Disco 2005:
The Year in Review

Compiled by DiscoSavvy.com
on February 26, 2006


The internationally-known British band Jamiroquai released their album "Dynamite" this year, and it included two disco songs, "(Don't) Give Hate a Chance" and "Time Won't Wait", as well as the disco-funk track "Starchild" and the electro-disco-funk track "Dynamite". "(Don't) Give Hate a Chance" is a message song that sounds like classic disco with its constant beat, deep bassline, rhythm guitar stabs, and backing strings and it reached #27 on the British Pop chart in November 2005.

Muchachito Bombo Infierno's Spanish-language album "Vamos Que Nos Vamos" included the energetic disco track "Más Que Breve" as well as the funky electro-disco track "Será Mejor", both of which feature blaring horns.

The mellow electro-disco-soul track "Don't Outstay Outside Tonight" by Pascal Rioux featuring Mister Day (a.k.a. Eric Duperray), was also released in 2005, as were the electro-disco tracks "Damentag" by Tosca and "Once You Find It (Main Vocal Mix)" by Pure Essence featuring D' Empress.

New disco-house releases during 2005 included "Civil Unrest" by Kings of Tomorrow (Sandy Riviera) and "Nightlights (Seamus Haji Vocal Mix, Seamus Haji Dub Mix, and Polyphonics Original Mix)" by Polyphonics featuring Hasina Sheik. The disco-house-soul track "You Move (Fizz and Patrick Mix)" by Sleepy Brown was a remix of the sung portions of the 2003 jazzy soul-rap hit "The Way You Move" by Outkast featuring Sleepy Brown.


"Disco Ball 4" was presented by WKTU 103.5 FM on Saturday, May 21, 2005 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Performers included Jackie Moore, France Joli, the Trammps, Bonnie Pointer, Musique, A Taste of Honey, Tavares, Jimmy "Bo" Horne, the First Ladies of Chic (Luci Martin and Norma Jean Wright), Anita Ward, the Sugarhill Gang, and others.

The "70's Disco Flashback Dinner and Dance Show" was held in Brooklyn, New York at the Passage Palace on Thursday, June 23, 2005, with live performances by Melba Moore, Carol Douglas, and the First Ladies of Chic (Luci Martin and Norma Jean Wright).

During 2005, Robin Gibb sang several of the disco hits he and his brothers had made famous as the Bee Gees.

Disco artists who performed live in concerts during 2005, apart from those mentioned above, included, among others, Chic, Donna Summer, Banda Rod Hanna, the Village People, Kool and the Gang, Baccara, Jamiroquai, Gloria Gaynor, Marlena Shaw, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band.

The "Y94 FM Disco and Dance Party" was held Friday, January 21, 2005 in Syracuse, New York at the Convention Center at On Center. Hosted by Dance Fever's Deney Terrio and Motion, it featured the disk-jockeying skills of Whirlin' Disc DJ's and performances by the All-Star Dyn-o-myte Disco Review. Prizes were awarded for best 1970s outfits.

The 2nd Annual Dance Music Hall of Fame Ceremony was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center in New York City on Monday, September 19, 2005. The event featured live performances by Gloria Gaynor, Chic, Martha Wash, Byron Stingily, Alyson Williams, Kathy Sledge, Cheryl Lynn, Carol Douglas, and others, backed by the music of "Ray Chew and the Crew", the house band of the Apollo Theater. There was also a video of the Bee Gees singing their hit "Stayin' Alive". Mel Cheren, co-founder of West End Records and financial backer of the New York City nightclub Paradise Garage, was awarded a "Pioneer Award". The artists inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame that night were Chic, Gloria Gaynor, and Sylvester. Producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, and Quincy Jones, DJs François Kevorkian, Frankie Knuckles, and John "Jellybean" Benitez, and remixer François Kevorkian were also inducted. Five classic dance records were inducted: the disco tracks "Good Times" by Chic, "Disco Inferno" by the Trammps, and "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, the R&B-ish borderline-disco track "Got To Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn, plus the disco-influenced track "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees.

The O'Jays were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005. Their disco songs included "Love Train" (1972), "I Love Music" (1975), "Livin' for the Weekend" (1975), "Sing a Happy Song" (1979), "Identify" (1979), "Get On Out and Party" (1979), and "So Nice, I Tried it Twice" (1979). Their 1969 track "One Night Affair" was a significant presage of disco.

Marty Angelo, DJ and creator of the 1970s television show "Disco Step-By-Step", received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Hustle and Salsa Competition in Miami, Florida on April 9, 2005 for his long-time promotion of disco music and dance.

"Saturday Night Fever: The Musical", starring Adam-Jon Fiorentino as Tony and Renae Berry as Stephanie, had a number of performances during 2005. From January 5th to March 6th, audiences were entertained at The Arts Centre, State Theatre, in Melbourne, Australia. From March 16th to April 17th, the musical was held at the Burswood Theatre in Perth, Australia. From May 20th to June 5th, the Lyric Theatre in Hong Kong, China played host. From July 2005 onward, the musical was based at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

"Flow to the Groove: A Salute to Disco Dancin'" by Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company, featuring dancer Arthur Aviles, came to Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival in New York City on Saturday, August 20, 2005.

The Disco America Dance Championships, in which hustle dancers competed, took place June 10-12, 2005 in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel.

The annual 1970s disco-themed dance party billed as "The World's Largest Disco" got underway on the night of Saturday, November 26, 2005 in Buffalo, New York at the Buffalo Convention Center. The first party with this name was held in 1979.

The 2nd annual "Ugly Disco" took place at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, New York on the night of Saturday, March 26, 2005. It featured music by the Skycoasters and Nik Fever, and music spun by 1970s disco DJs.

During Memorial Day weekend 2005 (Saturday, May 28th and Sunday, May 29th), DJs Freddie Colon, Joe Causi, G. Keith Alexander, and Paco (formerly of WKTU "Disco 92") brought listeners the "Disco Explosion Reunion" on WNEW (102.7 FM) in New York City. They played disco hits of the late 1970s and early 1980s all weekend.

The American television talk show "The Big Idea" with Donny Deutsch on CNBC used the R&B-disco track "Got to be Real" by Cheryl Lynn as its theme song.

Promo ads aired in August 2005 for UPN's American TV series "Everybody Hates Chris" featured excerpts from Chic's song "Good Times" playing in the background.

The American television show "Entertainment Show" aired a "Disco Week" from Monday, November 7, 2005 to Saturday, November 12, 2005. Included were interviews with, and the music of, such luminaries as Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Martha Wash, Cheryl Lynn, and others.

On Tuesday, April 19, 2005, the American TV talent-show "American Idol" once again had a 1970s disco theme. The disco songs performed this time were Earth, Wind and Fire's "September", sung by Anwar Robinson, Tavares's "Don't Take Away the Music", sung by Anthony Federov, and Donna Summer's "MacArthur Park", sung by Carrie Underwood.

On March 6, 2005, "CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood" aired a television show on 1970s disco music and culture called "Disco Daze".

"(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band was heard on a television commercial by Fidelity Investments aired in 2005.

The American roller-disco-themed movie "Roll Bounce", set in the late 1970s and filled with disco classics as well as remakes of disco and soul classics, was released to theaters in September 2005. The accompanying soundtrack, released the same month, included the following classic disco songs: "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" by Vaughan Mason and Crew, "Get Off" by Foxy, and "Le Freak" by Chic.

The animated cartoon music video "We Are Family", produced by the We Are Family Foundation, was shown in 61,000 American elementary schools on March 10, 2005.

"Night Fever" by the Bee Gees was played in U.S. Cellular Field on the night of Saturday, July 23, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois in the game of the Chicago White Sox versus the Boston Red Sox.


The 1970s-style music-filled "Funky Cops Disco Pinball" mobile game was released in September 2005.


"Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco" by Peter Shapiro was published by Faber & Faber in June 2005. This book traces the development of disco music and culture from its beginnings in the United States, particularly in New York City, and emphasizes the impact that gay and black people had in the early years of disco, and how disco soon spread to mainstream America, leading ultimately to an anti-disco backlash that the author portrays as homophobic and racist in nature. Throughout the book, there are commentaries on various disco songs and discussions of key figures in disco's history, mixed in with photographs.

"The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco" by Joshua Gamson was published by Henry Holt and Co. in March 2005. Sylvester is best known for such disco classics as "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)", "Dance (Disco Heat)", and "Sell My Soul". This book explores Sylvester as a person as well as his involvement in the world of dance music. It traces his involvement as a singer, performer, and disco dancer and his influence on the gay dance sub-culture including the development of the Hi-NRG and house music scene during the 1980s.


The DVD documentary "Disco: Spinning the Story" was released on June 7, 2005. Hosted by Gloria Gaynor, the documentary explores 1970s disco and funk music and its impact on American culture, with interviews with Giorgio Moroder (producer of many Donna Summer records), Nile Rodgers (guitar player with Chic), Earl Young (drummer and singer with the Trammps), Tom Moulton (remixer), Randy Jones (singer with the Village People), Marty Angelo (producer of Disco Step-By-Step), Brian Chin (a music journalist, formerly an editor of Billboard Magazine) and several others. Also featured are excerpts from classic performances of disco classics by artists like Rose Royce, Chic, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Barry White, Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, the Hues Corporation, the Trammps, and other pioneering artists. There are also two classics that Gloria Gaynor sang anew, and in full length, just for this documentary: "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "I Will Survive", her two biggest hits.


The 1970s-themed multimedia museum exhibit "Disco: A Decade of Saturday Nights", formerly displayed in Seattle, Washington and Dearborn, Michigan, moved to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City for display in the Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery from February 1, 2005 through May 14, 2005. The exhibit showed numerous disco artifacts, including Earl Young's drum kit, clothing once worn by disco artists like Sarah Dash and Sylvester, a disco lunch box, a Disco Pooh record player by Sears, a Mickey Mouse Disco Record Tote, various disco dancing books, Newsweek's "Disco Takes Over" article from April 2, 1979, a button from the disco radio station WKTU, a theatrical playbill for "Got Tu Go Disco", and many other items. Audio and video stations and kiosks showcased examples of '70s disco songs (both good and bad, and including performances by Vicki Sue Robinson, Loleatta Holloway, Candi Staton, Sister Sledge, and others) and disco-themed films (e.g. "Saturday Night Fever", "Xanadu"), commercials (e.g., a TV ad for Trident Gum), and television programs (e.g. "Solid Gold", "Disco Step-By-Step", "Soul Train"), plus interviews with major personalities from '70s disco and film footage of disco dancing in such nightclubs as L'Amour, The Gallery, Flamingo, Xenon, New York New York, Infinity, and Studio 54. The exhibit also put disco in the context of cultural trends like gay liberation, sexual liberation, and changing fashions.


Many disco greats were lost during 2005.

Luther Vandross, the world-famous R&B singer, died July 1, 2005 at age 54. He was a background singer for many disco groups, including Chic, Bionic Boogie, and Lemon. He also sang backup on "No More Tears" by Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand. Vandross was the lead singer on parts of the 1980 album by Change, including on its disco hits "The Glow of Love" and "Searching". The 1981 album that truly launched his solo career included the R&B-flavored disco songs "Never Too Much", "She's a Super Lady", and "Sugar and Spice (I Found Me A Girl)". His last true disco song was "Are You Using Me?", released in 1998.

Eugene Record, the lead singer of the soul group The Chi-Lites, died July 22, 2005 at age 64. His solo 12" disco single "Magnetism" was released in 1979.

Tyrone Davis, a soul singer, died February 9, 2005 at age 66. He released the disco-soul song "Love You Forever" in 1979 and the funk song "Get On Up (Disco Version)" in 1978.

Willie Hutch, an R&B songwriter, musician, and producer, died September 19, 2005 at age 60. He released the disco-soul song "Shake It, Shake It" in 1976.

Ron Kersey, a vocalist, pianist, and keyboardist with the Trammps, died January 25, 2005 at age 55. He wrote the music to the hit "Disco Inferno". He arranged Anthony White's 1977 tracks "Block Party" and "I Can't Turn You Loose". Kersey also worked with the O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, and the Salsoul Orchestra, among others.

Edward Patten, a singer with the R&B group "Gladys Knight and the Pips", died February 25, 2005 at age 65. Gladys Knight and the Pips released the disco-soul song "Baby Don't Change Your Mind" (1977) and the disco songs "It's a Better than Good Time" (1977), "Bourgie Bourgie" (1980), "Taste of Bitter Love" (1980), "That Special Time of Year" (1980), and a disco version of "Jingle Bells" (1980). Additionally, Patten and the other two men in the group released an album in 1977 simply as The Pips which included the disco track "Since I Found Love". That same year, they also released the song "Put On Your Dancing Bells" under the name The Patten and Guest Steppers, and it is also reportedly disco.

Jim Capaldi, a drummer and singer, died January 28, 2005 at age 60. His contribution to disco was the 1979 song "Shoe Shine".

Renee Diggs, lead singer in the group Starpoint, died March 18, 2005 at age 50. Starpoint released the disco song "Get Ready, Get Down" in 1980 and the R&B-disco song "Miracle Love" in 1982.

Copyright ©2006 K. A. Brook, all rights reserved.

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