt acted as rudders so I could steer.

    No, give me the gelled hair and marginally straight pants of the 80’s thank you. At least I could wear a white tee and look marginally bad ass – in the 70’s you could never be bad ass wearing that shit. Avacado silk shirt and Joanne Whorley sock it to me orange bellbottoms with 6 inch platform shoes? What, are you kidding me?

  • Randall


    That you were around at the time—AND living in Philly–and wrote THIS list—makes it worse than mere oversight. I think you’re just plain nuts.

    POPULARITY, Steevee, is NOT the same as “good” and is certainly not the same, by extension, as “great.” The list is titled “15 Great Disco Tunes.” Now, writing a list like this was your chance to show some taste, some discernment–and to educate the youthful and unaware. Instead, you grabbed some titles that you liked, out of a hat, and tossed them in a list. Well I’ll tell ya, Steevee… I “liked” Gilligan’s Island sometimes, but I’d never put it on a list of “15 Great TV Shows.”

    That fewer people would recognize “TSOP” than would recognize a Bee Gees song is irrelevant. It doesn’t make “Stayin’ Alive” superior to “TSOP.” Just as “Last Dance” is NOT superior to “I Feel Love” simply because “Last Dance” sold more copies. Do you not SEE this?

    Yeah, all this is subjective. But that’s why I’m calling you to task for it. Because your choices, in my humble opinion, sucked. If you’re going to write a list like this, you should make some effort to consider what, historically, culturally, musically, and in terms of influence, which songs ARE in fact “great.” Mere popularity should be the LAST consideration. The whole POINT to lists like this is that they have that critical angle that analyzes why a piece of work, in this case a song, MATTERS. If you approach it, as you did, purely from the angle of which songs people would most recognize or which songs were the most popular, then what’s the POINT of making such a list? You might as well call it “My List of Favorite Disco Tunes For No Particular Reason Other Than They’re Ones Everyone Recognizes And/or Sold The Most Copies.” Which is, in essence, what this list is.

    I mean come on. This is DISCO for chrissakes. It’s an uphill battle saying nice things about disco in the first place. It was an ideal opportunity to point out that there WAS some greatness in disco that maybe people aren’t totally aware of. And I’m sorry, but you blew it.

    And I’m still just flabbergasted that someone from Philly, in the 70s, could have left out all the stuff you left out. Could have left out Gamble and Huff and everything they were tangentially responsible for. If there was ANYTHING worthy in disco, it was produced by people like that.

  • Cat Skyfire

    A bit of pointless trivia: Dancing Queen was written for the wedding of the King of Sweden.

    Fantastic list, though.

  • Randall


    Hear hear, man. In the 70s I had that wavy huge head of hair the likes of which today are only seen on that asshole Blagojovich (sp?)… I’d take the spiky punky ‘do I wore in the 80s ANYDAY over that. And I’ll take my skinny ties and mohair suit from college over the polyester bizarro shit we wore in ’77. Actually, my family was pretty damn steadfastly prep, at the time, so I only had a few truly awful items of clothing–in the 80s I CHOSE to dress over the top, as rebellion and identity establishment, as it were. But even so, the clothes in the 80s were simply better. Some of it, today, is pure crap. But it was never meant to be taken SERIOUSLY (only people who took it seriously were off their nut). In the 70s people DID take bell bottoms and suchlike seriously–it was all you could buy, practically.

    A sad, ick-inducing decade, that one. I miss some of it because it was my childhood and youth… but overall I’d never go back. Certainly not as an adult.

  • Willow

    Your lists have been boring and disappointing lately. :[

  • bucslim

    You think you had it bad Randall, I live in the midwest where everything is 5 years behind. I was still wearing that shit in the early 80’s. I know that explains a lot about me but it wasn’t like it is now were you can buy something different on the internet.

    Screw the bellbottoms, I had a pair that were actually called ‘elephant’ bottoms. Just brutal man.

  • I’m totally with Randall on this.
    Disco made the “live” concert impossible, as everything depended on studio tricks; voices, instruments, backbeats, choirs, orchestras, I could go on and on , but you get the picture…concerts during the disco era were all just recordings, with the groups pretending to play and sing.
    “Why do you say that? How can you know?” you might say.
    Because, after my stint in the film biz was over, I put in five more years with a PR guy. Said PR guy was a bigshot in the music world, in fact one of his clients was the BeeGee’s, another was the Jacksons, he was the largest individual music PR man in the world. I got schooled.
    We did handle other stuff too, by the time I came along. But it was embarrassing to meet some of the musicians and have to lie through my teeth at how wonderful I thought they were.
    Thankfully, after the first year his book got published and we got into that world, I became involved with authors and publishers and editing.
    Got off track there…point being, Disco was a concert-unfriendly form of music. It was great to dance to, as Randall said, a lot of really great stuff was left off the list, but in my book, if it can’t be reproduced live, it isn’t fair to the audience.

  • Randall


    You have my sympathy. Truly.

    Do you know I’ve never been in the middle of the country? Never. I’ve only flown OVER it.

    Years ago, just after college, some friends of mine packed up their cars—a Volkswagen Fox and a Suzuki Samurai—and drove cross country to jobs that were awaiting them in San Diego. They called me periodically along the way to let me know their progress and offer pithy comments on their surroundings. Things were pretty normal until they got to Nebraska. Then the weirdness started. I don’t remember much of the conversations… it was just along the lines of:

    “Dude, it is like another PLANET out here. Every stereotype is true!”

    Things like that.

    Being the skeptical, even-keeled type, I took all this with a grain of salt or two, figuring on the views of a group of twenty-something hipster New Yorkers with spiked hair and funky clothes and music and Hermes scarves and such… to be a bit… skewed, shall we say.

    Then they hit Wyoming. And the phone call that time was filled with versimillitude. The sense of experiencing true eerieness was deep in their voices. There was even fear there. “I never knew such people actually existed. These people *seriously* think they’re cowboys here.” I think they were afraid it was going to turn into “Five Thousand Maniacs” mid-western style.

    You never heard such relieved people when they finally hit the coast and only had nutso southern californians to cope with. The only complaints then had to do with the utterly vapid lifestyle and the fact that you couldn’t get a decent bagel.

  • lifeschool

    I really like Disco!

  • Randall

    Let me say something here, to everybody.

    It gives me no pleasure to come on this site and hurt people’s feelings about the lists they’ve submitted. You might ask why I feel the need to do this when it’s not MY site in the first place and who am I, after all? Well there’s no good answer to this, really. I’m someone with opinions is all, but I do think they’re very INFORMED opinions and worthy of being offered up. I spent a lot of time, effort, and sweat on my education, both in the traditional and non-traditional sense, and my parents spent beacoups bux on the traditional end of it, so I guess I feel obligated to make use of it as much as I can, even if it does make me sound sometimes like great big know-it-all.

    But I don’t ENJOY ripping people apart–unless they clearly deserve it–and I’d like to think most of my targets on this site DO deserve it. I deeply dislike cant and propaganda and dull thinking, and I try to go after it whenever I see it. But I also dislike this widely prevalent American attitude (yes, I do think it’s confined mainly to us Americans) that only POPULAR things have any real value, and if something ISN’T popular then it can’t have much real worth. And indeed, the view seems to be that if something is appreciated only by a minority, then it isn’t “real” or isn’t valuable–by any stretch of the imagination—as something that is appreciated by the *majority.* That belief really bugs the hell out of me, and it’s one of the few things that I think are actually WRONG with our culture in this country—I mean, obviously there’s a LOT “wrong” with American culture, but there’s a lot “wrong” with EVERY culture in the world–it just varies from place to place. By and large I believe my fellow Americans to be nice, friendly people, if a bit vapid and isolationist and too quick to judge the rest of the world by their own standards. Greedy sometimes, sure, and provincial, hell yes. But some of the other “vices” of Americans are the result of just being too fat and happy with being rich and (at least superficially) free. I always thought, when Europeans complain that we “smile too much,” that Europeans could go f**k themselves… most of us smile so much, I know, because all things being more or less equal, we’re pretty happy. Most Americans don’t know the meaning of “suffering,” for instance, and while that DOES tend to make them a little too quick to judge others and be overly smug, (and make them rather shallow) it’s also not exactly a “vice,” to not know suffering. It’s a blessing. I don’t care if it’s god or the great spaghetti monster or our own dumb luck that’s “blessed” us. We are, in many senses of the word, “blessed,” and you can’t expect people who are blessed and whacky happy to be the deepest, most serious, most grown-up and even-tempered folk in the world.

    But one thing I DO think is wrong with us is that, being so infatuated with popularity and “who likes what,” and being so insecure (we KNOW the Euros have it over us in sophistication, wit, discernment and style) we have this terrible failing to devalue those things that are outside of the purview of the lowest common denominator. We like to blame it on our “democracy” when confronted with it. I’d argue that de Toqueville knew better, as did Dwight MacDonald. In fact, you idiots, you NEED to realize that popularity is no measure of the value of ANYTHING, except possibly in politics.

    It just irks me. It makes us throw away many good things just because the schlumps in the trailer parks don’t like them, or because they don’t register on some accountant’s chart. Or because they’re old and we can only like “new things,” even if the new shit is just that… shit.

    I know, I know… why all this angst over a disco list? Well it isn’t about the disco list per se. It’s the principle. It’s something we need to grow up about.

  • Cedestra

    2. Copaface: I’m glad someone else knows who Freezepop is. :)
    So, any “disco sucks” comments are stupid. Please, if you don’t like it, don’t comment because we don’t care.
    Steeveedee, I have to agree with Randall on the “just because it’s popular doesn’t make it good”. William Hung was popular and by NO MEANS good. He sold millions!
    There are quite a few missing tunes. Someone mentioned The Hustle- that’s the quintessential disco tune, for me. And there’s others, too. I know it’s hard to pick a select few.
    Randall: wow, I haven’t seen you around in a while. World of Warcraft has gobbled my free time, so I haven’t been around as often, either. How’s my big grumpy bear? :D

  • Darren

    ummmm…disco sucks?

  • RandomPrecision

    good choice for number 1

  • Randall:
    All in all, I agree with your post. However, I do take issue with one item, an important item, and that is that “Most Americans don’t know the meaning of “suffering,””.
    Suffering is such an objective state that I would hesitate to say who suffers and who does not; and what sort of suffering are we to consider?
    The suffering of those under a totalitarian regime?
    The suffering of grinding poverty?
    The suffering of incurable disease?
    The suffering of lack of hope?
    The suffering of daily fear?
    The only suffering Americans are free of is the first. Otherwise, we suffer as well as anyone.

  • joe rosson

    # 15 Was my favorite when I was a preteen. JF you should have added the band Kiss with their attempt at disco lol.

  • Randall


    As you can see, grumpy as ever. :-)

  • damien_karras

    Yeah, didn’t KISS attempt a contribution to disco with their “Dynasty” album?

  • Mom424

    Randall: What we agree on a music list? Well at least on one tune. And there were a few good fashion hits in the 70’s. I can think of two; low rise jeans (ladies’ Lee Rider’s) and flowy peasant skirts. Also water buffalo sandals (Jesus sandals) were quite popular in the 70’s at least where I lived. The skinny ties and false posturing of the 80’s along with the further demarcation between the haves and the have-nots of that decade ruined it for me. The worship of Reagan (Thank goodness for Obama; just now fixing that mess) by the fellows wearing those said skinny ties pontificating on how they were going to help the poor by getting richer and ignoring them (trickle down economics-hah) is how I remember the 80’s. Give me back the 70’s, even with the leisure suits and wide lapels.

  • Randall


    I was speaking in a general sense, and I was speaking historically, in a way. But primarily, I was speaking comparatively. There IS, of course, poverty in the US. And there is racism. Many people have suffered terribly due to these. There has been injustice in our history, terrible injustice.

    But in the grand scheme of things? I mean, in the grand scheme of what humanity as a whole has suffered? Our poverty is far less in quantity and depth than what many other countries have suffered; we haven’t experienced real famine or truly widespread, unchecked disease. We haven’t suffered invasion or privation at the hands of an enemy–not since 1812, anyway. Lack of hope and daily fear? Well sure, everyone has these in one form or another. But there’s MORE often a light at the end of the tunnel here than there is in other cultures.

    We DO have suffering, yes. I would never deny that. But compared to what others have had to cope with, it’s just not the same. And again, I mean, overall… in a general sense.

  • Nemiga

    Stayin’ Alive Rocks our Socks :D:D:D:D:D:D

  • Cyn

    grumpy? WTF is wrong w/ being grumpy? you get to an age and it becomes an entitlement! as for disco..the highlight of my 20’s ‘bar hopping’ period. also included the ‘Urban Cowboy’ line dancing craze as well.
    people need to just chill out on these lists generally speaking. its just the internet, not your life. state your case in civil terms and move on. have some fun goddamnit ;)

  • Miss Destiny

    YES! I was hoping “Last Dance” would be on this list, I swear I listened to it for like a half-hour straight on my MP3 player at work yesterday. I LOVE that song. It’s so fun to sing.

  • Randall


    I’ll give you the jeans. Great jeans in the 70s. It’s truly a wonderful thing when a woman wears jeans well. And yeah, I liked the skirts on women too… that very feminine, flowing, airy look…. ah, but I’m getting horny. Again.

    Perhaps you forget that I was ONE of those skinny-tie-wearing Reagan worshipers back then. I do regret it now. But I’d still take that fashion sense over most of the 70s. Some of the 80s style hearkened back to the early 60s, and to the 30s and 40s and 50s. I prefer the sharp, hip, jazzy style of those eras to the frumpy mess of the late 60s and 70s. Remember, it was a rebellion against that hippie aesthetic. But some of us weren’t so much rejecting the counterculture as we were rejecting the smug baby boomer attitude of superiority about it.

    I still *understand* why people were dazzled by Reagan. I no longer approve, but I understand it. And I do believe that some of the crap that followed in his wake is NOT entirely what he intended. I do believe that if Reagan and Goldwater were alive today, they would have both been very disgusted with the route things have taken over the last 10-15 years or so. Even Buckley may have been. At any rate, we see that the surviving Reagans and Goldwaters supported Obama in the recent election (at least the vocal ones that I’m aware of) as did Christopher Buckley, WFB’s son.

    But I do admit that Reagan was, in the end, wrong about many things. I think for the most part he meant well, but the policies and practices he put into motion ended up leaving a very bad taste in the mouth, even though they seemed sweet at first. And certainly the people that followed after him ended up being nothing but a group of bigots, thugs, and liars.

  • Mom424

    Segue; Suffering of daily fear? I don’t believe that to be the case in most of North America. In a few, and I mean few, inner-city areas that may be the case, but no where else in the country. And in Canada at least, and I’m sure in the USA too, there is no grinding poverty comparable to that of third world countries. People do not starve to death where I live or where you do either. Randall’s point is entirely valid.
    We in NA are blessed.

  • YogiBarrister

    How did this song get overlooked? In addition to a great beat, it has pithy, Elvis Costelloesque lyrics.

  • JayArr

    Okay, now that’s just great… bring back the traumatic childhood memories of my second-hand bell-bottom corduroy pants, will ya?!???!???

    Oh the shame! The agony! The zip-drum sounds of knees rubbing together as I walked… I curse the textile mills of Manchester, and the cotton on which they worked their evil magics!

  • bucslim

    Randall, just stop with the bullshit about Reagan ok? This is a disco list, jeez. You don’t hear me bitching about that fuck-tard Clinton in here do you?

  • Debra

    Ha ha I have every one of these songs! Nice list.

  • evilk8

    Interesting list.
    I love Blondie. If Debbie Harry is quite possibly the first female rapper with the end secton of Rapture.

    Bob Dylan’s probably the first rapper with Subterranean Homesick Blues – if you consider rapping spoken verse over music … and that Bob’s not really singing he’s talking.

  • Kevin

    Still making my way through the videos, but I have to say, since noone else has commented on it, that Debbie Harry (of Blondie) is absolutely incredibly beautiful in that “Heart of Glass” video. Wow. She still is, nowadays, albeit in a more mature way….

  • Kevin

    Oh, and Randall, go start a blog or stand on a street corner handing out leaflets or something. Noone wants to read your insane ramblings in a thread about DISCO MUSIC FFS!

  • oouchan

    I have all of these songs..but what about:

    Hot Stuff
    Grove Thing (gotta love this one)

    Great list!!!

  • Kikishua

    Another vote for Disco Inferno from me!

  • 87. Randall: I was speaking in a general sense…
    Having read your explanatory post, I agree with you entirely.

  • GTT

    86. Mom424 : I was just going to say that! In fact, one of the fascinating things about fashion is how some trends get recycled and renovated. How many times have I looked through my mom´s old things and come up with something I could wear today? In fact, the whole boho chic (and hippie chic) in style now for summer is exactly a throw-back to the 70s. (Sorry if this sounds a little shallow but I´m almost ashamed to say this is my area of expertise! :) )

    On a completely different note, I agree with Randall´s comment about suffering in NA. I live in Peru and it will absolutely break your heart to see the living conditions of people here (remember that the latest estimates from the World Bank place from 45-50% of the total population below the poverty line): literally a one-room thatch house in the middle of the desert barely big enough for the entire family to lie down in.

    No one is trying to downplay any particular person´s suffering, but as a whole, you have to admit that North America (and even South America when you compare other parts of the world) have a pretty cushy life.

  • Randall: your comments don’t just disappear – they go to moderation and stay there until one of the three main admins approves them – this can take a matter of minutes or hours – hopefully minutes. I believe the comment you thought had disappeared is now showing :)

  • BooRadley

    I, too, was a young woman when this horrible fiasco called disco appeared, and overnight, 75% of the bars in our town became discos. A lot of disco-type people had bumper stickers that said, “Rock and Roll is Dead!” I was one of the people driving around with “Disco sucks!” stickers on my car. Being in Colorado cowboy country at the time, the other 25% of the bars were country/western. What was a young girl supposed to DO for fun in a place like that? It was awful.

    And then I discovered punk. There was one, tiny punk hangout in the whole city, and we had a pretty tight scene – punks, mods, new wavers, (skinheads, even!) There was just nowhere else for anyone outside the popular “norm” to go. But we had a great time, and I was introduced to a whole world of new music that I still love to this day. Thank God, disco is dead. But remember, as Neil Young said, “Rock and Roll will never die!”

  • Randall


    Eat me. Creep.


    Why so sensitive? I was responding to something MOM said to me. Ease up sport.


    Glad we’re on the same page now.


    I just got nervous. Too much caffeine this morning.

  • Randall


    “And then I discovered punk”

    Me too, Boo. Me too. 1976. I had to buy the records surreptiously and sneak them home… I thought my mother would object.

  • YogiBarrister

    Me three Boo! I was living in Denver at the time. An East Coast heterosexual stuck between disco and cowboy music, with only a meager LP collection to keep me sane.
    BTW, criticizing Reagan is perfectly appropriate on any thread, especially this one. His theme song was #8 on this list, now the entire world is barely #1.

  • teenfreakshow

    Disco is the antithesis of Rock N Roll.

  • sfsf

    wheres rasputin??

  • Flock O’Seagulls

    Reagan and Disco Rule! Now with that out of the way…..

    1. “Rock With You” would be a better choice re Michael Jackson from “Off the Wall.”

    2. Nothing wrong with any entries, but I also like:

    I Love the Night Life–Alicia Bridges
    Groove Line–Heatwave
    If I Can’t Have You–Yvonne Elliman
    September–Earth Wind & Fire
    Night Fever–BeeGees

    3. Best Disco song period–Heart of Glass–and by a punk/new wave band, no less!

  • bigski

    The clothes were a must back then,no bell bottoms,no ugly half button up shirts,no platform shoes,no shoulder length hair then guess what? NO POONTANG. I was in the Navy at the time,so I was already cool with my gubment issue blue denim bell bottoms. There were so many disco songs it`s hard to argue and fuss about what was the best or worst. It`s easy today to say disco sucks especially if you didn`t live it or wasn`t there,it was what it was.

  • honey punk


  • Steeveedee

    Okay, Randall,
    Go forth and write your diatribes about my choices. I may be “nuts” as you say, especially being from Philly and living through the ’70s, but I’ve got better things to do than worry about what someone has to say about a list of disco tunes. Have at it, bud. I’m getting on with my real life.

  • AcidMan

    Oliver Cheatham – Get Down Saturday Night

    One of my favorite disco tunes, house music owes a lot to this guy.

  • gus

    These are so generic, to be honest. Disco is a very intriguing and enjoyable subculture of America (and furthermore, the World) that is such a comment on society. I don’t know. There’s more to it then these #1’s which make it seem like such a silly fad.

    That being said: “Heart of Glass” has to be one of my favorite songs ever.

  • kels

    Everyones a winner – hot chocolate

  • Courtney

    I like most of these songs; didn’t realize I was a disco kind of person! I do, however, really like “Rasputin” by Boney M. It’s an amusing song.

    I also love how ironic it is that “Stayin’ Alive” is the perfect tempo for CPR…

  • Courtney

    Does “I believe in miracles” by Hot Chocolate fall under the disco category?

    Cue comments about miracles…now.

  • timmy the dying boy

    What about “How Deep is Your Love?” That song is not only a disco classic, it’s an all-time classic.

    Somebody ought to do a list of stupid disco novelty tunes, things like “Rasputin” and Disco Duck.”

    One more thing, I don’t consider “Dancing Queen,” or anything else by ABBA, as disco. To me, it just doesn’t fit into the genre. Great great song, though, one of my faves whether it’s disco or not.

  • lmg01

    Celebration is one of the most annoying and overplayed songs ever recorded, does not belong on any list, well maybe the extinction list.

  • Senor Shutter

    Add me to the list of people that think “Rasputin” by Boney M. is a great song.

    Here’s a link to an interesting article about the song.

    And here’s a link for people who have never heard the song.

    The life of Rasputin is such and odd thing to write a song about that it makes me think that maybe a list about hit songs written about strange subjects might be interesting.


    “because they’re old and we can only like “new things,”.

    This is an attitude that really irks me too. I can understand it when a teenager does it, but when people in their 20’s and 30’s do it I just want to scream.

  • JustKar

    Oh dear GOD, disco didn’t disappear soon enough for me.
    I too was in high school when disco reared its ugly head. The makeup, the clothes, the attitude….I still have nightmares. (j/k, sorta)
    Seriously, the rock people and the disco people might as well have been in different universes. To this day, I cannot stand to hear disco; it brings back awful memories.
    To each his own, I suppose, but it was a sad time in music history.

  • k1w1taxi


    You were doing OKay until *Now, writing a list like this was your chance to show some taste, some discernment*

    Taste? Discerbnment? DISCO??????? ROFLMAO


  • Lyrebyrd

    Okay, loving this list. There are so many great/awful disco songs, and I do have to classify them that way because I do have a love/hate relationship with them – passions/guilty pleasures.

    BUT, whether good or not, one cannot discount, “The Hustle” simply for the fact that it spawned the dance, “The Hustle”. Necessary, if not a bit sickly, it was a pivotal part of the disco craze. Another honorary mention along with those that listed “Disco Duck”, would have to be, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”. It didn’t have it’s own dance, but hell, close enough.

  • Jono

    September – Earth, Wind and Fire.
    Ma Baker – Boney M
    Rasputin – Boney M

    Where. Are. These.

  • Rain

    Disco is BACK big time. Scissor Sisters, Moby, Glass Candy, et al. It’s exploding and the influence, which never disappeared, is streaming fullforce into every type of genre.

    So for those who say disco sucks, you’re living in warp speed…backwards. That was the war cry of an old generation that never completely killed off disco. It just morphed into house, hip hop, freestyle, techno, tribal, electro, trance, Goa, JoBurg house, B’more Club, Bitch Tracks, …so may offshoots it would make any rock or rap fan’s head spin.

  • Rain

    Oh, and it’s ALWAYS white boys with thumbs for feet who yell “Disco Sucks”!

  • yc

    hurray for disco the seed.

  • Randall


    I couldn’t agree more—with both of your statements.

    I observed in college, many, many, many years ago… chicks are contemptuous of guys that can’t–and won’t–dance. In response, insecure guys (mostly white, yes) would then dismiss dancing as unmasculine and dance music as effete.

    But as it happens, dance music is a metaphor for sex, and being able to dance–especially dance well–gets you laid.

  • 8rustystaples


  • TampaGeek

    Going to High School (US) during the “disco era” (1977-80) was painful, to say the least… they played “FunkyTown” no less than 4 times during my senior prom (and 2 of those times were the bloody long play version, nearly 15minutes long).

    Of the songs from that era that DON’T cause PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) incidents that should be on this list:

    Knock On Wood (Amii Stewart)
    A Fifth of Beethoven (Walter Murphy)
    Pop Muzik (M — okay, maybe more new wave than disco)
    Born To Be Alive (Patrick Hernandez)

  • TEX

    I had a polyester shirt with a long collar – I had bell bottoms with leather trim and designs sewed to the pockets – but I never, never had a gold chain.
    Drink, dance, drink, dance well, get laid – DISCO!

  • GTT

    130. Randall :

    You are correct sir! Which is why I married a man who likes salsa! :D

  • Good Nads

    Disco is annoying at best and irritating at worst.

  • Roberto

    this list is more like popular songs from 70s and 80s. I would not even call them “real” disco… no:

    Boogie Oogie Oogie
    Dance a little closer
    Evelyn Champagne King
    Chaka Khan

    and on an on…

  • Rain

    Disco gave the world:

    The 12″ single
    The B-side instrumental

    both of which made possible:
    The deejay

    and they made possible:
    The Remix
    The dance club (prior to disco, dance clubs were supper clubs were live bands took over after dinner was served or a dive with a jukebox)

    The dance club (discotheque, hence “disco”) made possible:
    the msuic light shows that sooooooo many rock fans ooh and ahh over

    Scratching as a deejay technique was first done by a disco deejay on a disco song, it was borrowed by the likes of Grandmaster Flash and other South Bronx early rap pioneers who orignally rapped over DISCO

    So disco also made possible:

    Latin Freestyle

    This just a short list. I’m sure I could think of more if my boss wasn’t walking into the office now.

  • BooRadley

    Rain (128)
    “Oh, and it’s ALWAYS white boys with thumbs for feet who yell “Disco Sucks”!”

    I’m not a boy, and I’m actually an excellent dancer. And I still yell “Disco sucks!”

  • 137. Rain: In the ’60’s we danced at many famous disco’s. Disco’s had been around since the 1940’s, in fact. Below is a quote from the hated Wiki:
    A discothèque, IPA: [disko?t?k?], compare the Spanish “discoteca”, is an entertainment venue or club with recorded music played by “Discaires” (Disc jockeys) through a PA system, rather than an on-stage band. The word derives from the French word discothèque (a type of nightclub). Discothèque is a portmanteau coined around 1941 from disc and bibliothèque (library) by La Discothèque, then located on the Rue de la Huchette in Paris, France.[1] Previously, most bars and nightclubs used live bands as entertainment.

  • Rain

    Oh yes, segue… I know that entry. But you don’t know the history.

    Those Parisian discotheques at the height of World War II played…vynil records put on one after the other by hand by a person who was not a deejay. If you were lucky, you were treated to a jukebox where the records were selected by you but invariably played by the owner or his attendant.

    The first true discotheque in the modern sense was David Mancuso’s “The Loft” and he is arguably considered the first true deejay since he used two turntables to smooth one record into the other without a pause. That’s where all the elements we know today as a dance club came together for the first time. David’s Loft Parties are infamous and his name legendary. He is a Gay deejay (he still deejays and his Loft Parties are still being thrown all over the world). And his preferred genre of music back in the early 1970s: DISCO.

    You are confusing the term “discotheque” which can be used for any place where records are played for a paying audience to dance with the modern concept of discotheque, which today is more commonly called a dance club. They are not the same things.

  • Jesus

    Disco is the mother of House which is the royal road to heaven.

  • CK2005

    my favorite is This Time Baby by Jackie Moore ( I think that’s the title anyway ) Nice list :)

  • gatineau

    I wasn’t born in the 70’s.

  • Music Man

    I was a radio DJ from 1975-2001…totally agreeing with Randall. My personal disco faves:
    Parliament – Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk)
    Dance Dance Dance – Chic
    Shake Your Body Down To The Ground – The Jacksons
    We Are Family – Sister Sledge
    Boogie Oogie Oogie – Taste of Honey
    Boogie Wonderland – Earth Wind and Fire
    Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
    Dazz – Brick

  • phat jon

    Holy shit! I just realized I love disco!

  • Rain

    To Jesus:


  • Rain

    And a little bit of history. The “disco sucks” phenomenon was orchestrated by rock radio disc jockeys (with the wholehearted support of rock-heavy record labels). They had seen their market shares dwindle during disco’s ascendancy. Over night and all over the world people were listening to, dancing to, and clubbing to disco. And they were buying disco records in numbers never seen or imagined before. A few rock acts panicked. They saw their careers coming to an end if they didn’t jump on the bandwagon (the Stones, Rod Stewart, Wings, Kiss, etc.)

    Faced with a near total monopoly of the radio waves by disco and dance-oriented music, the few remaining rock formats decided on a very public campaign to denigrate the music. And that word is very apt, because the first attempt was to really make the music black…i.e. the music of inner city blacks. And then, the most convenient of all American boogey men, the claim that it was the music of Gays. The funny thing is that they were right and wrong. Disco’s core audience and first fans were Gays and inner city minorities. But by 1979, it was a world-wide phenomenon that has continued over seas to this day.

    Rock may have succeeded in shaming people away from disco, but disco’s offsprings (house, feestyle, hip-hop, etc.) succeeded in dominating the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond.

    So, to paraphrase Billy Joel, new way, old way, dance wave…it’s all still disco!

  • 140. Rain: Oh yes, segue… I know that entry. But you don’t know the history.
    Gee, I guess I must not. I spent so much of my time during the ’60’s at places like the Whisky a Go Go and the Hullabaloo and Pandora’s Box and the ever moving nameless clubs in the industrial district that had to be kept secret and moving because they had no liquor license and served minors and ignored closing restrictions.
    Good God! I’m a babe in the woods!
    You see, Rain, I don’t just know the history, I lived the history.
    Put that in your pipe and smoke it, bucko.

  • Rain

    Well if you did live the history (and not read the wiki articles) you should know that none of those places in the (*ahem*) “industrial district” (let me know where that was in New York…please, refresh my memory…just for the hell of it), but you should know that NONE of those BARS had a deejay and that the very first record to be considered a disco song was Soul Makossa by Manu Dibango. Hazzard a guess when that song came out?

  • Rain

    And yes, for you younguns, Soul Makossa was sampled by both Michael Jackson and more recently, Rihanna among many, many atrists all over the world.

  • dave4248

    #2 “I Will Survive” Great song. That was a song that women loved to sing and dance to…..but men were the only ones who actually TOOK it’s advice. Ironic.

  • Geni

    I used to love “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward, “Rollercoaster” by the Ohio Players and of course, “Flashlight” by George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic!

  • Luke101

    This list is bullcrap how can beegees be the top song of disco.

    Here is an answer to this list

  • Nick

    what about love rollercoaster!!!

  • 149. Rain: Well if you did live the history (and not read the wiki articles) you should know that none of those places in the (*ahem*) “industrial district” (let me know where that was in New York…
    Rain, did you read my post at all? You might have noticed that the clubs I referenced, Whiskey a Go Go, Hullaballoo…were in Hollywood, CA. not New York!
    Did it not occur to you that the left coast had it’s own, discrete scene?

  • Rain


    I don’t mean to be rude, but…

    It’s logistically impossible for you to have been dancing to disco in L.A. in the 1960s when anyone who knows the history of the genre knows that disco came out of the inner city ghettos and Gay neighborhoods of New York. They created it. Up until the late 1960s what people danced to was termed “danceable soul music”. That sound would eventually borrow elements of Afro-Cuban/Merengue and other world sounds and become disco in the early 1970s.

    Now, last year I attended the funeral of a very close friend of mine, Mel Cheren. He was the founder, owner, and president of West Side Records. That label was one of the pioneering disco labels. But not only that, Mel’s career stretched all the way back to the late 1950s when he landed his first job with ABC/Paramount Records. When ABC/Paramount relocated to L.A. in the mid 60s, Mel stayed in New York. He stayed because he was part of NY’s Gay nightlife underground elite. He was the first to notice what deejays were doing with records and the first to bring it to the attention of the indy label where he was working. He forced them to sign acts that would become the seminal disco pioneers of that era. These were the people whose records he was hearing being played at places like The Saint and The Loft.

    To give you one example, that song I referenced earlier, “Soul Makossa” by West African Manu Dibango? That song was first heard by Frankie Crocker at one of Mancuso’s Loft parties. Crocker was the radio disc jockey for the black urban radio station in NYC, WBLS. The next day he played that record on the air and every single of the 75000 pressings were sold out in a matter of hours.

    But it doesn’t end there. By the mid 1970s, while the world was pointing to the sky a la Travolta, he noticed that the sound was slowly changing yet again. His lover at that time, Michael Brody, wanted to open a club. Mel put up the money. That club was the Paradise Garage. And the deejay that was hired was Larry Levan, a black guy Mel and Michael first heard deejaying at one of Mancuso’s Loft parties. Levan’s best friend at the time wanted to learn to deejay. Levan taught him. That guy is Frankie Knuckles, the man credited with creating house music in Chicago. Although that job in Chicago was originally Levan’s but he passed because, like Mel, he didn’t want to leave New York. So Levan suggested Knuckles for the job instead.

    I met these people as a teenager at the Garage. And Mel in particular was the foundation of my early musical knowledge. I’m a house music producer today. And I owe it all to him.

    A few weeks ago I attended an anniversary in honor of Mel and a Paradise alumni reunion. When a lot of the original disco records were played on the lower dancefloor, the younger people there were gagging, as we say in NYC. They were gagging because they have heard all of this music all their lives. Most of it has been used, sampled, reworked, respanked, tweaked, lifted, and infiltrated into so may different types of music that it sounded very familiar to them. I heard some say things like…”Wow. That song is THAT old???”

    So, no, disco is far from dead. And its roots lie in the rythmic soul music of the mid to late 60s. But up until the early 1970s, that sound hadn’t even been on the airwaves of the city that gave it birth. But it was being heard in the underground Gay and Black clubs of New York as the very first deejays attempted to do what they still had no name for…REMIX.

  • Rain


    Not West Side Records…Mel was the president of West END Records.

  • Rain, jeeze, do you ever pay attention, or do you just drift through life, skimming the surface?
    My original post was about the word discothèque, and the fact that we on the west coast had clubs called discothèque’s in the ’60s. I said *NOTHING* about dancing to disco music. No one on this coast would be caught dead dancing to that drek.
    This is my final post with you. I find it less than charming that when offered a piece of information, rather than saying, “interesting, thanks”, you have to try to make me out to be a liar or an idiot. The regulars here know that I am neither.
    copy of original post

    139. segue – January 28th, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    137. Rain: In the ’60’s we danced at many famous disco’s. Disco’s had been around since the 1940’s, in fact. Below is a quote from the hated Wiki:
    A discothèque, IPA: [disko?t?k?], compare the Spanish “discoteca”, is an entertainment venue or club with recorded music played by “Discaires” (Disc jockeys) through a PA system, rather than an on-stage band. The word derives from the French word discothèque (a type of nightclub). Discothèque is a portmanteau coined around 1941 from disc and bibliothèque (library) by La Discothèque, then located on the Rue de la Huchette in Paris, France.[1] Previously, most bars and nightclubs used live bands as entertainment.

  • Rain

    Your own definition is just, well, stupid. If a discotheque is “n entertainment venue or club with recorded music played by “Discaires” (Disc jockeys)” then you weren’t doing nothing of the kind.

    My point is there were no disc jockeys in clubs prior to the advent of disco. All the disco jockeys were on the radio.

    I’m sorry of you’re the resident wikinaut (yeah, that’s a French expression). But the Whisky a Go-Go as an “underground and constantly moving club”. That was very well-known a famous watering hole in the annals of night culture. It was famous for go-go dancing. And that was the only contribution that that one girl who played records from a cage ever made to the concept of a deejay as we know it today.

    But true deejays are not dancers. And what the French and their American imitators called a discotheque is not what we call a disco.

  • Randall

    Rain, Seque:

    DO stop bickering, both of you–you’ve both led lives I would have given my left arm to lead and known people I would have given the other arm to know. You’re both highly intelligent people whose taste and knowledge I admire immensely.

    Now, let’s quit with the semantics. The nitty gritty truth is that the most important thing about pop music is that it offers people the chance to DANCE, which is a metaphor for sex, as we all know. It was the hippies that put DANCE on the backburner for a time, with their 20 minute guitar solos and whole albums of mid-tempo, dirgelike music about space and drugs and other nonsense. BEFORE that, people danced in clubs. DURING it people danced in clubs. AFTER that people danced in clubs. In the 60s they were discotheques and whatnot–dance halls, etc.—in the 70s they came to be called discos, and their was a DJ spinning records and making his or her own dubs and extended dance mixes. Different times, different approach, different technologies–but at bottom, the SAME thing—people having FUN again, dancing—instead of sitting on a floor listening to an album, smoking a joint. I’ll take the dance anyday.

    Now make nice, both of you, because smart people like you should be buddies, not enemies.

  • Thank you, Randall, for being the voice of reason. You’re right, of course. Ergo:

    Rain, I apologize for being something of an asshat. My reasons were pure, but my methods were nasty and out-of-hand. I’m sorry.

  • damien_karras

    Dancing is a metaphor for sex? Some styles, yes, I agree. But have you ever been at a wedding where they did the “Achy Breaky” line dance? It was enough to kill any arousal in my pants.

  • Yun

    Three disco songs?

    ABBA – Gimme Gimme Gimme
    ABBA – Voulez-Vous
    Blondie – Call Me

    I think those may be the only three good disco songs around, actually.

  • dracon

    I believe in miracles. Where you from, you sexy thing?

  • Cambrexia

    I actually love disco, even though I’m into rock a lot more.
    I grew up listening to like ABBA, Boney M., etc.
    I watched Saturday Night Fever when I was 7 just because of the music.

    Um, yeah. I know and love most of these songs.
    I’m listening to ABBA right now actually.

    But uh, for the record, I don’t take disco seriously, and it’s just fun music, not like….real music. Ha.

  • Cambrexia

    OH, and by the way, Dancing Queen is nowhere near the rest of the songs on that list. *sigh* Mamma Mia ruined ABBA. They actually have some good music.

  • Green Eyes

    Rain – marry me?

  • Dgirl

    Great list!
    How extraordinary, I am a 15 year old girl, grew up nowhere near the USA (where I imagine most of these songs come from), and yet, I recognized each and every one of them. I am shocked and proud at the same time…

  • Pavy

    I think one song that should really be here is I’m Ready by Kano. Anyone listening to that song just has to admit that it’s catchy and just a well made song. Personally for me it would be my number one disco track from that era.

  • Pavy

    I forgot to link the song, here’s the link to I’m Ready:

  • BobCat

    wow there is still alot of anger in disco by some people that did not get it. I did and for a while listen, dance and purchase disco music. But at the same time I also listen to Led Zep, Black Sabbeth, Ted Nugent, Areo Smith and some other Bands out there as well that are still here today. I realize I like the above band’s better but let face it even some of the better known super group’s today tried it
    Rooling Stones ( miss You ) there are plenty others just think about it and that time of life and music.

    Good list!!!!!!!!!

  • 160. Randall: Well, it was a good idea, and I did my bit. Guess who didn’t?
    I won’t be apologizing to any arrogant coq faible d’ esprit again anytime soon.

  • Angelique

    Very good list, I really liked it. Although Brick House and Dancing Queen are the most annoying songs from the list (and anywhere).

  • Randall


    Well…. I tried too. But Rain seems to have just gone away. Maybe he/she just gave up?

    I, by the way, have had coq faible d’ esprit and didn’t like it. Much too rich a dish.

  • juleigh

    I was in middle school when the whole disco thing was popular. One of my absolute favorite songs is Makin’ It, by David Naughton “I’m as bad as they come/number 2 to no one/I got looks/I got brains/and I’m breakin’ these chains/make some room now/dig what you see/everybody I’ve got the key/I’m makin’ it…
    Also worth mentioning is Earth Wind and Fire’s Let’s Groove. I don’t know if Fantasy (also by Earth, Wind and Fire) qualifies as disco, but it’s a damn good song nonetheless. And anybody who has seen Love at First Bite has to appreciate the scene where George Hamilton is dancing with Susan St. James to Alicia Bridges’ I Love the Nightlife.

  • Pingback: “Got Skis?”()

  • Diogones

    A long time ago when The Punk Rock Music and The Discoteck Music (also known as Disco) frightfully joined hands within hands, when skipping through the phosphorus glow of the dead hardly meant a thing in current teen blissfullness, there was the tactless paw print of The Eighties, stamping it’s ashen signature through the clean shaven snow, side winding bird’s beak going for the worm…ect.ect.

  • Shaaronie

    You forgot “Get Off” by Foxy

    Hey and maybe you should do a list of the top songs that spelled the end of the Disco era. #1. should be Disco Duck!

  • Bert

    @ 170. – I was almost to the end of the comments and someone stole my non-disco band’s disco reference :) “Miss You” from the Stones proved they could even succeed with disco.

  • Lucas

    Carol Jiani- Touch and Go Lover

  • Lucas
  • Lucas
  • linda

    some truly great songs were left off this list. Ditto on the “I feel Love.” Also, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is another great one.

  • 98bones

    I Feel Love is a must
    I also suggest:
    Shame – Evelyn Champaign King
    Groove Line – Heat Wave
    More More More – Andrea True Connection

  • simmonz

    The womans eyes in funky town look like something out of the Exorcist

  • Will Trame

    Despite any critical controversy, disco was an important facet of the rock genre. I’ll admit that I actually liked it during its genesis period, as I was in high school then. And, of course, music has its most profound impact on one between ages 13 through 30. Unfortunately, disco became quite predictable and trite as time passed, as it reached its acme with “Saturday Night Fever”. After that flick, it went all downhill as a number of radio stations adopted (and then ultimately dropped) an all disco format, the backlash began, as evidenced by the July 1979 “riot” at Comiskey Park (I believe that the second game of a doubleheader was cancelled due to the damage to the field). I also recall an issue of Rolling Stone magazine that was an all disco one, resulting in the editors receiving close to 377 replies that simply stated “Disco Sucks”.
    A very tedious though important genre in pop history.

    BTW, I too think the Trammps’ “Disco Inferno” merits a place on this list.

  • djhuggybear

    Good Times- Chic,seminal

  • Ivan

    I love old skool disco tunes and music never expire! –

  • lovelydia101

    although most of u don’t like this disco it does sure beat the music that swears all the time and that you can’t understand a thing there saying or how most of it is about break ups and depressing stories or how it just plain sucks i myself love the 60’s music

  • MikeyD

    I’d have to say Disco Inferno by the Trampps over Heart of Glass any day. And Funky Town needs to be no lower than 9th or 10th. Otherwise, I like the list.

  • Hartley Services Soakaways

    Magnificent put up, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t understand this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!|What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & help different customers like its aided me. Good job.

  • Ed Hart

    i’m suprised you could find 15…….


    hey listverse! i’ve noticed that every time you write something about MICHAEL JACKSON, you make him look bad and a freak. what the hell! how about showing a little respect to him will ya? or just leave him alone. it’s better to look at him as an entertainer and not mind about his private and personal life. i’m sorry, but you guys are being a jerk to him and his fans. how about next time make a list about his good deeds instead of pointing out his eccentric ways? He had done a lot of good things for this world and you guys still depict him as a freak. :(

  • discomanforever

    these are just regular billboard so called disco songs not the real great one.

  • SugarPlumFairy

    ??? ‘Heart of Glass’ is not at all a disco song.

  • robertderlemcgee

    death by disco! miss 78′.-Bob…Trace, reluctantly we have too…

  • Pingback: 15 Great Disco Tunes | 4stayingwell()

  • Pingback: 15 Great Disco Tunes | What's Trending Now()

  • Pingback: 15 Great Disco Tunes | Viral Investor()