A picture of some blogger in a ball, from his site.
Disco. When I was sixteen, the word sent shivers down my spine and conjured up images of tacky knock-off suits and bloody noses. But these days, disco lives and thrives. Just as indie rocked revived Brian Wilson, hip hop samples and silly indie covers have brought disco roaring back from the past, making it something current. And suddenly, I don’t wish death upon it, like I used to. Here’s why.
1. “I Will Survive.” The anthem that sums up the whole disco era–unsafe sex, blow, drunk at 2AM on the mean streets outside Studio 54, a gas shortage . . . There’s lots of versions of this song. Here’s three great ones.
I Will Survive-R.E.M.. Alternative rock!
I Will Survive-The Mud City Ramblers. Country!
Yo Vivere-Celia Cruz. Salsa!
There’s also a Cake version, which you should be able to find pretty easily on iTunes. It’s worth a buck.
2. The sultry, retro sounds of Barry White. He’s been covered to death, also by Cake, but I bet you haven’t heard these two!
Rolex Ghostface w/Raekwon, Theodore Unit. A track from the RAGU mixtape, featuring Barry White’s I’m Gonna Love You, Love You, Love You.
Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Baby-Afghan Whigs.
3. The hook from Chic’s “Good Times.” Arguably, this hook was the foundation for all modern rap music. Wyclef loved to use retro samples. Here’s a rare Fugee’s mixtape cut, relying on Chic. A little Berkeley Place trivia: I used to sing a verse from “Jam On It” to the tune of “Rapper’s Delight” for a local band, back in the day. I invented the mash up!
Refugees on the Mic (Chic Good Times Remix)-Fugees.
4. Anita Ward meets Tori Amos! Ring My Bell-Tori Amos.
5. Abba! Mama Mia is coming out, featuring Meryl Streep in her first singing lead role. No, I won’t see it. It’s a little too girlie for me. Nobody dies. But I can appreciate the band, when administered in small doses. Like in a retro-country version, or a mash up.
Abba vs. Echo and the Bunnymen.
Knowing Me Knowing You-The Volebeats.
6. Still the One-King Missle. An Orleans cover by one of the wittiest bands of the late ’90s. I love these guys.
7. Disco Inferno-Polydypsia. Come to think of it, this may not be a reason to be glad disco is still kicking around . . .
8. As part of the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson helped turn RnB/soul into disco. Then, as a solo act, he helped disco cross over into mainstream dance music. Thriller was the album that bridged that gap.
Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing-Minutemen.
And here’s a weird live medley I came across: Michael Jackson Medley-Super Extreme Laser Light Show.
9. Take Yer Mama Out-The Zutons. This ninth reason is the bridge to modernity. The greatest living original disco band, The Scissor Sisters, brought disco to the double-oh decade. You gotta love ’em. They’re also mentioned in reason number ten . . . Which you can find tomorrow.