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.
|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
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 REGGAE.
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. There 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 recognised 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.
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 popularising 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 - 12" - 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 was 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 sales. 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
MATERIAL - 12" - RED
|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.
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 - 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 at least 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
|VOICE OF AUTHORITY|
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 sub-genres 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 synthesised chanting with musical accompaniment was a departure from typical REGGAE.
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 - 7" - THREE H
|UNDER ME SLENG TENG|
WAYNE SMITH - 12" - WITTY
|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 known as the Belleville Three 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 success and agonisingly 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 there will be at least 300 TECHNO tracks being uploaded somewhere on the internet and another thousand or so being recorded.
A NUMBER OF NAMES - 12" - CAPRICCIO
|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.
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 ELECTRO tracks.
Another European record that was acutely popular in both settings was the 1987 song "Musique Non Stop" by that extraordinary super-group KRAFTWERK;
|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
|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.
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 had 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 successful 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 ZOUK. 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 popularised 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 commercialised 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
|ON A RAGGA TIP|
SL2 - 12" - XL RECORDINGS