Disco is a genre of dance music that emerged in the early 1970s. Disco has been developeded almost at the same time in the USA and Europe. American disco is characterized by close to funk and soul sound. European disco has been punctuated with technology development, synth boom, and rising interest to cosmos and futurism.
Birth: 1972 Bloom: 1979 Death: 1987
By 1972 first compositions that could be attributed to disco began to appear. Examples: «Papa was A Rolling Stone» by Temptations; the theme for the film Shaft by Isaac Hayes. In the USA first disco hits are considered to be released in 1974 «Rock The Boat» by Hues Corporation (American hit №1 in that year), «Rock You Baby» by George McCrae and «Love`s Theme» by The Love Unlimited Orchestra. In Europe the song «J`attendrai» was one of first disco hits performed by Dalida (1975). But only due to the German band «Silver Convention» disco began to spread over European clubs.
There was even the school of disco in France. In 1977 the group «Voyage» first appeared on the stage. Their most popular songs are «From East to West» (1977) and «Souvenirs» (1978). In 1976 French composer of Egyptian origin Alec R. Costandinos collaborated with Marc Cerrone. Alec R. Costandinos has created a number of songs and made the arrangement for the first album by Cerrone «Love in C Minor», but after a year their ways have separated. In 1977 Alec R. Costandinos created his own disco group Love and Kisses. And in 1978 Alec R. Costandinos wrote the disco opera «Romeo and Juliet» that became a
masterpiece in the disco style.
Among a number of disco bands there were some interesting producer`s projects created by composers of popular music labels or gifted people who started their way from school ensembles. The first were bands such as Boney M, A la carte and Dschinghis Khan, later there were Eruption, Amanda Lear, Pussycat and Neoton Familia.
The common formula of disco compositions is dance rhythms in tempo 120-140 BPM and live melodies, often played by orchestra. But the formula has a lot of exceptions, that`s why there are several different branches of disco. For example, mellow disco is characterized by its low tempo 95-110 BPM. Mellow disco is represented in hits like «Fly, Robin» by Silver Convention and «Love to Love You Baby» performed by Donna Summer and created by cult disco producer Giorgio Moroder. Electro-disco is usually less orchestrated, to this style can be attributed erstwhile popular «Dancer» by Gino Soccio, «Beat Of The Night» by Fever and «You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)» by Sylvester.
Besides, during 1977-1979 (the peak of disco`s global popularity) there were released a number of compositions that shared attributes with other styles: with classical music («A Fifth of Beethoven» by Walter Murphy), with rock («Shine a Little Love» by Electric Light Orchestra), with jazz («Turn the Music Up» by Olayers Association), with ethnics («Disco Bouzouki» by Disco Bouzouki Band).
There was a new wave of interest to disco in the middle 80s. Almost all disco musicians were in Europe at that time, that`s why the new wave of disco was called Eurodisco. The usage of electronic musical instruments in disco entailed the emergence of several new dance music styles, the main of which were Hi-NRG and Italo disco.
The band Bee Gees enriched disco in the USA. In 1975 they released the disco hit «Jive Talkin» that changed American`s impressions of disco. Members of Bee Gees actually became «disco kings».
In the late 00s there was a new wave of the disco popularity – disco-revival, which entailed the emergence of several interesting sub-genres: nu disco, slow motion disco, disco-punk, and hypnotic disco.
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