Yes, way back in ancient times – well, the 1970’s – you could not escape disco music. It was everywhere. It was in the clubs, it was in the movies, it was on the radio.
And eventually, the popularity of disco meant one thing.
Anything could be made into a disco song. Even songs from long ago. Rock and roll, R&B, C&W, it didn’t matter. The disco beat ruled all.
Which is probably what killed disco – the fact that so many novelty records and one-off recordings attached itself to that genre. For every great disco track, someone eventually came up with a knockoff or a novelty track that also developed its own popularity … and became one of the tracks to which people would say, “I used to like disco until someone did this…”
And I give you examples. Trust me, I’m not too thrilled with today’s tracks.
THE CHAMP’S BOYS ORCHESTRA
How in the world did this French group find a way to shoehorn Mike Oldfield’s classic into a 4/4 disco beat? It wasn’t easy. No it was not.
Themes from the Wizard of Oz
I give Meco credit for the classic “Star Wars / Cantina Band” disco track. I take that credit back when his success deemed that every subsequent release had to sound EXACTLY like his monster hit. Like this track. Brace yourself.
Rhapsody in Blue
In 1976, Walter Murphy produced a monster hit called “A Fifth of Beethoven,” discofying Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Whatever gave Walter Murphy the idea to do the same thing to George Gershwin’s greatest creation … let’s just say this. That spinning, whirring noise you hear is George Gershwin spinning in his tomb.
THE WILTON PLACE STREET BAND
Yes, someone had the brilliant idea to solder the “I Love Lucy” theme to a disco beat. And yes, it actually hit the Top 40 charts. And yes, I discovered new stations by changing the channel on my radio every time I heard this song. “Oh, it’s ‘Disco Lucy’ on the radio? What’s WPTR playing right now?” “Oh, ten minutes later they’re playing ‘Disco Lucy’? Maybe it’s time to listen to WTRY…”
THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Hooked On Classics
This little track had every single trope of its era – a disco medley with hand claps. And there’s that Rhapsody in Blue track again… wow, I haven’t heard this many Rhapsody in Blue music cues since the last time I watched a United Airlines commercial.
MICKEY MOUSE DISCO
If you were to take the classic 1976 disco novelty track “Disco Duck,” and hot-glue it to the Village People’s 1978 track “Macho Man,” and take away any sort of energy or funk or enjoyability, you would be left with – brace yourself – “Macho Duck.” And before anybody gets on my case about this track, trust me, I could have posted the entire Mickey Mouse Disco album here. And don’t think I won’t.
Rick Dees should have stopped after “Disco Duck.” Really, dude. If “Disco Duck” was an inside-the-park home run, “Disgorilla” was baserunning that would embarrass Ruben Rivera.
STEVE DAHL and TEENAGE RADIATION
Do You Think I’m Disco?
This is what happens when you let someone goof on disco and get away with it. This happens, and next thing you know the lead singer of this group is blowing up disco records at Comiskey Park. Oh, wait…
There you go, ladies and gents. The disco tracks that would have destroyed Studio 54 faster than a coke bust. The seamier, goofier side of disco music. Right here for you on K-Chuck Radio!!