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
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 Welsh, English,
Dutch, Afrikaans, Limburgan, German, Yiddish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic,
French, Italian, Neapolitan, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian,
Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian,
Bashkir, Kazakh, Uzbek, Turkmen, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian,
Greek, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Indonesian,
Malay, Tagalog, Malagasy, Hawaiian, Tahitian,
Akan, Duala and probably one or two additional Cameroonian languages,
Swahili, Yoruba, Zulu, one or two Ivorian languages,
Sranan Tongo (a language of Suriname), Martiniquan Creole,
Farsi (Persian), Tajik, Georgian, Armenian, Arabic, Hebrew, Tamazight,
Hindi/Hindustani/Urdu, Sindhi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil,
and Hungarian. That's 69 languages!
Over 12,400 songs in all!
You'll also find details on past disco events, disco-oriented products,
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 Disco -
disco fever in India
1983-1989 Disco -
the last days of classic disco
- examples of the disco revival
2000-2003 Disco -
disco thrives in the early 2000s
Disco - disco continues to prosper
Disco - she-wolves and starmen
2010+ Disco -
the music of yesterday
2020+ Disco -
the music of today (music to beat the pandemic blues)
Disco in unknown years
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
Johnson: Light Up the Night, Winners
Chic: Chic, C'est Chic, Risqué
Company: The Company
Delegation: Eau de Vie
Benson: Give Me the Night, Compilation
Jamiroquai: Traveling without Moving, Synkronized, A Funk Odyssey,
Wright: Norma Jean
Disco Gardens, Big Fun, Three for Love, Friends
Sheila and B.
Devotion: Singin' in the Rain, King of the
Sledge: We are Family, Love Somebody Today,
Ellis-Bextor: Read My Lips, Trip the Light
Mills: What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin', Sweet
Nate: Situation: Critical, Stranger Than
Other notable artists:
Asha Puthli • Barry
White • Candi
Staton • Charanga
Cheryl Lynn • Constellation
Orchestra • Diana Ross • Donna
Summer • Eddie
Drennon • Fantasy • First Choice • France
Frankie Valli • Jocelyn Brown • Laura
Taylor • Michael Jackson
Hyman • The Players Association • Rainbow
• S.O.S. Band • The
Salsoul Orchestra • Teena
Marie • Thelma
Houston • Voyage
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.
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
True disco is not
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
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
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
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
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)
Night Fever (40th Anniversary Edition) starring John Travolta (1977, DVD format)
God It's Friday with Donna Summer performing "Last Dance" (1978,
Godfather (1979, DVD format)
sells the hottest dance music of yesterday and today in downloadable MP3
and WAV formats
Other disco sites:
Another site that agreed with
our premise that disco is still a contemporary genre, and which also had
very good recommendations of classic disco, was Michelle Demers' DiscoStyle.com,
which had static content since 2008 and closed in July 2019.
Also excellent are
Disco-Disco.com with its
interviews and samples,
Overfitting Disco with its large collection of obscurities (and a former radio stream),
Disco Funk with its terrific
A-Z artists database.
DiscoMusic.com, founded in 1996 by Bernard Lopez, has super articles and lists, and from 1996-2016 also had databases and forums.
Bob Dabrowski's Hustle Dance site is about this 1970s Nuyorican form of dancing that can be accompanied not only by disco but also by other forms of danceable and soulful music.
Send your comments to:
Don't send music files. Don't ask to identify the title or artist of a random song you've heard.