Whatever happened to …

… disco?

That was our mantra at university. My roommate had a great stereo system and all kinds of wonderful music that he stored in milk crates. We’d do our homework every night (we both studied mathematics and computer science) while listening to great music. Led Zepplin, Meatloaf, Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton, etc.

It was a nice change for me; I was never allowed to have music on when living at home and doing school work. The thought was that it was distracting. It didn’t hurt me, it seems (or maybe I could have done better, who knows?) and I listen to music all the time now when working.

At present, I have the Flashback 70’s channel playing as I type this – currently Cowgirl in the Sand by Neil Young & Crazy Horse. It’s actually the most frequented station as I know most of the songs and can hum along while doing whatever it is I’m doing. The thing is, though, the 70s were also big for disco. Somehow, I hum along with those too. And I know most of the words too.

As I write this post, I’m reminded of how many great artists disco exposed me to or how it affected careers of others.

Donna Summer – so hard to just pick one from this fabulous artist

Rod Stewart – we all wanted hair and a voice like his

We even attended a Bee Gees concert at the university where they closed with this. They had a huge disco ball suspended from the ceiling of the gymnasium and a spotlight that gave us the stars.

I’m not sure how I learned initially about these songs as they certainly weren’t in his collection and I don’t recall listening to pop music at the time. Grudgingly, I did go and see Saturday Night Fever. Didn’t everyone?

There were memorable moments as well. Steve Dahl tried to destroy disco. And then, there was this.

So even today, years later, these songs still get played on the now “oldies” channel along with others. Right now, it’s “Year of the Car” by Al Stewart.

If you subscribe to satellite radio, there is even a channel devoted to it. What was “it”? My thought was it was the beginning of a whole genre of dance music. You certainly can’t sit still when some of it is playing. It introduced so many electronic instruments as well.

Ranker has this listing and I’ll admit that I know most of them and their lyrics from days gone by. At the same time, I can’t remember why I walked into this room

For a Sunday, your thoughts?

  • What’s disco? (If you answer with a shoulder shrug, you’re too young for this post … move along)
  • Disco sucks. Yes or No – discuss
  • What New York nightclub was famous in the disco years? (Hint: it’s also the name of the satellite radio disco channel)
  • If you’re old enough to know what disco is and listened to it, how about dropping the titles and artists of your favourites?
  • Did you listen to the Bee Gees before they started doing disco?
  • Have you ever seen Saturday Night Fever?
  • Do you work better with background music or do you prefer silence?

I suspect many of the readers of this blog have some disco memories so please share them in the comments.

This post originated on:


If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

6 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. It’s funny, as I don’t really have any personal disco memories, but I listened to the songs and heard and loved all of them. Can I be a disco wannabe instead? 🙂



  2. Disco sucks? No. Disco as the only music being played on radio everywhere? Sucks.

    There’s still disco out there – check out Sophie Ellis-Bextor, for example. And there’s a lot of disco influence in contemporary club music.

    If I had to pick favourites, it’s probably Donna Summer and the Bee Gees.

    I always have music playing when I work, though high-end noise-cancelling Bose headphones. Not so much disco these days, but some, in a wide range of styles.


  3. I never really got into disco music, but I wouldn’t give it a definite yes to “sucks” as I have probably enjoyed dancing to it here and there in the past. I prefer the Bee Gees pre-disco. I have watched Saturday Night Fever. It was well done, but I am not sure I would watch a re-run of it.
    It seems to me that some disco-inspired clothing is back in style, eg. jumpers and rompers for the ladies.
    I will think some more on some favs…


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  5. Pingback: OTR Links 08/10/2020 – doug — off the record

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