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Stop, Drop, and...

So disco-phonic it's better than Studio 54!

A Source of Introspection for DISCO PABLO

I recently attended an ABBA Party down at a D.C. club, the Black Cat in fact, and it was an experience which changed my life. I now know what heaven looks like; a huge mass of people dressed in hot pants and doing the Bus-Stop to Dancing Queen. If only I could truely experience the real thing (famous celebs snorting coke in the bathroom of Studio 54 would ROCK!) instead of listening to Sesame Street Fever and running around in circle until I got sick. That's pretty much all the disco excitement you can handle when you're three years old. Anyway, disco not only represents the tackiness of a decade gone horribly wrong, but also the creative genius of the Seventies as a whole. Wasn't it K.C. and the Sunshine Band who made the poignent observation "Shake Shake Shake Shake Shake Shake Your Booty"? Needless to say, I'm a retro-disco boy who still lives out his Studio 54 fantasies on the D.C. club scene. Just think, YOU may meet the REAL DISCO PABLO out and about some Saturday night! I'll be the one leading the "Oooah! Oooah!" party call. The following includes a short multimedia disco history, some fantabulous disco grooves, and links to disco sites and some fun D.C. area discotheques. Don't forget to hit my ABBA page.

Last Night A D.J. Saved My Life

A Brief History of Disco

Often seen as a retro-sicko plague on humanity, disco is just starting to be liberated from its musical closet. Partially due to the superficial, sensous, reactionary and beat-driven core of disco music, it was viewed as a threat to rock and roll (which had of course become just "Rock" by this point). But it was the roots of disco that may have tarnished its mirror-ball image, as it bubbled up from the underground, had its moment of fame, only to return to its underground status in many mutated forms.

Good Times - The Birth of Disco

Discos, of course, had been around before the Seventies, first appearing in New York and LA. Remember the "Whiskey A Go-Go?" It was at Rock and Roll discos like the Whiskey and the Peppermint Lounge that helped make goofy dances like the Twist, Mashed Potato, and the Madison popular. Amongst the go-go girls in clad in thigh-high boots and imprisoned in cages, was the DJ with his twin turntables. After all, "disco" means "from disc," hence a Discotheque (or "Disco" to you and me) was a place where you danced to pre-recorded music.

But a really discoey disco did not come into being until the early Seventies. At that point, people desperately NEEDED dance music - all those damned hippies took it away from us! Tripping out on acid, humping the air to Jefferson Airplane just didn't seem to have mass appeal. And by the early Seventies, mainstream music tastes had splintered so much that there wasn't a real sense of "pop music." One really had to search to find some decent ass-shaking sounds. And that's what DJ's did, going back to black music and searching for new sounds that made people move - elevating the status of the DJ and placing the turntable at the focal point.

According to urban legend, disco first began to take shape on Fire Island and in Manhattan at places like The Loft and The 10th Floor. Part personal dance party, part private club, and part of the "avante-garde" spirit of it all, gay men got together and hosted a DJ-driven fiesta, due to the fact that no live group would be caught dead playing for an audience of admittedly gay men. So in a flamboyant flare, disco didn't just work as a substitute for live acts, but it made the dancers the stars. DJ's threw anything they could find on the turntable; if it made people dance, or if it was played at The Loft - it was disco.

Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - Disco Makes It Big

By the mid-seventies, disco began to catch on - I guess it served as some sort of refuge from Watergate, Vietnam, and Partridge Family reruns. In 1973, Manu Dibango's Soul Makossa was imported to the States; when it appeared in the Top Forty, it became the year disco broke. By 1974, disco songs were becoming hits with regular success, songs like Rock Your Baby and Rock the Boat started the disco wheels turning and burning. To suit the needs of DJ's, record companies introduced the Disco Single, a remixed and extended 12-inch recording of some random disco hit. Because the most important aspect of disco life was to find the perfect beat and keep it going all night long. And anything was fodder for the disco machines - if it could be stretched onto the propulsive, unsyncopated, straight 4/4 disco beat, and dressed up with swirly disco violins, it was a club hit. IF it made you dance. Soon even the most random songs were transformed into disco versions with real synthesizer goodness - Don't Cry For Me Argentina, If They Could See Me Now, There's No Business Like Show Business, and A Fifth of Beethoven were all discofied. But perhaps the most influential song of the era was Blondie's 1978 hit Heart of Glass, a disco-flavored tune from an otherwise new-wave group. Peaking in the Top Ten songs for 1979, it ushered in the next generation of popular music for the 1980's. For a FAB treat, click on Debbie to download the video in Quicktime form!

Fly, Robin, Fly - The EUROdisco Invasion

By 1976, Silver Convention (from Munich) had two chart-topping disco hits and Donna Summer hit it big with sixteen minutes of panting and moaning - better known as Love To Love You Baby. EUROdisco became one of the purest of the disco sub-genres, featuring analogue synthesizers, clicking sequencers, and symphonic structure. Instead of lengthening the cut by simply extending the verse-chorus-guitar solo-verse-chorus format, EUROdiscers created cuts that ebbed and flowed into different movements, but staying faithful to a beat. In 1977, the United States also saw the influnce of the synthetic creations of German art rockers, Kraftwerk. It was the strangely Tuetonic Trans-Europe Express which struck the disco mother groove. Like most EUROdisco, the track was self-mixing, and relied more on symphonic movements than lyrics or vocals. EUROdisco opened the door for ABBA the Swedish Super-Grouper which turned me into a DANCING QUEEN!

Click on the album cover for more disco stompers!

Ring My Bell!

Rock the Boat!

That's the Way I Like It!

We Are Family!

Download this NOW!

It's a RollerDISCO movie!

Disco fun in Quicktime form!

More Disco WAVs!

September - Earth, Wind, and Fire
Heart of Glass - Blondie
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden and Whitehead
Carwash - Rose Royce
Disco Inferno - The Trammps
Flashlight - Parliament
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
In The Navy - The Village People
Cuba - The Gibson Brothers

Disco Links

Bernie's Disco Page
Diana Ross web site
The Pet Shop Boys! It's "Disco Nouveau!"
Kraftwerk Infobar

Do the Hustle with DISCO PABLO here!

Go back to DISCO PABLO'S Fiesta Page! Check out the Copacabana Lounge! Check out the ABBA Page It's the AbFab Page, sweetie!