The 70s Thread - The Party Did Never Stop!

My first guess is that dislike of disco was more about it displacing the dominant position of “rock”(?) and possibly its associated “American music identity”.

As for black/gay reasons: Maybe partially? But black and “LGBT” (perhaps not “out” but generally known) artists had been quite successful throughout the 70s, even in “rock”. So I think it was more about people angry about “their music” losing ground, not only on top radio stations but also in the national news as well, and resorting to targeting the differences of the fans of the “dance” music scene in general and this kind (disco) in particular.

1 Like

I dunno’. The stuff later to be called “Classic Rock” as played on stations was always overwhelmingly white and male, even then. At least where I lived.

You basically had Heart made the representative of every woman artist and Jimmy Hendrix made the representative of every Black artist. :confused: Even then, I sensed that and found it kinda’ irritating.

(And of course, no matter what the historical evidence throughout the entertainment biz, you were to assume that literally everyone was straight.) :frowning:

I guess the good news is that no matter what station we had on, the folks would hate it because they cared not for p o p u l a r s o n g s once Dylan plugged in. lol

Reason No. 572 to be glad I never spawned. I detested how my folks would talk about any song we liked and they didn’t. If I’d had kids I probably would’ve done the same thing to them.

3 Likes

I, also, did not procreate. But I do find a bunch of recent tunes that I enjoy and even download. I feel I could have guided them to “good” music…not necessarily my music. :woman_shrugging:

(this is all conjecture as the baby factory shut down a couple years ago!)

But I have quite the eclectic taste. I have a predominance of rock, but there is, literally, every other genre in my various play lists. =)

3 Likes

I think my favorite complaint from my folks was, “We can’t understand what that singer is saying!” But they listened nonstop to Opera which they didn’t understand without subtitles because they didn’t speak Italian. lol

To this day, most Opera makes me want to punch a wall. Great job, Mom and Dad! :stuck_out_tongue:

5 Likes

I listened to “that racket.”

1 Like

What if Racket Girls but now it’s about girl groups and their worrisomely trigger-happy impressario?

(Too soon?)

1 Like

I’d find any station that played the Beatles, but when I was a teen in the 70s, I heard a lot of different sounds and styles along with the rock - women, black artists, sure - they’d play Joni Mitchell, Melanie, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey, Otis (Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay was a favorite), Barry White… my heads swimming trying to think of them all (Ode to Billie Joe, Society’s Child, Sally Go Round the Roses).

My station went broader than Heart and Hendrix

As to the other, Bowie made androgyny cool, and Queen, Freddie, come on, we loved him.

1 Like

Yes. At least within the black and queer music communities, it’s pretty widely acknowledged that this was a major factor.

Absolutely plenty of people just hated the sound, the way I hate country music. But turning it into a sort of badge of honor – being proud of hating disco – had more sinister undertones.

I want to stress that hating disco is not inherently racist or homophobic. But there was some causality in the other direction, I believe.

7 Likes

One of the points made in that documentary is the number of people who brought records to Disco Demolition Night by black artists like James Brown or Marvin Gaye who had nothing to do with disco.

5 Likes

Sorry, I didn’t look closely and thought that was a link to a recent documentary on PBS.
Here’s the link to that:

The point I was referring to is also made in the article @Pearls_Mint linked.

3 Likes

Yeah i remember typing class. It was a mixture of manual and electric typewriters, if you were lucky you got to use an IBM “selectric”.

3 Likes

I played roller derby off and on for 15 years. I finally quit for good during the pandemic. The league I started with is now so good, it’s the #2 league in the world!

7 Likes

There was good disco and band disco music.

Just to be fair, I went and listened to it again since I have avoided it for many, many years, but a fine example of bad disco would be “I’m You’re Boogie Man” by KC & the Sunshine Band. I can see it’s appeal, but for me at least, the beat is kind of regimented, the singer drones on and on, and the song wore out its welcome by the halfway point.

Compare that to “Lovin’ Is Really My Game” posted above for an example of good disco. That beat is driving, propulsive. I can’t listen to it without moving some part of my body. The singer’s voice is vibrant, exciting and alluring. Instead of droning on and on, this song builds and builds and builds, it’s a series of musical tension and release sequences. That bass line starting around 3:09 is funkier than anything KC ever recorded, with or without a Sunshine Band. The skittering strings section that follows adds even more tension/suspense. The whole song builds to a musical climax (twice!) that back in the day, in the right dance club, with the right DJ, the right crowd, the right lighting and sound systems, the mirror balls, the fog machines, and yes, the right drugs – those climaxes must have been nothing short of ecstasy (which may or may not have been one of the aforementioned drugs).

Yet I must have heard KC & etc. on the radio & TV a few hundred times back in the 70s. I didn’t even hear of “Lovin’ Is Really My Game” until a decade after it was a dance club hit. Why, even though it was a superior song in every respect, didn’t it get the kind of radio airplay that “I’m You’re Boogie Man” did? Hmmmm.

Think of it this way – bad disco was good for White Bread dancing. Good disco was good for Specialty Bread dancing.

1 Like

I take it you did not listen to a lot of 90s techno.

What’s your Roller Derby name? Everybody gets a Roller Derby name. Can we guess it? I bet it’s Peaches & Scream. Betty Regretti. Ham Jamwich.

3 Likes

I have tried to understand what the heck is going on in Roller Derby more than once and, even after reading the rules, I just don’t get it.

I think that ubiquitous disco string sound is my biggest problem with it. I hate it. It may also be part of my dislike for ELO, but I’m not that interested in figuring it out.

K.C. And The Sunshine Band made shiny, well-constructed ear candy, with the horns providing an undeniable link to cousins like R&B and Funk. Can’t go with you on this one.

It’s meant to be danced to. That’s why it’s put together like it is.

I’d have to say that of all the pop acts of the Seventies (excluding Motown artists who hit earlier and were still around at the time) my favorite is Tavares. Their stuff also holds up. <3

I don’t put on dance music looking for depth and lyrical complexity. I have other stuff that I turn (!!) to for that.

Wait, there are rules?

Our local roller derby skaters have some great names:

  • Green Eggs & Slam
  • Panic! At the Derby
  • Maul Rat
  • Samwise Banshee
  • Splat Benatar

What a great sport!

5 Likes

I assume there’s more to it than skating in a circle and pushing each other sometimes, but maybe not?

1 Like