How Deep Is Your Love for Disco?
Exactly 40 years ago, the soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever," the most iconic movie of the disco era, became the No. 1 album in America. Click through for 20 essential disco tunes, starting with a classic by the Bee Gees.
"Night Fever" – The Bee Gees
"Listen to the ground/ There is movement all around / There is something goin' down and I can feel it"
Robert Stigwood asked the Bee Gees to write a title song for a film he was producing called "Saturday Night." Uninspired by the title, the Bee Gees offered him "Night Fever"—a song they'd already written—and soon Stigwood renamed the movie "Saturday Night Fever."
"I Will Survive" — Gloria Gaynor
"At first I was afraid, I was petrified / Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side"
This one was originally released as the B-side to a cover version of a Righteous Brothers song, but DJs preferred "I Will Survive," which went on to win the 1980 Grammy for Best Disco Song.
"Disco Inferno" — The Trammps
"Burn baby burn! Disco inferno!Burn baby burn! Burn that mama down"
This call to dance-floor arson didn't catch fire until it was included in the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack.
"Love to Love You Baby" — Donna Summer
"Ahaaw, I love to love you, baby"
Summer was a complete unknown in the States when this heavy-breathing hit was first recorded and released in the Netherlands.
"That's the Way (I Like It)" — KC and the Sunshine Band
"Oh, that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh/ I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh"
In spite of its overt sexual message, this song is on the soundtrack of "Happy Feet." Then again, who knows what excites penguins?
"Don't Leave Me This Way" — Thelma Houston
"Oh, baby, my heart is full of love and desire for you / So come on down and do what you've got to do"
Houston (no relation to Whitney) wasn't just a singer. She acted in films and TV shows including "Cagney & Lacey." Now listen to her sing.
"Y.M.C.A." — The Village People
"You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal /You can do what about you feel"
A high-spirited song with an amusing gay subtext. Not so amusing was the Y.M.C.A.'s threat to sue the band over trademark infringement.
"It's Raining Men" — The Weather Girls
"I'm gonna go out, I'm gonna let myself get / Absolutely soaking wet /It's raining men! Hallelujah!"
Whatever the lyricist had in mind, this song became an anthem in gay and lesbian discos, as well as at bar mitzvahs and weddings.
"Miss You" — The Rolling Stones
"I've been holding out so long / I've been sleeping all alone / Lord I miss you"
An extended (8:36) version was released—the Stones' first dance remix—on a 12-inch pink vinyl single.
"I'm Coming Out" — Diana Ross
"I'm coming out / I want the world to know/ Got to let it show"
Written as an homage to drag queens who dress up as—wait for it—Diana Ross.
"I'm So Excited" — The Pointer Sisters
"Tonight's the night we're gonna make it happen / Tonight we'll put all other things aside"
First released in 1982, this song became a Top 10 hit in 1984 thanks to a sexy video and a remix.
"Turn the Beat Around" — Vicki Sue Robinson
"Blow horns you sure sound pretty / Your violins keep movin' to the nitty gritty"
Gloria Estefan's 1994 version pushed this disco classic back up to the top of the charts.
"We Are Family" — Sister Sledge
"We are family / I got all my sisters with me"
This one became an anthem for the women's movement.
"Ladies Night" — Kool and the Gang
"Oh, yes, it's ladies' night / And the feeling's right"
It sure is. Just listen.
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" — Barry White
"I've heard people say that / Too much of anything is not good for you, baby / Oh no / But I don't know about that"
Barry White's deep velvet voice drives women crazy whether he is singing or talking.
"Copacabana" — Barry Manilow
"Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl / With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there"
Manilow's first gold single and only Grammy win.
"More, More, More" — Andrea True Connection
"More, more, more / How do you like it, how do you like it"
If you've got an ear worm for this tune, blame Target. They've been using it in their TV ads.
"The Hustle" — Van McCoy
"Oh, do it / Oh, do it / Do it/ Do the hustle, do the hustle"
This song was written in response to the dance by the same name popular in New York City discos.
"Ring My Bell" — Anita Ward
"The night is young/ And full of possibilities / Well, come on and let yourself be free, yeah"
"Ring My Bell" was originally written for a child singer as a teenybopper song about kids talking on the phone. Ya know, those big plastic things connected to the wall.
"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" — McFadden and Whitehead
"Ain't no stoppin' us now / We're on the move / Ain't no stoppin' us now / We've got the groove"
This song was embraced as the new black national anthem and went double platinum, selling over 2 million copies.
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