With only roughly sold, the Wave pretty much put Waldorf out of business, losing money on each unit shipped. The addition of several real-time controls plus the ability to mimic several retro analogue synths meant that the Lead became an extremely popular synth with a range that still endures today. The Prophecy was unusual in that it was a monophonic synth that used virtual modelling to emulate everything from blown and plucked sounds, through to thicker, more analogue textures.
The K in its keyboard and rack version was popular as a workstation synth, featuring a synth engine, sequencer and sampling with the additional ability to load in Akai samples. The Microwave XT, although a baby brother to the HUGE Wave synth, was still an extremely fat sounding synth and coloured its most prominent control the filter cut-off in a fetching shade of red to differentiate it from the other controls on its orange front panel.
Trevor Horn is a producer who can be said to have shaped modern pop music. He began his professional music career as a session bassist, most notably for UK disco starlet Tina Charles and her producer Biddu. So when the Linn Drum Computer came along, it was like manna from heaven for the forward thinking Horn. However, Album) did use accomplished session musicians when needed to compliment his carefully controlled direction.
UK, presented in chronological order…. But ironically, when Oldfield departed the label for Warners, he did just that. Horn was a natural choice as producer for this long awaited follow-up.
Using the most up-to-date technology yet retaining a vital musicality, there was always space for the lead vocalist to perform to their maximum. However, it always was a time consuming process.
And after the hangover of Britpop, indie bands were starting to embrace synths again. UK Email: theelectricityclub googlemail. Search for:.
Search Search for:. Issued in on Columbine EP, on C. He passed away in The other, born in so he would only have been 25 when this disc was issuedwas once arrested for stealing a cooker from an abandoned house and several years later needed hospital treatment after being attacked by a pair of pit bulls while trespassing, and for some reason, to my mind, this makes him a less likely candidate. Best known for the hundreds of compilations issued in the 70s and 80s, under such titles as the Now Sounds of TodayMusic of AmericaNew Favorites Of…, Gospel Jubilee and so on, for the next couple of posts on the blog I'm going to be concentrating on their 45 and EP output, a series of releases less well documented, but which also adds up to hundreds of discs.
First up we have all four tracks from a Columbine EP issued inwith two songs each from Kay Weaver and the redoubtable Ralph Lowe. Kane, and performed in her usual disinterested style by Kay Weaver. The song, copyrighted in Octoberis dull, and Weaver's performance lacks any of the 'spark' that the title infers. Kay Weaver had a secondary career as a performer of religious music, and her bland country-western rambles might work quite well in that genre, but for me she only really gets going as a song-poem stylist when offered rockier tunes to torture.
Copyright in this 'classic' was registered in Novemberand Alvaro had already submitted other songs to Columbine for their careful consideration: Lowe performed his classic In The Way of Dancin' on one of the company's Music of America collections. Confusingly the title of the song does not appear in the lyric at all.
The final track on the disc is the real highlight. Like John Kane, Glenn registered copyright for the song, words and music no less, in Octoberand this performance, by song-poem titan Ralph Lowe, is simply wonderful. Glenn's lyric is rendered utterly devoid of emotion, and Ralph's doleful delivery is driven by boredom, not sentiment, plodding along like a carthorse rather than a funeral cortege. Such was the demand for this souvenir soundie that a cassette version was issued as well, although it seems that neither Pancho, Bobby nor Lolita were ever called upon to record a follow-up.
Perhaps the parrots were a one-trick pony? Anyway, here are both sides of this marvellous monstrosity. If you want one with less wobble, the tracks are readily available on YouTube. Friday, 1 October Hail to the Chief. Posted by Darryl W. Bullock at 1 comment: Email This BlogThis! Bullock at 2 comments: Email This BlogThis! The "disco sound" was much more costly to produce than many of the other popular music genres from the s. Unlike the simpler, four-piece-band sound of funksoul music of the late s, or the small jazz organ triosdisco music often included a large band, with several chordal instruments guitar, keyboards, synthesizerseveral drum or percussion instruments drumkit, Latin percussion, electronic drumsa horn sectiona string orchestraand a variety of " classical " solo instruments for example, flute, piccolo, and so on.
Disco songs were arranged and composed by experienced arrangers and orchestratorsand record producers added their creative touches to the overall sound using multitrack recording techniques and effects units. Recording complex arrangements with such a large number of instruments and sections required a team that included a conductorcopyistsrecord producers, and mixing engineers.
Mixing engineers had an important role in the disco production process, because disco songs used as many as 64 tracks of vocals and instruments.
Mixing engineers and record producers, under the direction of arrangers, compiled these tracks into a fluid composition of verses, bridges, and refrains, complete with builds and breaks. Mixing engineers and record producers helped to develop the "disco sound" by creating a distinctive-sounding, sophisticated disco mix. Early records were the "standard" three-minute version until Tom Moulton came up with a way to make songs longer so that he could take a crowd of dancers at a club to another level and keep them dancing longer.
He found that it was impossible to make the RPM vinyl singles of the time longer, as they could usually hold no more than five minutes of good-quality music. They cut the next single on a 12" disc, the same format as a standard album. Moulton and Rodriguez discovered that these larger records could have much longer songs and remixes.
By the late s most major US cities had thriving disco club scenes. The scene was centered on discothequesnightclubsand private loft parties. In the late '70s, Studio 54 in Midtown Manhattan was arguably the best known nightclub in the world. This club played a major formative role in the growth of disco music and nightclub culture in general.
It was operated by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager and was notorious for the hedonism that went on within; the balconies were known for sexual encountersand drug use was rampant. Its dance floor was decorated with an image of the " Man in the Moon " that included an animated cocaine spoon.
The " Copacabana ", another New York nightclub dating to the s, had a revival in the late s when it embraced disco; it would become the setting of a Barry Manilow song of the same name. In Washington, D. Powerful, bass-heavy, hi-fi sound systems were viewed as a key part of the disco club experience. Typical lighting designs for disco dance floors could include multi-coloured lights that swirl around or flash to the beat, strobe lightan illuminated dance floor and a mirror ball.
Disco-era disc jockeys DJs would often remix existing songs using reel-to-reel tape machinesand add in percussion breaks, new sections, and new sounds.
DJs would select songs and grooves according to what the dancers wanted, transitioning from one song to another with a DJ mixer and using a microphone to introduce songs and speak to the audiences. Other equipment was added to the basic DJ setup, providing unique sound manipulations, such as reverbequalization, and echo effects unit. Using this equipment, a DJ could do effects such as cutting out all but the bassline of a song and then slowly mixing in the beginning of another song using the DJ mixer's crossfader.
Notable U. Some DJs were also record producers who created and produced disco songs in the recording studio. Larry Levan, for example, was a prolific record producer as well as a DJ. Because record sales were often dependent on dance floor play by DJs in leading nightclubs, Album) were also influential for the development and popularization of certain types of disco music being produced for record labels.
In the early years, dancers in discos danced in a "hang loose" or "freestyle" approach. At first, many dancers improvised their own dance styles and dance steps. Later in the disco era, popular dance styles were developed, including the "Bump", "Penguin", "Boogaloo", "Watergate" and "Robot". By October the Hustle reigned. It was highly stylized, sophisticated and overtly sexual. During the disco era, many nightclubs would commonly host disco dance competitions or offer free dance lessons.
Some cities had disco dance instructors or dance schools, which taught people how to do popular disco dances such as "touch dancing", "the hustle", and " the cha cha ". The pioneer of disco dance instruction was Karen Lustgarten in San Francisco in Her book The Complete Guide to Disco Dancing Warner Books was the first to name, break down and codify popular disco dances as dance forms and distinguish between disco freestyle, partner and line dances.
The dynamic dance duo of Robin and Reggie led the show. The pair spent the week teaching disco dancing to dancers in the disco clubs. The instructional show aired on Saturday mornings and had a strong following. The viewers of this would stay up all night on Fridays so they could be on the set the next morning, ready to return to the disco on Saturday night knowing with the latest personalized dance steps.
The producers of the show, John Reid and Greg Roselli, routinely made appearances at disco functions with Robin and Reggie to scout out new dancing talent and promote upcoming events such as "Disco Night at White Sox Park". Other dance marathons took place after Roberts held the world's record for disco dancing for a short period of time.
Some notable professional dance troupes of the s included Pan's People and Hot Gossip. For many dancers, a key source of inspiration for s disco dancing was the film Saturday Night Fever Interest in disco dancing also helped spawn dance competition TV shows such as Dance Fever Disco fashions were very trendy in the late s.
Some women would wear sheer, flowing dresses, such as Halston dresses or loose, flared pants. Other women wore tight, revealing, sexy clothes, such as backless halter topsdisco pants"hot pants", or body-hugging spandex bodywear or "catsuits". Men often wore Pierre Cardin suits, three piece suits with a vest and double-knit polyester shirt jackets with matching trousers known as the leisure suit. Men's leisure suits were typically form-fitted in some parts of the body, such as the waist and bottom, but the lower part of the pants were flared in a bell bottom style, to permit freedom of movement.
During the disco era, men engaged in elaborate grooming rituals and spent time choosing fashion clothing, both activities that would have been considered "feminine" according to the gender stereotypes of the era. Platform shoes and boots for both genders and high heels for women were popular footwear.
Less commonly, some disco dancers wore outlandish costumes, dressed in dragcovered their bodies with gold or silver paint, or wore very skimpy outfits leaving them nearly nude; these uncommon get-ups were more likely to be seen at invitation-only New York City loft parties and disco clubs. In addition to the dance and fashion aspects of the disco club scene, there was also a thriving club drug subcultureparticularly for drugs that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud, bass-heavy music and the flashing colored lights, such as cocaine  nicknamed "blow"amyl nitrite " poppers " and the " Paul Gootenberg states that "[t]he relationship of cocaine to s disco culture cannot be stressed enough While the dance floor was the central arena of seductionactual sex usually took place in the nether regions of the disco: bathroom stalls, exit stairwellsand so on.
In other cases the disco became a kind of 'main course' in a hedonist's menu for a night out. In his paper, "In Defense of Disco"Richard Dyer claims eroticism as one of the three main characteristics of disco. He uses Donna Summer's singles " Love to Love You Baby " and " I Feel Love " as examples of the ever present relationship between the synthesized bass lines and backgrounds to the simulated sounds of orgasms Summers echoes in the tracks, and likens them to the drug-fervent, sexually liberated fans of disco who sought to free themselves through disco's "aesthetic of machine sex.
In their history of the disc jockey and club culture, Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton describe the Sanctuary as "poured full of newly liberated gay men, then shaken and stirred by a weighty concoction of dance music and pharmacoia of pills and potions, the result is a festivaly of carnality. By describing the music, drugs and liberated mentality as a trifecta coming together to create the festival of carnality, Brewster and Broughton are inciting all three as stimuli for the dancing, sex and other embodied movements that contributed to the corporeal vibrations within the Sanctuary.
This supports the argument that the disco music took a role in facilitating this sexual liberation that was experienced in the discotheques. Further, this coupled with the recent legalization of abortions, the introduction of antibiotics and the pill all facilitated a culture shift around sex from one of procreation to pleasure and enjoyment fostering a very sex positive framework around discotheques.
Further, in addition to gay sex being illegal in New York state, until the American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as an illness. Disco was mostly developed from music that was popular on the dance floor in clubs that started playing records instead of having a live band. The first discotheques mostly played swing music.
Later on uptempo rhythm and blues became popular in American clubs and northern soul and glam rock records in the UK. In the early s, nightclubs in Paris resorted to playing jazz records during the Nazi occupation. She installed a dance floor with coloured lights and two turntables so she could play records without having a gap in the music. The patrons were unimpressed until a young reporter, who happened to be covering the opening of the club, impulsively took control of the record player and introduced the records that he chose to play.
Klaus Quirini later claimed to thus have been the world's first nightclub DJ. During the s, discotheque dancing became a European trend that was enthusiastically picked up by the American press. Those genres, mainly African-American ones, would influence much of early disco music. Also during the s, the Motown record label developed a popular and influential own sounddescribed as having "1 simply structured songs with sophisticated melodies and chord changes, 2 a relentless four-beat drum pattern, 3 a gospel use of background voices, vaguely derived from the style of the Impressions, 4 a regular and sophisticated use of both horns and strings, 5 lead singers who were half way between pop and gospel music, 6 a group of accompanying musicians who were among the most dextrous, knowledgeable, and brilliant in all of popular music Motown bassists have long been the envy of white rock bassists [ citation needed ] and 7 a trebly style of mixing that relied heavily on electronic limiting and equalizing boosting the high range frequencies to give the overall product a distinctive sound, particularly effective for broadcast over AM radio.
At the end of the s, musicians and audiences from the Black, Italian and Latino communities adopted several traits from the hippie and psychedelia subcultures. They included using music venues with a loud, overwhelming sound, free-form dancing, trippy lighting, colorful costumes, and the use of hallucinogenic drugs. The long instrumental introductions and detailed orchestration found in psychedelic soul tracks by the Temptations are also considered as cinematic soul.
In the early s, Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes scored hits with cinematic soul songs that were actually composed for movie soundtracks: " Superfly " and " Theme from Shaft " The latter is sometimes regarded as an early disco song. In the early s, the Philly soul productions by Gamble and Huff evolved from the simpler arrangements of the lates into a style featuring lush strings, thumping basslines, and sliding hi-hat rhythms.
These elements would become typical for disco music and are found in several of the hits they produced in the early s:. Other early disco tracks that helped shape disco and became popular on the dance floors of underground discotheque clubs and parties include:.
The genre was also shaped by Tom Moultonwho wanted to extend the enjoyment of dance songs — thus creating the extended mix or " remix ", going from a three-minute 45 rpm single to the much longer 12" record.
Frankie Knuckles was not only an important disco DJ; he also helped to develop house music in the s. In the s, the key counterculture of the sthe hippie movement, was fading away.
The economic prosperity of the previous decade had declined, and unemployment, inflation and crime rates had soared.
Political issues like the backlash from the Civil Rights Movement culminating in the form of race riots, the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Dr. Kennedy, and the Watergate scandal, left many feeling disillusioned and hopeless. The start of the '70s was marked by a shift in the consciousness of the American people: the rise of the feminist movement, identity politics, gangs, etc.
Disco music and disco dancing provided an escape from negative social and economic issues. In Beautiful Things in Popular CultureSimon Frith highlights the sociability of disco and its roots in s counterculture. The birth of disco is often claimed to be found in the private dance parties held by New York City DJ David Mancuso's home that became known as The Loftan invitation-only non-commercial underground club that inspired many others. After some months the parties became weekly events and Mancuso continued to give regular parties into the s.
When Mancuso threw his first informal house parties, the gay community which made up much of The Loft's attendee roster was often harassed in the gay bars and dance clubswith many gay men carrying bail money with them to gay bars. But at The Loft and many other early, private discothequesthey could dance together without fear of police action thanks to Mancuso's underground, yet legal, policies. Vince Aletti described it "like going to party, completely mixed, racially and sexually, where there wasn't any sense of someone being more important than anyone else," and Alex Rosner reiterated this saying "It was probably about sixty percent black and seventy percent gay There was a mix of sexual orientation, there was a mix of races, mix of economic groups.
A real mix, where the common denominator was music. Film critic Roger Ebert called the popular embrace of disco's exuberant dance moves an escape from "the general depression and drabness of the political and musical atmosphere of the late seventies. Nirvana is the dance; when the music stops, you return to being ordinary. In the late s, uptempo soul with heavy beats and some associated dance styles and fashion were picked up in the British mod scene and formed the northern soul movement.
As the favoured beat became more uptempo and frantic in the early s, northern soul dancing became more athletic, somewhat resembling the later dance styles of disco and break dancing. Inthere were an estimated 25, mobile discos and 40, professional disc jockeys in the United Kingdom. Mobile discos were hired deejays that brought their own equipment to provide music for special events. Glam rock tracks were popular, with for example Gary Glitter 's single " Rock and Roll Part 2 " becoming popular on UK dance floors while it did not get any radio airplay.
From todisco music increased in popularity as many disco songs topped the charts. The Hues Corporation 's " Rock the Boat "a US number-one single and million-seller, was one of the early disco songs to reach number one.
The same year saw the release of " Kung Fu Fighting ", performed by Carl Douglas and produced by Bidduwhich reached number one in both the UK and US, and became the best-selling single of the year  and one of the best-selling singles of all time with 11 million records sold worldwide,   helping to popularize disco to a great extent. In the northwestern sections of the United Kingdom, the northern soul explosion, which started in the late s and peaked inmade the region receptive to disco, which the region's disc jockeys were bringing back from New York City.
The shift by some DJs to the newer sounds coming from the U. Later inGaynor's number-one disco song was " I Will Survive ", which was seen as a symbol of female strength and The Biddu Orchestra* - Disco Gold (Cassette gay anthem,  like her further disco hit, a remake of " I Am What I Am "; in she released " Let Me Know I Have a Right ", a single which gained popularity in the civil rights movements.
Also inVincent Montana Jr. Formed by Harry Wayne Casey a. In this period, rock bands like the English Electric Light Orchestra featured in their songs a violin sound that became a staple of disco music, as in the hit " Evil Woman ", although the genre was correctly described as orchestral rock. Other disco producers such as Tom Moulton took ideas and techniques from dub music which came with the increased Jamaican migration to New York City in the s to provide alternatives to the "four on the floor" style that dominated.
DJ Larry Levan utilized styles from dub and jazz and remixing techniques to create early versions of house music that sparked the genre. From around the production of the Temptations' album Cloud Nine inhe incorporated some psychedelic influences and started to produce longer, dance-friendly tracks, with more room for elaborate rhythmic instrumental parts. An example of such a long psychedelic soul track is " Papa Was a Rollin' Stone ", which appeared as a single edit of almost seven minutes and an approximately minute-long 12" version in By the early 70s, many of Whitfield's productions evolved more and more towards funk and disco, as heard on albums by the Undisputed Truth and the album G.
The Undisputed Trutha Motown recording act assembled by Whitfield to experiment with his psychedelic soul production techniques, found success with their song " Smiling Faces Sometimes ". Whitfield produced some more disco hits, including " Car Wash " by Rose Royce from the album soundtrack to the film Car Wash. Insinger, songwriter and producer Willie Hutchwho had been signed to Motown sincenow signed with Whitfield's new label, and scored a successful disco single with his song "In and Out" in Other Motown artists turned to disco as well.
Diana Ross embraced the disco sound with her successful outing " Love Hangover " from her self-titled album. The Supremesthe group that made Ross famous, scored a handful of hits in the disco clubs without her, most notably 's " I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do the Walking " and, their last charted single before disbanding, 's "You're My Driving Wheel". At the request of Motown that he produce songs in the disco genre, Marvin Gaye released " Got to Give It Up " indespite his dislike of disco.
He vowed not to record any songs in the genre, and actually wrote the song as a parody. However, several of Gaye's songs have disco elements, including " I Want You " Stevie Wonder released the disco single " Sir Duke " in as a tribute to Duke Ellingtonthe influential jazz legend who had died in It contained the disco single " Baby That's Backatcha ".
Several of Motown's solo artists who left the label went on to have successful disco songs. Mary WellsMotown's first female superstar with her signature song " My Guy " written by Smokey Robinsonabruptly left the label in She briefly reappeared on the charts with the disco song "Gigolo" in Jimmy Ruffinthe elder brother of the Temptations lead singer David Ruffinwas also signed to Motown, and released his most successful and well-known song " What Becomes of the Brokenhearted " as a single in Ruffin eventually left the record label in the mids, but saw success with the disco song " Hold On To My Love ", Album) was written and produced by Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, for his album Sunrise.
Edwin Starrknown for his Motown protest song " War "reentered the charts in with a pair of disco songs, " Contact " and " H.
Radio ". The song was intended as an affectionate disco-style pastiche of the Motown sound, in particular the various duets recorded by Marvin Gaye with Tammi Terrell and Kim Weston. Many Motown groups who had left the record label charted with disco songs. The Jackson 5one of Motown's premier acts in the early s, left the record company in Jermaine Jacksonhowever, remained with the label after successful songs like " I Want You Back " and " ABC "and even the disco song " Dancing Machine " The Detroit Spinners were also signed to the Motown label and saw success with the Stevie Wonder-produced song " It's a Shame " in They left soon after, on the advice of fellow Detroit native Aretha Franklinto Atlantic Recordsand there had disco songs like " The Rubberband Man " However, one single, "The Night"was released in Britain inand thanks to popularity from the Northern Soul circuit, reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart.
This Swedish quartet, which sang primarily in English, found success with singles such as " Waterloo "" Fernando "" Take a Chance on Me "" Gimme! A Man After Midnight "and their signature smash hit " Dancing Queen " —ranks as the Fourth best-selling act of all time.
In s Munich, West Germanymusic producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte made a decisive contribution to disco music with a string of hits for Donna Summerwhich became known as the "Munich Sound". The final product, which contained a series of simulated orgasmsinitially was not intended for release, but when Moroder played it in the clubs it caused a sensation and he released it.
The song became an international hit, reaching the charts in many European countries and the US No. It has been described as the arrival of the expression of raw female sexual desire in pop music. A minute inch single was released. The 12" single became and remains a standard in discos today. Boney M. Another successful West German disco recording act was Silver Convention — The German group Kraftwerk also had an influence on Euro disco.
Dalida successfully adjusted herself to disco era and released at least a dozen of songs that charted among top number 10 in whole Europe and wider. French producer Alec Costandinos assembled the disco group Love and Kisses — Her greatest international single was "Tanti Auguri" "Best Wishes"which has become a popular song with gay audiences.
The song is also known under its Spanish title "Para hacer bien el amor hay que venir al sur" which refers to Southern Europe, since the song was recorded and taped in Spain. It was her only entry to the UK Singles Chartreaching number 9, where she remains a one-hit wonder.
The song charted in different European countries. Euro disco continued evolving within the broad mainstream pop music scene, even when disco's popularity sharply declined in the United States, abandoned by major U. In Decemberthe film Saturday Night Fever was released. It was a huge success and its soundtrack became one of the best-selling albums of all time.
The idea for the film was sparked by a New York magazine  article titled " Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night " which supposedly chronicled the disco culture in mids New York City, but was later revealed to have been fabricated. The recording, which was included as part of the "MacArthur Park Suite" on her double live album Live and Morewas eight minutes and 40 seconds long on the album.
The shorter seven-inch vinyl single version of MacArthur Park was Summer's first single to reach number one on the Hot ; it does not include the balladic second movement of the song, however. A remix of "MacArthur Park" by Summer topped the Billboard Dance Charts marking five consecutive decades with a number-one song on the charts.
The band Chic was formed mainly by guitarist Nile Rodgers —a self-described "street hippie" from late s New York—and bassist Bernard Edwards. Their popular single, " Le Freak ", is regarded as an iconic song of the genre. Other successful songs by Chic include the often-sampled " Good Times " and " Everybody Dance " The group regarded themselves as the disco movement's rock band that made good on the hippie movement's ideals of peace, love, and freedom.
Every song they wrote was written with an eye toward giving it "deep hidden meaning" or D. Sylvestera flamboyant and openly gay singer famous for his soaring falsetto voice, scored his biggest disco hit in late with " You Make Me Feel Mighty Real ".
His singing style was said to have influenced the singer Prince. At that time, disco was one of the forms of music most open to gay performers. They were known for their onstage costumes of typically male-associated jobs and ethnic minorities and achieved mainstream success with their hit song " Macho Man ".
Other songs include " Y. At the height of its popularity, many non-disco artists recorded songs with disco The Biddu Orchestra* - Disco Gold (Cassette, such as Rod Stewart with his " Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Progressive rock group Pink Floyd used disco-like drums and guitar in their song " Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2 " which became their only number-one single in both the US and UK. Geils Band Album) " Come Back " The disco sound was also adopted by artists from other genres, including the U. In particular, a disco remix of the track " Baby I'm Burnin' " peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart; ultimately becoming one of the years biggest club hits.
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