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Subject: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: 90s Guy on 05/19/18 at 11:40 am

Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Philip Eno on 05/19/18 at 11:44 am

There was no backlash, people enjoyed the occasion and the dancing.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: #Infinity on 05/19/18 at 1:30 pm

Because the disco scene had strong ties to both the gay community, as well as the African American community. Much of the hatred against disco came from conservative white males. Also, the genre was pretty much ubiquitous after Saturday Night Fever came out.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: 90s Guy on 05/19/18 at 2:03 pm


Because the disco scene had strong ties to both the gay community, as well as the African American community. Much of the hatred against disco came from conservative white males. Also, the genre was pretty much ubiquitous after Saturday Night Fever came out.


Thing I never understood about that is that many of those conservative white males you mention were listening to stuff like the Stones, Aerosmith and KISS, who with their makeup and personas, were much more overtly "gay" if we're being honest than any of the Disco performers. I mean go look at a picture of Mick Jagger from 1976 and compare it to one of the Bee Gees from the same year, it's easy to see who looks more masculine, you know? It's not exactly like rock n' roll in the 70s was this manly macho genre IMO.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: yelimsexa on 05/19/18 at 2:58 pm

Actually, rock as a genre by this point had shaken off its "devil's music" label of the '50s/'60s, that baton had now passed onto disco and punk. By the late '70s, rock had delved into the more centrist "dinosaur" crowd and the ultra left "punk" crowd. This lead to a lot of conservative ballads, country crossovers, and "yacht rock" for the first quarter of the 1980s. It was mostly an American phenomenon of course (sorry Phillip, it didn't happen over there), as disco continued to be popular and evolve elsewhere, where the word "disco" continued to be used even as it was reverted to the more PC "dance music" in America when uptempo pop resurfaced around 1983. Interestingly, the places that were last to see disco become popular were the areas that had the biggest hatred. Conversely, hair metal a decade later never had such a big backlash; it simply faded out due to a decline in quality, with grunge and alternative naturally replacing. No other genre before or since has had such a public rejection to artificially knock it out of the mainstream, not even Emo, nor teen pop, no trap music.

Finally, this era was also the peak of urban decay in cities, before gentrification made them hip again. Disco was clearly the "urban" music of choice, and this may have also contributed to its negative connotation.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/19/18 at 3:04 pm


There was no backlash, people enjoyed the occasion and the dancing.



till Disco Demolition Night came along.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 05/19/18 at 3:24 pm


Because the disco scene had strong ties to both the gay community, as well as the African American community. Much of the hatred against disco came from conservative white males. Also, the genre was pretty much ubiquitous after Saturday Night Fever came out.


Although what you say certainly has grains of truth, this is being too sociological about it. Like Freud said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".  People hated disco because they hated the music, myself included. Though, as you say, disco began as almost exclusively the province of African Americans and gay white males, the reaction against it began only after it became ubiquitous, and after it had passed from the hands of blacks and gays on into the mainstream. There were PLENTY of suburban white males who LOVED disco, by the way.  We called them "the blow-dried chest hair" types.  ;D 

Another reason disco was despised is because it seemed shallow, meaningless, and celebrating a hedonistic, materialistic lifestyle (everything the 80s would go on to be, by the way). Keep in mind disco came hot on the heels of the 60s and early 70s when music had been very, very meaningful, cosmic, cerebral, "heavy, man".  Disco wanted to wipe all that out and make everything into "hey, lets just dance". That is what had many people who had come through the 60s and 70s, myself included, aghast.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Philip Eno on 05/19/18 at 3:35 pm



till Disco Demolition Night came along.
What happened?

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/19/18 at 4:19 pm


What happened?


people were protesting about disco and that disco sucked.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Philip Eno on 05/19/18 at 4:21 pm


people were protesting about disco and that disco sucked.
That must had been in the latter years?

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: AmericanGirl on 05/19/18 at 9:36 pm


That must had been in the latter years?


Disco Demolition happened in Chicago in July, 1979.  (I wasn't there but I saw it on the local Chicago news)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAJfOcnYYEQ

:o

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/20/18 at 6:57 am


That must had been in the latter years?


July Of 1979.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/20/18 at 6:58 am


Disco Demolition happened in Chicago in July, 1979.  (I wasn't there but I saw it on the local Chicago news)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAJfOcnYYEQ

:o


How did you feel about what you saw on television? :o

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: AmericanGirl on 05/20/18 at 11:14 pm


How did you feel about what you saw on television? :o


Now that's a good question!  :)

Honestly I felt shocked, a little sad, a little angry - and even a bit scared.  Shocked because I had no idea that hatred for Disco went so deep as to cause a riot.  Angry because of the wanton destruction of music plus the disregard for the White Sox and the stadium.  Scared given the thought that had I been there as a Disco semi-supporter, I might've taken some abuse or even violence.  And sad - sad because of the apparent fissure that was now so clear having occurred in the music of my youth - it never seemed that divided in my lifetime until this.  (Prior to the Disco takeover, everybody my age generally could listen to Top 40 and enjoy it - at least most of it.)

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/21/18 at 5:18 am


Now that's a good question!  :)

Honestly I felt shocked, a little sad, a little angry - and even a bit scared.  Shocked because I had no idea that hatred for Disco went so deep as to cause a riot.  Angry because of the wanton destruction of music plus the disregard for the White Sox and the stadium.  Scared given the thought that had I been there as a Disco semi-supporter, I might've taken some abuse or even violence.  And sad - sad because of the apparent fissure that was now so clear having occurred in the music of my youth - it never seemed that divided in my lifetime until this.  (Prior to the Disco takeover, everybody my age generally could listen to Top 40 and enjoy it - at least most of it.)


So if Steve Dahl hated disco,why cause a disruption? ::)

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: whistledog on 05/21/18 at 4:35 pm

Disco never died in 1979, it just evolved over the years.  Disco was still quite popular in the very early 80s ... 

In 1980, Upside down by Diana Ross reached #1 in the US/Canada and in 1981, Celebration by Kool and the Gang did the same

In 1981, Medley by the Dutch group Stars on 45 reached #1 in many countries.  In Canada, it became the best selling single that year, holding the #1 spot for a then record setting 12 weeks. 

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/22/18 at 7:11 am


Disco never died in 1979, it just evolved over the years.  Disco was still quite popular in the very early 80s ... 

In 1980, Upside down by Diana Ross reached #1 in the US/Canada and in 1981, Celebration by Kool and the Gang did the same

In 1981, Medley by the Dutch group Stars on 45 reached #1 in many countries.  In Canada, it became the best selling single that year, holding the #1 spot for a then record setting 12 weeks.


Can you say the same for funk too? ???

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: whistledog on 05/23/18 at 3:39 am


Can you say the same for funk too? ???


Funk never had its own demolition night lol

Funk still existed well into the 80s.  Britain still had lots of funk artists charting in the UK well into the mid-80s.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/23/18 at 2:32 pm


Funk never had its own demolition night lol

Funk still existed well into the 80s.  Britain still had lots of funk artists charting in the UK well into the mid-80s.


and I think I know a few.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Dundee on 05/24/18 at 2:56 am


Disco never died in 1979, it just evolved over the years.  Disco was still quite popular in the very early 80s ... 

In 1980, Upside down by Diana Ross reached #1 in the US/Canada and in 1981, Celebration by Kool and the Gang did the same

In 1981, Medley by the Dutch group Stars on 45 reached #1 in many countries.  In Canada, it became the best selling single that year, holding the #1 spot for a then record setting 12 weeks.
Disco pretty much survived throughout the 80s as it progressively evolved into EDM. Genres like Italo-Disco and Hi-NRG were still big, especially in Europe. Not mentionning the huge impact it had on New Wave and Synthpop. Donna Summer's 1977 hit "I Feel Love" basically set the precedent for 80s music and beyond.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/24/18 at 5:23 am


Disco pretty much survived throughout the 80s as it progressively evolved into EDM. Genres like Italo-Disco and Hi-NRG were still big, especially in Europe. Not mentionning the huge impact it had on New Wave and Synthpop. Donna Summer's 1977 hit "I Feel Love" basically set the precedent for 80s music and beyond.


and what about some disco groups that tried to survive the 80's such as the Village People?

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: AmericanGirl on 05/26/18 at 11:53 am


Disco never died in 1979, it just evolved over the years...


I partially disagree, see below


Can you say the same for funk too? ???


See below


Disco pretty much survived throughout the 80s as it progressively evolved into EDM...


I partially disagree, see below


and what about some disco groups that tried to survive the 80's such as the Village People?


Having lived through the Disco era, I have some thoughts about this.

There are 80s+ music genres that followed after Disco which indeed evolved directly from Disco.  And they were very popular.  The thing is, nobody called them "Disco" because that was a bad word after 1980 (it was still OK in 1980 but growing less so...).  Disco indeed died - not in 1979 but probably sometime in late 1980 - because the term "Disco" was by then a joke.  Not that the music was done - far from it - Disco's "kids" (the music that evolved from Disco) carried on strong.

Part of the reason it's considered dead is how much difficulty "Disco" artists suddenly had continuing their popularity.  You didn't hear more Disco hits from the likes of Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band, or the Village People after 1980.  (They may have continued recording but people weren't buying like before.)

One of the worst aspects of Disco dominance (and I'm a semi-supporter) is the fact that it swallowed up several previously viable genres that were forced to become "Disco".  For example, Funk.  In the late 70's, there wasn't much Funk around - it had become Disco.  Or any Funk that wasn't Disco had a hard time getting traction, because Disco had "swallowed up" Funk.  (Funk would reemerge - but only after Disco died.)  Disco at its peak was threatening to "swallow up" more genres - which is one reason a lot of artists of other genres "disco-ized" their sound.  (IMO this really increased the anger of the non-Disco crowd perhaps more than anything else.)  Disco had fostered legitimate hatred and thus it had to "die".  Other genres that were past their time "petered out" - Disco "died".

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/26/18 at 2:26 pm


I partially disagree, see below

See below

I partially disagree, see below

Having lived through the Disco era, I have some thoughts about this.

There are 80s+ music genres that followed after Disco which indeed evolved directly from Disco.  And they were very popular.  The thing is, nobody called them "Disco" because that was a bad word after 1980 (it was still OK in 1980 but growing less so...).  Disco indeed died - not in 1979 but probably sometime in late 1980 - because the term "Disco" was by then a joke.  Not that the music was done - far from it - Disco's "kids" (the music that evolved from Disco) carried on strong.

Part of the reason it's considered dead is how much difficulty "Disco" artists suddenly had continuing their popularity.  You didn't hear more Disco hits from the likes of Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band, or the Village People after 1980.  (They may have continued recording but people weren't buying like before.)

One of the worst aspects of Disco dominance (and I'm a semi-supporter) is the fact that it swallowed up several previously viable genres that were forced to become "Disco".  For example, Funk.  In the late 70's, there wasn't much Funk around - it had become Disco.  Or any Funk that wasn't Disco had a hard time getting traction, because Disco had "swallowed up" Funk.  (Funk would reemerge - but only after Disco died.)  Disco at its peak was threatening to "swallow up" more genres - which is one reason a lot of artists of other genres "disco-ized" their sound.  (IMO this really increased the anger of the non-Disco crowd perhaps more than anything else.)  Disco had fostered legitimate hatred and thus it had to "die".  Other genres that were past their time "petered out" - Disco "died".


Thanks for that little story, AG. O0

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: whistledog on 05/31/18 at 4:57 am

They may not have wanted to call it Disco, but it was still technically Disco
The 1981 song Medley by Stars on 45/Starsound is a 100% Disco song, and it reachced #1 in almost every country where it charted

5bGQ1-Gmoso

Disco was dance music.  Dance music still exists

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/31/18 at 7:19 am


They may not have wanted to call it Disco, but it was still technically Disco
The 1981 song Medley by Stars on 45/Starsound is a 100% Disco song, and it reachced #1 in almost every country where it charted

5bGQ1-Gmoso

Disco was dance music.  Dance music still exists


just like funk music, funk nowadays is now considered "dance".

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Dundee on 05/31/18 at 1:19 pm


just like funk music, funk nowadays is now considered "dance".
It's more associated with Soul, New Jack Swing and other R&B genres than really Dance.

Subject: Re: Why was the backlash to Disco so extreme?

Written By: Howard on 05/31/18 at 2:25 pm


It's more associated with Soul, New Jack Swing and other R&B genres than really Dance.


I mean back then you had funk and disco but nowadays just about almost every genre is considered either "soul" "dance" or "pop" music.

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