It’s time to hang the disco ball and boogie down! Let’s talk about dance music of the 1970’s. These are in no chronological order whatsoever, but then again I’m sure you expected nothing less from me.
A Dancing Queen was born in 1976. Was Abba not just the quintessential 70’s band? I think I read somewhere that when they first started recording in English they didn’t speak it, so they learned the lyrics phonetically, but when I tried to research it online I got conflicting opinions. It does make for a good story though. Abba enjoyed a renewed interest in their music when first the play and then the movie version of Mamma Mia came out. I was and am a HUGE fan of Mamma Mia, but my love for musicals is a whole other kettle of fish.
Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive is so fun! Check out the roller skating girl in the video. Hello, satin pants! Anita Baker wanted someone to Ring My Bell and Amii Stewart was Knock(ing) on Wood. (that one’s a little psychedelic! And what’s on her head??)
Van McCoy taught us to do The Hustle, The Village People extolled the virtues of the YMCA, and the Hues Corporation admonished us to Rock The Boat (or not. It’s hard to tell from the lyrics) The Bee Gees were Jive Talkin’ (more about them tomorrow) and Carl Douglas was Kung Fu Fighting. And try to listen to Le Freak by Chic and not..um..freak out.
The Commodores sang Brick House like it was a compliment. KC & The Sunshine Band just came right out with it and said to Shake Your Booty, while Peaches and Herb let us use our own imaginations in Shake Your Groove Thing, and Michael Jackson got a little more specific with Shake Your Body Down to The Ground.
I’m going to go off on a tangent here and include Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang on this list even though it’s not exactly dance music but it does make you want to get up and dance. My friend Vicki introduced me to this song (except she mispronounced it as Raper’s Delight. Um, what??) and we learned it word for word. Yeah, because we were cool like that.
And finally, let’s have our Last Dance with Donna Summer, who was arguably The First Lady of Disco.
Whew! I’m tired. There was so much more that I just couldn’t include for space reasons but I hope these songs got you up out of your seat and finding your groove again.