July 12th, 1979 is the unofficial day that disco died, mainly because of the infamous “Disco Demolition” night at the Chicago White Sox game in Comiskey Park that evening. Go here for a full accounting of the event, but to sum it up–a radio promotion offering discount tickets to anyone bringing in a disco record to be destroyed (via an exploding dumpster in center field) went badly, resulting in a melee that canceled the second game of a scheduled doubleheader.
Even though I lived through the disco era, I’m not diametrically opposed to the music itself, and plenty of great songs came out of it. Here, then, are ten of my favorites, with comments and videos:
Top Ten Disco Songs
“Dancing Queen” ABBA: One of the first 8-tracks I bought was an ABBA Live album…
“You Should Be Dancing” Bee Gees: No disco list would be complete without them.
“Don’t Stop (Til You Get Enough)” Michael Jackson: could have put Manu Dibango’s “Soul Makossa” on this spot too, since Jackson stole most of this from that African hit, but this one was a bigger hit and Jackson’s obviously a bigger name.
“TSOP” MFSB: Instrumental disco bliss, also the “Soul Train” theme.
“I Feel Love” Donna Summer: vocal disco bliss, and if you find the extended mix 12-inch, buy it.
“Turn the Beat Around” Vickie Sue Robinson: another one of those early purchases in my pre-teen years.
“I Will Survive” Gloria Gaynor: honestly, I probably love this more because of the Cake cover, but it’s still a great song in the original form.
“It Only Takes a Minute” Tavares: probably the most obscure tune here, but again, a great song.
“Got To Give it Up” Marvin Gaye: Even the great Marvin Gaye had to go disco to survive the era, but this one is hip in a way that only he could pull off.
“September” Earth, Wind, and Fire: The greatest disco-era band, period.
this is the kind of list that can change daily, or even as soon as this posts…leave your own favorites in the comments.