Disco was a phenomenal musical melting pot, releasing a tremendous dance energy into the world of the 1970’s. The drum-and-bass- led genre changed the world of popular music, by making the vamp and the groove the whole basis of a visceral dance experience.
Disco embraced a fusion of cultures which brought together black and white, male and female to an unprecedented degree. It was also diverse musically. Compare the pure funk of James Brown with the Bee Gee’s transatlantic sound. Contrast the spartan electronic sound of Lypps Inc with the, rock energy of Pseudo Echo and the big band exuberance of Earth, Wind and Fire. Look at the range between the sophisticated funk of Stevie Wonder with the neo-Beatles Brit-sound of The ELO. (By the way, in case you haven’t noticed The ELO within the Disco firmament, listen to Heatwave’s Boogie Nights, or Tina Turner’s Disco Inferno and go straight to ELO’s Last Train to London!
Rhythm n Blues, Soul and Jazz-fusions all found their way into the 120bpm tempo of the disco world. And don’t miss the Gospel influence in the music too. Powerful performing artists like Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Gaynor and the Pointer Sisters brought the fire and conviction of their Gospel roots to the world of Disco and found their contribution lapped up by an audience far removed from the artists’ church roots.
In the decades since the Disco era, dance music has morphed through seasons of sampling, seasons of techno-funk and electronic dance music. Moving into the new 20s, dance culture is reinventing itself again, and with it a demand for dance-led music. As we listen to the fresh fusions of a new generation we can hear a new mix in the music, enhanced with copious samples, and unmistakably informed by the musicality and soul of the era that was Disco!