Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Article: Why Disco Is Taking Over Pop, One Feel-Good Banger At A Time

I couldn’t be happier about it...

"Disco originated in the 1970s at a time of economic crisis. The post-World War II economic boom had come to an end and the United States began to endure a cycle of depression that included an oil crisis, a stock market crash, and a recession that caused high unemployment and simultaneously high inflation. At the end of the previous decade, the Civil Rights movement was disrupted by the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Deputy Chairman of Black Panther Party Fred Hampton. Mass shootings and labor strikes abounded. With uncomplicated messages of feeling good (i.e., ‘Good Times’ by Chic, ‘You Should Be Dancing’ by the Bee Gees) and empowerment, like Gloria Gaynor’s perennial ‘I Will Survive,’ hefty funk basslines, eclectic percussion via cowbell and woodblock, and four-on-the-floor rhythms, disco was the music of liberation when marginalized, working people — in particular for queer, Black, Hispanic and Latinx, and Italian-American people — needed it badly.

It’s hard not to see parallels between the disco era and the political and cultural shifts happening right now in America. A public health crisis and subsequent recession — one started just barely 10 years after the last — plus a reinvigorated movement for racial justice, fueled by demands of significant societal restructuring in the real service of long overdue equality, make for a heavy load to bear, especially if you’re unemployed or otherwise struggling.

‘When shit’s going bad, people like to indulge in happier music,’ says Ian Kirkpatrick, the producer of ‘Don’t Start Now,’ and Lipa’s 2018 hit ‘New Rules.’ ‘These songs are so uplifting. This is a way of escaping.’"

(Via Why Disco Is Taking Over Pop, One Feel-Good Banger At A Time.)

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