Disco Sounds & The Disco Era
This category consists of disco, or disco sounds of the 70s-80s. Lots of great stuff in our music history. You’ll find some of the biggest dance hits of that era. Hope you enjoy the flashbacks.
Song: Sitting In The Park
Album: TWO (1980)
Another amazingly talented band that has been forgotten. Even when I’d visit 70s/80s parties, maybe once or twice I’ve heard their music played. This awesome band formed in the Bronx, New York, sometime in the late 60s. Their history is hard for me to trace, as they’ve performed under different names & different music labels. Their music genre was mostly disco. They almost had a Chic, sound to their music in my opinion.
They’ve Produced 2 Unforgettable Hits!
Most older folk would probably remember their monumental #1 R&B hit “Disco Nights (Rock Freak) (1979).” I used to dance the hell out of this song. One of the very few songs I’ve heard where R&B and Disco merged beautifully (in my opinion). You may also remember their cover of Billy Stewart’s 1965 classic “I Do Love You (1979).” Their rendition did very well, reaching #5 on the R&B chart. However, from that same year (I believe) there was another cover they did by Billy Stewart, and I don’t recall the song receiving a whole lot of buzz. It’s called “Sitting In The Park (1980).” They did a beautiful job with this song as well, and I appreciated how they kept the essence of the song in tact, without changing the song completely. It reached #9 on the R&B Chart. Unfortunately, the groups ended before 2000. Keith Crier (above, first left) passed away, and the remaining group members eventually went their separate ways doing other things. So sad.
Song: Free Me From My Freedom
Artist: Bonnie Pointer
Soulful singer Bonnie Pointer is the sister of singing group, the Pointer Sisters. I started off my title with “What A Shame,” because quite frankly, it is. It’s a same because she has become one of many really, really talented forgotten American performers. Also, I say it’s a shame because of her battle with drugs and alcohol. It breaks my heart to see people who have the gift of singing, and their careers have literally been obliterated by drugs. But, it is also so common among extremely famous music artists of the 70s & 80s (mostly in my opinion (it seems)). From her public divorce, to her embarrassing mugshot after being caught for drug possession. Bonnie became a steamy hot plate of mess. The worst thing in the world is for a music artist to be on TMZ’s list, because a significant amount of music fan base reads and watches TMZ. You can read more about it from The Daily Mail.
In Essence, She Lost Her Career Through Drugs & Alcohol!
I’m not sure if a lot of people remember, but… Back in the day, we had a lot of what I think was called “Double Featured Albums,” such as the one I have below. Usually the music labels would release 12 inch version of 1 hit song from 2 different artists on the same album. Side A for one artist and side B for the other. Man, I played the hell out of “Free Me From My Freedom (1978).” This was my sh*t. This was a powerful, soulful and a fun disco love song, that in essence talks about telling her man to take her off the singles market. I love these kinds of love songs. I hate love songs where the lyrics sound like the singer is begging.
Now, I have to be honest, I hated “What You Gave Me (1978),” by Diana Ross. This should have been on Side TWO instead, but I knew the game. It was “Diana Ross,” ooooooo. Bonnie has such a soulful voice, I really think Motown should have picked another performer that complimented her (Sorry Diana Ross fans). Now, according to Wikipedia, “What You Gave Me,” was actually a cover of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, ’cause Wiki recorded the release date as being 1969. By the way, I liked Marvin & Tammi‘s version better. Way better.
After Bonnie Gone Solo, She Only Had 3 Major hits (Tho Not Number Ones)!
It was absolutely disappointing that Bonnie’s amazing song “Free Me From My Freedom,” only peaked at #58 on the Top 100, and only #26 on the Club Chart. Perhaps despite being a dance song, the rhythm wasn’t fast enough to appeal to more dance fans? Two other popular hits you should listen to. “Heaven Must Have Sent You (1979)” should be the first you listen to! This song was not only the most popular, but the biggest one of her career. It shot up to #11 on the Top 100. Wasn’t a Top 10, but it was close enough 😄. Lastly, she made a cover of The Four Tops “I Can’t Help Myself (1980).” I have to say tho, this song had to grow on me. I wasn’t immediately turned on by the song, but I’ve come to like it over time.
Song: Dancin’ The Night Away
I wasn’t planning on blogging today, but I just had to share with you guys this obscure disco gem! This song right here!!!! 😜 Is one of my top ultimate favorite disco songs ever!! I think this is one of those rare disco songs that is both beautiful and elegant at the some time. I don’t recall feeling that way about any other disco song I’ve heard around that era. Each time I hear this song, it literally thrusts me back in to the 80s. Actually, this song could also be thought of as a bridge to the next decade, because this song is just as much mid 70s as it is it was 80s! Not only did “Dancin’ The Night Away” hit #1 on the Top 100 Charts, it stayed number one for 3 consecutive weeks! I know a good song when I hear one. 🤣
I Was Elated When I Heard This Song Recently!
Almost nothing is written about this singing duo. Voggue consisted of two Canadian women named Chantal Condor, and Angela Songui. Unfortunately they only made about two albums in their career together before they broke up. Not sure what was the reason for that (unless they weren’t actually a group, but more of a temporary project). I’ve written before, how a lot of labels did this in the seventies. I’m going to assume that for many labels, disco may have been very experimental, and simply wanted to see how well the label would do in said genre.
Another amazing song from this album was “Roller Boogie.” This song is a little more fast paced, if it were not for the bridge, it would have been practically all instrumental. Every time I hear this songs, it reminds me of being inside one of those HUGE roller skating rings we used to have in NYC. Both guys and girls wearing white shorts w/ red stripes that were so high up in their crotch. How do I know this? 🤣 I remember being taken by family members, between the ages of 10-12. I’m not sure if many of these skating rings exist anymore. These two songs unfortunately were the only things on this album worth listening too.
Artist: The Manhattan Transfer
Album: Extensions (1979)
Genre: Pop Dance
Boy!! Talk about a forgotten group!!! I actually haven’t heard anything from these guys since a long time. These guys produced one of my favorite pop dance tunes (well technically, it’s more disco now that I think about it) of the 80s. I don’t know how many of my readers know, but are you aware that the cult classic TV show “The Twilight Zone” had it’s own disco theme? Yup!! And The Manhattan Transfer, performed this classic. According to a source I’ve read, the song hit #30 on the US Hot 100 chart. But, this song had to have been bigger than that; because by the time I was old enough to go to clubs (about 5 years after it’s original release date), this song was still being played. I’ve heard so many different versions of this song growing up, it wasn’t even funny. Recently a remix of the song was made. Check out the new remix of Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone.
Song: Boogie Oogie Oogie
Artist: Taste Of Honey
Album: A Taste Of Honey (1978)
I’m pretty sure most people under the age of 40 barely remember (if any at all) the group Taste Of Honey. Let me tell you, these women were some badass bitches (in a good way)! To watch them perform, be it live or on TV, was a sight to see. There are very, very few female musicians who could pick a guitar like these women. The only other Black female (long before this group) I can remember off hand that could beat the hell out of a guitar like that was Rosetta Tharpe. Unfortunately, as talented as this group was, they only produced two major hits (although iconic). The first was “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” which hit number #1 on the Top 100, and “Sukiyaki (1981),” which hit #3. Also check out “Rescue Me (1980).” Does the beat sound familiar to you? I’ll give you a hint “I Got A Man (1992)!”
Artist: Melba Moore
This awesome song actually came out in 1982, and was digitally remastered in 2010. I love “Love’s Comin’ At Ya,” because it reminds me of the same kinds of rhythms that Evelyn “Champagne” King used to perform. In fact, in many ways it sounds almost identical to the T. Then again, Melba also had that same kind of voice; and as I’ve mentioned earlier, record companies were about finding that “formula” for making millions. I highly recommend that you research Melba Moore’s store. It’s pretty inspirational. She gone from being a huge success, to suddenly having no money to the point of applying for welfare/food stamps. She picked herself back up, and successfully rebooted her career. I consider her a very underrated talent. Although she didn’t have big hit’s on the Top 100, she did had a few top hits on the dance charts, including “Love’s Comin’ At Ya,” which reached #2, and another song I loved a lot called “You Stepped In To My Life,” which reached #5 in 1978.
I’m saddened to say that this incredibly handsome guy had only 2 big hit to his name 😞. This is Peter Brown. At the age of only about 24 years old, this guy was smoking ♨️hot♨️ in the late 70s disco scene. His first 12 inch hit sold for over a million copies in 1977. That song was called “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me,” off his album “A Fantasy Love Affair.” Not to be confused with Sylvester’s 1982 mega hit “Do Ya Wanna Funk.” Now, unfortunately, although “Do You Wanna Get Funky With Me” peaked at #18, I wasn’t particularly feeling this song at all. I was shocked to find out that he sold that many copies to be honest.
However, I did not go completely bananas until I heard his smash hit “Dance With Me (1977).” This was actually on the same album, but the song wasn’t a hit until mid 1978. This song was the shit back in the day. Even though I was too young to go out clubbing, when my mom or grandparents had their house parties I remember sweating to this song. This 12 inch was all dance!! I mean Studio 54 dance music! The song only peaked to #4 on the Hot Dance Charts.
Other than the two songs I’ve just shared with you, I really wasn’t feeling any other of his songs. Although there was another song called “They Only Come Out At Night (1984),” that hit #1 on the Dance Club Charts, I just didn’t like it. I think the problem was that his music started to sound like novelty. You know, like all his music were from specific 80s soundtracks; similar to “The Last Dragon (1985),” or that similar to Rockwell’s music. Such a shame his voice was phenomenal!
The one thing Donna Summer fans can’t complain about, is the fact that Donna left us with more 12 inch singles, remixes, mega-mixes, and more redos we could ever handle. There was a reason why we called her the disco dance queen! She certainly earned that title! The above 12 inch single is probably one of my most favorite Donna Summer dance albums. This is actually a double hit album. Side B has my favorite “Winter Melody (1976).” This was from her “Four Seasons Of Love” Album. However, this extended mix with additional lyrics was not published as a single 12 inch until about a year later (if I’m correct). Unfortunately, because I didn’t own the original album I’m really not sure, it’s an assumption.
You know, Winter Melody was such a mellow “easy listening,” song that sometimes it’s hard for me to still perceive it as disco music. This song always reminds me of just how diverse music is. there are sub genes upon sub genres. On side A of this 12 inch album was a song called “Spring Affair (1976).” This is actually a great disco to do moderate exorcise with. Both these songs was recorded as a combo on American Billboard. I’m guessing this is the actual album I’m writing about, apposed to what was on the original commercial album. They both only peaked at #43. Great songs tho.Vintage-inspired. Modern Fit- MaddaFella.com! Click Here!