Thu. Dec. 13, 2018

The return of Disco: Could this ever happen?

Just as we thought to be getting into the final chapter of our maintenance period, the news of big names of the Disco scene makin’ their return started ticklin’ our ears. And this to such an extend that we felt like we had to react. Simple luck of the calendar or trend in the makin’… The return of Disco: Could this ever happen?

The return of Disco: Could this ever happen?The return of Disco: Could this ever happen?!? By simply askin’, I suppose we have a part of the answer in the question itself. As a matter of fact, and despite the countless attempts to erase it from the surface of the earth, Disco has always been around one way or another. And how could this ever be different at the end?

All in all, no other genre has ever been the subject of so many critics in the history of music. Eventually up to generate reactions of hate, with its biggest demonstration occuring back in July 1979. This during the memorable Disco Demolition Night which took place in a Chicago baseball stadium. An event that saw piles of Disco records exploding on the the pitch. Meanwhile turning into a riot and makin’ national headlines then coining a new slogan by the likes of “Disco sucks”. This sounding like the revenge of the Rock fans and other Red Necks of all sorts. With the American music industry almost panicking from them and cancelling all their investment into the Disco market…

Mind you, I guess that same industry had gone too far while trying to turn almost everybody who was around at the time into a Disco star. With results ranging from the top (Chicago‘s ‘Street Player’, The Hoolies’ ‘Draggin’ My Heels’, Blondie‘s ‘Heart Of Glass’ to the absolutely ridiculous. Beginning with Rod Stewart‘s ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy’. If not the unmeaningful ‘Born To Be Alive’ by the likes of Patrick Hernandez. And I’m not even talkin’ about what the French record companies execs had dare comin’ with under the Disco label!!!

Therefore, no wonder why “Disco” had become a dirty word for so many people in the world back then. Even though the Disco that was the subject of this justified critics had become so far from its initial forms. And by that also from its initial social meaning…

The music industry who’d gone over the limits of acceptance with experiences of all sorts would then have to find a new playground. Eventually applying the same methods with House Music or Hip-Hop on its aim to give them a Pop feel and generate big profits.

Ironically, we all know what happened to the music industry and its unceasing restructuration process along with time. But creativity is still around in the background. And although it (the record industry) declared it (Disco) dead almost 40 years ago, the genre has never totally gone away…

The return of Disco: Could this ever happen? Well, although no other genre has ever been the subject of so many critics in the history of music, no other genre neither has left such a legacy. From the establishment of the clubbing culture. To the establishment of the DJ’s and the development of a proper technology. But also the launch of the 12″ format and the setting of the remix among others. Then the birth of House Music by the second half of the 80’s, with Disco standing among its major influences…

Besides, a bunch of producers made quite a reputation for themselves as so to say the ambassadors of Disco. From Joey Negro in Britain to Danny Krivit Stateside and Dimitri from Paris in France. As for the Disco sound, it has never ceased finding some echo along with time. Indirectly givin’ birth to the so called Nu-Disco with luminaries such as Soul Clap or 6th Borough Project. If not Felix Bloxsom aka Plastic Plates (remember his remix of ‘Friends’ for Sneaky Sound System). Or Hot Toddy (Crazy P‘s ‘Never Gonna Reach Me’ and Kraak & Smaak‘s ‘Back Again’)…

Now, almost 40 years after Disco got declared dead, nothing has replaced the warmth of its sound. No more than its undeniable musicianship as a matter of fact. Thus makin’ it so apart in the Dance Music culture. Now, almost 40 years after, we’ve welcomed the returns of Change and Chic, respectively with ‘Hit Or Miss’ and ‘Sober’ and a full album for each. But also the one of Quincy Jones with ‘Keep Reachin’ along with Mark Ronson and Chaka Khan. Meanwhile The Shapeshifters have undoubtedly crafted one of the cuts of the year 2018 with their brilliant cover version of the Sharon Redd‘s underrated ‘Try My Love (On For Size)’.

Then we could also mention Los Charly’s Orchestra with their recent revisitation of Spiteri‘s ‘Amor’. But also Purple Disco Machine with Mousse T‘s firing rework of ‘Encore’ to name a few.

Simple alignment of the planets or real trend in the makin’? I guess it’s still too early to speak about the return of Disco. Even though these returns would tend to illustrate an aspiration for quality music. But if ever Disco was about to return, it would then be way different and different in so many ways. As usual, time will tell…

Leavin’ you for now with these words of The Trammps from their 1975 song ‘That’s Where The Happy People Go’… “I used to spend most of my time just being alone. Yes, I did. Nothing to do, no place to go, just stayed at home. So I put my blues upon the shelf and I made up my mind to live a little myself. So I went on down to a disco.
Disco, that’s where the happy people go (Happy people go). And they’re just dancing along to a perfect song at the disco…”

Editorials: The return of Disco: Could this ever happen?

Previously in the series…
We all like the same kind of music…

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