Disco, a genre which contains elements of pop, punk, soul, psychedelic and salsa, most well known in the mid 70s onwards. Disco is a term derived from the French word discothèque meaning library of sound records but later came to refer to nightclubs. Initially, it was the club goers who made the first audience around the 60s and 70s. Disco is most probably a reaction against the dominion of rock music as well as the stigmatization of dance-music by the same during this time. Women too embraced disco, and this music eventually got drawn to many other popular groups of the time.
David Mancuso, a DJ from NY City could well be considered one of the forerunners of disco clubs. He opened a private club called The Loft in 1970 to which only members that he desired were invited or allowed at his home. Eventually, an article on disco was first written by Vince Alletti in 1973 for the magazine, Rolling Stones. The following year, the first disco show was premiered on radio.
By late 1970s, a good number of disco performers like Bee Gees, ABBA, Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, KC and the sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, Chic and The tramp became well known. Quite a lot of critics seem to claim that Kraftwerk was an electronic band that played a huge part in pioneering electronic sound in Disco. Production techniques were also one primary role in disco and therefore we cannot ignore the fact that producers were as important as the performers themselves.
The obsession with disco was so much that scores of non-disco artists were seen recording disco songs especially at its height of popularity. Film productions such as ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever’ also had their part in contributing to the rise of Disco in the mainstream. Disco is considered as the music movement that was last popularized during the BABY Boom Generation. Well, Disco might have emerged into a worldwide phenomenon however the popularity had begun to decline in the US by late 70s.
Disco witnesses a Shunning Period
It was in mid-year, 1979 that an angry backlash in the form of a Disco Demolition Night. Subsequently, disco emerged into a genre that struggled to be aired on radio. Though a few disco hits still made its score, disco lost prominence in the following decade and therefore became unfashionable. Other identifiers like dance-pop collaboration and dance music came to be ones in trend. However, what was striking is that all of the new trends were only derived from disco, retaining the basic beat of disco. And yes dance clubs have retained popularity.
But Disco Couldn’t Remain Shunned
And by 2005, disco witnessed a revival through exceptional artists like Madonna. One of her albums, Confessions on a Dance Floor emerged in disco style. And just like that, disco was back part by part without being too hurried. In 2013, Daft Punk and Bruno Mars soared up with their disco styled songs. Justin Timberlake and Breakbot were other artists nearest to the disco sort, who came to the top in the UK and US pop charts.
Looking back, that time when disco clubs were thriving, a cultural phenomenon of extravaganza, characterized particularly by the use of drugs and promiscuity did come into being. This trend was what triggered the backlash. But otherwise disco is one of those genres that thrive with booming popularity.