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Posted By: Jeff on: 02/26/2007 19:42:39 EST
Subject: RE: 1st Disco Song - Disco era

Message Detail:
We tend to associate what used to be called discotheques with Johnny Rivers' mid-60s hits and other popular live singles of the era like the Premiers' "Farmer John." But those places were generally smaller, more intimate, and often featured jazz groups as well as rock performers. By comparison, the discos of the '70s and the music played there evoked a more grandiose, hedonistic, and often gay-oriented atmosphere. After all, the latter is one of the two basic roots of disco.

Basically, it was the political, social, and cultural turmoil of the late '60s and early '70s that almost completely left dance music and even dancing itself in the dust. We were no longer in Pleasantville; it was a whole new era, traditional values were being seriously questioned and discarded, so many profoundly significant things--good and bad--were happening all at once, and everybody seemed to be deeply concerned about making a difference in this world by accomplishing something truly meaningful and lasting, and the music reflected that. A lot of it was designed to seriously listen to and contemplate the meaning(s) of. It was "now," it was hip, smart, sophisticated, groovy, what's happening, where it's at, the real thing, and made early rock appear totally square, simplistic, unenlightened, and backward. But it also reflected the fact that although we today like to nostalgize that era as exciting and fun, much of it was one big painful shock. By the early '70s the turmoil was winding down but people were (as Bob says) worn to a frazzle and most folks seemed resigned to surrender to the void. Disco and disco dancing appeared to be a way of learning to enjoy yourself without having to be socially conscious. In other words, you can't change the world, so I'm not gonna let it bother me tonight.


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