Origin of Disco
Does Disco sound something of the past? Well it isn’t a very old form of music and dance. Back in the late 1960s, disco originated as a combination of many instruments played together. It was in 1969 when Jerry Butler released his latest song ‘Only the Strong Survive’ that we got our very first disco song. This was the birth of disco but then it was a form of music which hadn’t been named. Four years and many songs later on the 13th of September 1973, Vince Aletti wrote an article, which gave this music form its name ‘DISCO.’
This soulful music is based on a number of instruments blended together to get what is known as the disco sound. The vocals are played on a steady four on the floor beat or what is known as a quaver (eighth note) or a semi- quaver (sixteenth note). Many electronic musical gadgets are used to create the background score. This form of music has more of electric bass line and the guitar is seldom used as a lead instrument.
Different instruments and the disco sounds made their way into the hearts of people in a big way. Soon to follow were the discotheques. Discos’ became a place where there would be loud disco music, a well lit dance floor with disco lights and of course you disco lovers dressed in the latest disco outfits having a blast of a life time.
Discos’ have a culture of their own. The music is loud enough to make you and your heart beat a little faster. The lights keep changing colors and also help in changing you moods and shedding any inhibition you have. The clothes too are tight fitting to show off your well toned bodies. Shirts with slightly long and pointy collars, the Qiana shirts for the gents and the Halston dresses for women were in fashion.
In the 1970s and 80s disco and dance came together and were the craze of the time. Groups like The Jackson Five, ABBA and The BEE GEES are still bands which are famous for their great disco music and superb lyrics. Most of these albums have even been remixed and launched again for the benefit of the latest generation.
Disco, which was performed only by a few bands in the beginning spread like a forest fire. Soon disco became mainstream and all kinds of bands were performing disco numbers. Disco was the in thing and a lot of movies were made on the disco theme too. Saturday night fever starring John Travolta and Thank God It’s Friday were two big hits with disco as its mainstream idea.
ABBA was a group, which took Disco beyond the borders of America and right into Europe and Asia. The songs were such big chart busters that all over the world they created many new records. Boney M a group of four West Indian singers were another group, which broke the barriers of caste, color and creed to give pure and outstanding disco music. Dalida released their hit number “J’attendrai” which topped the charts in Japan, middle and south Asia and Canada.
Discos’ brought in many other cultures too. One of the main addictions that disco brought in was drugs. Cocaine and Quaalude became the main drugs for all disco lovers. While cocaine gave them a high spirit, it helped many to enjoy the loud music better. Quaalude made them feel light like jelly and helped them to move to the groove.
The dance lovers enjoyed the discotheques, as there was music, dance, alcohol and fun. Discos became very popular and some of them became as popular as tourist sites too. Manhattans Studio 54 is one such place. You can’t afford to miss this hangout, as you can see many celebrities and people who are both rich and famous enjoying there.
Ups & Downs in Disco
The growing craze for disco angered the fans of rock music. While some just threw out all disco records, a few took drastic steps. DJs of rock music held events like the Disco Demolition night. Many groups came together to stage anti-disco demonstrations. Slowly but steadily in the 1980s disco began to die down. Though disco kind of became obsolete but it was still very much a part of the night life in Europe. With newer forms of music and even newer groups emerging Disco was given a back seat.
In 1990s and 2000 once again disco began gaining popularity again. With major singers like Madonna, Kate Ryan and Suzanne Palmer performing Disco, the time for the return of Disco is here.