If you’re a music fan, it’s likely you have a genre or a time period that really speaks to the essence of who you are. Although I’m a fan of so many genres, disco has stood out to me over the years as the genre that defined a short, but impactful period of my life.
Disco’s meteoric rise in America during the late 70s was only rivaled by its equally remarkable slip into irrelevance. It took over popular culture in such a unique way. Disco wasn’t just music, it was a way of being that is still easily identifiable today. From the extravagant and loose-flowing outfits, to dance moves like “the bump” and “the hustle,” disco was the ultimate means of expression. John Travolta’s signature pose with his arm raised and finger pointed to the sky in Saturday Night Fever is the defining image of disco, but The Bee Gees are the face and the soundtrack.
The Bee Gees, formed in 1958, were relatively unknown until their breakout hits in the late 1960s. Before completely embracing R&B and disco in the middle of the 70s with their first disco hit, “You Should Be Dancing,” their sound was reminiscent of The Beatles’ pop-rock stylings on their first few albums. Although they had achieved chart-worthy success in the years leading up to “Saturday Night Fever,” the soundtrack album catapulted them into an entirely new level of fame. “Saturday Night Fever” released alongside the movie in 1977, was credited as mainstreaming the genre of disco and has sold over 40 million copies since its release, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.
I had my own disco era of sorts in 1992-93 (sophomore and junior years of high school). I loved the idea of disco. The music was catchy, its cadence and tempo spoke to me. It was cool, and it was provocative. I was constantly seeking out that vibe but in Dayton, Ohio, that vibe didn’t really exist. I remember one Saturday night driving 45 minutes for the only adult club that had Disco nights on Saturdays. I was obviously underage, but nothing was going to stop me from having my “Studio 54” experience. We snuck into this adult club where everyone seemed a lot older than us. There was no nudity, no cool dancing, no beautiful people, but the music was still there. And that was all that mattered. It’s still all that matters.
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She gets it to me good
My woman, give me power
Go right down to my blood