I had done my best to avoid as much disco as I could in my 47 years. I know disco is a pretty generic term these days. It has fractioned into dance music, club music, house… all cut from the same cloth in my opinion, and that is not an insult. The may not have police whistle and syncopated hand clapping, but they are decendants.
Anyway. I can confess to you that when I lived in Ann Arbor, in the late 70’s when disco was crazy H O T, there was one song that made me question myself. This was before the great disco record burning and explosion phase. I was listening to WABX “Rocks Detroit” and they were having none of it. They played Queen and The Stones and Bowie and Kiss… all hard rock. I was a station flipper though. When a song came on that I didn’t like, instead of suffering it out for 3 minutes, I changed the station to 2 other good but not great stations that played rock. Then I’d switch back. Incidently, to this day I often listen to 3/4 of a song and then skip to the next. Just long enough to get it into my system, then move on. Sort of a musical tick.
During one of these station flips, I came across a song with machine precision symbol rhythm and all evidence of disco, but for some reason I found myself digging it. It was pumped and positive and my foot was even tapping. Sigh.
I mean look at this thing! Disgusting.
I just bought the single on Amazon.
This is why Amazon is so dangerous. In 10 seconds I had found it, bought it and started listening to it. I’m afraid to say… I still love it.
“Saturday Night Fever” was played countless times around me. I professed to hate it. Actually I DID hate the movie, but there were a few songs that admittedly I didn’t well, hate. The Bee Gee’s were not bad. I don’t remember what movie I could have been seeing, but I remember seeing the trailer for “Saturday Night Fever” before it came out. They played the “Stayin’ Alive” track as Tony walked down the street with his paint cans. Some things you just can’t unsee. The song is good though.
At some point my mom picked up Donna Summer’s double LP “Bad Girls”. Talk about your stereotypical dico. Ahhhhhhh… beep beep. This was an ugly phase. No offense Donna.
Fast forward to early 2000’s when I hit the podcast phase of my life.
I was trying different styles of music and exploring French pop, German rap, folk, jam band and electronic stuff, anything and everything from free podcasts. That’s when I came across the Podcast “Ebony Cuts”.
This particular podcast was something I had never really heard before. A mix of soul, disco, funk… it was amazing. They are not making new podcasts anymore, but 11 through 30 are still posted here. I love the website set up too. Check it out.
There are also guest DJ’s and links to other sites that you can swallow hours in. I highly recommend this site. It was here that I came across Rotary Soldier’s mix. Boom! This was it!
I played it over and over and over. When we bought the house and I was in it panting day after day before we moved in I cranked this to the empty house as I covered myself in paint speckles and dust. I still listen to this to this day. I love it. Now Ebony Cuts is less disco than I make it sound, but it was sort of my gateway to something that was straight up DISCO that I actually liked and sort of brings this tale to its inevitable end.
From Ebony Cuts I experimented with some of their links and I ended up on SixMillion Steps.com. Now here was another great collection of mixes. Some were funk and jazz and reggae and some were labelled disco. One caught my eye and I clicked it thinking it would be something to laugh at. “Tony Manero’s Saturday Night Fever Mix”.
As it turned out this was a mix of disco music interspersed with sound snippets from the movie “Saturday Night Fever”. I don’t know if it was a nostalgia, or if the music, years and years later without the cloud of the negative “I hate disco” mentality I once had, had improved… but this was fantastic. Bee Gee’s, Boz Scaggs, Bowie, Johhny Mathis, Chicago… stupendous. You can find it here.
So now here I was full circle and listening to something I would have classified as devil disco in years gone by. I make no excuses for my early days of disco hate, but maybe I wasn’t in a place where I could properly appreciate the “good disco” that was mixed in with the roller rink bubble gum crap that dominated the scene.
Today the “Bee Gee’s – Number Ones” was on sale for .99 cents.
I bought it.