The Rise and Fall of Disco


Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco.

Peyton Chanley, Contributor

“Disco is music for dancing, and people will always want to dance.” -Giorgio Moroder Have you ever heard the song It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls? Did you know that that song is considered disco?  Disco definitely had highs and lows, and lots of controversy. Disco songs can range from love, heartbreak, to just straight sad. Many popular artists emerged into the disco era with popular songs and a new style of dancing too. Disco influenced a lot of more fashion styles too, ones with flashy, colorful skirts, that shine under the disco lights. Disco also helped the evolution of sound system technology, loudspeakers, and lighting. 

Disco is a style of pop music that was quite popular in the 1970s. Most disco songs have a four-on-the-floor beat, (a rhythm in 4/4 time in which the bass drum is played on every beat) a quaver or semi-quaver (a note having the time value of an eighth of a whole note or half a quarter note, represented by a large dot with a hooked stem), and a heavy, syncopated bass line. Disco music can have major and minor seven chords, which are found more often in jazz than pop music. Dancing to disco was also a really important thing people would do. There are many memorable dancing moves that might seem familiar such as the YMCA, and the disco finger. Disco was really popular for about ten years before the tragic death of disco which was a very important part of music history and I will be talking about later. 

There are many popular disco songs and artists but one of the most popular ones is Donna Summer. Donna Summer is one of the most known disco singer/songwriter. Having 89 singles, she performed in over 24 concerts and was named the queen of disco. One of her most popular songs is I Feel Love. Some of Micheal Jackson’s songs were considered disco, such as Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough and I Wanna Be Where You Are. The Bee Gees were a popular disco band, having over 24 songs, but most known for their song Stayin’ Alive which I

can almost guarantee that you’ve heard before. They had 15 top ten hits and twenty-nine top 40 hits in the USA. Disco definitely produced some popular songs and artists, some of which are still popular today. 

When music ‘dies’ it normally means when it wasn’t popular anymore, but when I say disco died, I literally mean, disco actually died. On Tuesday, July 12th, 1979, at the Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, was the major league Baseball promotion; Disco Demolition Night. A box full of disco records was brought to the doubleheader game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Lots of people who had bought tickets for the game weren’t even there to watch the game, they had only come for the Disco Demolition. 50,000 people were there and thousands more continued to sneak in while the game was happening. After their first game they blew up the crate of disco records and those in attendance rushed on the field after the explosion. The explosion caused a fire and people were throwing records around and breaking them everywhere. The field was so damaged that the White Sox were forced to forfeit. Although more disco music was still being produced after that event, it was still considered the death of disco, and looking back on the incident it is quite horrific and probably wasn’t the best thing to do. For more details about this event you can visit this website, 

Disco today is not very popular, but it used to be.It influenced dance, fashion, and future genres of music. Nobodys became somebody’s by creating disco music. Controversy started, then the Disco Demolition happened. Disco Demolition was the beginning of the end of disco, if that makes sense to you. Listening to disco really sets a new feeling/vibe to the area around you. So next time you hear music, stop and ask ‘is that disco?’