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Subject: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: 80sfan on 08/31/08 at 9:47 am

I'm 19 and interested in decades and pop culture. I find it amusing how about every 10 years things change. I want to now what year in the 70's did disco start to become popular? I'm not a fan of disco, but since it's a huge part of the 70's, I want to know about it. I also want to know what year disco died.

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: AmericanGirl on 08/31/08 at 10:26 am

You can probably look at 1975 as when Disco became really popular.  There certainly was some Disco around in '74 or even maybe '73, but Disco wasn't mainstream at that time.  (Nobody used the term "Disco" until mid-late '74.)

In its "youth", Disco coexisted nicely with other music styles, at least on the airwaves (which were much more significant then than now).  Sometime around 1977, Disco became more than just another genre, and became very dominant, which is when a lot of people started to get disenfranchised with it.  The Saturday Night Fever phenomenon exacerbated this, so that music enthusiasts became polarized between those who Disco and those who didn't.  By '79, music that wasn't Disco was more or less relegated to second class.  This caused a revolt not seen on a scale before or since by music consumers who weren't taken with Disco and its offerings.  Chicago's summer 1979 "Disco Demolition" event was a symptom of the larger sentiment.

By the end of 1980, Disco was dead.   (Naturally, its offspring lived on into the 80's - but "Disco" was a bad word.)

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: 80sfan on 08/31/08 at 12:30 pm


You can probably look at 1975 as when Disco became really popular.  There certainly was some Disco around in '74 or even maybe '73, but Disco wasn't mainstream at that time.  (Nobody used the term "Disco" until mid-late '74.)

In its "youth", Disco coexisted nicely with other music styles, at least on the airwaves (which were much more significant then than now).  Sometime around 1977, Disco became more than just another genre, and became very dominant, which is when a lot of people started to get disenfranchised with it.  The Saturday Night Fever phenomenon exacerbated this, so that music enthusiasts became polarized between those who Disco and those who didn't.  By '79, music that wasn't Disco was more or less relegated to second class.  This caused a revolt not seen on a scale before or since by music consumers who weren't taken with Disco and its offerings.  Chicago's summer 1979 "Disco Demolition" event was a symptom of the larger sentiment.

By the end of 1980, Disco was dead.   (Naturally, its offspring lived on into the 80's - but "Disco" was a bad word.)






Thanks for giving me this info, I always wanted to know about disco. So Disco lasted just as I thought, It lasted about 5 to 6 years (1974/1975 to 1980), which is how long the average music trend lasts. I learned that somewhere on this website. Despite my title as '80s fan', I like to learn about all decades. It's just that the 80's are my most favorite. 70s are cool too though. I actually "love" music in the 70s because it's so lyrically ingenius and deep. There were so many great artists!

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: Nostalgic on 09/15/08 at 4:31 pm

The earliest disco song that I know of is "Love's Theme" by Love Unlimited Orchestra, which entered the American charts in January 1974.

Disco was declared "dead" in the U.S. sometime in 1980 but it was still popular in Europe and Australia until sometime in 1981.

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: IanG on 09/15/08 at 5:11 pm

I suppose the first disco record I heard was 'Queen Of Clubs' by KC & The Sunshine Band in about '74.
I don't think it really took off here in the UK until Saturday Night Fever was released. I had a brief flirtation
with it which amounted to Donna Summer's Greatest Hits, a compilation LP called 'Disco Inferno' and a
handful of singles. I then lost interest in it and went back to guitar-based rock.  :)

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 09/15/08 at 5:16 pm


70s are cool too though. I actually "love" music in the 70s because it's so lyrically ingenius and deep. There were so many great artists!


Sadly, 'great artists' seem to be a thing of the past...

All the stuff you hear on the radio nowadays is all crap, IMHO!  :(

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: whistledog on 09/15/08 at 6:26 pm

There really isn't much good music these days.  The closest one can get to that groovy 70s disco sound can be found in many dance/techno songs, many of which borrow from elements of 70s music.  They say Disco died in '79, but it didn't really

Into the early 80s, many disco songs were still charting.  In 1980, Diana Ross hit #1 with 'Upside Down' and The S.O.S. Band had a Top 20 hit with 'Take Your Time (Do It Right)'.  By the mid-80s, Disco evolved into a style of music known as Hi-NRG which inspired the 1984 hit 'High Energy' by Evelyn Thomas.  Hi-NRG eventually into dance music which has since evolved into many styles including Ambient, Trance, etc and it is still going strong today

I can't say when Disco first started to become popular, but I know that Billboard Magazine first established what was called the 'Disco Action' chart in 1974, a Top 10 chart that chronicled a week by week listing of the 10 most popular songs in New York City disco clubs.  In 1976, they expanded the chart nationwide to a Top 30.  When the 70s ended, Billboard changed the name of the chart to the 'Hot Dance Music/Club Play' chart which still exists today

As I am a BIG fan of techno/dance music of today, I am very grateful for disco songs of the 70s.  It's great music that many people in today's times don't really give a chance. 

Best Disco hit of the 70s:  "Let's All Chant" by Michael Zager Band.  That horn solo is fantastic!

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: tv on 10/19/08 at 8:23 pm

Disco-I was actually born in late 1979 which was the year that disco kinda died. I like some disco but some disco sucked. I guess disco is like any other musical trend-it had its bad stuff but some good stuff but disco was joked around about for 2 decades(the 80's and 90's.)

I agree with "Whistledog" in that there isn;t very good music on the airwaves these days.

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: tony78201 on 10/25/08 at 3:41 pm

I agree with what most people are saying, 1975-1980

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: Kryllith on 10/27/08 at 9:32 am

Disco will never die! Seriously, it's still a fair influence in some music so technically it's not quite dead yet. It just wants to go for a walk.

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: Fernando on 01/19/09 at 10:23 am

1974disco really took off  helped by the hit single rock your baby by George McCrae wich brought in the new dance craze The Hustle

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 01/19/09 at 12:26 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco

The Wikipedia article on Disco is fairly comprehensive.  Worth a read for anybody trying to get a feel for the genre.

As the article says, Disco has its roots in African American pop music of the 1960s, primarily Soul and Fusion Jazz.  You can also hear Latin and Caribbean influences in Disco as well. 

Disco never died.  The name "Disco" was driven into disrepute by a backlash that started when "Saturday Night Fever" sent disco thumping into every corner of the country.  I'm old enough to remember the "Disco Sucks" campaign of the late '70s.  As the article points out, Disco was a slick urban product of rampant sex, drugs, and high fashion.  Go clubbing in any major city tonight and you'll find the exact same thing.  The fashion is different, the beats are different, maybe the drugs are different, and there's a condom machine in the john, but it's basically the same. 

SNF was faithful to the representation of Disco lifestyle.  However, once it got popular, it got safe.  By 1979 you had Rick Dees' "Disco Duck" for the children and Van McCoy's "The Hustle" for Grandma and Grandpa.  When the bingo parlor in Normal, Illinois, hosted "Disco Night," it was over!  Disco really did suck!

The most popular songs of 1983 were Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and Irene Care's "Flashdance (What a Feeling)"  Disco was anything but dead.  Disco genes survive today in hip-hop, trance, electronica, and a dozen other pop music forms.  Nobody can tell me Disco ever died, fashion trends changed, that's all.

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Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: Paul on 01/19/09 at 2:11 pm

1980 seems to be the cut-off point...

Here in Britain, the 'old-style' disco tune was having its last stand with the likes of Odyssey's 'Use It Up', Kelly Marie's 'Feels Like I'm In Love' and the mighty Ottawan with 'D.I.S.C.O.'... :D

And yet, right at the dying weeks of that year came Yarbrough & Peoples with 'Don't Stop The Music'...a slower, grittier form of beat that eventually mutated into 'Club' music as 1982 beckoned...

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: Cautious Lip on 01/26/09 at 7:39 pm

Disco died when the new sound of "New Wave" come along in 1979.

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: mooster on 02/02/09 at 9:04 pm

For me personally it never died  ;D

I think it peaked in 1977 with Saturday Night Fever and started to wane around 1979/80. So 75-80 was probably its time.

Subject: Re: What year did Disco start to become popular? What year did it die?

Written By: 90steen on 02/04/09 at 3:02 pm

I agree with what everybody said,

I think that the 1980's in music had the quickest change from 70's.

Some decades, the music still sounds like the previous decade for a year or two.

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