Disco Savvy
A chronicle of disco music from 1972 to the present

This website, founded at the dawn of the new millennium on January 1, 2001, is a centralized repository of disco information, highlighting the best disco music from the 1970s through today and offering the largest and most chronologically complete year-by-year lists ever compiled of disco songs.

The Year-by-Year Lists

Here you will find extensive lists of disco songs, divided by year, supplemented by chart positions and other details (such as whether the song is a remake). The lists encompass disco sung in many languages -- including English, Dutch, German, Swedish, French, Italian, Neapolitan, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Serbian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Bashkir, Kazakh, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Greek, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Thai, Tagalog, Swahili, Tahitian, Tajik, Georgian, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, and Hungarian. That's 35 languages! Over 7000 songs in all! You'll also find details on past disco events, disco-oriented products, and more.

  • 1972-1974 Disco - the first years
  • 1975 Disco - do the hustle!
  • 1976 Disco - disco gets more radio hits
  • 1977 Disco - summer heatwave in New York City
  • 1978 Disco - disco explodes into the mainstream
  • 1979 Disco - disco's peak year
  • 1980 Disco - disco's last big year on the American charts
  • 1981 Disco - disco is still alive but declining
  • 1982-1989 Disco - the last days of classic disco
  • 1990-1999 Disco - examples of the disco revival
  • 2000-2003 Disco - disco thrives in the early 2000s
  • 2004-2006 Disco - disco continues to prosper
  • 2007-2009 Disco - the music of yesterday
  • 2010+ Disco - the music of today

    Notable Disco Songs and Artists

    Like with any musical genre, disco has its share of treasures and its share of junk. So which ones are worth your time to seek out and listen to? Here are some disco songs and disco artists that have stood the test of time, performed and produced by superb singers, musicians, and producers.

  • The Best Disco Songs of All Time

  • Brothers Johnson: Light Up the Night, Winners
  • Chic: Chic, C'est Chic, Risqué
  • The Company: The Company
  • Delegation: Eau de Vie
  • George Benson: Give Me the Night, Compilation
  • Jamiroquai: Traveling without Moving, Synkronized, A Funk Odyssey, Dynamite
  • Norma Jean Wright: Norma Jean
  • Shalamar: Disco Gardens, Big Fun, Three for Love, Friends
  • Sheila and B. Devotion: Singin' in the Rain, King of the World
  • Sister Sledge: We are Family, Love Somebody Today, All-American Girls
  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor: Read My Lips, Trip the Light Fantastic
  • Stephanie Mills: What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin', Sweet Sensation, Stephanie
  • Ultra Nate: Situation: Critical, Stranger Than Fiction

    Other notable artists:
    Asha PuthliBarry WhiteCandi StatonCharanga 76Cheryl LynnConstellation Orchestra • Diana Ross • Donna SummerEddie Drennon • Fantasy • First Choice • France Joli • Frankie Valli • Jocelyn Brown • Laura TaylorMichael JacksonPhyllis Hyman • The Players Association • Rainbow TeamS.O.S. BandThe Salsoul OrchestraTeena MarieThelma Houston • Voyage

    Essays

    Have you ever heard statements like "All disco sounds the same" and "Disco is just meaningless party music"? These essays demonstrate the falseness of these sentiments, and will help you explore the full richness of disco.

  • Disco Message Songs
  • A Diversity of Sounds in Disco Music

    The following Year in Review features detail what happened in the disco world in particular years.

  • Disco 2003: The Year in Review
  • Disco 2004: The Year in Review
  • Disco 2005: The Year in Review

    Marco Freitas reflects on the loss of multiple disco legends.

  • 2012: The Year the Music Died

    Further Reading

  • Disco Bibliography: Books


    True disco is not synthetic

    The positive aspects of disco music are often unfairly overlooked, especially since the best disco songs are not known to most people or have been forgotten or miscategorized. First, unlike most other forms of dance music, disco performers generally use real acoustical instruments, including brass (saxophone, trumpet, etc.), strings, rhythm guitar, drums, and piano. There were even several disco orchestras like M.F.S.B., Salsoul Orchestra, Biddu Orchestra, John Davis and the Monster Orchestra, The Armada Orchestra, The Mike Theodore Orchestra, THP Orchestra, The Wonderland Disco Band, Meco Orchestra, Richard Hewson Orchestra, Montana Orchestra, and Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra. Some notable examples of orchestrated disco are M.F.S.B.'s "TLC (Tender Lovin' Care)" and "T.S.O.P.", David Shire's "Manhattan Skyline", Salsoul Orchestra's "Magic Bird of Fire" and "Runaway", and the Armada Orchestra's "Band of Gold", among many others. Occasionally, other disco bands used organ synthesizers instead of real violins, but this was still far better than the excessively electronic dance and rock music of the 1980s.

    Not all disco sounds the same

    Furthermore, disco music is generally uplifting and inspiring, providing a much-needed contrast to the dull and angry racket of many hard rock, heavy metal, alternative rock, techno, and rap songs. With its driving beats, grooving basslines, funky horns, and harmonious strings, disco conveys feeling and energy better than many other genres. ...and provides a diverse range of sounds: Disco is primarily influenced by soul and funk music, but can also utilize elements from jazz, blues, calypso, soca, sca, classical, Latino, and rock music. Effective instrumentation combined with effortful singing had stellar results, as demonstrated by the timeless disco songs by Sister Sledge, Michael Jackson, Gloria Gaynor, George Benson, Phyllis Hyman, Donna Summer, and others. Disco music, when made properly, can be fun, classy, innovative, and exciting.

    Not just party music

    It's true that up-tempo disco music is perfect for any celebration. But, more than mere party music, disco can have deep, meaningful lyrics and can be listened to anywhere, anytime. Quality disco is great for, among other things, relaxing, dancing, exercising, driving, or rollerskating.

    An abundance of talent

    Some disco artists and groups have frequently performed live in concert, including Chic, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Earth Wind and Fire, Shalamar, Black Ivory, Tavares, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Musique, Pattie Brooks, Sylvester, Barry White, Jamiroquai, Odyssey, Rose Royce, Hot Chocolate, GQ, McFadden and Whitehead, France Joli, Candi Staton, Viola Wills, Carol Williams, and Evelyn "Champagne" King. Versatile 1970s disco artists who have had considerable career longevity well into the 1980s (and in some cases 1990s and 2000s) include Gloria Gaynor, Cissy Houston, Donna Summer, Cheryl Lynn, Loleatta Holloway, Martha Wash, Barbara Pennington, Miquel Brown, Barry White, Shalamar, Jody Watley (of Shalamar), Jean Shy, Sarah Brightman, and Kool and the Gang.

    However, the majority of disco artists were solely studio singers, and when disco was made carelessly by producers and companies that were more interested in making money than making quality music, the results were mindless repetition, boring lyrics, and headache-inducing instrumentation. And radio stations in the 1970s tended to play too many inferior disco songs. A listener would be barraged by "Ring My Bell", "YMCA", "Macho Man", "Disco Duck", "Knock on Wood", "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", "Get Dancin'", "Funkytown", "If There's Love", and other mindless and unharmonious mass-produced trash in between the gems. And as disco phased into over-synthesized pop, HI-NRG, house, and other forms of music, the emotion, art, and style that typified the best acts of disco was lost. Electronic keyboards and synthesizers have their place but they were used to an excess in the 1980s. Often, keyboards and synths are good as supplements to real instruments, but not as replacements. One by one each real instrument was replaced; first the violins went, then the bass guitar and trumpet, and finally the guitar.

    Fortunately, the original disco sound came back in a big way beginning in the 1990s, spawning hundreds of new disco recordings by such artists as the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, and BsB Disco Club.


    Disco movies and documentaries:

  • Roller Boogie starring Linda Blair (1979, DVD format)
  • Saturday Night Fever (30th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition) starring John Travolta (1977, DVD format)
  • Thank God It's Friday with Donna Summer performing "Last Dance" (1978, DVD format)
  • Disco Godfather (1979, DVD format)
  • Disco: Spinning the Story with Gloria Gaynor (2005, DVD format)

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    Recommended links:
            Other disco sites: Another site that agrees with our premise that disco is still a contemporary genre, and which also has very good recommendations of classic disco, is DiscoStyle.com, so it's the top pick. Also excellent are DiscoMusic.com with its super databases and forums, Disco-Disco.com with its interviews and samples, Disco Museum with its extensive label discographies and artist tributes, and Disco Funk with its terrific A-Z artists database. Ed Dolista, who hosts the Australian radio show "Disco Fever", has a good site called Disco Fever. Ron Joseph still hosts the American radio show "Disco USA".
            Other music research sites: If you're interested in 1970s music in general, you will want to visit The Lost 45s with Barry Scott as well as Super Seventies. Discogs.com is an incredible database of albums and singles in all music genres.
            Record services: Need to restore your records? Why not transfer them to CDs using Magic Sound Restoration!
            Record shops: Vinyl Searcher is a UK-based retailer of dance music vinyl records of all kinds including disco, italo-disco, house, acid jazz, Hi-NRG, and more. GEMM.com has a continually changing inventory of vinyl records, CDs, and other products from tens of thousands of sellers, with a huge disco selection along with house, garage, techno, and more.
            Disco on the radio: To listen to some fine disco music on licensed streams and radio programs, the places to be are DJ Lee's DiscoInternet.com, Diva Radio's Disco Music Paradise, I-Love-Disco on TuneIn, and WAPS Radio Disco Action. channel. Disco is mixed with other styles of 1980s and early 1990s dance music on DiscoNet.FM. If you like disco AND soul/funk/jazz, you'll also want to hear Soul Movement Radio, 105Classics, The Disco Palace, Diva Radio's Funk Music Paradise, and Solar Radio.

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