We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of THE GROOVE by offering THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The objective of this show is to provide you with a guide that attempts to chronicle the development of the Disco medium and music spanning over the last 80 years. As we don't pretend to know absolutely everything about Disco, this guide gives you information and recordings that will at least encourage a better understanding of the rich cultural and musical heritage of the medium.
|Let's start out with our definitions of DISCO:
1. A continuously operating establishment or a singular event featuring a deejay programming music with at least two turntables or comparable sources of sound that is mixed for listening or dancing. Often DISCO's are called other words like DISCOTHEQUES, DANCE CLUBS and RAVES. Any party or event that features a deejay regularly programming music is a DISCO.
2. A medium of bilateral communication involving deejays programming music with at least two turntables or comparable sources of sound that is mixed for listening or dancing.
DISCO MUSIC :
A group of interrelated newly created genres of music manufactured and maintained for the purposes of programming discos that contain certain dance-able beat-structures or comparable regulated delineations of tempo producing a unique sound. Some genres of disco music are the repackaging of previously existing forms of dance music that are maintained for the purpose of programming discos. A real genre of disco music only survives in a highly competitive environment that promotes a state of rapid change.
|ARE YOU A RECORDING ARTIST, PRODUCER OR DJ? DON'T BE ALARMED IF WE ARE NOT PLAYING YOUR SONG OR MENTIONING YOU! THIS IS A GUIDE SPANNING 80 YEARS AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO INCLUDE EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED. MOST OF THE TIME WE ARE PROVIDING SAMPLES OF MUSIC AND SOME NOTABLE RECORDINGS. EVERY RECORD WAS IMPORTANT IN IT'S OWN WAY WHETHER IT WAS INCLUDED IN THIS GUIDE OR NOT.|
|When the Nazi's invaded Paris in 1940 they ordered all the very popular Jazz clubs to close and banned the music. They called it 'jungle music' and even made owning such to be illegal.
The problem was that the young people liked dancing to the Big Band sounds of Swing. A tangible demand existed and persisted!
Entrepreneurs used turntables and phonographic devices patched into radio consoles and other primitive mixers to play Swing records over public address sound system speakers in caves and the city's underground catacombs.
It was an act of resistance that was kept secret with special encoded flyers and word of mouth. Young people who were lucky
enough to find out about these "discos" found the freedom they offered immeasurable: they could insist that these deejays repeat songs over and over. One song that
was frequently repeated in these secret underground discos was BENNY GOODMAN'S "SING SING SING":
|SING SING SING|
BENNY GOODMAN And HIS ORCHESTRA - 10" [78rpm] - VICTOR
|What these brave and ambitious entrepreneurs had created was whole new medium of bilateral communication! Granted - It was very weak and primitive at the time.
They may have never realized the power of it all then. What they had started was going to change the world on so many levels in the decades to follow!
After World War 2 the idea started spreading like wild fire. Discos started appearing in West Germany. Belgium and the United Kingdom.
By the late 1940's the medium had spread to the Congo, Cuba, Italy and Jamaica. In Jamaica special mobile discos appeared called Sound Systems.
We'll talk more about those Jamaican soundsystems later. Yet it's important to note that all of these early discos in the 1940's started with playing SWING music.
|TAKE MY HEART, MANUELA|
LASZLO CSABAY - 10" [78rpm] - ELITE
|We've just heard "Take My Heart, Manuela" by LASZLO CSABAY; an example of many rumba recordings released in various countries during the 1940's and 1950's.
Although it is obvious that the first dances popular in the earliest discos was for the Swing music, another dance craze that actually predated the birth of disco was already spreading throughout Europe and the United Kingdom.
That being rumba dancing. If any dance craze had the strongest impact on discos in the late 1940's and early 1950's it was Cuban rumba dancing. Almost immediately some discos in Cuba, West Germany and Belgium Congo began programming either recordings of Cuban rumba or their own imitation versions of rumba like that LASZLO CSABAY record.
In the Congo, Paul Kamba, Antoine Wendo, Henri Bowane, JOSEPH "LE GRANDE KALLE" KABASELE and other artists of their generation created a new sound.
It was called Congolese Rumba and it actually used a variety of rhythms and song structures of different Latin and French Caribbean origins combining them with Congolese musical styles like early Soukous and Hi life.
They sang in the commanding and romantic Lingala language with each composition following the language's tones and accents.
The music was electrifying and endearing. It supported what was called the 'Belle Epoque'. A 1948 Congolese Rumba hit was WENDO KOLOSOY'S "MARIE LOUISE":
WENDO KOLOSOY - Ngoma, The Early Years, 1948-1960 (CD) - POPULAR AFRICAN MUSIC
|I have interviewed some who had witnessed the 'Belle Epoque" in the Belgium Congo in the 1950's and have compared it to the American DISCO boom in the mid 1970's.
They said things like the Congolese danced better, dressed better and the songs were richer musically and most often about romance instead of copulation as in the case of much of seventies DISCO.
They also claimed that there was an incredible Diva then that put the Disco Queens and Divas of the early 1970's to shame. She was called LUCIE YENGA.
She was marvelous. I'm going to play two CONGOLESE RUMBA recordings with LUCIE during this guide. Her first hit was "MWANA MAMA" :
YENGA LUCIE Accompagnée par DECHAUD et IMEKA - 10" [78rpm] - OPIKA
|Another Dance Craze to hit the discos in early 1950's was the creation of Cuban musician ENRIQUE JORRIN. He called it the "Cha Cha Cha" and it quickly became all the rage; first in Cuba, then Mexico and then throughout the Latin world and the Congo. Here is one of his sensations from the early 1950's:|
|APRENDE A BAILAR EL CHA CHA CHA|
ENRIQUE JORRIN Y SU ORQUESTA - SELECCIONES CIRCULO DEL MAMBO Y CHA- CHA- CHA (3LP) - CIRCULO DE LECTORES
|In 1955 the first authentic genre of DISCO from the Western Hemisphere splashed into the world from Haiti. It was called KOMPA and many have suggested that it ought to be called "MODERN MERENGUE".
While MERENGUE from the neighboring Dominican Republic was an older form of dance music that predates the creation of DISCO, this new music from HAITI expanded the basics of MERENGUE to become a rich and generous source for the dancer.
It was a beat music filled with potential. A dance step that became popular with KOMPA was called the Kare. KOMPA quickly spread throughout the Caribbean; especially the French Caribbean. Even some artists from the Dominican Republic like Luis Miguel dabbled in it.
KOMPA would grow to become an international force that would spread around the globe. It is still going strong!
Here is one of the most important KOMPA artists from the very beginnings of the genre: NEMOURS JEAN BAPTISTE with a song from that period:
|COMPAS A CABANE CHOUCOUNE|
ENSEMBLE NEMOURS JN-BAPTISTE - HAITI CHERIE (LP) - IBO
|IT IS NOW 1956 AND IT'S TIME WE LISTENED TO THE FIRST SUPERGROUP - O.K. JAZZ|
|LA RUMBA O.K.|
O.K. JAZZ - ROOTS OF OK JAZZ (CD) - CRAMMED DISCS
|Formed in 1956, OK JAZZ was named after the bar in which they initially exclusively played which was named the OK Bar, owned by Oscar Kashama.
They would become one of the most influential musical units in Africa inspiring scores of artists in various generations.
The guitarist FRANCO would become a musical giant affecting the lives of millions over several decades. The name of the band is actually often changed to FRANCO & O.K. JAZZ before FRANCO would change the name to T.P.O.K. JAZZ; literally meaning Tout Puissant Orchestre Kinshasa.
Not enough can be said about the profound effect this group has had on African music and music everywhere!
Back in 1956, they were just starting. When they were not recording or appearing at the O.K. Club, they would often perform at weddings!
Their early recordings actively catered to the differing needs of deejays with a variety of different sounds.
A classic example of that is "OSILI-OBEBI" which they recorded with BOSUMA DESSION which features their unique version of Biguine music from the French Caribbean.
DESSION Accompagné Par L' ORECHESTRE O.K. JAZZ - 10" [78rpm] - LONINGISA
|TITO ON TIMBALES|
TITO PUENTE - PUENTE IN PERCUSSION (LP) - TICO
|What we just heard was the guide's 2nd Latin Classic from America's TITO PUENTE. From 1956 it was an instrumental called "TITO ON TIMBALES". which was easily mixed with SON recordings.
TITO PUENTE would become one of the most influential Latin musicians.
As we said at the beginning of this guide, we don't pretend to know absolutely everything about Disco, Quite frankly nobody does! It's probably impossible
Some have insisted that early CUBAN RUMBA, SAMBA, SON and whole list of other latin styles are DISCO and that there were considered to be so even in the 1950's.
We've had conversations with people from South America who have said cities like Rio De Janeiro had discos in the 1950's.
We can't confirm all of that. It is quite possible, even likely.
One woman said that discos in Rio played SAMBA, Haitian KOMPA and locally recorded RUMBA until the NEW WAVE started taking over in the late 1950's.
She wasn't talking about 80's music. She was talking about new Brazilian creation based on SAMBA yet cool and jazzy. She said it was like horny lounge.
Here's a sample from 1958 of this New Wave or BOSSA NOVA by the singer ELIZETE CARDOSO:
ELIZETE CARDOSO - Canção Do Amor Demais (LP) - FESTA
|ARE YOU A RECORDING ARTIST, PRODUCER OR DJ? DON'T BE ALARMED IF WE ARE NOT PLAYING YOUR SONG OR MENTIONING YOU! THIS IS A GUIDE SPANNING 80 YEARS AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO INCLUDE EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED. MOST OF THE TIME WE ARE PROVIDING SAMPLES OF MUSIC AND SOME NOTABLE RECORDINGS. EVERY RECORD WAS IMPORTANT IN IT'S OWN WAY WHETHER IT WAS INCLUDED IN THIS GUIDE OR NOT.|
|While we are still in the Western Hemisphere, let's go back to JAMAICA and talk about those Sound Systems. As we mentioned earlier, the Sound Systems started in the late 1940's.
During the 1950's there would more Sound Systems with more elaborate set ups. Incredible deejays or selectors would emerge along with stars like Count Machuki, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, and Duke Reid.
Their influence on the public growing greater each year. This was just the beginning! By the early 1960's the Sound Systems had emerged as major contributors to the very culture of the communities.
What is truly significant about them is that this all was the beginning of DJ CULTURE.
What they were doing in Jamaica would change culture throughout the whole world!
Today the world sees hundreds of thousands of deejays with there own spins, personas and musical footprints having various effects on society. DJ Culture has changed the way billions approach music. It all started in Jamaica in the 1950's!!
This is one of three bombs that Jamaica would throw out beyond it's shores that would profoundly change the DISCO medium and the culture all over the planet!
Sound Systems back in the late 1940's started by playing Jazz. In the 1950's they started playing rhythm and blues from the United States.
Eventually a more local sound was being demanded. Sound Systems would end up creating their own 'dub plates' which were single pressings of their own mix.
With American popular music becoming less desired by the audience a new distinctive music was slowly created by Sound Systems that would more locally appealing.
It had elements of American rhythm and blues combined with local mento and calypso. They called it SKA and it had a simple walking bass line which was accented with rhythms on the off beat.
It became the essential music of the Jamaican party scene during the early 1960's. This new genre of DISCO would spread beyond the Jamaican shores.
You've been hearing music from ERNEST RANGLIN, one of the early innovators of the music. Not we're going to listen to COUNT ALERT with "INDUSTRIAL FAIR" - SKA SLIP SOUL from 1959:
ERNEST RANGLIN SELECTED GROUP - 7" - KENTONE
COUNT ALERT - 7" - SAMSON & DELIAH
|YOU ARE LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO ON CKCUFM - A CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE.
WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE INVENTION OF DISCO, CONGOLESE RUMBA, THE CHA-CHA-CHA, KOMPA FROM HAITI, THE SOUND SYSTEMS OF JAMAICA AND BEGINNINGS OF SKA
Obviously O.K. JAZZ was not the only CONGOLESE RUMBA band. When We first talked about RUMBA, we listed three men, who among others in their generation had made CONGOLESE RUMBA a new music.
One of which was JOSEPH "LE GRANDE KALLE" KABASELE. His band was called AFRICAN JAZZ. And it was one of three CONGOLESE RUMBA super-groups.
During the 1950's and the early 1960's they successfully competed with FRANCO'S OK JAZZ. Their undisputed all time DISCO classic was one of two tributes to ENRIQUE JORRIN'S "CHA CHA CHA" we're going to feature in this guide.
Released in 1960, it was called "INDEPENDANCE CHA CHA CHA" and it was constantly played in discos and parties celebrating the independence of various African countries:
|INDEPENDANCE CHA CHA CHA|
JOSEPH KABASELE & AFRICAN JAZZ - GOLDEN AFRIQUE VOL 2 (2CD) - NETWORK MEDIEN
|AFRICAN JAZZ was extremely good at satisfying the different needs of deejays in African discos and practically setting trends themselves.
When there was a demand in the late 1950's and early 1960's for the CONGOLESE RUMBA variation of MERENGUE music they were the leaders with gems like "MERENGUE SCOUBIBOU".
We're also going to play a bit of their single "SAXO MERENGUE" Also from 1960, it features a new member MANU DIBANGO on Saxophone:
AFRICAN JAZZ - MERVEILLES DU PASSE - HOMMAGE AU GRAND KALLE VOL. 2 (LP) - AFRICAN
AFRICAN JAZZ - 7" - SURBOUM AFRICAN JAZZ
|Let's talk about the discos for a few seconds. In France two early discotheques became iconic names on an international level.
The earliest known disco in Paris opened in 1947. It was called WHISKY A GO GO and it was opened by Paul Pacine . Other clubs inspired by this legendary disco with the same name opened in Chicago in 1958, Los Angeles in 1964, Washington D.C. in 1966 and on...
The Chicago and Los Angeles locations are especially important. The Chicago WHISKY A GO GO has often been referred to as the first real discotheque in the United States.
Maybe calling it "the first real discotheque in America" is somehow suggesting that earlier discos in Miami and New Orleans were somehow not "real discotheques".
Even Ottawa had a discotheque on Sparks Street in 1958.
The Los Angeles WHISKY A GO GO was a discotheque in live acts performing and the deejay mixing music before, after and between sets. This was a common practice in African and German discos.
Some of the acts that performed there has made the discotheque extremely famous, they include artists like THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE, PINK FLOYD, THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, JANUS JOPLIN AND THE HOLDING COMPANY, IGGY POP And THE STOOGES, ALICE COOPER, THE DOORS, THE BYRDS, THE GERMS, BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD, STEPPENWOLF, JOHNNY RIVERS, X, LED ZEPPELIN, KISS, and on and on. A literal who's who of various styles of ROCK MUSIC.
Régine Zylberberg - most often referred to as just Régine was one the original WHISKY A GO GO managers who in 1957 opened her own disco in Paris called Chez Régine.
We had interviewed somebody who claimed that when Régine opened her disco, he was one of many who was already going to other clubs in Paris.
He claimed that Chez Régine wasn't popular when it first appeared. He said that Régine locked her club up with music playing inside and put a sign on the door saying 'en français' that the disco was full.
Evidently Chez Régine suddenly became all the rage!
Chez Régine, like the French WHISKY A GO GO became a popular nightspots for royalty and affluent jet-setters.
Régine would grow into an international discotheque empire with versions of Chez Régine in various major centres like London, New York, Monte Carlo, and Rio De Janeiro. There was even one in Montreal for a while!
In 1960 members of the cast of the musical WEST SIDE STORY introduced her to CHUBBY CHECKER'S "THE TWIST" and the dance.
She loved it and had it played regularly in her disco. She started teaching the dance to many of her costumers, including the Duke of Windsor.
She's credited for introducing the sound and the dance to the French market. It quickly became the newest dance craze in the disco's.
CHUBBY CHECKER - 7" - PARKWAY
|When "LE GRANDE KALLE" welcomed the Cameroonian MANU DIBANGO into the band AFRICAN JAZZ he sensed that this talented and well trained musician would become important.
He encouraged DIBANGO's ambitions to experiment with combining African music with Funk and Soul just as almost everybody else was doing the same with Latin and French Caribbean musical styles.
MANU DIBANGO opened his own club that was called The TAM TAM and, with his "musical experiments' proceeded to change the course of popular music. His impact on the development of different genres of discotheque music has been monumental.
To satisfy demands of this new dance craze The Twist' in Discotheques, just as did the third CONGELESE RUMBA super-group RYCO-JAZZ and the iconic British Rock band THE BEATLES, MANU DIBANGO did his version of TWIST music in 1961 with "HALLELOUIA":
MANU DIBANGO ET SON ORCHESTRE - 7" - SURBOUM AFRICAN JAZZ
|(AT THE) DISCOTHEQUE|
CHUBBY CHECKER - 7" - PARKWAY
|CHUBBY CHECKER again on THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO with his song "(AT THE) DISCOTHEQUE" that was an anthem in discos throughout Europe. There was a boom in
the discotheque industry spreading around the world with clubs appearing as far away as Australia. A whole industry of discotheque dance instruction manuals and
from the United States in 1966 a classic example of many from
discotheque music records cropped up in the early to mid 1960's. The Hullabaloo Discotheque Dance Book
various markets. These discotheque music records were not DISCO records, not any Genre at all. People in discotheques in North America were playing music that
catered to the different dance steps made popular in the discotheques then. Obviously there was CHUBBY CHECKER'S "Twist" but there was also a variety of others like
"The Mashed Potato", "The Hully-Gully", "The Monkey", "The Cha Cha Watusi", "The Swim", "The Jerk", "The Frug", "La Bostella" and "The Shimmy".
There were dozens of these records in different markets. Some American examples include ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING: KILLER JOE'S INTERNATIONAL DISCOTHEQUE (LP) from 1965 on ATLANTIC Records and the ARTHUR MURRAY PRESENTS DISCOTHEQUE DANCE PARTY (LP) from 1964 on RCA VICTOR.
The covers say the wildest things:
On the "ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING" cover it says "As Vogue says, "Go With The Discotheque Action" "
Francis Traun offered an extensive article on the cover of ARTHUR MURRAY's LP. I'll read part of it now. You could always read the whole thing on the playlist also.
"It started in Paris, naturally. Who but the frugal French would have hit on the idea that the fanciest dance joints don't really need a band. Play records instead, Gives you
a wider choice of musical styles. Besides, a small place with just a phonograph is a lot more 'intime' than a ballroom. So the most fashionable dancing places in Paris these
days are Discotheques - tiny little spots with just a record player and lots of atmosphere.
Don't think you can just walk in. Some of them, like 'La Princesse", are strictly "private-unless-we-know-you" and most of them are shady, chic, and expensive.
But when the idea got transplanted to the U.S.A., life around the turntable got a lot more democratic. Discotheques are springing up by the dozen all over the country,
and everyone's welcome. Not just in the big cities. Of course there's the posh Shepheard's in New York and the wild Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, but there are lots of
other less well-known Discoteques in hamlets and villages. Stockbridge, for instance, is just a small town in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts where a bunch of
youngsters took over an abandoned railroad depot, gave it a new coat of paint and wired it for sound. Within a week, they had the swingingest club in the country.
The guy (or gal) who spins the discs at a Discotheque is like the captain of a ship. He sets the course of the evening, sensing the mood of the crowd and picking the tunes
to suit it or to change it. He switches between different bands, different styles, and different dances, watching the spell take effect and gradually building the atmosphere.
"I like to play four or five slows in a row," explains one Discotheque jockey, "Then I attack with a twist."
New dances are hatched at the Discotheques practically every night. The Ska, Frug, HullyGully, Slop, Surf, Wobble and Mashed Potato are just a few of their spontaneous
creations now sweeping the country.
Even Arthur Murray, our Discotheque head man, admits he has quite a time keeping up with them all. But for this album he has picked the ones that he, as an old dance master, considers the most fun. At his 'Dance Party,' you get a happy choice of tempos on an individual disc. What's more, there are two separate bands to duplicate the changing moods of a Discotheque program. Victor Gerard's smooth society style alternates with the swinging hi-jinx of The Hip City Five. The variety of styles and the sequence of the numbers are calculated to make your own living room into a real Discotheque. Just rool back the rug, turn down the lights, jam-pack the floor, and send your folks to a movie. 'Vraiment, c'est comme le' real thing."
We're now going hear LUCIE YENGA again singing with an incarnation of ORCHESTRE ROCK A MAMBO. It's considered to be one of her best recordings.
If you could look at the back cover on this 4 track 7" EP it identifies the style of each song.
This was not an entirely uncommon practice with CONGOLE RUMBA records because deejays would choose songs according to separate dances.
ORCHESTRE ROCK A MAMBO - CONGO LATINO (7"EP) - COLUMBIA
TABU LEY ROCHEREAU - Merveilles Du Passé (1963) LP - AFRICAN
|The second CONGOLESE RUMBA song we've just heard is by TABU LEY ROCHEREAU. Some times simply called TABU LEY, he emerged in the early 1960's as one of
FRANCO'S most formidable rivals. He became one of the most distinctive singers in Africa; often affectionately called " The Voice Of Lightness" . Affection was well earned,
his love songs had stunningly beautiful lyrics. Like Franco, he helped countless other artists including the most notable singer MBILIA BELL while recording over 80
albums and selling millions.
The vast majority of the Discotheques in North America and Europe during the early to mid 1960's were playing Rock music like Go Go music and the songs of artists like THE BEATLES and THE ROLLING STONES. It was extremely popular at the time.
|THE BEATLE BEAT|
BENNY AND THE BEDBUGS - 7" - DCP INTERNATIONAL
|ARE YOU A RECORDING ARTIST, PRODUCER OR DJ? DON'T BE ALARMED IF WE ARE NOT PLAYING YOUR SONG OR MENTIONING YOU! THIS IS A GUIDE SPANNING 80 YEARS AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO INCLUDE EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED. MOST OF THE TIME WE ARE PROVIDING SAMPLES OF MUSIC AND SOME NOTABLE RECORDINGS. EVERY RECORD WAS IMPORTANT IN IT'S OWN WAY WHETHER IT WAS INCLUDED IN THIS GUIDE OR NOT.|
|MY BOY LOLLIPOP|
MILLIE - 7" - BEVERLEY'S
|Millie Small's cover-version of Barbie Gaye's "My Boy Lollypop" was recorded in a
comparable ska style, and in 1964 it became her breakthrough blockbuster hit
In the United Kingdom it reached No. 2 on the popular music chart. The song also went to No. 1 in Ireland and No. 2 in the United States. What was so amazing about it is that is was the first DISCO hit on commercial American radio.
Granted it doesn't sound like typical 1970's disco. It was SKA, one of the earliest genres of DISCO that was intensifying in popularity in Jamaica and spreading through the English-language world.
Some films and tv shows in the United States were introducing SKA, not just as one of the many new dances popular in the Discotheques but as the Ethnic music of Jamaica. Absolutely ridiculous. They just did not know the truth.
As enter the mid 1960's on THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO, It is important to mention that many experts on popular music strongly suggest that this is the period when what
most of them consider to be the beginnings of DISCO. We're quite aware of the fact that most sources stipulate that DISCO has a specific string-infused sound with the
"four-on-the-floor" beats and syncopated bass-lines, Many sources that DISCO started sometime in the late 1960's and lasted into the early 1980's. We're not going to
bore you with the many dozens of reasons why such a description in inaccurate, to say the very least. For some of those sources the next GENRE OF DISCO we are now
introducing has been identified as "pre-disco" or "proto-disco". Called BOOGALOO. Created by Latin and Soul musicians in the NEW YORK CITY area in and around 1965
BOOGALOO typically was a mix of Cuban music and American Soul. It quickly replaced MAMBO's popularity in area Dance Halls and Discotheques as the predominant Latin sound.
There were specific dance steps associated with the BOOGALOO. The previously mentioned The Hullabaloo Discotheque Dance Book featured a BOOGALOO dance.
By the late 1960's even CONGOLESE RUMBA groups like AFRICAN JAZZ and RY-CO JAZZ were offering their versions of BOOGALOO to the French and African markets.
One of most successful BOOGALOO records was "BANG! BANG!" from the JOE CUBA SEXTET in 1966. After that we'll play the first of several discotheque standards released by New York's legendary Soul and Disco artist JIMMY CASTOR.
In the mid 1960's he was one of many New York City area Soul artists that dabbled in the BOOGALOO. His 1966 hit "Hey, Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You" is a classic example. That's right after "BANG BANG!"!
JOE CUBA SEXTET - 7" - TICO
|HEY, LEROY, YOUR MAMA'S CALLIN' YOU|
JIMMY CASTOR - 7" - SMASH
|IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR|
DELLA REESE - ELK'S DISCO PAK (LP) - ELK'S
|We just finished listening to DELLA REESE with "It Was A Very Good Year" from 1966. Recorded live at The Playboy Cub in Los Angeles, "It Was A Very Good Year" was considered to be one of
the earliest AMERICAN DISCO recordings. Many SOUL records at the time, especially from the Detroit based MOTOWN group of labels have often been
identified as a early AMERICAN DISCO.
It is still extremely important to remember that most Discotheques in North America and Europe were spinning GO GO music and very dance-able 60's Rock.
By late 1966 more clubs were actually going towards a psychedelic sound.
Many Discotheques in various countries still played music from the different Genres of Disco available. Jamaican Sound Systems; bigger and more popular than ever,
played SKA, just as did many British and North American based Jamaican expatriate Deejays did.
Many other Discotheques played CONGOLESE RUMBA, the myriad of other recordings of dozens of other African markets, and also HAITIAN KOMPA.
The influence of KOMPA, even in the late 1960's, is never to be underestimated. Here is NEMOURS JEAN-BAPTISTE once again with his massive hit from 1967, TI CAROLE:
NEMOURS JEAN-BAPTISTE - TI CAROLE (LP) - IBO
|YOU ARE LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO ON CKCUFM - A CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE.
WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE INVENTION OF DISCO, CONGOLESE RUMBA, KOMPA FROM HAITI, THE SOUND SYSTEMS OF JAMAICA, SKA, BOOGALOO, the impact of
"THE TWIST" and the worldwide Discotheque boom of the early 1960's.
It is now 1967 and we're going to England to listen to what millions have referred to as the first DISCO record! The group was called THE EQUALS and
their 1967 single "BABY COME BACK" a massive sensation in most British Discotheques and Discos all over Europe.
THE EQUALS would release various records in the late 1960's and early 1970's that would be regularly programmed in discos throughout the European
Continent. All starting with "BABY COME BACK"
|BABY COME BACK|
THE EQUALS - DISCO BUMPERS (LP) - MUSIC FOR PLEASURE
THE LOVE AFFAIR - 12" - CBS
|"EVERLASTING LOVE" by THE LOVE AFFAIR was another example of a British record from 1967 that did very well in Discotheques in Europe.
The Europeans had their own music often identified as DISCO and popular in Discotheques. The French had "PSYCHE ROCK" by ELECTRONIC MUSIC
composers PIERRE HENRY & MICHEL COLOMBIER.
Often referred to as 'the first ELECTRONIC DANCE RECORD", the 'Les Jerks Électroniques De La Messe Pour Le Temps Présent Et Musiques Concrètes
Pour Maurice Béjart' (LP) offered several tracks heavily played in French Discos in 1967 and 1968. Here is "PSYCHE ROCK":
PIERRE HENRY & MICHEL COLOMBIER - Les Jerks Électroniques De La Messe Pour Le Temps Présent Et Musiques Concrètes Pour Maurice Béjart (LP) - PHILIPS
|The real excitement in 1967 was back in Jamaica. Sound Systems got more requests for slower music with increasing frequency from their dancing audience.
Remember that DISCO is a medium of bilateral communication. This is especially acute when the deejay is spinning a concentration of beat-structures.
The vast majority of Discotheques all over the world in the 1950's and 1960's were using the first fashion of deejay mixing that involved playing differen
t styles of music with differing tempos to suit different dance steps and moods. Most mobile deejays you can hire for weddings for example spin in that first fashion.
The Sound Systems in Jamaica, especially in the early 1960's, started using the second fashion that involved the deejays or "selectors" spinning a
concentration of beat-structures; a fashion of programming more common in the 1970's.
The beat-structures were associated with SKA and all of it's variations were being programmed in The Sound Systems exclusively, making the experience
electrifying and addictive.
The interactive elements of the medium were stronger. When the audience starts growing tired of the music containing a concentration of beat-structures the programming has to adapt with variation.
Record producers began to offer a slower version of SKA called ROCKSTEADY. For a couple of years it practically replaced SKA in The Sound Systems here are some examples from 1967:
|(GET READY) ROCK STEADY|
ALTON ELLIS - Treasure Isle Presents: Rock Steady - 40 Ground-Breaking Hits (2CD) - TREASURE ISLE
|TRAIN TO SKAVILLE|
THE ETHIOPIANS with THE SUPERSONICS - 7"
|One gentleman, when hearing about our preparation of THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO suggested that at least half of the show should be about SOUL and
FUNK music. That's impossible. There is so much that has happened to cover. One FUNK track from 1967 by the BAR-KAYS although, is an absolute
must. Here is a song that was sampled so many times in the 1970's and 1980's that you many recognize parts of it if you haven't heard the whole thing - "Soul Finger"
BAR-KAYS - SOUL FINGER (LP) - VOLT
|By 1967 Discotheques programming the various styles of Funk and Soul started appearing in the United States and England. They were very greatly outnumbered by the discos programming ROCK.
Back in Jamaica historic events were occurring. Firstly in 1967 THE SECOND SUPER-GROUP appeared -BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS!
At the time they actually called themselves BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILING WAILERS when they released a ROCKSTEADY single. They had already
released a successful SKA record previously. They would slowly become one of the most important groups in the world influencing tens of millions.
Here they are from 1967 with the song "Nice Time"
BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILING WAILERS - 7" - WAIL N' SOUL M
|SAY WHAT YOU'RE SAYING|
ERIC MONTY MORRIS - 7" - CLANCY'S
|In 1968 the fourth GENRE OF DISCO from the Western Hemisphere splashed into the world. Called REGGAE, it is the second of three bombs that Jamaica
would throw out beyond it's shores that would profoundly change the DISCO medium and the culture all over the planet! The Influence of REGGAE
should never be underestimated. By 2019 there would be an astonishing estimate of 87,000 REGGAE recordings made commercially available recorded
in 73 different languages. The rich fundamental beat-structure of REGGAE was teaming with improvisational potential. It was warm, deep and
emotionally inviting. In the years to follow a remarkable variation of styles would emerge spawning other GENRES OF DISCO like DANCE HALL,
REGGAETON, JUNGLE, hundreds of variations and applications of DUB, MOOMBAHTON and DUBSTEP. Without REGGAE there would not have been any
HIPHOP. That super-group we had just mentioned - BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS would spread the sound to different parts of the planet. Their
message and substance, combined with the ingenuity of the SOUND SYSTEMS industry and the mystic of Rastafarianism has propelled REGGAE to
eradicate social and linguistic barriers, ultimately being a source of emotional support for billions.
From 1968 here are two examples of REGGAE from the Jamaica: "Nanny Goat" by LARRY MARSHALL, and "Do The Reggay" by THE MAYTALS. We shall end
the set with an American singer doing REGGAE in 1968. Yes, the sound was already spreading! We'll hear JOHNNY HASH with "Hold Me Tight".
LARRY MARSHALL - 7" - STUDIO ONE
|DO THE REGGAY|
THE MAYTALS - 7" - PYRAMID
|HOLD ME TIGHT|
JOHNNY NASH - 7" - JAD
DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES - 7" - MOTOWN
YOUNG HOLT UNLIMITED - 7" - BRUNSWICK
MANU DIBANGO - 7" - PHILIPS
|You're listening to the REAL HISTORY OF DISCO on CKCUFM. We're still in 1968 and we'e just heard 3 Soul Music records played widely in Discos.
"LOVE CHILD" by DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES is just one of several examples of their songs that were played in Discotheques in various countries.
"Love Child" has most often been identified as an example of early Motown "disco". Like the previously played BAR-KAYS instrumental, the second track
in the last set is an instrumental Funky SOUL track played in 1968 in a lot of American and British Discotheques. During the late 1960's and early 1970's,
many discos were held in large dance hall locations that are soften greatly associated with what is called the NORTH SOUL scene where a lot of
dance-able British and American Soul records were regularly played.
The last track, inspired by the music of JAMES BROWN, is called "Soul Machine" and it is one of the musical experiments by the legendary African musician MANU DIBANGO. we'll talk more about this musical genius later.
In 1968 there were also signs of the beginning of the SOPHISTICATED SOUL sound that would begin to dominate much of the Discotheque industry in the early 1970's. With the songwriting and production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the group THE INTRUDERS had several Discotheques hits in 1968 like "SLOW DRAG":
THE INTRUDERS - 7" - GAMBLE
|JE T'AIME... MOI NON PLUS|
JANE BIRKIN & SERGE GAINSBOURG - JANE BIRKIN SERGE GAINSBOURG (LP) - FONTANA
|After THE INTRUDERS from Philadelphia, We heard the French singer SERGE GAINSBOURG with JANE BIRKIN with the iconic "JE T'AIME... MON NON PLUS"
One deejay from this period to us that "JE T'AIME... MON NON PLUS" was their sex song, long before "LOVE TO LOVE ME BABY" by DONNA SUMMER.
SERGE GAINSBOURG would release a multitude of songs and instrumentals that would be played in Discotheques. Him and JANE BIRKIN personally
knew Régine of the legendary Parisienne Discotheque Chez Régine.
The 1968 there were still another internationally important musical event which is the third of three bombs that Jamaica would throw out beyond it's
shores that would profoundly change the DISCO medium and the culture all over the planet! It was new recording technique was accidently created with
Reggae that involved overlapping predominantly instrumental edits of songs and radically manipulating and reshaping those recordings, usually by
removing most of the vocals and emphasizing the drum and bass parts - or riddims. Other techniques included adding extensive echo, reverb,
panoramic delay, and occasional dubbing of vocals. It was the authentic beginning of the disco remix. The inventors included talents like
Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and Errol Thompson. Not only did they change the course of Reggae and most disco music, but it
evolved it's own unique Disco genre that has had an influence on popular music throughout the world. There are literally tens or thousands of DUB
recordings now of a stunning range of interpretations. It all started in Jamaica in 1968. Again, for the third time, Jamaica has has dropped a bomb that
would profoundly change culture and music everywhere. One of the earliest groups o be dubbed by some of these geniuses was THE PARAGONS.
Here is a DUB of material from THE PARAGONS: I can't establish what year it was released:
|THE WORLD DUB|
THE PARAGONS - 7" - PARAGON
|ÏCH SPRENGE ALLE KETTEN|
RICKY SHAYNE - 7" - ARIOLA
ANTOINE - 7" - DISQUES VOGUE
STOP STUDIO GROUP - 7" - BARCLAY
|LA RAGAZZA CON LA PISTOLA|
PEPPINO DE LUCA - LA RAGAZZA CON LA PISTOLA (COLONNA SONORA ORIGINALE) LP - RCA
|The German and Italian language songs in that set are classic example of early European disco standards competing against the ever popular hits of THE EQUALS in Europe.
They featured the sex symbol RICKY SHAYNE and from Italy - ANTOINE. His song 'LA TRAMONTANA" was popular at the 1968 edition of Italy's ever popular San Remo
music festival. The last two mostly instrumental tracks were soundtrack music for European movies. Many sources have suggested that the real beginnings of Eurodisco
started in these soundtracks in the late 1960's and early 1970's. "DOO-BEE-DOO-BEE-DOO" was produced by the young GIORGIO MORODER, who indecently also
produced the RICKY SHAYNE single we played. We ended the set with PEPPINO DE LUCA's "LA RAGAZZA CON LA PISTOLA" for the Italian movie of the same name.
We'll continue now with another Italian producer RIZ ORTOLANI. In 1969 he supplied this instrumental for the movie 'COSI DOLCE... COSI PERVERSA'. The track is called
"M18 - SHAKE IN THE DISCO", one of a handful of recordings with the word 'disco" in their title in Europe in the late 1960's:
|M18 (SHAKE IN THE DISCO)|
RIZ ORTOLANI - COSI DOLCE... COSI PERVERSA (LP) - CINEDELIC
MARLENA SHAW - 7" - CADET
|Also in 1969 the Jazz singer MARLENA SHAW had a Discotheque hit in the United States which we just heard called "CALIFORNIA SOUL". Initially written
by ASHFORD AND SIMPSON for the FIFTH DIMENSION, MARLENA SHAW's version became widely popular in American Discoteques in 1969 and early
1970. It has become popular all over again in the 21st century with various deejays and producers either remixing it or including it in megamixes and
In 1969 another SOPHISTICATED SOUL gem cropped up. It was from one of the three dominant sources of SOPHISTICATED SOUL - The "Hot Buttered
Soul" of ISAAC HAYES! His epic 12 minute cover-version of the DIONNE WARWICK hit "Walk On By" was an emotional and soulful exploration backed by
the FUNK of THE BAR-KAYS.
Apart from establishing ISAAC HAYES in the Discotheque world, it spread his music throughout the world. Unfortunately we can't play the whole thing,
but here's generous sample:
|WALK ON BY|
ISAAC HAYES - HOT BUTTERED SOUL (LP) - ENTERPRISE
|YOU ARE LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO ON CKCUFM - A CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE.
WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE INVENTION OF DISCO, CONGOLESE RUMBA, KOMPA FROM HAITI, THE SOUND SYSTEMS OF JAMAICA, SKA, BOOGALOO,
ROCKSTEADY, REGGAE, DUB and the early disco music of England and Europe. Often this early disco in Europe has been relabeled or dismissed as
'bubblegum music' or 'Schlager' One of the most popular hits of this early disco in Europe was the various cover-versions of the 1969 ROCK song
"MENDOCINO" by the SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET. Produced by GIORGIO MORODER, the most popular was by the German singer MICHAEL HOLM:
MICHAEL HOLM - 7" - ARIOLA
ROCKY ROBERTS - 7" - DURIUM
|Many Italian's have told us that the American singer ROCKY ROBERTS put out disco in Italian in the late 1960's. After MICHAEL HOLM'S popular German language cover of
"Mendocino", we played ROCK ROBERTS 1969 hit "SONO TREMENDO".
By 1969 it important to remember that there was a surge in the openings of Discotheques in the United States and England that almost exclusively
programmed music containing the 170 odd variations of FUNK available.
|We return to CONGOLESE RUMBA. Largely due to the influence of FRANCO, the music had, in the late 1960's become heavily influenced by guitar work.
Elaborate guitar solos to the beat were not uncommon. From 1969 this one of FRANCO's competitors - DOCTEUR NICO & L'ORCHESTRE AFRICAN FIESTA
with part of "Yokolo":
DOCTEUR NICO & L'ORCHESTRE AFRICAN FIESTA - 7" - NGOMA
|Before we finally leave the 1960's on THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO we introduce the sixth genre of disco from the Western Hemisphere. This introduction
is going to be potentially confusing. We are talking about MERENGUE. MERENGUE, as we stated before was a dance music and dance from the
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC that greatly predated the birth of disco. Many artists recorded their versions of modern Merengue during the 1950's and 1960'
s. Some of those recordings were actually played in discotheques, but they were not real disco. We have played two KOMPA recordings from HAITI that
some have called "modern merengue", but it really is another music entirely. We have also played some CONGOLESE RUMBA recordings that are a
distinctively CONGOLESE interpretation of MERENGUE - still another music entirely. Some sources have claimed that a commercialized version of
MERENGUE starting supporting it's own competitive musical industry in the late 1960's, most often 1969 is referred to as the birthplace of today's
MERENGUE. Here is a sample from 1969 by EL NEGRITO TRUMAN CON SU COMBO LOS MODERNOS :
EL NEGRITO TRUMAN CON SU COMBO LOS MODERNOS - EL PAPELON (LP) - KUBANEY
|On the subject of MERENGUE and CONGOLESE RUMBA, the third SUPER-GROUP was RY-CO JAZZ that departed the Congolese market for FRANCE in the
early 1960s and ended up living and recording in France and the French Caribbean also. As I mentioned before, they recorded TWIST records for
les Disques Vogue and also offered their own unique blend of latin music, including Merengue. In 1970 they released an outstanding cover-version of the
1960 hit from the group AFRICAN JAZZ called "MERENGUE SCOUBIBOU". RY-CO JAZZ renamed it "MARIE JOSE" and gave it more contemporary feel:
RY-CO JAZZ - CARNAVAL 70 (LP) - HIT PARADE
|DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS|
TOM JONES - 7" - DECCA
|TOM JONES was a favourite in many Discotheques and his 1970 single "Daughter Of Darkness" is a classic example.
It is 1970 and the vast majority of Discotheques are playing psychedelic music, most of which are variations of ROCK music. There were some successes
in the late 1960's of combining psychedelics with FUNK by artists like JIMI HENDRIX, FUGI, and BLACK MERDA. Yet in 1970 GEORGE CLINTON's two
incarnations - PARLIAMENT and FUNKADELIC appeared on the scene with stunning PSYCHEDELIC FUNK albums. They became Disco suer-groups.
GEORGE CLINTON quickly became the seminal influence on the struggling FUNK industries scattered all over the UNITED STATES and African countries
like GHANA and NIGERIA. We are listening to music from the PARIAMENT album OSMIUM.
A new PSYCHEDELIC FUNK sound emerged that started dominating Discotheques. Some of the bands and artists that began making their own variations of PSYCHEDELIC FUNK included PURPLE IMAGE, EDWIN BIRDSONG, EDDIE HAZEL, U.S., STARK REALITY, THE FAMILY VIBES, THE INVADERS, THE HEAD HUNTERS, SHUGGIE OTIS, EDDIE FISHER, MIDNIGHT MOVERS UNL.T.D., and CANE AND ABLE.
The influence of the psychedelic sound had hit the Motown group of labels heavily also with various 'psychedelic soul' recordings being marketed with considerable success. THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH was especially known for that. We shall continue with THE TEMPTATIONS, one of MOTOWN'S most successful vocal groups, with the song 'WAR" from their 1970 PSYCHEDELIC SHACK (LP):
PARLIAMENT - OSMIUM - INVICTUS
THE TEMPTATIONS - PSYCHEDELIC SHACK (LP) - GORDY
|Speaking about Psychedelic Funk, one charismatic NIGERIAN musician and band leader touring first England and then the United States in the late 1960's
was FELA KUTI. When he was kicked out of the UNITED STATES we took his AFROBEAT a seductive blend of Psychedelic Music, Jazz, Funk and Highlife
back to NIGERIA. That would radically change the course of music in Nigeria. The effects of the music he would record in Nigeria is still being felt today in
various parts of the planet. He's credited for creating the AFROBEAT genre, although some sources have suggested he wasn't the first Nigerian artist to
dabble with combining Psychedelics with African music. This is his hit from 1970 called "My Lady's Frustration":
|MY LADY'S FRUSTRATION|
FELA RANSOME-KUTI AND HIS AFRICA '70 - FELA FELA FELA (LP) - HIS MASTERS VOICE
CHAKACHAS - BARRIO NUEVO (LATIN FUNK • LATIN ROCK • LATIN DISCO • LATIN SOUL) 2LP - SOUL JAZZ
|This crazy and suggestive track from 1970 was the first example from European disco of 'pseudo-erotica'. It was all the rage in Discotheques well into
1972. It was recorded by the Belgian based group of Latin soul and Afro Cuban studio musicians called CHAKACHAS. CHAKACHAS recorded many
BOOGALOO recordings. By 1971 BOOGALOO, as a Genre of Disco was beginning to disappear. One of it's seminal artists was still recording like
HARVEY AVERNE. With his BARRIO BAND here is "CUCARACA MACARA" from 1971:
THE HARVEY AVERNE BARRIO BAND - THE HARVEY AVERNE BARRIO BAND (LP) - HEAVY DUTY
|Many sources have also claimed that 1971 is the year that the seventh GENRE OF DISCO in the Western Hemisphere developed into a highly competitive
commercial force. It was named after a sauce. It is SALSA and it is drawn from a contemporary mix of SON, Mambo and blend of Cuban dance musics.
Some have suggested that it traces back to a 1940's Cuban SON song called "ECHALE SALSITA" by IGNACIO PIÑEIRO. Other sources insist that there were
SALSA artists in CUBA back in the 1920's. Most give appropriate credit to the Fania record company as being the original source of contemporary SALSA
as a genre of disco,. Today's SALSA really started in the late 1960's with artists connected to the previously mentioned label that was often called
"The MOTOWN of LATIN MUSIC". It has spread to various Latin American markets like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Columbia and Venezuela. There are
also Salsa productions made in other parts of the United States like Puerto Rico and Florida. In the late 1980's it even spread to Western African countries
like Mali and Togo. Today you can even find bands recording SALSA in countries like Russia and India.
Some Discotheques in the New York area that had started playing psychedelic music or BOOGALOO in the 1960's switched to a pure SALSA sound in 1971 and 1972.
Not on the Fania Records label, this JOE ACOSTA track from 1971 "BENDITA ILUSION" is a classic example of early SALSA:
JOE ACOSTA - THE POWER OF LOVE (LP) - GHETTO
|BURUNDI BLACK (1ère Partie)|
BURUNDI STEIPHENSON BLACK - LE DISCO ALBUM (LP) - BARCLAY
|We are now listening to "Burundi Black" from 1971 by BURUNDI STEIPHENSON BLACK, an example of music that was often referred to in the 1970's as part of the "AFRICAN MUSIC EXPLOSION". It celebrated a group of African artists in Europe and the United States releasing disco.|
|YOU ARE LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO ON CKCUFM - A CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE.
WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE INVENTION OF DISCO, CONGOLESE RUMBA, KOMPA FROM HAITI, THE SOUND SYSTEMS OF JAMAICA, SKA, BOOGALOO, the invention of AFROBEAT, now we are in 1971!
Out of Detroit came an instrumental from a studio group called DENNIS COFFEY and the DETROIT GUITAR BAND called "Scorpio". DENNIS COFFEY would
become one of the hottest AMERICAN DISCO producers in the late 1970's. Many observers have strongly suggested that this single from 1971 is
"the bonafied first DISCO record".
DENNIS COFFEY and the DETROIT GUITAR BAND - 7" - SUSSEX
|In the 1971 we saw the beginnings of one of the most powerful and influential GENRES OF DISCO of all time. It's influence spread around the world so
many times that recognizable elements of it's distinctive sound can be found in dozens of sources. It is the first GENRE OF DISCO that actually has the
typical sound most people associate with when they think of the word 'disco". It is EURODISCO with variations of music containing the typical
"four-on-the-floor" beat-structure, strings and arrangements with orchestrations. Although most EURODISCO was made on the European continent,
it would also be made in other parts of the world. Furthermore, not all disco made in Europe in the 1970's and 1980's was EURODISCO.
We shall talk more about it soon. The earliest examples of the Genre were often associated with Movie soundtracks like the 1971 instrumental
"SEXOPOLIS" by JEAN PIERRE MIROUZE:
JEAN PIERRE MIROUZE - LE MaRIAGE COLLECTIF (7") - DISC'AZ
|THEME FROM SHAFT (VOCAL)|
ISAAC HAYES - SHAFT (LP) - ENTERPRISE
|That was ISAAC HAYES again with his most successful record of all time "Theme From Shaft" from 1971. It is one of three SOPHISTICATED SOUL recording
that caught the imaginations of millions in Europe. Some sources suggested that those three songs literally inspired dozens of future EURODISCO
producers to start producing disco.
The first of the three dominant sources of SOPHISTICATED SOUL, which we touched on back in 1968 with THE INTRUDERS, is the label PHILADELPHIA
INTERNATIONAL which produced some of the most important discotheque records of all time. BILLIE PAUL's unforgettable slow tempo love song from
1972 "ME AND MRS. JONES" is a classic example:
|ME AND MRS. JONES|
BILLY PAUL - 7" - PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL
|Many sources have claimed that 1972 is the year that the eighth GENRE OF DISCO in the Western Hemisphere appeared that we call AMERICAN DISCO.
We don't really believe that AMERICAN DISCO started in 1972 because we have already played great examples of AMERICAN DISCO from 1971. It is so
much a matter of interpretation. It is also important to remember that most sources from North America call it DISCO - just plain 'disco" because there
is a common misconception that DISCO Music was created in the United States.
In the New York City area there was in the early 1970's a growing crowd that claimed to be "the disco people". They had their band. The DISCO band
. They were called THE TRAMMPS and their 1972 hit was "Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart":
|ZING WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART|
THE TRAMMPS - 7" - BUDDAH
THE OJAYS - 7" - PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL
|That was the PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL act THE OJAY's with "LOVE TRAIN", one of two hits they had in 1972. "Love Train" became something of an anthem in discos. Other hits from THE OJAY'S like "Backstabbers" and "I Love Music" were also extremely popular.
Remember back in 1966 when we played BOOGALOO music and featured JIMMY CASTOR? JIMMY CASTOR became an important source of AMERICAN DISCO in the early 1970's. His biggest hit was in 1972 with "TROGLODYTE". Notice the spoken word vocals right at the beginning. It is something JIMMY CASTOR started saying at live performances in the late 1960's. The very beginning of it is one of the most sampled bits of 'spoken word' in the history of disco:
THE JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH - 7" - RCA VICTOR
BABE RUTH - FIRST BASE (LP) - HARVEST
|That was the British ROCK band BABE RUTH with their 1972 gem "THE MEXICAN".
As we said before, Discotheques were playing variations of ROCK heavily in the 1960's. GoGo music, early hits by groups like THE BEATLES and
THE ROLLING STONES, and Psychedelic ROCK was very popular in many Discotheques in the 1960's and very early 1970's. IRON BUTTERFLY's
"IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA" was evidently the number one song played in European discos in part of 1968. Yet by 1972 the 'disco boom' was starting both in
North America and Europe and clubs were spinning Soul Music or early disco. During the early 1970's various ROCK artists like LED ZEPPELIN and
AMON DULL 2 were experimenting with variations of disco. This BABE RUTH song is the most spectacular example. Cover-versions of it would be made
later. It would also be heavily sampled.
Speaking about rock, apart from the PARLIAMENT and FUNKADELIC grouping, the other major FUNK super-group started in the 1970 as ERIC BURDON & WAR. With out the English Rock singer ERIC BURDON they would continue with the name WAR and release incredible FUNK and AMERICAN DISCO. One of their most intriguing classics was the highly influential instrumental from their 1972 THE WORLD IS A GHETTO (LP). It was called "City Country City":
|CITY COUNTRY CITY|
WAR - THE WORLD IS A GHETTO (LP) - UNITED ARTISTS
|Let's now quickly return to MERENGUE here on the REAL HISTORY OF DISCO with a hit from 1972 of notoriety by PRIMITO SANTO Y SU ORQUESTA from the
zany PAPA PRIMI (SUGAR DADDY) LP. There are some sources that claim that PRIMITO SANTO was one of the innovators of the modern MERENGUE
sound. This is the song "ZORBA"
PRIMITO SANTO Y SU ORQUESTA - PAPA PRIMI (SUGAR DADDY) LP - SOLO
|THE HARDER THEY COME|
JIMMY CLIFF - 7" - ISLAND
|That was the REGGAE artist JIMMY CLIFF with the 1972 song "THE HARDER THEY COME" from the movie of the same name. Some have suggested that
this song and the movie started establishing REGGAE in the world wide market. We believe that the GENRE didn't need any movie. It was naturally
spreading through Discotheques already.
We need to talk about MANU DIBANGO again.
No other single artist has provided a direct connection between the richly musical passions of the CONGOLESE RUMBA "belle epoque" and the explosive
"disco boom" that dominated the 1970's. The very impact of his experiments in the 1960's and 1970's are still being felt today! The experiment that has
left the greatest impact is the 1972 song "Soul Makossa". It quickly became one of the most Discotheque records of all time. It influenced thousands of
deejays and producers. Almost immediately cover-versions of it were being released. Atleast 30 cover-versions were released and it has been sampled or
imitated hundreds of times. Even MICHAEL JACKSON did exactly that in the song "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin" from the THRILLER (LP). There are still
cover-versions of "Soul Makossa" being released in 21st century. In 1972 it was like a massive funky bomb that shocked much of the Discotheque
MANU DIBANGO - SOUL MAKOSSA (LP) - ATLANTIC
|It is important to remember that a whole industry of MAKOSSA music started accelerating in the 1970's. Many sources claim it became a very popular
disco - a GENRE OF DISCO featuring artists like MICHEL KINGUE and LES BLACK STYL. By the 1980's it became a big business and had developed distinct
characteristics that are still being improved upon now.
Previously we spoke of three SOPHISTICATED SOUL recordings that caught the imaginations of millions in Europe. And how some sources suggested that
those three songs literally inspired dozens of future EURODISCO producers to start producing disco. We had just played ISAAC HAYES' "THEME FROM SHAFT" that was the first example.
The other two came out in 1973 and they are "TSOP" by MFSB, a studio band of PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL, and another instrumental called
"Love's Theme" from the third major source of SOPHISTICATED SOUL - that being BARRY WHITE. The sensual singer and composer would start
dominating AMERICAN DISCO in 1973 with the unforgettable "LOVE'S THEME". We'll start with "LOVE'S THEME" with the LOVE UNLIMITED ORCHESTRA
(BARRY WHITE's studio band) and follow with the MFSB track "TSOP" which is the initials for 'The Sound Of Philadelphia'. The vocals feature a group called
THE THREE DEGREES whom in 1973 and 1974 had major hits with "When Will I See You Again" and "Dirty Old Man". Philadelphia International records
also had groups like HAROLD MELVIN AND THE BLUENOTES and wicked solo artists like LOU RAWLS and TEDDY PENDERGRASS. Their impact on
AMERICAN DISCO and 1970's SOUL was phenomenal.
LOVE UNLIMITED ORCHESTRA - 7" - 20TH CENTURY
|TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) (Theme From The Television Show "Soul Train")|
MFSB - LOVE IS THE MESSAGE (LP) - PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL
WAR - DELIVER THE WORD (LP) - UNITED ARTISTS
|We've just listened to another classic from the California based FUNK band WAR. It is another early AMERICAN DISCO classic called "GYPSY MAN" from their 1973 DELIVER THE WORD (LP)
You are listening to THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO, a celebration of the 40th Anniversary OF tHE GROOVE.
|Here are two great EURODISCO instrumentals from 1973: PIERO UMLIANI'S "OPEN SPACE" from ITALY followed by "OK CHICAGO" from the French
EURODISCO group RESONANCE. RESONANCE would eventually include "OK CHICAGO" in their epic Concept album "THE TIME MACHINE" which would be
released in 1976:
PIERO UMILIANI - TO-DAY'S SOUND (2LP) - LIUTO
RESONANCE - 7" - SIRROCO
|✔ BEGINNING OF REAL HISTORY OF DISCO PART 2|
|I SHOT THE SHERIFF|
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS - 7" - ISLAND
|In 1974,BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS - a super-group which we introduced back in 1967, released a Funky Reggae song "I SHOT THE SHERIFF" which did
very well. It even did better when the British ROCK guitarist ERIC CLAPTON did his own cover-version of it. BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS would
systematically grow into a dominant role in the promotion of REGGAE as an international movement. His "unparalleled influence" and rich musical
compositions would make their songs extremely important parts in the lives of millions throughout the America's, Europe and southern Africa
It was also in 1974 that a new dance craze became popular in North American discos. It was called 'The Bump" and most believe it was inspired by the
FUNK song "Machine Gun" by THE COMMODORES:
COMMODORES - MACHINE GUN (LP) - MOTOWN
|I FEEL FUNKY|
MATATA - INDEPENDENCE (LP) - PRESIDENT
|Following "Machine Gun" was a Kenyan group called MATATA with their international hit "I Feel Funky". Not really part of the previously mentioned
'African Music Explosion', MATATA is one of the better examples of hundreds of artists throughout the African continent that did their own variations of
FUNK or DISCO. Most of these groups did not get exposure outside of the African continent. In Nigeria a whole NIGERIAN DISCO scene developed with
NIGERIAN DISCO easily becoming it's own unique Genre. Although some artists from Togo are also included in that. Some of the NIgerian artists like
B.L.O. did very well in the United States while most of them were part of the Lagos disco sound. One of the most notable of the NIGERIAN DISCO artists
was GERALDO PINO who put out three lp's: AFRO SOCO SOUL LIVE (LP) in 1972, LET'S HAVE A PARTY (LP) in 1974 and BOOGIE FEVER (LP) in 1978. Some
Nigerians have told us that the BOOGIE FEVER (LP) really wasn't commercially available until early 1979. One of his most spectacular songs he recorded
with his band THE HEARTBEATS is on the 1974 LET'S HAVE A PARTY (LP) called "Heavy Heavy Heavy":
|HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY|
GERALDO PINO & THE HEARTBEATS - LET'S HAVE A PARTY (LP) - SOUNDWAY
|KUNG FU FIGHTING|
CARL DOUGLAS - 7" - PYE
|YOU ARE LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO ON CKCUFM - A CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE.
WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE INVENTION OF DISCO, CONGOLESE RUMBA, KOMPA, SKA, BOOGALOO, ROCKSTEADY, REGGAE, EURODISCO, FUNK, and
the beginnings of
AMERICAN DISCO and EURODISCO, the beginnings of SALSA , the 'African Music Explosion' and NIGERIAN DISCO. We have just finished listening to British
singer CARL DOUGLAS with his international disco hit "KUNG FU FIGHTING". Produced by the Indian producer SU BIDDU; a producer we shall talk further
about later, CARL DOUGLAS' "KUNG FU FIGHTING" has often been described as the first BRITISH DISCO song. Our issues with that assertion is connected
with claims that many British sources have identified 1960's songs from artists like THE EQUALS, DUSTY SPRINGFIELD and TOM JONES to be examples of
earlier BRITISH DISCO. "KUNG FU FIGHTING" became extremely popular in Europe where numerous answer records were produced
BIMBO JET - BIMBO JET (LP) - PATHE
|"El Bimbo" was a massive hit for BIMBO JET in 1974 and 1975. We remember travelling across the Canadian province of Quebec in 1975 and everywhere
we stopped, in different truck stops and small towns we could hear "El Bimbo" playing. BIMBO JET is a part of what some have described as "the Brazilian
invasion" in France consisting of EURODISCO and tropical pop bands that often mixed early EURODISCO with SAMBA, BOOGALOO and SALSA. They
included other artists like the CHOCOLATE BOYS, EL PASSADOR, MAGIC MERRY BAND and CHOCOLAT'S.
|Before we leave 1974 we need to hear four important AMERICAN DISCO songs that left a profound influence. The first of the four was one of the earliest
examples of what was celebrated as THE SUNSHINE SOUND. Coming from the Floridian labels for TK Productions, it was a Soulful blend of AMERICAN
DISCO that offered widely popular songs from artists like TIMMY THOMAS, K.C. & THE SUNSHINE BAND, GWEN MCCRAE and her husband GEORGE
MCCRAE whose 1974 hit "ROCK YOUR BABY" grow into a massive international Discotheque hit. In fact some sources at the time identified
"ROCK YOUR BABY" as the 'ultimate disco song' sometimes implying that they would never be a better example:
|ROCK YOUR BABY|
GEORGE MCCRAE - ROCK YOUR BABY (LP) - T.K
|Also in 1974. another amazing cover-version was released that some sources have suggested to be the ultimate 'disco love song'. It was by CARL
CARLTON, who in 1974 "re-owned" the 1967 song "Everlasting Love". CARL CARLTON's version was uplifting, compelling and sentimental. It became a
central part of the emotional lives of millions. There are videos on YOUTUBE that show an older CARL CARLTON performing "Everlasting Love" live on a
PBS fundraising concert series in the early 21st Century. If you watch one of these videos you will see an older audience absolutely freak out! You will
see an auditorium filled with people in their 50's and 60's in a complete standing and dancing ovation, clapping, waving and cheering and crying in utter
joy! I've included the link for one them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCaXEviQifc
Here now is the record "Everlasting Love" by CARL CARLTON
CARL CARLTON - EVERLASTING LOVE (LP) - ABC
|As we mentioned before, one of the three major sources of SOPHISTICATED SOUL was the romantic crooner and producer BARRY WHITE. His smooth
and deep baritone spoken words and singing was emotionally enriching and magnetic. Apart from the success of "Love's Theme", he already had
success in discos with the powerful "Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up" in 1973. His song from 1974 "You're The First, The Last, My Everything" was
programmed more frequently:
|YOU'RE THE FIRST, THE LAST, MY EVERYTHING|
BARRY WHITE - CAN'T GET ENOUGH (LP) - 20TH CENTURY
|It's now the time on the REAL HISTORY OF DISCO to introduce THE QUEEN OF THE DISCOS, - at least the first QUEEN OF DISCO. Her name was
GLORIA GAYNOR and she lived and recorded in the New York City area. The "big apple" was quickly trying dominate the AMERICAN DISCO industry.
This is her 1974 hit "NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE":
|NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE|
GLORIA GAYNOR - NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE - MGM (6.28)
|It's about time we check back with KOMPA music. By the early 1970's there was a super-group that was spreading their blend of KOMPA throughout the
world. They've been called by names like the “indestructibles" or Les "Incognitos de Pétionville". They are Haiti's TABOU COMBO who were rapidly
become the most popular and influential KOMPA band influencing hundreds of artists both in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora, and also artists in Europe,
North America and Africa recording a varied selection of musical styles. They dazzled the world in 1974 with what would become one of their most
popular songs ever named after the town they had recently started calling their home "New York City":
|NEW YORK CITY|
TABOU COMBO - 7" - DECCA
LES ROCKETS - 7" - DERAM
|That was the ROCKETS from FRANCE and ITALY with their chilling 1975 hit "Future Woman". I have to describe them. They really did look like five aliens,
bald, with grey eyes, no eyebrows or facial hair, silver skin and space suits. At times they actually looked frightening. They were the undisputed KINGS of
a widely popular movement on the European continent called SPACE. We are not playing anymore ROCKETS yet it is important to remember that their
sound was a combination of Heavy Metal Rock and early Electronic Disco. The group put on quite the show! They launched a series of "phantasmagoric"
live shows which involved lasers, space-age light effects, smoke and bazookas fighting flames. One Italian gentlemen told us about an outdoor nighttime
festival he attended outside of Milan in late seventies where there were several guest deejays spinning SPACE music and the ROCKETS appeared live for
two hours straight. He went on the describe that it was popular for the audience and dancers that attended the festival to dress up like science fiction
characters. He finished his description of it all by saying "It was the best night of my life!" THE ROCKETS were the heroes of the SPACE movement. They
have nine albums and they are still active.
|GET DOWN TONIGHT|
KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND - KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND (LP) - T.K.
|That was the most popular SUNSHINE SOUND song of all time - the 1975 international hit "Get Down Tonight" by KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND. That and
the other hit by the group called "That's The Way (I Like It)" were common sounds in discos all over the world. By 1975 there was a rapidly emerging
multi-billion dollar boom, partly brought on by the encroaching standardization of dozens of competing styles of discotheque music. Thousands of disco
records were being released with dozens of specialized labels releasing highly popular recordings that would further intensify the boom. We can only
give you a hand full of examples in the 1970's from a list of thousands released. That list has been disputed continuously since the 1970's also
. The basic disco sound of was considered to be very desirable in the mid 1970's. The sound literally mean't 'money to be made'. In hundreds of small
cities, towns and hamlets all over the western hemisphere, Europe and certain parts of Asia and Africa there were small outfits with tiny independent
labels releasing local DISCO records. Most of these didn't travel very far. At the time no one record distributor could offer everything that was being
released. If you regularly went to a store that specialized in selling DISCO in the latter part of the 1970's, you were assaulted with a constant flood of new
records and new artists every week. There was an exhausting variety of material. Most of which really wasn't very good.
Let's hear three notable AMERICAN DISCO records from 1975. The first was produced by a Los Angeles production team consisting of Laurin Rinder and W. Michael Lewis.
With different names like EL COCO, LA PAMPLEMOUSSE, DISCOGNOSIS and the IN SEARCH ORCHESTRA they released music that developed the AMERICAN DISCO sound. Their EL COCO song "MONDO DISCO" was one of their anthems
EL COCO - MONDO DISCO (LP) - AVI
|One of the great girl groups of the New York City scene in AMERICAN DISCO was THE RITCHIE FAMILY, named after it's founder - the producer and arranger
RITCHIE ROME. The producer was JACQUES MORALI, a French producer that specialized in a New York City blend of AMERICAN DISCO. "Brazil" by
THE RITCHIE FAMILY was his first success:
RITCHIE FAMILY - BRAZIL (LP) - ABLE
|In 1975 there was still another new Dance Craze that became popular called "THE HUSTLE" and it was evidently inspired by New York's VAN MCCOY and his track "The Hustle":|
VAN MCCOY & THE SOUL CITY SYMPHONY - DISCO BABY (LP) - AVCO
|It is hard to describe the excitement and insanity of the International DISCO industry in 1975. This was a time of potency. With accelerating
standardization occurring, deejays were spinning an increasingly more focused concentration of beat-structures. It was also the time for visionaries to
change things radically. With an American singer living in Germany and recording EURODISCO, that time had come. Her name was DONNA SUMMER
and she already had a minor hit in 1974 with the team of GIORGIO MORODER and PETE BELLOTTE called "The Hostage". What this production team did
with DONNA SUMMER in 1975 would radically dominate and change the Disco music industry. The song was a sensuous streamlined EURODISCO track
with a simple electronic beat-structure called "Love To Love You Baby". DONNA SUMMER'S writing was suggestive and straightforward. Her suggestive
message was draped over the throbbing beat. Upon hearing an early shorter version CASABLANCA RECORDS AND FILMWORKS, the label in the United
States, requested it be lengthened. The singer and producer went back into the studio to extend the want further. The final 17 minute version would
have a lengthy session of pseudo-erotica. Although we had heard pseudo-erotica before in European disco with "Jungle Fever" by CHAKACHAS in 1970,
DONNA SUMMER's performance had a subtle alluring feel to it that made the whole recording feel completely relieving and revealing. They had created
a masterpiece of recording wizardry that illustrated just one part of the vast potential of EURODISCO. Most 'disco' people could not get enough of it.
The response to it in various parts of the public was varied. More personally conservative people thought it to be obscene. The EURODISCO industry
already had been continuously fighting against a public perception which equated it with pornography. "Love To Love Baby" twisted those conservative
perceptions around it's finger like a fat bandage. It was a wonderful musical statement for a hungry medium that soaked it all in.
|LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY|
DONNA SUMMER - LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY (LP) - CASABLANCA
|Between 1976 and 1979, DONNA SUMMER would record 5 more albums with GIORGIO MORODER & PETE BELLOTTE that contained some of best disco,
of any Genre or style, ever recorded. She was considered to be the 'queen of disco'.
[spoken over music] We can't leave 1975 without getting into some "Expensive Shit". This is just part of what was the title track of FELA KUTI's 15th album
released in Nigeria since 1970. Listen to the musical sophistication and subtle energy. FELA KUTI's current blend of AFROBEAT was already phenomenal.
There were already dozens of competing AFROBEAT acts recording in Nigeria with astonishing results. One of these groups was THE
SEMI-COLON who rocked Lagos discos with the song "ISI AGBONCHA" in 1976
FELA KUTI & AFRICA 70 - EXPENSIVE SHIT (LP) - SOUNDWORKSHOP
THE SEMI-COLON - NDIA EGBUO NDIA (AFRO JIGIDA) LP - EMI
|KISS & SAY GOODBYE|
THE MANHATTANS - THE MANHATTANS (LP) - COLUMBIA
|YOU'RE LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO IN CKCUFM. We are in 1976 and for many 'disco people' it was a golden age of romance. We've just
heard the American vocal group THE MANHATTANS with their "Kiss & Say Goodbye". During the early 1970's there was a wonderful selection of Soul
artists from mostly the United States releasing love songs that were slows or early AMERICAN DISCO variations like THE CHI LITES,
HEROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES and THE STYLISTICS. "Kiss & Say Goodbye" was one of the most popular when it was released in 1976.
1976 has often been referred to as the golden age of romantic disco with dozens of example spreading around. Here are four really notable classics:
First is the singer CANDI STATON with the unforgettable "Young Hearts Run Free". Referred to by many as the "First Lady of Southern Soul", she was
already famous for her 1970 cover-version of TAMMY WYNETTE's "Stand By Your Man" and the song "I'm Just A Prisoner", CANDI STATON would continue
with several successful Disco hits like "Run To Me", "Victim", "Destiny", "When You Wake Up Tomorrow", "Listen To The Music" and in the 1990's
"You Got The love" which she recorded with THE SOURCE. Her distinctive vocals were often been referred to as 'an essential ingredient in the sound of
|YOUNG HEARTS RUN FREE|
CANDI STATON - YOUNG HEARTS RUN FREE (LP) - WARNER BROS.
|There were several amazing male singers with romantic disco hits in 1976 and male vocal groups delivering heart-wrenchers. One of most spectacular was
from the British Soul band REAL THING. Their deliciously ridiculous "You To Me Are Everything" took it all to new extremes:
|YOU TO ME ARE EVERYTHING|
THE REAL THING - REAL THING (LP) - UNITED ARTISTS
|For many young people going out in the mid 1970's there were certain songs that were humongous parts of their lives. SU BIDDU, the British based
INDIAN Producer who had already brought out the successful "Kung Fu Fighting" by CARL CARLTON in 1974, produced a series of songs with British singer
called TINA CHARLES. He had already had success with TINA CHARLES in the discos with songs like "One Broken Heart For Sale ",
"You Set My Heart On Fire" and "Dance Little Lady Dance" when he introduced her biggest hit in 1976. It was the catchy "I Love To Love" and it became
one of the most popular songs in the world:
|I LOVE TO LOVE|
TINA CHARLES - I LOVE TO LOVE (LP) - CBS
|One innovation from the 1970's that really changed the disco industry, the medium and popular culture throughout the world was invented by the
American producer TOM MOULTON. It was a 12" single - as opposed to a 7" single. More specifically it was made for deejays to usually offer an
extended mix of a song. It gave deejay greater freedom for beat mixing, programming trickery and innovation at a time of frantic standardization.
The legendary New York City label Salsoul released the very first commercially available 12" single in 1976 featuring "Ten Per Cent" by the Philadelphia
group DOUBLE EXPOSURE:
|TEN PER CENT|
DOUBLE EXPOSURE - 12" - SALSOUL
|TOM MOULTON was called 'the father of the disco mix". He mixed a massive list of AMERICAN DISCO gems along with European acts like the SPACE band
ROCKETS. Another European act he mixed material of was a Paris based group that was a celebrated part of what we earlier called
"The African Music Explosion". They were called BLACK SOUL and for a small label in New York called Beam Junction, TOM MOULTON mixed a couple of
the BLACK SOUL songs: "Black Brothers" and what we will hear now , the TOM MOULTON mix of "Mangous Ye":
|MANGOUS YE (A TOM MOULTON MIX)|
BLACK SOUL - 12" - BEAM JUNCTION
|TOM MOULTON also created what, in a variety of different Genres of Disco is called 'the break'. That is an instrumental break in a song that is great for
mixing other songs with a compatible beat-structure. As a producer TOM MOULTON triumphed with the stunning supermodel GRACE JONES.
Her cover-version of EDITH PIAF'S "La Vie En Rose" from her 1976 PORTFOLIO (LP) was one of greatest earlier hits. This is now GRACE JONES with
"La Vie En Rose": We have also provided a link on the playlist to a video of live performance she did on Chilean TV performing this song that really
illustrates why we called her "stunning":
|LA VIE EN ROSE|
GRACE JONES - PORTFOLIO (LP) - ISLAND
|A disco record from Europe that was released in 1976 would quickly become one of the most popular songs in the world. In fact a variety of sources
claim it to be one of the most popular songs of all time! While we are talking about it here on this show, this song ABBA's "Dancing Queen", is probably
being played somewhere else in the world on the radio or on line. The Swedish EUROPOP band ABBA already had a list of international hits, some of
which were programmed in Discotheques. "Dancing Queen" really established the group in the world of EURODISCO and the whole medium with a
splash of which the effects are still being felt today.
ABBA - 7" - ATLANTIC
|THE TRAMMPS put out two amazing albums in 1976 offering discos with great songs like "Soul Searchin' Time", "Disco Party" and the uplifting
"That's Where The Happy People Go". The most popular song they offered in 1976 became their 'signature song' it was the lengthy hard driving
"Disco Inferno". Now in the 21st century, many sources use this song, more than any other song, to represent disco.
THE TRAMMPS - DISCO INFERNO (LP) - ATLANTIC
|Before we depart from 1976 here on the REAL HISTORY OF DISCO, we're going to check in on EURODISCO. There was plenty of activity in West Germany
with DONNA SUMMER, ROBERTA KELLY, STEVE BENDER, SASSY and CHRIS BENNETT, GIORGIO MORODER, as solo artist had also released his 3rd album
KNIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN (LP), HANSA MUSIK PRODUCTIONS offered BONEY M. and JUMBO, JUPITER RECORDS offered SILVER CONVENTION,
PENNY MCLEAN, FUNKY TURKEY, GRAMOPHONE REVIVAL, BIRMINGHAM EGGS and HOTROD FORMULA, there were also already releases from a rich
variety of other artists like AMANDA LEAR, HOT BLOOD, CRYSTAL GLASS, RESONANCE, WEYMAN CORPORATION, BELLE EPOQUE and RAFFAELLA CARRA.
All that is just the tip of the ice burg!
Events would occur in 1976 that would change the very nature of EURODISCO and have a profound influence on the discotheque music
industries everywhere. What radically changed disco in the 1970's was a collaboration with ( JEAN-MARC) CERRONE ; a French drummer and
ALEC R. COSTANDINOS, a writer and producer who had already released a EURODISCO record in 1975 under the name RUDY STONE.
CERRONE financed a recording session where the two would record "Love In C Minor" a highly developed EURODISCO recording with a strong
throbbing beat-structure that was sprawling and sensuous. That record managed to sell millions of copies in a matter of months. It took discos Europe
and New York City by storm. Many sources in the United States say that this record is the beginning of what they called 'Euro-Disco". So popular and
spectacular was the recording that CERRONE ended up being called "the KING OF DISCO". The French magazine PARIS MATCH even called him
"the POPE OF DISCO". Yet the real story doesn't stop there.
What CERRONE and ALEC R. COSTANDINOS had created wasn't a song. It was a concept. Now there were already "concept albums" in EURODISCO
out there like THE TIME MACHINE (2LP) by RESONANCE. "Love In C Minor" took the idea to a whole new level. It was a bold conceptualization that gave
the deejay more programming options. Complete with a randy spoken-word introduction that simulated a conversation in a disco, a hard beat wrapped
with orchestration and laced with pseudo-erotica, it was something that patrons in Discotheques got lost in, dancing away almost in a trance.
So powerful was the impact of the record that, in a real sense, it started in new period in DISCO. Because of "Love In C Minor" the older way of recording
songs in DISCO wasn't as lucrative as it had been. Producers were under greater pressure to communicate ideas and concepts in their music.
Now we can't play all of "Love In C Minor" and some of the other long EURODISCO tracks because there is almost too much out there to cover.
We encourage to seek these record out. But we'll at least play the introduction and give a size-able sample:
|LOVE IN C MINOR|
CERRONE - LOVE IN C MINOR (LP) - MALLIGATOR
|CERRONE would continue releasing 25 albums and release other records under names like CRYSTAL and KONGAS. He is still active!
From the CERRONE 3 (LP) this is his timeless classic "Supernature" . LENE LOVICH wrote lyrics and the singer was CHI-CHI FAVELAS. Over the years
CERRONE'S "Supernature" has been remixed at least 18 times. This is part of the original:
CERRONE - CERRONE 3 - SUPERNATURE (LP) - COTILLION
SUMERIA - GOLDEN TEARS (LP) - RAAL
|ALEC R. COSTANDINOS would continue producing with a renewed focus and become one of most influential EURODISCO producers, gaining a
tremendous amount of respect around the world! Under his own name he would release incredible albums like THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (LP),
ROMEO & JULIET (LP), Trocadéro Bleu Citron (LP) and THE WINDS OF CHANGE (LP). Other important ALEC R. COSTANDINOS productions included 3
stunning LOVE & KISSES albums, the PARIS CONNECTION (LP), and two concept records with DON RAY: GOLDEN TEARS (LP) under the name SUMERIA.
We are talking over "Cosmic Traveler" an instrumental from GOLDEN TEARS (LP) and the other concept album was under the SPHINX, the album was
called JUDAS (LP) and from it here is part of "JUDAS ISCARIOT":
SPHINX - JUDAS (LP) - RAAL
|A whole new level of production in EURODISCO ushered in a 'golden age of Eurodisco' with dozens of artists releasing music to compete with the likes of
CERRONE and ALEC R. COSTANDINOS. Some examples include DON RAY (who had worked with both CERRONE and ALEC R. COSTANDINOS), TRAX,
LA BIONDA, CHRISLAND, BACIOTTI, VOYAGE, QUARTZ, HOT R.S. (from SOUTH AFRICA), A'MBAR (from VENEZUELA) and EASY GOING.
Older acts put out more aggressive material also like JUMBO and BELLE EPOQUE.
In this bold new age of conceptualization amazing experiments brought spectacular results. French producers NICOLAS SKORSKY and JEAN-MANUEL de SARANO
combined this new EURODISCO with Flamenco in a way where the two musical forms were fused into one. They had arresting male vocalists
LEROY GOMEZ and JIMMY GOINGS provide strong lead vocals of SANTA ESMERALDA versions of classic ROCK songs like
"DON'T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD" by THE ANIMALS, the traditional American song "HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN" that THE ANIMALS reinvented in the
1960's, and "STREET FIGHTING MAN" by THE ROLLING STONES. The reaction to the first album featuring LEROY GOMEZ singing
"DON'T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD", on an international scale, was monumental. Their astronomical success spawned a whole new sub-genre in
EURODISCO which most observers called 'the Santa Esmeralda movement'. Artists like YAN TREGGER's G.M.T SOUND, AMERICAN EAGLES and the
SOUL IBERICA BAND did well with a comparable sound. Here is part of the first massive hit of SANTA ESMERALDA "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood":
|DON'T LE ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD|
SANTA ESMERALDA starring LEROY GOMEZ - DON'T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD (LP) - PHILIPS
|When we talked about 1961 we played a CHUBBY CHECKER song "(At The) Discotheque". We said that back in the early 1960's, it was an anthem for
European Discotheques. It is now 1977 and there is a boom in the disco music industry that was expanding in leaps and bounds. There are already at
least 20,000 discos spread in various parts of the world. It was fine time that somebody should do a cover-version of that CHUBBY CHECKER gem.
A collaborative effort between British producers and a EURODISCO producer did exactly that in 1977 under the name LIPSTIQUE.
Here is part of the 1977 cover-version of "At The Discotheque":
|AT THE DISCOTHEQUE|
LIPSTIQUE - AT THE DISCOTHEQUE (LP) - MERCURY
KRAFTWERK - TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS (LP) - CAPITOL
|Already being celebrated as one of the greatest 'Electronic Bands', the German group KRAFTWERK was being heavily programmed in Discotheques with
their 1977 song "TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS". The group had enjoyed some earlier success in the clubs with their "Autobahn" in 1974, but the hypnotic
nature of "Trans-Europe Express" was addictive to many dancers. Pure Electronic Music was finding it's way back into the Discotheques in a big way.
This was the year that the ELECTRONIC DISCO genre really started taking off. There were various SPACE groups using it like ARPADYS, HERMAN'S
ROCKET and the French group that simply called themselves SPACE. Their hit "Magic Fly" would be covered by various other acts like SATURNE EA 1
and Canada's KEBEKELEKTRIK. Some have suggested that "Magic Fly" was the first Trance song.
SPACE - 12" - ABLE
|The first CHILL movement in 'mondo disco' was part of the SPACE movement. Often at SPACE clubs and special events separate quiet rooms existed with
deejays spinning quiet electronic music like ENO or HELDON and mix it with JEAN-MICHEL JARRE's OXYGENE and SPACE groups like HERMAN'S ROCKET and SPACE ART.
Also in the late 1970's on the beaches of the Portuguese colony of Goa on the western coast of India, deejays were spinning for parties for vacationing
European tourists and adventurers. They also played the OXYGENE (LP), ambient SPACE music and mixed it with ROCK like PINK FLOYD and early MOTHERS OF INVENTION.
From their second album from 1977 TRIP IN THE CENTER HEAD (LP), this is SPACE ART with "Eyes Shade":
SPACE ART - TRIP IN THE CENTER HEAD (LP) - CARRERE
|The single most exciting event in the history of ELECTRONIC DISCO occurred in 1977 when
the production team of GIORGIO MORODER & PETE BELLOTTE released "I Feel Love" by
DONNA SUMMER. It, more than any other recording shows why we insisted upon calling
EURODISCO 'one of the most powerful and influential GENRES OF DISCO of all time'.
"I Feel Love" has changed the very nature of popular music forever.
In fact the actual effects of it are still being felt.
Sure, there were plenty of pure electronic recordings that were very popular before it.
But they were either intellectual studies or superficial and silly musical knick knacks like the various versions of "Pop Corn".
"I Feel Love" was instantly outrageously popular. It spread like wild fire around the planet.
For the very first time billions were experiencing a tangible emotional reaction to a stunning simple love song that just happened to be completely electronic.
Electronic music had never before reached so many people and captured their imaginations or tugged at their heart strings.
It enabled thousands of future electronic recordings to matter.
After "I Feel Love" electronic music suddenly became acceptable and palatable, even in the most commercial environments.
|I FEEL LOVE|
DONNA SUMMER - I REMEMBER YESTERDAY (LP) - CASABLANCA
|1977 was also a very good year for SALSA. There was a surge in the openings of Discotheques that only played SALSA. It was also a good year for one of
contemporary SALSA's initial innovators, WILLIE COLON.
He released a collaboration with "The Queen Of SALSA" - the formidable CELIA CRUZ. The brilliant album was appropriately titled ONLY THEY COULD
HAVE MADE THIS ALBUM. We'll start this following set with the song "Usted Abuso" from that, and then we shall hear an incredibly popular song he
recorded in 1977 with RUBEN BLADES called "Plantacion Adentro"
CRUZ & COLON - ONLY THEY COULD HAVE MADE THIS ALBUM - VAYA
WILLIE COLON PRESENTS RUBEN BLADES - METIENDO MANO! - FANIA
THE MIKE THEODORE ORCHESTRA - COSMIC WIND (LP) - WESTBOUND
|YOU'RE LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO - A CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE. WE ARE IN THE LATE 1970'S.
We've just heard an excellent example of AMERICAN DISCO producers doing quite well competing with EURODISCO successes like those of SANTA
ESMERELDA called "The Bull" by the MIKE THEODORE ORCHESTRA. Like the previously mentioned DENNIS COFFEY, MIKE THEODORE was part of the very
successful Detroit Disco sound in the late 1970's.
So many AMERICAN DISCO records were released in 1977,1978 and 1979 that it's physically impossible to mention all of the records and artists involved.
Some of the artists like T. CONNECTION, TAVARES, DAN HARTMAN, D.C. LA RUE, FIRST CHOICE, MIDNIGHT RHYTHM, MACHINE, LEOLEATA HOLLOWAY,
CAROL WILLIAMS and the SALSOUL ORCHESTRA were amazing. A great deal of them were not very good at all. We can only feature some notable examples.
Three movies were released that were called by many sources 'the disco movies'. They were THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY from 1979, THE STUD from 1978
and most noteworthy of all - SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER from 1977. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER was the most popular of all. It's impact on the AMERICAN
DISCO industry ultimately became devastating. Because of that movie a new level of interest in DISCO almost immediately appeared. It suddenly
seemed as if everybody and their dog wanted to go to discos. Hundreds of new investors wanted to establish themselves in the growing industry.
One patron of a disco in Hull, Quebec sarcastically said in 1978,
"Thanks to that stupid movie our disco has been invaded by tourists"
It made a complex and increasingly more volatile situation even more complicated. There were already great pressures on the American Disco industry.
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER's popularity and the interest it generated over exposed it's dark side and revealed it's weaknesses. Major record companies,
many of whom already were releasing AMERICAN DISCO suddenly started pumping more money into it. Expectations of instant success were getting
extremely high. When the results were, more often then not disastrous, the ensuing wrath was astronomical. The press started turning on the disco
industry. For some of us who really loved and followed it all, hearing certain BEE GEES songs from THE SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (LP) on the radio for the
tenth time in the same day was dreadful. It was a constant reminder of the mess the MOVIE had inadvertently caused. That ill feeling has never gone away.
This now is "You Should Be Dancing" by the BEE GEE's that is on the SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (THE ORIGINAL MOVIE SOUND TRACK) 2LP. It is actually
from 1976 and best disco song that the group ever recorded.
|YOU SHOULD BE DANCING|
BEE GEES - SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (THE ORIGINAL MOVIE SOUND TRACK) 2LP - RSO
|GLORIA GAYNOR, the first DISCO QUEEN, did extremely well in 1978 with the love song "I Will Survive'. A song about emotional survival, "I Will Survive" is
one of a handful of AMERICAN DISCO songs from the late 1979's that remains part of the collective human psyche even today.
Even in weddings and other parties using in deejays today there are other AMERICAN DISCO songs that persist upon being requested. JACQUES MORALI,
who was already doing well with THE RITCHIE FAMILY, created a camp male vocal group inspired by the thriving Greenwich Village gay scene in New York
in 1977 called the VILLAGE PEOPLE. Their first album did well in discos with songs like "San Francisco (you go me)" and "Hollywood (Everybody Is A Star)".
The latter of which was heavily sampled in megamixes at the time. In 1978 two VILLAGE PEOPLE songs did very well: "Macho Man" and "Y.M.C.A.".
A version of the group is still touring. "Y.M.C.A." can be heard in a variety of different functions with a deejay in even the 21st century.
|I WILL SURVIVE|
GLORIA GAYNOR - LOVE TRACKS (LP) - POLYDOR
VILLAGE PEOPLE - CRUISIN' (LP) - CASABLANCA
GIORGIO MORODER - 12" - CASABLANCA
|This is "Chase" by GIORGIO MORODER. One of two instrumentals by that incredible artist and producer from 1978 that caught many imaginations. The
other being "Evolution" from his Music From "Battlestar Galactica" And Other Original Compositions (LP). Still sampled and programmed by deejays
today, "Chase" was engaging demonstration of solitude of motion that dancers simply got lost in.
|Inspired by the intensely popular "I Feel Love", hundreds of AMERICAN DISCO and EURODISCO recording featured a comparable circular pattern in their
beat-structures. The group SPACE released a love song in 1978 featuring the vocals of MADELINE BELL called "Save Your Love For Me" which used such a
structure. It remains one of the most popular ELECTRONIC DISCO recordings even today.
|SAVE YOUR LOVE FOR ME|
SPACE - JUST BLUE (LP) - CASABLANCA
|More than any other EURODISCO record released in 1978, the engaging "Disco Circus" by the group MARTIN CIRCUS has been sampled in dozens of records
in different GENRES of DISCO during the 1980's and 1990's. Some people have been convinced that it was a HOUSE MUSIC record when it was being
programmed on one of Chicago's popular HOUSE MUSIC radio shows on commercial radio during the late 1980's:
MARTIN CIRCUS - MARTIN "DISCO" CIRCUS (LP) - VOGUE
|Electronics were having a profound effect on discotheque music in various parts of the world by 1978. New styles and beat-structures were being
introduced that challenged the domination of the standard "four-on-the-floor" beat-structure. One of those was ELECTRO. Most sources insist that two
recordings from 1978 really popularized a sound most often referred to the early 1980's. We're going to play both of them side by side. The first was
from KRAFTWERK, that intriguing ELECTRONIC band from West Germany that had Discotheque hits like "Autobahn" in 1974 and "Trans-Europe Express"
which we featured from 1977. KRAFTWERK never used that standard "four-on-the-floor" beat-structure or the "circular pattern" associated with most of
the ELECTRONIC DISCO popular at the time. Many sources have labelled their music as "ELECTRO-POP". For their explosively 1978 The Man Machine
(LP), they offered a heavier and cleaner version of their sound that proved to be wildly popular in discos with songs like "The Model"; of which their would
eventually be several cover-versions made in years to follow. The whole album is a brilliant tribute to the possibilities of ELECTRONIC MUSIC that is fun
and bursting with an almost tangible android personality. By far the most popular song from The Man Machine (LP) was "The Robots":
KRAFTWERK - THE MAN MACHINE - KLING KLANG MUSIC/CAPITOL
YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA - YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA (LP) - HORIZON
|That second ground breaking ELECTRO track was from Japan's YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA. Their first name sake album in 1978 really popularized
JAPANESE DISCO in Europe and North America. Between 1979 and 1983 a variety of artists recorded ELECTRO DISCO songs. Italy would become most
widely acclaimed for that.
EROTIC DRUM BAND - ACTION 78 (LP) - UNIDISC
|It's long overdue for us to talk about the ninth GENRE OF DISCO from the Western Hemisphere called the MONTREAL SOUND. In 1978 it was already
going strong and some sources suggest it started in 1974. Most MONTREAL SOUND was recorded and released in Montreal, Canada. It was considered
to be the only unique Canadian GENRE OF DISCO. With the sole exception of the legendary INDIAN DISCO album by RUPA called DISCO JAZZ (LP) which
was recorded in Calgary, most Canadian Disco recorded outside of Montreal; like that of the T.H.P. ORCHESTRA, was considered part of AMERICAN DISCO
or EURODISCO, as in the case of CLAUDJA BARRY. The MONTREAL SOUND had a specific feel the was remarkably unique. Although obviously North
American, it was often described as a fusion of French and Italian influences. It was especially remarkable because there was a great range of sub-genres
offering a staggering variety. There was the ridiculous DISCO GAG often featuring silly discofied versions of Quebecois folk songs and national anthems
with artists like PAUL VINCENT, GERRY BRIBOSIA, and the group MONTREAL SOUND who had a Discotheque hit already in the United States and Europe
with their exhilarating instrumental "Music", the rich orchestral sound of artists like THE BLACK LIGHT ORCHESTRA and CHATELAINE, Electronic artists
like CHARLIE MIKE SIERRA, KEBEKELEKTRIK and THE MONTREAL SYNTHESIZER ORCHESTRA, and dozens of other acts like PATSY GALLANT, FUSSY CUSSY,
GERALDINE HUNT, and NANETTE WORKMAN. That is the tip of the ice burg. We are listening to "Jerky Rhythm" from the EROTIC DRUM BAND LP
"ACTION 78". In 1979 the whole MONTREAL SOUND got extremely popular in the United States and Western Europe with artists like FRANCE JOLI with
romantic gems like "Come To Me", MARTIN STEVENS with his sentimental "Love Is The Air", GINO SOCCIO from KEBEKELEKTRIK with driving tracks like
"The Visitors" and "Dancer", THE BOMBERS and GERALDINE HUNT's son FREDDIE JAMES who stormed the discos with hits like "Everybody Get Up And
Boogie". The most popular MONTREAL SOUND recording in 1979 was a tribute to the TOM MOULTON invention "The Break" by KAT MANDU. Like the
EROTIC DRUM BAND, KAT MANDU came from the Unidisc label. It, After decades, this instrumental is still being programmed and sampled. MONTREAL
SOUND, according to many observers outlasted the AMERICAN DISCO industry. We'll revisit it in the 1980's. At the end of "The Break", just to be difficult,
we'll play a bit of the remix that was released the later year:
KAT MANDU - 12" - UNIDISC
|THE BREAK (REMIX)|
KAT MANDU - 12" - UNIDISC
|In the late 1970's there some American producers releasing an American EURODISCO. It was a highly desirable sound. The best of which came from two
producers. One being RAY MARTINEZ in Florida with the AMANT (LP) and the other being New York City's legendary BORIS MIDNEY who, from 1978 to
1982, released several incredible records under names like USA/EUROPEAN CONNECTION, BEAUTIFUL BEND, CARESS, DOUBLE DISCOVERY,
COMPANION, FESTIVAL, and MASQUERADE. Here is his FESTIVAL hit from 1979, a cover-version of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina":
|DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA|
FESTIVAL - EVITA (LP) - RSO
|One listening to the clean brilliance of BORIS MIDNEY's production of that FESTIVAL song might have, in 1979, been tempted to ignore that the fortunes of the
AMERICAN DISCO industry were radically changing. Dozens of production companies and labels that specialized in AMERICAN DISCO were going
bankrupt. There was a backlash against DISCO rapidly growing, especially in the United States where the press widely publicized "anti-disco rally's".
Although it went back to the early 1970's, the expression "DISCO SUCKS!" really started becoming common in 1979.
The medium itself was getting very demanding, largely due to the effects of deejays playing a sharper concentration of beat-structures on the largest and
most concentrated scale than ever before. Discos were getting wilder. There was a great deal of illegal drug use, especially with cocaine, both in the
clubs and in some of the recording studios and record company offices. There was a message prevailing through the various levels of interactive
communication in Disco that, more than ever before, promoted various applications of sexual activity. Apart from the great 'highly suggestive'
EURODISCO classics like "Love In C Minor" contributing to that effect, there was steady flow of suggestive AMERICAN DISCO records like "In The Bush" by
MUSIQUE and the extremely sexual "Come On And Do It (Special Disco Remix)" by POUSSEZ!.
Many news stories in 1979 really started focusing on outrageous activity in Discotheques like New York's Studio 54; a club popular among politicians, the
business and social elite, movie stars and successful recording artists. It is very important to remember that these effects were being felt in discos all
over the world. The behavior, that is still being talked about by various sources; that was found in Studio 54, was not really that unique. An American
news media obsessed with the rich and famous concentrated on Studio 54. Now some sources that offer other historic accounts about Disco talk only
about Studio 54, almost as if it was the only Discotheque at time.
There was an intensifying revulsion in various sectors of the public to the AMERICAN DISCO industry as if it was something that was extremely sleazy and
possibly dangerous. That usual sound of AMERICAN DISCO was loosing ground. There was a popular AMERICAN DISCO song in 1979 that many at the
time had the oddest reaction to because it seemed to mock those pressures of the day. This is it, the LOVE DE-LUXE hit "HERE COMES THAT SOUND":
|HERE COMES THAT SOUND|
LOVE DE-LUXE With HAWKSHAW'S DISCOPHONIA - 12" - WARNER BROS.
|WE ARE FAMILY|
SISTER SLEDGE - WE ARE FAMILY (LP) - COTILLION
|That was the girl group SISTER SLEDGE with "We Are Family", one of their successes in 1979. "We Are Family" is still played on many commercial radio
stations and at some wedding receptions. It was produced by the legendary BERNARD EDWARDS & NILE RODGERS. Their band was CHIC. They had
already done well in AMERICAN DISCO with explosive hits like "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" and "Le Freak". In 1979 CHIC released
one of the most important records of the late 1970's called "Good Times". The beat-structure was a refined FUNK structure that gave the song a
mesmerizing yet cooled presence. Why it was so important is that ended up serving as a structural template for dozens of other records in the 1980's.
It, more than any other recording, started a slide in much of the shrinking AMERICAN DISCO industry towards highly standardized variations of FUNK.
CHIC - 12" - ATLANTIC
|"Good Times" by CHIC is also so extremely important because one of those records that was based on it was the first commercially successful examples
of the 10TH GENRE OF DISCO from the western hemisphere that is called HIPHOP. It was slowly created during the 1970's by deejays like DJ Kool Herc in
youth parties in the New York City area by mixing and chopping Dub and instrumental FUNK records together so that young people could experiment
with the tradition of spontaneous SOUND SYSTEM rapping and toasting that had been occurring for over a decade. Talented teenagers started finding
themselves endeared with the concept of "re owning" music as a tool to verbally communicate something. Some have called it RAP MUSIC or
RAP/HIPHOP. It would become one of the strongest forces in American popular music and eventually the world, influencing Popular culture everywhere.
The whole group of genres involved with HIPHOP numbers in the hundreds, now representing millions of recordings in 67 different languages. This is
part of the SUGARHILL GANG with their legendary 1979 hit "Rapper's Delight":
SUGARHILL GANG - 12" - SUGAR HILL
|In 1979, SANTA ESMERALDA released the second of two tributes to ENRIQUE JORRIN'S "CHA CHA CHA" we're going to feature in this guide. It was called
"Another Cha-Cha" and it fused a combination of SALSA and Cuban CHA CHA CHA wrapped tightly around an uptempo EURODISCO structure like a wildly
successful scientific experiment. It offered an exhilarating rush:
SANTA ESMERALDA (starring JIMMY GOINGS) - ANOTHER CHA-CHA (LP) - FOREIGN EXCHANGE
|Two other EURODISCO records released in 1979 were extremely important. The first was the BLACK DEVIL DISCO CLUB (LP) which was by a French
teenager called BERNARD FEVRE. who made it manually in a recording studio using synths, occasional tape loops and a drummer. It offered six mixed
compositions of brilliant ELECTRONIC DISCO that were dark, emotionally complex and stunningly unique. The more we listened to that album the deeper
our obsession grew. Black Devil had a deep majesty in every beat and every vague or distorted vocal. Thousands of young minds offered their own
personal interpretations. No other record offered so much personal freedom and inner strength. It was just as popular in private homes as it was in the
The only proper way to listen to the DISCO CLUB (LP), for many, was to: wait for the complete darkness of the night, turn out every light and play the
whole BLACK DEVIL album very loud while laying on the floor, staring into the darkness. It was the Electronic Disco underground's holy grail.
BERNARD FEVRE would release more comparable records in the 21st Century under the name BLACK DEVIL DISCO CLUB. Here from that first legendary
album is "We Never Fly Away Again" and part of the instrumental "Follow Me"
|WE NEVER FLY AWAY AGAIN|
BLACK DEVIL - DISCO CLUB (LP) - RCA
|FOLLOW ME (INSTRUMENTAL)|
BLACK DEVIL - DISCO CLUB (LP) - RCA
|The other EURODISCO record released in 1979 that was extremely important was the HILLS OF KATMANDU (LP) by TANTRA. Produced by the Italian
production team La Drogueria Di Drugolo and Quelli Del Castello. It was a brilliant uptempo ITALODISCO track that was dreamy and sophisticated.
What it did is inspire many deejays and producers in years to come. Here is part of TANTRA's "Hills Of Katmandu":
|HILLS OF KATMANDU|
TANTRA - HILLS OF KATMANDU (LP) - PHILIPS
THE FLYING LIZARDS - THE FLYING LIZARDS (LP) - VIRGIN
|That was the British band THE FLYING LIZARDS with a brutal ELECTRONIC version of an old Motown single. THE FLYING LIZARDS were part of refreshing
youth oriented movement in the late 1970's and early 1980's that promoted alternative ideas in various parts of society, especially with music. We're not
talking about BOSSA NOVA music from Brazil in the late 1950's here. This was a movement that actually involved a multitude of different styles of music
like PUNK and new versions of ROCK-A-BILLY, SKA, FUNK, DUB and a spared down version of ELECTRONIC DISCO that was called SYNTH-POP. Along with
THE FLYING LIZARDS , there popped many new groups in Britain like ILLUSTRATION, DEPECHE MODE, THE THE, SOFT CELL, B MOVIE, BLA BLA BLA, JELL,
THE HUMAN LEAGUE, NEU ELIKTRIKK, BLANCMANGE and NAKED LUNCH. Some of these groups would end up having very successful Discotheque hits
in the 1980's. DEPECHE MODE would become a major source of ELECTRONIC DISCO and they are still active!
Another source in the NEW WAVE was from a collection of outrageous song writers and performers who offered their own unique takes on Disco like
IAN DURY & BLOCKHEADS and the wildly influential LENE LOVICH. Her "Lucky Number" song spread around the world:
LENE LOVICH - STATELESS (LP) - STIFF-EPIC
|By far the most colorful figure in the New Wave, German singer NINA HAGEN gained international recognition with two NINA HAGEN BAND lps in 1978
and 1979. UNBEHAGEN - the second of which contained a German language version of the LENE LOVICH hit "LUCKY NUMBER". That cover; renamed
"WIR LEBEN IMMER... NOCH", created a tremendous amount of excitement. Many thought it to be amazing and spectacular, there were plenty of others
who thought it to be obnoxious and overdone. Never in the history of disco had a cover-version created so much controversy. It fed the popularity of it
and NINA HAGEN herself.
|WIR LEBEN IMMER NOCH|
NINA HAGEN - UNBEHAGEN (LP) - CBS
|COULD YOU BE LOVED|
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS - 7" - ISLAND
|That was the super-group BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS again with their uptempo 1979 hit "Could You Be Loved". It this point in time BOB MARLEY &
THE WAILERS had become one of the most popular groups in the world. Their blend of what many sources call "ROOTS REGGAE" had spread deep into
Asia and Africa. That was important, yet it was also important to remember the dozens of other amazing REGGAE artists competing with BOB MARLEY,
like DENNIS BROWN. This is DENNIS BROWN from 1979 with "Money In My Pocket":
|MONEY IN MY POCKET|
DENNIS BROWN - 7" - LIGHTNING
|Competing with the ROOTS REGGAE in the early 1980's was a new Sub-genre of REGGAE called DANCEHALL. It offered a spared down version of REGGAE
that often had a "dj Stylee" rapping over the beats. Instead of that rapping being spontaneous; as in early days, these raps were permanent parts of the
recording like the American HIPHOP recordings. YELLOWMAN was the most colorful, controversial and popular of them all. This is YELLOWMAN with his
1980 single "Come Scratch Me Back":
|COME SCRATCH ME BACK|
YELLOWMAN - 12" - HIT BOUND
|This now is the AMERICAN DISCO singer GRACE JONES again, with "Warm Leatherette". She was one of a handful artists that experimented with REGGAE
with "Warm Leatherette" and more successfully with "Pull Up To Bumper" in 1981. Her videos were exciting and extremely fashionable. Not really
surprising as she was a very successful model before recording music.
GRACE JONES - 12" - ISLAND
JAH WOBBLE - THE LEGEND LIVES ON... JAH WOBBLE IN BETRAYAL (LP) - VIRGIN
|That instrumental we just heard is an example of Dub that does not use a REGGAE structure. It is the instrumental called "Not Another" by a bass
guitarist called JAH WOBBLE from his first album in 1980 called THE LEGEND LIVES ON... JAH WOBBLE IN BETRAYAL (LP). He got his big break playing with
ex-Sex Pistol John Lydon's POST PUNK group called PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED or just (PIL). PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED released a menacing single in 1979
called "Death Disco" that was popular in some circles at the time. After leaving the band JAH WOBBLE would release a variety of impressive records and is
still active. It was JAH WOBBLE who told us straight out "Reggae is the disco to watch in the future and dub will eventually rule the world" Many
AMERICAN DISCO groups and SYNTH-POP acts would include "dub" versions of their songs. Another obvious example of the continuing influence of
Many 'new wavers' were releasing different styles of disco in the early 1980's. Commercial radio stations in France were spinning and charting different
music like "Cherchez Le Garçon" by TAXI-GIRL and a loud ELECTRONIC song called "Disco Rough" was it a new style of disco? Some used the title of this
song to describe the style. Others used the term METAMORPHIC EURODISCO. The group was called MATHEMATIQUES MODERNES and they were
produced by JACNO. He also released several albums and singles, some with the singer Elli Medeiros. Those ELLI & JACNO records were also very
popular in some French Discotheques. Here is MATHEMATIQUES MODERNES with their hit from 1980 called "Disco Rough":
MATHEMATIQUES MODERNES - 12" - DORION
|Another new style of ELECTRONIC DISCO was appearing in Britain that was again a simplified variation but with a romantic tone, in fact although some
sources called this new style BLITZ, it is most often referred to as the NEW ROMANTIC movement. One of the earliest classics of the NEW ROMANTIC
movement was from a SYNTH-POP group called VISAGE. It was a siren called "Fade To Grey". Decades later deejays from future genres of disco would
call it early TRANCE:
|FADE TO GREY|
VISAGE - 12" - POLYDOR
|Not all music involved with the NEW ROMANTIC movement was SYNTH-POP. The music of various groups with various styles were programmed in and
closely identified with key NEW ROMANTIC Discotheques in England like BILLY'S and THE BLITZ. The groups most often associated with the movement
include acts, apart from VISAGE, like DURAN DURAN, A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS, CULTURE CLUB, SPANDAU BALLET and CLASSIX NOUVEAU. Many press
sources at the time suggested that the NEW ROMANTIC movement was the next big thing. There were predictions and declarations spreading around
that the NEW ROMANTICS were on the forefront of "the second British invasion". Ironically the whole scene just seemed to disappear rather quickly.
Most of those artists would go on to be extremely successful. Many DURAN DURAN, A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS and SPANDAU BALLET songs would be
played in discos throughout the early 1980's. Both DURAN DURAN and CULTURE CLUB became household names in homes as far a way as Tasmania.
Their was a Canadian reality talent TV show that recently aired and one of the 'expert judges' was the lead singer for CULTURE CLUB; BOY GEORGE.
Everybody recognized him and remembered him. That was 39 years after the NEW ROMANTIC movement!
|YOU'RE LISTENING TO REAL HISTORY OF DISCO HERE ON CKCUFM - A SPECIAL IN CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE.
WE HAVE STRUGGLED THROUGH THE OUTRAGEOUS EVENTS OF 1970'S. NOW WE'VE JUST LOOKED AT THE NEW ROMANTIC MOVEMENT AS WE LOOK AT THE 1980'S MORE.
A gay magazine in New York published a strange cartoon about Disco in 1980 during a week where various major press organizations had reported
"the death of disco" as if it was real news. The caption had the words "with the world almost blinded with dishonesty and hatred, there are at least two
"I"s seeing the light" The eyes were actually two letter I's not real eyes that see. What they commenting on an inaccurate report that claimed that there were two countries still existed on the earth where the press and the public had not been consumed with a revulsion towards disco and been convinced that it all died. They were talking about Italy and India. Plenty of great ITALODISCO records of different sorts were coming out in Italy for most of the 1980's.
Many AMERICAN DISCO and EURODISCO producers outside of Itlay found themselves practically 'put out of business' in 1980. One of the biggest
exemptions was SU BIDDU, the British based Indian producer, who had done so well in the 1970's with hits and BRITISH DISCO gems like "KUNG FU
FIGHTING" by CARL CARLTON and various other acts like TINA CHARLES, JIMMY JAMES AND THE VAGABONDS, THE PEARLS, BECKETT BROWN and
POLLY BROWN. His BIDDU ORCHESTRA was considered to be part of the personal soundtracks of millions of Disco people on both sides of Atlantic
Ocean. He had signed a Pakistani singer called NAZIA HASSAN in 1979 and in 1980 released her first single in India that was a massive success
throughout India, Pakistan and much of the Indian diaspora. Versions of this song are still being played in Indian Discotheques today. It was called "Disco Deewane":
|DISCO DEEWANE (PART 1)|
NAZIA HASSAN - THE ROUGH GUIDE TO BOLLYWOOD DISCO (LP) - WORLD MUSIC NETWORK
|BIDDU had made the right move! There was a boom in INDIAN DISCO that really started picking up in the early 1980's various Bollywood movies
popularizing songs that were competing with the NAZIA HASSAN music featuring singers like ASHA BHOSLE, UDIT NARAYAN, SUNITA RAO,
the PRAKASH BAND, PARVATI KHAN and USHA UTHUP. INDIAN DISCO continued unchallenged. Today there are dozens of different GENRES and
SUBCATEGORIES of DISCO in India.
Back in the United States, most of the AMERICAN DISCO was containing one of many FUNK beat-structures. KOOL & THE GANG was one of the New York City area FUNK bands that had done well with AMERICAN DISCO in the 1970's. They did even better with a clean FUNK sound with songs like "Ladies Night" and very popular "Celebration" in 1980:
KOOL & THE GANG - CELEBRATE! (LP) - DEE-LITE
|One of the most influential disco records to come out in 1980 from bologna, Italy. It was called 'ITALIAN DISCO-SOUL" yet most of the artists were New
York based and had worked in other AMERICAN DISCO recordings like LUTHER VANDROSS and JOCELYN BROWN. Although there were amazing DISCO
tracks like "Angel In My Pocket" and the ELECTRONIC DISCO instrumental "The End", there were stunning FUNK songs like "A Lover's Holiday" that
influenced a tremendous amount of artists and producers and contributed to the development of a new clean FUNK sound with groups like the
B.B. & Q, BAND and HI-GLOSS. Listening to the amazing vocals of LUTHER VANDROSS in stunning CHANGE songs like "The Glow Of Love" and very
influential "A Lover's Holiday", it was tempting to think then that things with Disco were going to work out.
|A LOVER'S HOLIDAY (A JIM BURGESS MIX)|
CHANGE - THE GLOW OF LOVE (LP) - RFC
|ZULU NATION THROW DOWN|
AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, ZULU NATION, COSMIC FORCE - 12" - PAUL WINLEY
|That was AFRIKA BAMBAATAA , ZULU NATION & COSMIC FORCE with "Zulu Nation Throw Down" from 1980. AFRIKA BAMBAATAA is another artist that was doing HIPHOP very early.
A lot of the early HIPHOP records were FUNK recordings with RAPPERS in the music. A popular example was the 1981 track from TWENNYNINE with
LENNY WHITE. The idea of including a rap in a FUNK song became very prominent in the early 1980's. Even today it is not uncommon at all to hear
rapping in parts of POP songs. It was on their JUST LIKE DREAMIN' (LP) and it was called "Twennynine (The Rap)":
|TWENNYNINE (THE RAP)|
TWENNYNINE with LENNY WHITE - JUST LIKE DREAMIN' (LP) - ELEKTRA
|DANCIN' THE NIGHT AWAY|
VOGGUE - 12" - CELSIUS
|We've just finished listening to Canada's VOGGUE with their massive international hit "Dancin' The Night Away". Originally created by DENYSE LEPAGE,
VOGGUE was one the most popular vocal groups to come out of the MONTREAL SOUND in the early 1980's. Their "Dancin' The Night Away" had an
almost idealistic optimism and simplicity to it that gave it a dreamy feel. It was produced by DENIS LEPAGE who had also produced that KAT MANDU
instrumental from 1979. The married team of DENYSE and DENIS LEPAGE formed a group in late 1970's that would become one of the most important
MONTREAL SOUND bands of all time. They were called LIME and they're popularity and influence of a world wide scale is something made of legends!
We remember giving a seminar to young artists and producers in Chicago in 1989. When we played them a sample of LIME from their 1981 YOUR LOVE (LP) the audience freaked out, saying they had heard it before and that it was really great HOUSE MUSIC. LIME songs like "Your're My Magician", "Baby, I'm Yours" and the instrumental "Agent 406" were played in Discotheques throughout South America and Europe very frequently in the early 1980's.
This is the title track of their first album now, here is LIME in 1981 with "Your Love":
LIME - YOUR LOVE (LP) - MATRA
|One of the early SYNTH-POP bands from England we had mentioned was SOFT CELL. They would have hit with their sentimental version of an old GLORIA JONES song from the 1960's. Their electronic version of "TAINTED LOVE" ended up becoming, for a few months, one of the most popular songs in the world:|
SOFT CELL - 12" - VERTIGO
|Another SYNTH-POP band we had mentioned that did really well in the early 1980's out of England was a group from Sheffield called THE HUMAN LEAGUE.
They had actually started in 1977 and had two albums and various singles out, including a more corporeal BRITISH DISCO record under the name
THE MEN in 1979. Some of their early material was brilliant like their first REPRODUCTION (LP) and the AMBIENT 12" single "The Dignity Of Labour Pts.1-4".
They already were greatly admired when they split up in 1980. Then the original founding members MARTYN WARE and IAN CRAIG MARSH went on to
form the BRITISH ELECTRIC FOUNDATION and HEAVEN 17. The remaining member of HUMAN LEAGUE kept the original name and added female
vocalists. They would have a group of hits in 1980's that really established their sound internationally. It all started for the new formation of HUMAN LEAGUE in 1981 with "Don't You Want Me Baby":
|DON'T YOU WANT ME BABY (ALBUM VERSION)|
THE HUMAN LEAGUE - 12" - VIRGIN
|In the United States most of the AMERICAN DISCO industry had either disappeared or gone into producing current variations of FUNK. There was a
golden age in the early 1980's of FUNK which involved recordings containing only a handful of different beat-structures. Unlike the 1960's when trying to
mix FUNK in discos was a real challenge, during the late 1970's and early 1980's it was a lot easier for deejays to mix FUNK recordings together.
And there were so many good records to mix from artists like ONE WAY, CAMEO, STARPOINT, FIRST TOUCH BAND, MAZE, RICK JAMES,
EARTH WIND & FIRE, FIVE SPECIAL, TEENA MARIE, TOM BROWNE and the S.O.S BAND. That is just some!
One of the other groups was THE GAP BAND who in 1982 did really well with "You Dropped A Bomb On Me":
|YOU DROPPED A BOMB ON ME|
THE GAP BAND - 12" - TOTAL EXPERIENCE
|We introduced with acts like KRAFTWERK and YELLO MAGIC ORCHESTRA back in 1978 a new beat-structure that was having a splash on various Disco
records - especially in Italy. The 11th GENRE OF DISCO from the western hemisphere was emerging in New York City that was simply called ELECTRO.
It was very closely connected to the emerging HIPHOP scene. Dozens of these records started appearing. Some of them were really not that good.
One of the real classics of this new period was another track from AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, now with THE SOUL SONIC FORCE. It was called "Planet Rock":
AFRIKA BAMBAATAA & THE SOUL SONIC FORCE - 12" - TOMMY BOY
|SITUATION (DUB VERSION)|
YAZ - 12" - SIRE
|That was the British SYNTH-POP duo YAZOO or YAZ with the dub version of their 1982 Single "Situation". No other record from England was as extremely
popular in discos as was this dub because deejays could mix it with the fun music of the day, that being the FUNK, DISCO and ELECTRO that was popular.
1982 really was the year that the vast majority of the North American music industry, along with most of press started using the label DANCE MUSIC
when talking about DISCO or FUNK. There was a sarcasm that prevailed among some of the artists, producers and deejays that still closely followed the
various DISCO industries. It was connected to belief that efforts from powerful players to really kill DISCO in 1979 and 1980 had failed miserably.
And that instead of admitting that they were wrong, they changed the name and declared it to be a different music. To this day most sources refer to
any Disco record as 'DANCE MUSIC'
1982 was also the year that a new singer would appear in the market who would assume a dominant role in the 'Dance Music' industry for decades to
come. Her name was MADONNA. Within a couple of years after the release of her first and extremely popular single "Everybody" many sources were
declaring her the new 'Queen of Disco'. Others would call her the 'Queen of Dance Music" while still many other sources who eventually declare her to be the 'Queen of Pop'.
MADONNA - 12" - SIRE
D-TRAIN - 12" - PRELUDE
|After MADONNA's "Everybody", we heard New York's D-TRAIN with their hit "Keep On". D-TRAIN was one of dozens of AMERICAN DISCO artists getting
their records released in the early 1980's with considerable success. There were groups like the NYC PEECH BOYS, SHARON REDD, UNLIMITED TOUCH,
VISUAL and THE STRIKERS.
Many of the SOUL artists that had made good money in the past could be very successful with the FUNK and "Funky disco" of the early 1980's like
DIANA ROSS and THE JACKSONS. One former artist from Motown Records; a man responsible for numerous gems that were heavily played in discos
through the years, was MARVIN GAYE. In 1982 he released a cool SOUL song with a subtle ELECTRO beat-structure that took the world by storm.
It was been sampled and remixed by dozens of artists in the years to follow. It was called "Sexual Healing":
MARVIN GAYE - - CBS
|The SOUL artist from the past that did the best in the early 1980's was MICHAEL JACKSON. He was the lead singer for the JACKSON FIVE who would
become THE JACKSONS. With those groups he would emerge as one of the most popular and intriguing artists of the 1970's. Even back in the late 1960's
during the days of the JACKSON FIVE, MICHAEL JACKSON released some solo efforts. In 1979 and 1982 he would release two albums produced by
QUINCY JONES that would do more than completely solidify his solo career. The first album, released in 1979, was OFF THE WALL (LP) which was very
successful with unforgettable disco hits like "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" and "Rock With You".
The second album, released in 1982, was a work of genius that had a profound effect on discotheque music and popular culture everywhere.
Some sources suggest that such a profound effect is still being felt today. As a popular discotheque record it did something that simply hadn't been done before. It was theatrical and intense on level never seen before.
The 1980's were a period when the 'music video' had really become a powerful tool for music promotion. MICHAEL JACKSON even pushed that medium
to new extremes with the title track "Thriller". He released a lengthy music video that functioned like a short film, directed by JOHN LANDIS. It was a
crazy horror flick that concluded with a dance routine, complete with dancing zombies. It created an obsession that was as contagious as much it was
intriguing for tens of millions. Many sources have suggested that the "Thriller" video's effect was to double the album's sale. Our understanding is that
the THRILLER (LP) is still best-selling album in history. More than any other record, THRILLER (LP) made MICHAEL JACKSON one of the most popular
artists in the world. He was called 'the King Of Pop". Here is "Thriller":
MICHAEL JACKSON - THRILLER (LP) - EPIC
|In terms of it's effect of disco music, the most important song on the THRILLER (LP) was "Billie Jean". It had a slick continuous beat-structure that,
although it had all of the sophistication of good EURODISCO beat-structure, was completely unique to itself. It was current and delicious. It could be
easily mixed with many other records at the time, but it functioned like living entity that gave the whole recording a randy undercurrent. For many other
producers it was a highly successful example of a total new way of packaging their music. The production of "Billie Jean" would have a tremendous
amount of influence of many future Chicago HOUSE MUSIC artists and producers.
MICHAEL JACKSON - THRILLER (LP) - EPIC
KRISMA - CLANDESTINE ANTICIPATION (LP) - CGD
|YOUR LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO - A CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE
We've just heard the Italian band KRISMA with the spectacular ITALODISCO classic from 1982 called "Miami". Incredible ELECTRONIC DISCO was still
being released in Europe with other bands also like YELLO, the GINA X PERFORMANCE and KAS PRODUCT. It was new sound often referred to as NEW
Back in 1979 there was a crazy remix being circulated out of New York City available either as a bootleg single sided white label 12" or on 'reel to reel' tapes.
It was an astronomical remix of that very important "I Feel Love" song by DONNA SUMMER which was the work of a young producer called
PATRICK COWLEY. The exclusive DISCONET remix service offered that remix in 1980 to limited audience of subscribers only. In 1982 the remaining
Casablanca label in Britain finally publicly release it!
What the late PATRICK COWLEY did to the original ground breaking 'circular structure' was to add a complementary barrage of raw ELECTRONIC patterns
that was psychedelic and at times blaring and demanding. It is considered by many sources to be the single best remix ever done in the history of disco!
Experience it now! Get lost in it. Although it is all ELECTRONIC, let crawl into your mind like a living siren! Here is a sample:
|I FEEL LOVE (MEGA MIX)|
DONNA SUMMER - 12" - CASABLANCA
|It is long overdue for us to mention another super-group whose impact on the discotheque music has been profound. They were the New York based
group called MATERIAL. By 1982 they had already gained an international reputation as highly experimental source of AMERICA DISCO with records like
"Bustin' Out" featuring NONA HENDRIX and tracks like "Memory Serves" and "Take A Chance". They really liked to experiment. In 1982, their track
"Ciquri" really started to influence both deejays and producers. Apart from being a crazy song about the music, it featured a heavy beat-structure with
deep and heavy bass. There already great FUNK and DUB REGGAE records with great basslines in their beat-structures, but "Ciquiri" took the usage of bass to a new and almost organic level.
MATERIAL - 12" - RED
|Many thought that "Ciquri" was also a profound statement about the potentials of the very medium itself, implying the yet untapped powers of it. There was a growing obsession with bass.
Another record that was released in England in 1983 was also hailed as a statement about the medium. It was called "Rude Movements" by SUN PALACE
and it was silky smooth disco instrumental that was quiet and jazzy. It had a patience about it. It underlined the potential in the medium to push the
scope of reciprocal behavior into subtly manipulated bliss.
SUN PALACE - 12" - PASSION
|SONG TO THE SIREN|
THIS MORTAL COIL - SIXTEEN DAYS - GATHERING DUST (EP) - 4AD
|That stunning AMBIENT song was from a British group called THIS MORTAL COIL. Sung by Elizabeth Fraser, it was "Song To The Siren" a cover-version
that was a really popular CHILL song in 1983. Again, part of the 'NEW WAVE".
Now there was a ROCK band in England that really influenced many NEW WAVERS called JOY DIVISION. They had put out two albums and a stunning 12"
in 1980 featuring a haunting song called "Love Will Tear Us Apart". Then in 1980 their lead singer IAN CURTIS committed suicide.
The remaining members of the band renamed themselves NEW ORDER. They would release their own unique BRITISH DISCO and become one of the
most popular and influential groups in the international discotheque industry with a string of hits. The first of which was called "Blue Monday" released
on a 12" single. Many sources have claimed that the "Blue Monday" 12" was the biggest selling 12" single in the history of dance music. Such a claim
hasn't been substantiated, yet it has been established that over a million copies were sold. Here is "Blue Monday":
NEW ORDER - 12" - FACTORY
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD - 12" - ZTT
|We followed NEW ORDER with another BRITISH DISCO record released in 1983 that did extremely well. It was by a band called FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD.
Called "Relax", it became one of the most controversial and most commercially successful records of the entire decade. There was a new 'disco boom'
going on in Britain that quite blatantly took advantage of a lack of that Disco sound in other markets.
In 1983 , GLORIA GAYNOR; the first 'queen of disco' put out a song that became another anthem, comparable to some to the likes of her iconic 1979 song
"I Will Survive". Recorded for a movie called "LA CAGE AUX FOLLES" it has ended up being declared by many sources as a 'Gay anthem". Others call it "the LGBT anthem" even others have named it "anthem for the world".
It was dramatic and hard driving AMERICAN DISCO song called "I Am What I Am":
|I AM WHAT I AM (FROM "LA CAGE AUX FOLLES")|
GLORIA GAYNOR - 12" - CHRYSALIS
|LET THE MUSIC PLAY|
SHANNON - 12" - EMERGENCY
|That was the American singer SHANNON with her 1983 ELECTRO hit "Let The Music Play", So many great ELECTRO records were coming out of New York.
Some had RAPS, others like "Let the Music Play" did not. A dance-craze had resurfaced called 'breakdancing" which was seen in the early 1970's at
'NORTHERN SOUL' discos in England and New York City discos in the late 1970's. This new ELECTRO music suited it perfectly, There were even records
like "Break Dance - Electric Boogie" in 1983 by the WEST STREET MOB that celebrated the dancing. This is the first record where we are featuring
scratching; a deejay technique that was created by a New York City underground deejay called the "Grand Wizzard Theodore" in the early 1970's.
Up until 1983, it was just a technique used when spinning records. Here is "Break Dance - Electric Boogie":
|BREAK DANCE - ELECTRIC BOOGIE|
WEST STREET MOB - 12" - SUGAR HILL
|That was WEST STREET MOB on SUGAR HILL Records, the same label that released "Rapper's Delight" back in 1979. That label did very well with the
controversy riddled GRANDMASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS FIVE and GRANDMASTER FLASH & MELLE MEL atleast until they released the next record we
are going hear "White Lines (Don't Don't It)". It's a shame what happened because it really is both an ELECTRO classic and a HIPHOP classic.
It was amazing!
It ended up being Sugar Hill's downfall, as the famous beat-structure and certain musical components of the song were stolen from the underground ELECTRONIC DISCO track "Cavern" by the band LIQUID LIQUID, which resulted in a lawsuit. The label already had other legal problems and with this new lawsuit they ended up going out a business. It was a tremendous shame. The label was one of the best HIPHOP and ELECTRO labels and "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" was amazing.
|WHITE LINES (DON'T DON'T DO IT)|
GRANDMASTER & MELLE MEL - 12" - SUGAR HILL
HERBIE HANCOCK - 12" - COLUMBIA
|If you haven't heard that last instrumental before, you might be from another planet. It was the smash 1983 hit for the American Jazz musician
HERBIE HANCOCK called "Rock It" It was HERBIE HANCOCK's collaboration with MATERIAL that literally changed the whole medium. The effects of which
are still profoundly influencing popular music even today! It took Grand Wizzard Theodore's invention of scratching to a whole new level.
The scratching became an essential part of the composition promoting a sense of new freedom and energy. "Rock It" was available on a major label.
What that mean't, especially in 1983, is that it ended available to anybody. HERBIE HANCOCK has, and continues release amazing music, some of which
is good AMERICAN DISCO and FUNK. All that said, for tens and millions, he's only known for "Rock It". No other record has done more to promote and
suggest experimentation. It started a road in the discotheque industry that would lead to turntablism, mixology, and break beat records.
That road goes to a place where the deejay and producers can openly manipulate the medium.
We'll continue with more ELECTRO this a British Electronic group called THE ART OF NOISE with their "Beat Box":
THE ART OF NOISE - INTO BATTLE WITH THE ART OF NOISE (EP) - ZTT
|VERY BIG IN AMERICA RIGHT NOW|
VOICE OF AUTHORITY - VERY BIG IN AMERICA RIGHT NOW (LP) - ON-U SOUND
|The second track we heard in that last set is another example of British ELECTRO. That was the title track of the VOICE OF AUTHORITY - VERY BIG IN AMERICA RIGHT NOW (LP) on the ON-U SOUND label.
Owned by the producer and 'mixologist' ADRIAN SHERWOOD, ON-U SOUND has been responsible for making a tremendous amount of DUB REGGAE
and experimental DUB available. DUB was slowly getting more popular around the world. Many discos in England and France were either spinning just
DUB or having special DUB events. This, on the ON-U SOUND label in 1983, is MARK STEWART AND THE MAFFIA with their haunting song
"TO HAVE A VISION":
|TO HAVE A VISION|
MARK STEWART AND THE MAFFIA - LEARNING TO COPE WITH COWARDICE (LP) - ON-U SOUND
|Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson were a husband and wife songwriting-production team that wrote for RAY CHARLES, THE FIFTH DIMENSION,
DIANA ROSS, MARVIN GAYE and CHAKA KHAN and others. They ended very popular as the singing duo ASHFORD & SIMPSON in AMERICAN DISCO with
hits like "Found A Cure" 1979 and never stopped writing great songs, leaning more into FUNK and SOUL in the 1980's.
Their single from 1984 was an incredible love song called "Solid" which has become extremely popular, even today. There has been thousands of wedding reception parties where the happy couple would dance to "Solid":
|SOLID (SPECIAL CLUB MIX)|
ASHFORD & SIMPSON - 12" - CAPITOL
|Now we are going to introduce the 12TH GENRE OF DISCO from the western hemisphere that is called HOUSE MUSIC. It is also simply called HOUSE.
We are introducing it in 1984 because most sources confirm that the first HOUSE MUSIC recording to be made commercially available came out in 1984.
It was the JESSE SAUNDERS 12" of "On and On". We'll play it in a minute or so because we have a bit more to say about HOUSE MUSIC.
There are numerous explanations about the beginning of HOUSE MUSIC. The two most popular explanations are quite different from one another.
Some sources claim that HOUSE MUSIC started when Frankie Knuckles played New York disco like that of VISUAL and LOOSE JOINTS in the Chicago disco
the Warehouse in the early 1980's and he inspired young minds to create comparable music. That music would eventually be called HOUSE MUSIC,
in memory of The Warehouse.
Others don't dispute any of the events. They claim that the word was actually an underground acronym : H.O.U.S.E. meaning - Homosexuals Of Unusual Sexual Experiences! They maintain that long before Frankie Knuckles played in the Warehouse there was an underground movement in the
streets of Chicago with it's own secret acronym directly tied to the struggle of the Black American LGBT community. As H.O.U.S.E. grew into a bold new
counterculture involving straight people, other mythology about it quietly became acceptable to the originals from the beginning. That was only because they actually knew how it all really started.
How and when it really started is not as important as is it's impact. HOUSE MUSIC would quickly spread to Detroit and New York.
After a couple of years there was HOUSE MUSIC being recorded in England, France and Germany. After 35 years there are over 60 different styles and
subgenres of HOUSE MUSIC that have been played in discos like ACID HOUSE, NEW YORK UNDERGROUND, BOOTY HOUSE, AFRICAN HOUSE,
DEEP HOUSE, NEW JERSEY SOUL, UK GARAGE, SPEED GARAGE, HIP HOUSE and NABI and there are also at least 16 different styles of HARD HOUSE,
145 different styles of PROGRESSIVE HOUSE, 260 different styles of TECH HOUSE, 180 different styles of DISCO HOUSE,
75 different styles of ELECTRO HOUSE and over 210 different styles of TRIBAL HOUSE. These numbers, however outrageous they may appear to be, are very conservative estimates.
One source claimed that they are over 80 different styles of TRIBAL HOUSE in Mexico alone! HOUSE MUSIC is being recorded in over 70 countries in
dozens of different languages. Language barriers prevent us from accurately reporting on the variations of HOUSE MUSIC in some markets like INDIA
and THAILAND. All told a conservative estimate suggests that at least 379,000 HOUSE MUSIC recordings that have been made commercially available
since the release of the JESSE SAUNDERS 12" single of "On And On" in 1984:
|ON AND ON|
JESSE SAUNDERS - 12" - JES SAY
|Now we are going to introduce the 13TH GENRE OF DISCO from the western hemisphere that has emerged from REGGAE. It is DANCEHALL.
Some sources suggest that it, in 1985, was still a part of REGGAE. There were records released in 1984 and 1985 that would start moving DANCEHALL
away from being an extension of REGGAE. The first was HORACE FERGUSON's "Sensi Addict" in 1984. The influential 1985 record was
"Under Me Sleng Teng" by WAYNE SMITH, with an entirely-digital rhythm hook that took the DANCEHALL REGGAE world by storm. Many sources insist
that these recordings offered the first digital rhythm in REGGAE, featuring a rhythm from a Casio MT-40 keyboard. The "Sleng Teng" rhythm would be
used in hundreds of subsequent recordings. This deejay-led, largely synthesized chanting with musical accompaniment was a departure from typical
DANCEHALL, even this period of departure from REGGAE and rapid change was already a potent international concern with artists joining YELLOWMAN like CAPTAIN SINBAD, RANKING JOE, CLINT EASTWOOD, LONE RANGER, JOSEY WALES, CHARLIE CHAPLIN, GENERAL ECHO and SISTER NANCY. Some sources claim that, even with all of the NEW WAVE, ELECTRO and new BRITISH DISCO like that of NEW ORDER, FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, THE EURYTHMICS and BRONSKI BEAT being popular and programmed there, the vast majority of the discotheques in England were playing DANCEHALL during much of the 1980's. By the 21st century, DANCEHALL would be an extremely influential force in popular music in various parts of world, growing into a multi-million dollar industry.
Here now is "Sensi Addict" by HORACE FERGUSON from 1984, followed be "Under Me Sleng Teng" by WAYNE SMITH from 1985:
HORACE FERGUSON - 10"
|UNDER ME SLENG TENG|
WAYNE SMITH - 12" - WITTY
|Right after that "SEVEN MINUTES OF MADNESS" mix we played a record from 1987 that you might just recognize. It was "Pump Up The Volume" by
M.A.R.R.S. that became such a massive success that many record companies started "Dance Music" departments because they were suddenly convinced that their was serious money it.
We are now listening to PHUTURE from Chicago with their 12" single of "Acid Tracks"; a record that many sources believe is the first ACID HOUSE recording. ACID HOUSE would become a major concern in Chicago and quickly spread elsewhere.
Now we are going to introduce the 15th GENRE OF DISCO from the western hemisphere. It is TECHNO and it was slowly created by a small group of
friends in Detroit, Michigan inspired by ELECTRONIC DISCO like that of KRAFTWERK, GIORGIO MORODER, QUARTZ, and TELEX. It is a basic DISCO of
minimal elements and usually a driving electronic beat-structure. All that said what has always been so exciting and stimulating about is that it is pure
conceptual music. Listening or dancing to a set of TECHNO records is like bathing in a pulsating sea of raw concepts puzzling and intriguing both your
mind and your nervous system. Detroit TECHNO is the original TECHNO. Over the years the Detroit TECHNO scene has been a world of astronomical
Even Dough Detroit Techno got credit from the Bellville High School Three "Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson"
Many will v consider one of Detroit's first commercially available vinyl records
success and agonizingly stifling failure held together by the moral compass of UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE. TECHNO has systematically spread through
the world. Some sources actually claim that the main center of production of TECHNO has been BERLIN for years. The Germans, more than any other
population, really adopted and heralded TECHNO. There are so many different styles of TECHNO that have appeared over the years that no one human
being could even keep up with it all. There are millions of TECHNO recordings. As we listen to this early example from 1987 by RYTHIM IS RYTHIM called
"Nude Photo" there will be at least 300 TECHNO tracks being uploaded somewhere on the internet and another thousand or so being recorded.
|Before leaving 1985, here on THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO, we return to CONGOLESE RUMBA and one of it's preeminent artists: FRANCO!
FRANCO's music has had little to do with the various styles and genres connected to the 'disco booms' that dominated the 1970's and 1980's.
He one of a short list of musical geniuses that forged the CONGOLESE RUMBA variations into a major consistent force that was musically far superior to
most of the more superficial discotheque musics. His songs had a profoundly positive and meaningful impact on the lives of tens of millions.
Compositions like "Mario" were more than just 'pop music'. They became int-regale parts of peoples' daily existence. The death of FRANCO in 1989
took so much joy out of people's lives. Although his music survives and plenty of other artists throughout the African diaspora continue to emulate his quality, his passing still ended a rich and vital chapter. From 1985, this is FRANCO with "Mario":
LE GRAND MAITRE FRANCO ET SON TOUT PUISSANT O.K. JAZZ - MARIO (LP) - CHOC
|GRAM E GRAM|
MALAVOI - MALAVOI (LP) - GD PRODUCTIONS
|Now we are going to introduce the 14TH GENRE OF DISCO from the western hemisphere that is called ZOUK. Originating from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, ZOUK has spread to various parts of the world. We can't satisfactorily give you information about when it started. Most sources seem to suggest it was some time in the late 1970's or early 1980's. There are also two entirely different prevailing explanations as to who invented Zouk. One claims that Zouk was created by the Haitian super-group TABOU COMBO. Then two French Caribbean groups took it and improved upon it. One was the group MALAVOI, whose music we are listening to. MALAVOI made it lush and orchestral like a tropical version of Eurodisco. The other group was KASSAV' who used more electronic guitars. Ultimately KASSAV' prevailed as the major force in ZOUK. The other prevailing explanation is that KASSAV' invented ZOUK period.
KASSAV' ended living and recording in Paris, France. ZOUK was going to spread!
From her 1986 album this is JOCELYNE BEROARD with her other band members of KASSAV' singing her hit "Siwo":
JOCELYNE BEROARD (with KASSAV') - SIWO (LP) - GD PRODUCTIONS
JOE ARROYO - MUSA ORIGINAL EL SONERO DE AMERICA (LP) - DISCOS FUENTES
|YOU ARE LISTENING TO THE REAL HISTORY OF DISCO ON CKCUFM - A CELEBRATION OF 40 YEARS OF THE GROOVE.
WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE INVENTION OF DISCO, CONGOLESE RUMBA, KOMPA, SKA, REGGAE, the DISCO GENRES OF THE 1970'S, FUNK, and the
beginnings of HIPHOP, ELECTRO, DANCEHALL, HOUSE MUSIC and ZOUK.
We have just finished listening to the Columbia SALSA superstar JOE ARROYO with his hit "Musa Original". JOE ARROYO is a very important figure in
SALSA. He was extremely popular and financially successful in Columbia and throughout Latin America by mixing SALSA with CUMBIA, SOCA, KOMPA,
ZOUK and other styles and GENRES of music from the African Diaspora into something that was unique and very danceable. His international hit from
1986 "Musa Original" was no exception.
SALSA has spread to many South American countries with hundreds of more discos only spinning it.
|LA FETE TRISTE|
TRISOMIE 21 - JOH BURG (EP) - PLAY IT AGAIN SAM
|This is the music of the French SYNTH-POP band TRISOMIE 21 with the haunting and lonely ambient instrumental from 1986 that became very popular to
different deejays in different settings. Discos in Britain and Europe that regularly played SYNTH-POP and other forms of experimental or underground
ELECTRONIC DISCO. While in other clubs in London, England and North America that had deejays spinning ELECTRO heard it in theatrical breaks between
Another European record that was acutely popular in both settings was the 1987 song "Musique Non Stop" by that extraordinary super-group
|MUSIQUE NON STOP|
KRAFTWERK - ELECTRIC CAFE (LP) - EMI
PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION - 12" - PAISLEY PARK
|We have just heard PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION with their 1986 hit "Kiss". PRINCE was responsible for a variety of great Discotheque hits from 1979
right up to and after "Kiss". His contribution to the music goes beyond that with him inspiring or assisting many 'NEW WAVE FUNK' artists like THE TIME,
VANITY and SHEILA E.
The late 1980's was a time when deejays would often have a choice from a variety of dj mix services and bootleg megamixes. The MEGAMIX was the product of a deejay or record producer mixing parts of different songs and instrumentals together into a one continuous composition. Although they really started in the late 1970's with mixes like the "Hollywood" series, it took off in the 1980's. By 1986 there were hundreds of them.
During the late 1980's 'legal' megamixes started appearing like "The James Brown Medley". The most important of those legal megamixes was mixed by a new talented British production duo called COLDCUT and released in 1987. They had taken the New York HIPHOP hit "Paid In Full" by ERIC B. & RAKIM and extended into a humorous megamix complete with odd spoken word samples and part of an OFRA HAZA song. It was called the "Seven Minutes of Madness" and it became one of the first commercially successful remixes, becoming extremely popular in various European countries:
|PAID IN FULL (SEVEN MINUTES OF MADNESS - THE COLDCUT REMIX)|
ERIC B. & RAKIM - 12" - 4TH & BROADWAY
|PUMP UP THE VOLUME|
M.A.R.R.S. - 12" - 4TH & BROADWAY
PHUTURE - 12" - TRAX
RYTHIM IS RYTHIM - 12" - TRANSMAT
|Time to talk about a GENRE OF DISCO that has slowly been developing over the years. It is SOUKOUSS. Just as DANCEHALL slowly evolved from REGGAE,
SOUKOUSS has slowly risen to become it's vibrant and highly profitable GENRE from the increasingly more conservative CONGOLESE RUMBA.
Artists like KANDA BONGO MAN and TCHICO had been instrumental in developing it's new sophisticated sound. A whole list of artists were releasing
SOUKOUSS records that were being played in discos in France and various African countries by 1987. One of the best of those was a guitarist called Diblo
Dibala. He was one of the best guitarists in the whole world. With his band LOKETOS, he released an album called AMOUR ET SOUVENIR (LP) which
featured the song "Super K". It was one of the best disco recordings of all time. It's contagious energy and flow seemed to have organic characteristics.
The arousing vocals of the LOKETO group just kept promoting the exhilaration.
DIBLO - AMOUR ET SOUVENIR (LP) - JIMMY'S PRODUCTION
|Another African artist that put out extremely popular disco was a Guinean vocalist and kora harp musician called MORY KANTE. His song "Ye Ke Ye Ke"
combined West African disco with HOUSE MUSIC. It became a massive hit. There are over 20 different remixes of it with dozens of TECHNO and HOUSE
MUSIC records sampling it. Here from 1987 is the 'Mory's House Remix' of MORY KANTE's "Ye Ke Ye Ke":
|YE KE YE KE (MORY'S HOUSE REMIX)|
MORY KANTE - 12" - BARCLAY
|FREEZE (LIMELIGHT MIX)|
SCRAPPY - 12" - ZAP
|This is SCRAPPY from CHICAGO with his ACID HOUSE hit single "Freeze". It was one of the most controversial and influential HOUSE MUSIC records of
1988. Some sources have suggested that this record really spawned the seeds of the volatile BOOTY HOUSE music that would dominate much of the
CHICAGO HOUSE MUSIC scene for most of the 1990's.
The late 1980's was a very complicated period for HIPHOP. It was expanding, but deep regional divisions and a slide towards darkness were slowly tearing the music apart. One very politically vocal group from the New York City area that was really doing well in 1988 was PUBLIC ENEMY with their very explosive IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK (LP). From that extremely popular record this is "Bring The Noise"
|BRING THE NOISE|
PUBLIC ENEMY - IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK (LP) - DEF JAM RECORDINGS
|HERE COMES THAT SOUND (PERFECT BEAT MIX)|
SIMON HARRIS - 12" - FFRR
|Following the PUBLIC ENEMY was SIMON HARRIS with a song that has all of the characteristics of a megamix, complete with several songs sampled
including DONNA SUMMER's "I FEEL LOVE", "KISS" by PRINCE, and the song from 1979 that the new composition is named after "Here Comes That Sound" by LOVE DE LUXE .
One of the most success cover-versions of the late 1980's features the singer TOM JONES. THE ART OF NOISE; which had done well with the "INTO BATTLE WITH THE ART OF NOISE" EP in 1983, recorded an ELECTRONIC DISCO version the PRINCE song "Kiss":
|KISS (ART OF NOISE MIX)|
THE ART OF NOISE featuring TOM JONES - 12" - POLYDOR
|The whole ZOUK scene, especially in France, was growing into very big business. There were now groups from Italy, France, Brazil and various African
countries recording. One of the most success acts that was competing with ZASSAV' and MALAVOI, was a girl group called ZOUK MACHINE.
There would several sophisticated hits for ZOUK MACHINE that would be widely popular in France. Here is a remix of one of the those hits. "MALDON"
ZOUK MACHINE - 12" - ARIOLA
|DE TU BOCA (RE-MEZCLA)|
JUAN LUIS GUERRA & 4.40 - 12 - KAREN
|That was JUAN LUIS GUERRA & 4.40 with a remix of their MERENGUE hit "De Tu Boca". In the early 1990's, this was one of several Latin disco records that
would do so well, even in conservative discos in Europe. Various Latin sounds were still popular in Europe. In the United States and Latin American
markets LATIN discos playing SALSA, MERENGUE, CUMBIA and other forms of Latin DISCO were more popular and profitable than ever.
|THE BOUNCER (HOUSEQUAKE MIX)|
KICKS LIKE A MULE - 12" - TRIBAL BASS
|This is a British act called KICKS LIKE A MULE with their BREAKBEAT track from 1992 called "The Bouncer". During the 1990's, a scene that really started in
England in the late 1980's was really taking off. Most sources call it "The Rave Years" and various styles and GENRES OF DISCO were developing and
expanding at an incredible rate like an early 'non digital' version of TRANCE and ACID TRANCE. Music from the Rave world was considered wild and crazy
to outsiders. There were already popularized European versions of TECHNO and ACID HOUSE that were doing extremely well in Europe, even in more
commercial circles. Many acts like THE SHAMEN, ALTERN8, THE KLF had substantial international fan bases and released considerable disco hits on both
sides of the Atlantic ocean with their variation of a commercialized TECHNO and BREAK BEAT. There were also a series of exhilarating pop TECHNO hits
that were combined with HIP HOUSE, "rapping over HOUSE MUSIC' with very commercial arrangements of what producers perceived to be an ideal Rave
sound. Be that the case or not, most of these efforts were highly profitable. Some of the biggest successes were European 'gimmick techno' hits.
Maybe the best example was the controversial "James Brown Is Dead" from a Dutch group called L.A. STYLE:
|JAMES BROWN IS DEAD|
L.A. STYLE - 12" - WATTS MUSIC
|BEGINNING OF PART 4|
|ON A RAGGA TIP|
SL2 - 12" - XL RECORDINGS
|One new GENRE OF DISCO was quickly developing that directly came out of REGGAE and DANCEHALL. It was called DRUM & BASS, although many
sources insist on the name JUNGLE. It was not considered to be from the western hemisphere, even though some sources claim that there were
comparable examples in Jamaica in the mid 1980's. Much of the real developmental innovation occurred in England with early examples like the SL2
record "On A Ragga Tip":
|ON A RAGGA TIP|
SL2 - 12" - XL RECORDINGS - 3.11
|One of those early innovators in the development of DRUM & BASS became a super-group. After a piece of recording equipment they named themselves THE PRODIGY and became releasing wildly popular JUNGLE and BREAKBEAT tracks like "Everybody In The Place":|
|EVERYBODY IN THE PLACE (FAIRGROUND REMIX)|
THE PRODIGY - EVERYBODY IN THE PLACE (EP) - XL RECORDINGS (5.08) /cart
|One of the biggest records from the late 1980's was that ERIC B. & RAKIM track "Paid In Full" remix. The group that did it was COLDCUT who continued
to record music, mostly variations of BRITISH HOUSE MUSIC. According to various sources, they released a down tempo cover-version of an old love
song in 1993, that apart from being extremely popular, is the one event that really propelled the prominence of two new GENRES OF DISCO from
England. Those GENRES were called ACID JAZZ and TRIPHOP. Some sources insist that the whole ACID JAZZ thing had already started in the late 1980's.
Nobody had enjoyed so much success with the ACID JAZZ like that of COLDCUT with "Autumn Leaves":
COLDCUT - 12" - NINJA TUNE
|According to various sources COLDCUT would use some of the money made from the success of "Autumn Leaves" to finance their new label called NINJA
TUNE which would, during the 1990's release an amazing collection of artists like FUNKI PORCINI, DJ FOOD, THE HERBALISER, 9 LAZY 9, HEDFUNK, UP, BUSTLE AND OUT,
THE LONDON FUNK ALLSTARS, FUNKI PORCINI and Canada's KID KOALA. To promote their product the label organized promotional tours in various
markets that featured these artists, as special deejays spinning and mixing their music with other ACID JAZZ and TRIPHOP recordings. The early 1990's
was the period when the whole turntablism and mixology thing was taking off. A whole new generation was growing up to an increasingly steady supply
of HIPHOP. There was a common curiosity about performances were Deejays would scratch records and do other new tricks. These NINJA TUNE tours
brought popular British artist deejays to them, and they ate it all up. More then anything else these tours really boosted the sales of NINJA TUNE records and established that new GENRE OF DISCO - TRIPHOP.
In the 21st Century, TRIPHOP was informally renamed in many circles of deejays to the name DOWNTEMPO. Many of the deejays in early 1990's would
also mix TRIPHOP with CHILL records. There was a third movement in AMBIENT music in 'mondo disco' that was very different from the movement in the
1970's SPACE environment. It had also nothing to do with experimental deejays in the 1980's that were playing Ambient from artists like ENO,
DAVID BOWIE, PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED, DOME, THIS MORTAL COIL, TRISOMIE 21 and early HUMAN LEAGUE. This movement became an important part
of RAVE CULTURE and is still going strong now in the 21st Century. Much of the CHILL music and deejay activity would be connected to the slowly
emerging GOA/PSY TRANCE
movement, eventually heavily involved with INDIAN music, yoga, and the eastern spiritualism. In 1993, one of the super-groups we had mentioned
because of events in 1980's released one last exceptional contribution to popular disco. The group was MATERIAL. It's dominant figure was the
experimental bassist and producer BILL LASWELL. In the 1980's BILL LASWELL would start more intensively experimenting with DUB. He would
eventually become popular on the world wide scale for his experiments with DUB. Some sources have actually gone as far as claiming that no other
"non Jamaican" has done more to promote and enrich the development of the many DUB music applications than BILL LASWELL.
MATERIAL would release an INDIAN composition that dabbled in DUB and the current CHILL music. They had a group that many young people all over
Europe and the Americas hailed at the time as their CHILL super-group that was called THE ORB remix it. It was called "Mantra":
|MANTRA (PRAYING MANTRA MIX)|
MATERIAL - 12" - ISLAND
|This is not a mind trip this is a body journey!
No memory. You're all but shot through bicolored trichomatic vapours up to the cumulostratus mackerel sky, everchanging funnel of organic matters bullets of light invade you make you meltable fusible untouchable lighter than vanity levitating sprinkled peppered studded pocked opaloids rides of colored kaleidoscoping indigos, gravity's just a word now... V T O L... vertical takeoff or landing. Strobing lights pass you, flowers bursting clouds swirling time warping and chaos rules. Burnout burnout, your walk in space has begun. Don't look back, your mind has a mind of its own, it's falling floating, it feels the current of life energy in a new dimension of cubical and circular motions. It's bigger than life. Darkness speeds to light on prismatic thought waves and you ride them to the shore of a delirious no man's land. Oceans of solitary first steps. This is your reality. There is no other reality but your own. Heh! From monoliths to ice age to stoned age to no age to nobody just your mind expanding racing blues reds yellows white light indigos greens screaming back to reds and white, coming coming faster, peaking you climax. The seconds tick and tick and tick. You miss nothing as you fly up to the islands in the dark seas. Nephology is your new religion and you are the nucleus the center of the vastness they call the universe, they call God. It's all so clear, you made it, all this time you thought it was a lie, and now truth looks at you like a mirror, shatters into a thousand seeds like a trillion drops of mercury falling from your eyes. Like love.
This is not a mind trip this is a body journey
Suddenly you feel again, warmth, degrees of ??? burning your cold hands, hot flames licking you all over. It's reentry time. You want to touch (echo echo...)
Suddenly you feel again, warmth, degrees of the ??? burning your cold hands, hot flames licking you all over. It's reentry time. You want to touch, you want to feel like never before, you're ready for fusion of your sexual self, your mind turns to body turns to flesh. Your body has a body of its own, trembling, shaking. Mouth dry, hands sweat, feet cold, legs numb, arms hang, chest burning; where does my body stop and where does yours begin. This not a mind trip this is a body journey that takes us light years away, we don't ever want to go back because we found beauty and we found light, escaping from every pore like liquid air. Velvet satin, splashes of fingers on sequined nerve endings, prolong what we've always wanted, it's too late now to stop. Come come with me climaxing peaking riding physical waves faster and faster and slower, almost stopping. Sharing oxygen. And then it starts all over again. This is our bodies' reality. There's no other reality but our own as we orbit back into bicolored trichomatic vapors to cumulostratus holding on to mackerel skies and we know we've been there before so we wait for the next boat. And this time our minds and our bodies are one and the prismatic wave takes us higher than the last back to solitary oceans, and racing shattered blues and reds and yellows and we found the corners of our minds, we found the depths of our bodies, we found the prismal scream (echo echo...)
AIR LIQUIDE - LIQUID AIR (EP) - BLUE
SCARFACE - 12" - BRRR (4.15)
SAKIS ET LE GROUPE DYNAMIC-SYSTEM - CYCLONE (LP) - SONODISC
LOS DEL RIO - A MI ME GUSTA (LP) - CFE - 2.30
|Take Me Away (Slipmatt Remix)|
JIMMY J & CRU-L-T - 12" - KNITEFORCE - 5.15
|KEEP HOPE ALIVE (THERE IS HOPE MIX)|
THE CRYSTAL METHOD - 12" - CITY OF ANGELS - 4.45
|ARE YOU A RECORDING ARTIST, PRODUCER OR DJ? DON'T BE ALARMED IF WE ARE NOT PLAYING YOUR SONG OR MENTIONING YOU! THIS IS A GUIDE SPANNING 80 YEARS AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO INCLUDE EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED. MOST OF THE TIME WE ARE PROVIDING SAMPLES OF MUSIC AND SOME NOTABLE RECORDINGS. EVERY RECORD WAS IMPORTANT IN IT'S OWN WAY WHETHER IT WAS INCLUDED IN THIS GUIDE OR NOT.
In 1995 we introduce the 16th GENRE OF DISCO to come out of the Western Hemisphere. It is REGGAETON. Coming out of the American island of PUERTO RICO, it is loosely based on DANCEHALL and REGGAE but it really is a combination of numerous American and Latin influences.
DADDY YANKEE - NO MERCY (CD) - WHITE LION .41- 4.40
JUNO REACTOR - 12" - BLUE ROOM RELEASED (7.53)
THE PRODIGY - THE FAT OF THE LAND (2LP) - XL RECORDINGS
|PSYCHE ROCK (FATBOY SlLIM MALPASO MIX)|
PIERRE HENRY & MICHEL COLOMBIER - 12" - PHILIPS - 6.21
PORTISHEAD - PORTISHEAD (2LP) - GO! BEAT (3.00)
|DIG YOUR OWN HOLE|
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS - DIG YOUR OWN HOLE (2LP) - ASTRALWERKS
|SPACE INVADERS SMOKING GRASS|
I-F - FUCKING CONSUMER (2LP) - DISKO B - 4.10
DJ KRUSH & TOSHINORI KONDO - KI-OKU (2LP) - APOLLO (6.00)
|MADAGASCAR (FERRY CORSTEN REMIX)|
ART OF TRANCE - 12" - PLATIPUS .58 - 5.29
|By the beginning of the 21st century the dominant genre of disco in the world was Soukous largely due to the massive international popularity of artists
like DR. SAKIS. The appeal of DR. SAKIS is in the strength of his straightforward and driving style of Soukous with a mix of Zouk and House. Combined
with his obsession with female beauty and energy - his live performances and wildly popular promotional videos blatantly celebrated the alluring
sexuality of the Soukous dance. It is very easy to underestimate the level of popularity and influence of DR. SAKIS. Soukous will continue as a
developmental force for decades more with the DR. SAKIS obsessions further intensifying!
This is his 1999 hit "Badaboum":
SAKIS - AFRICA MORNING (CD) - MELODIE - 3.07
YOUNGSTAR - 12" - DDJS - 5.13
BENGA - 12" - BIG APPLE - 3.30
|TRANS BALKAN EXPRESS|
OMFO - TRANS BALKAN EXPRESS (CD) - ESSAY RECORDINGS - .05 -3.34
GUNS N' BOMBS - 10" - Kitsuné Music (3.30)
FRANCESCO ZETA - 12"
VYBZ KARTEL & SPICE - 7" - TAD'S INTERNATIONAL - 3.24
|PERO QUELO QUE MUJER|
MUNCHI - MAD DECENT VOLUME1 (2LP) - MAD DECENT - 5.00
|YOU'RE MY (RISKOTHEQUE REMIX)|
VON D & MR. LAGER featuring PHEPHE - 12" - BOKA - 12" - BOKA
|THE BEAT IS RHYTHM|
CLUB DES BELUGAS - FORWARD (CD) - CHINCHIN .03 - 4.25
|TELENOVELA TIRAERA (HOW I GOT FIRED AT THE BURGER KING & KFC)|
MUNCHI featuring CONCON - MOOMBAHTON IS DEAD - SELEGNA
DELADAP (featuring SAEDI) - MADE IN MEXICO (CD) - CHAT CHAPEAU
|WATCH OUT FOR THIS (BUMAYE)|
MAJOR LAZER (featuring BUSY SIGNAL, THE FLEXICAN & FS GREEN) - FREE THE UNIVERSE (2LP) - MAD DECENT
|A NOSSA MUSICA|
KELLY KEY - NO CONTROLE (CD) - DECK - 3.44
MARSHALL APPLEWHITE - 7" - YO SUCKA!
|EL PERDON (Remix)|
NICKY JAM - FENIX (CD) - LA INDUSTRIA INC. - 3.13
|BAD AND BOUJEE|
MIGOS - CULTURE (2LP) - QUALITY CONTROL MUSIC - 5.22
|OPEN & CLOSE|
MR. EAZI (featuring DIPLO) - LIFE IS EAZI, Vol. 2 - LAGOS TO LONDON - UNIVERSAL MUSIC - 2.32
JAIN - ZANAKA (2LP) - SONY MUSIC
|NICE FOR WHAT|
DRAKE - SCORPION (2LP) - - 3.30
|THESE ARE THE TOP FIVE GENRES OF DISCO IN THE WORLD:
5. HOUSE MUSIC