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Subject: Genres of the 70's

Written By: ADH13 on 02/02/06 at 2:07 am



As I've been listening to samples on compilation CD's lately, I'm getting confused by some of the different genres... and based on the tracks on the compilations, I see I'm not the only one confused.

First:  Funk and Disco

I've always considered disco and funk to be similar instrumentally, but with disco having a catchy chorus (or catchy song altogether) while funk is more choppy and less catchy.

These songs are commonly known as disco, but I would call them funk, and all 3 were featured on a funk reunion show on PBS recently:

Brick House - Commodores
Funkytown - Lipps, Inc
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry


Soul and R&B confuse me too.  I've always considered R&B to be slow, smooth, ballad-like such as:

Betcha By Golly, Wow - Stylistics
Ooh, Baby Baby - Smokey Robinson
Have You Seen Her - Chi-Lites

While soul is more upbeat but still harmonized like

Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye
Midnight Train To Georgia - Gladys Knight
Best Of My Love - Emotions

But I see both types on soul compilations as well as R&B compilations... so I'm just curious... am I confused?? Or are the compilation-makers confused? ???


Subject: Re: Genres of the 70's

Written By: Banks on 02/02/06 at 3:01 am

I actually think the lines are blurred in many cases. Especially in the disco/funk genres. Personally I saw Funkytown as a funk song with disco tendancies. I mean, the tune of Funkytown is definately disco, but the rhythm section and the make up of the song is definately funk.

I guess it is all in what you percieve. Where music is concerned, those lines can also change. I mean, years ago, Black Sabath's Paranoid was seen as heavy rock that is almost on the cusp of metal (but not quite), and yet, by todays standards it could ALMOST been seen as soft rock IMO. Guns N Roses were definately a heavy rock band in their day, but now they are somewhat seen as a softer group compared to what they were seen as back in the mid to late 80's early 90's.

Another band that actually crosses the boarders between genres was led Zeppelin. Even some of their songs crossed genres. Songs such as Kashmir, which struck me as a heavy metal song slowed down, and songs like Dazed and Confused blur the lines considerably.

Disco and funk lines are often blurred so much that funk is considered disco...Even one of the 70's kings of funk, Joe Tex was happy to blur the lines with some of his songs between disco and funk. Aint Gonna Bump No More is a funk song about a his adventures at a disco.

I like it when compilers of music blur the lines, or dont recognise the lines and put funk songs on disco compilations. To me, it feels like your getting a little extra feel from the 70's. I have noticed that it isnt very often that disco gets put on funk compilations though, unless the compilation is a cheap knock off, then all bets are off. I have some CDs that purport to be disco but have Led Zeppelin and Meatloaf mixed in with the likes of Lipps Inc and Donna Summer.






AN

Subject: Re: Genres of the 70's

Written By: AmericanGirl on 02/02/06 at 12:32 pm

I'd say they are completely different genres - although as we all know, many songs can fit into both categories.

It's obvious, too, that you can have Funk songs that are NOT Disco, and you can have Disco songs that are NOT Funk.  :-\\

Examples:

Funk and NOT Disco: Sly & Family Stone's "Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa"
Disco and NOT Funk: Bee Gees' Tragedy

Of course, other genres can mix with Disco too, how about Pop (eg. Abba's Dancing Queen) or Rock (eg. Stones' Shattered)...  ;)

Subject: Re: Genres of the 70's

Written By: ADH13 on 02/02/06 at 1:25 pm


I'd say they are completely different genres - although as we all know, many songs can fit into both categories.

It's obvious, too, that you can have Funk songs that are NOT Disco, and you can have Disco songs that are NOT Funk.   :-\\

Examples:

Funk and NOT Disco: Sly & Family Stone's "Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa"
Disco and NOT Funk: Bee Gees' Tragedy

Of course, other genres can mix with Disco too, how about Pop (eg. Abba's Dancing Queen) or Rock (eg. Stones' Shattered)...   ;)



It seems that many of the songs that are funk but NOT disco could also be considered soul.  I'm not familiar with the Sly & Family Stone one you mentioned, but I think the O'Jay's "Love Train" is a good example of funk that could also be considered soul.

Subject: Re: Genres of the 70's

Written By: Tanya1976 on 02/02/06 at 1:47 pm



As I've been listening to samples on compilation CD's lately, I'm getting confused by some of the different genres... and based on the tracks on the compilations, I see I'm not the only one confused.

First:  Funk and Disco

I've always considered disco and funk to be similar instrumentally, but with disco having a catchy chorus (or catchy song altogether) while funk is more choppy and less catchy.

These songs are commonly known as disco, but I would call them funk, and all 3 were featured on a funk reunion show on PBS recently:

Brick House - Commodores
Funkytown - Lipps, Inc
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry


Soul and R&B confuse me too.   I've always considered R&B to be slow, smooth, ballad-like such as:

Betcha By Golly, Wow - Stylistics
Ooh, Baby Baby - Smokey Robinson
Have You Seen Her - Chi-Lites

While soul is more upbeat but still harmonized like

Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye
Midnight Train To Georgia - Gladys Knight
Best Of My Love - Emotions

But I see both types on soul compilations as well as R&B compilations... so I'm just curious... am I confused?? Or are the compilation-makers confused? ???




Play that Funky Music and Brick House are funk standards. I have never known them as Disco.

Funkytown is a disco song.

Subject: Re: Genres of the 70's

Written By: ADH13 on 02/02/06 at 2:34 pm


Play that Funky Music and Brick House are funk standards. I have never known them as Disco.






That's why I was confused when I saw them on disco compilation cd's.  I always thought they were funk too...

Subject: Re: Genres of the 70's

Written By: AmericanGirl on 02/02/06 at 5:03 pm


...I'm not familiar with the Sly & Family Stone one you mentioned...


Sorry to use a song you don't know for an example!  ;D  Here's another perfect Funk but not Disco tune:

Rufus and Chaka Khan - Tell Me Something Good

Soul vs. R&B - "Soul" is actually a later term to encompass the genre at one time known as R&B.  R&B, or Rhythm and Blues, was designated by "outsiders" in the 40s and 50s to distinguish the genre of music, it was based on the music's roots.  Soul was a term coined in the 60's by "insiders", ie. artists and people in the music business who dealt with the music, a name which had more meaning at the time.  Since we tend not to "throw away" phrases, both have been used almost interchangeably since then, probably more since we've gotten away from the issues that made a new term necessary. 

I suppose I don't have to go into the negative racial connotations in all the history ...  :(

This is well documented in Rock and Roll History books.  I have the Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (Edition 3) in which the whole sad story is spelled out.  (Good book BTW)

Subject: Re: Genres of the 70's

Written By: loki 13 on 02/02/06 at 5:08 pm

To me funk and disco are kinda similar but funk has a
heavy bass sound where as disco is more of an up-beat.
Another way to tell the difference is the drum beats,
disco has a quick opening and closing of the hi-hat,and
funk uses more of a jazz beat.So heavy bass,jazzy drums
equals funk

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