In the middle 1970s, the genre of music known as ‘Disco’ exploded onto the contemporary pop culture scene and quickly became a standard of top 40 music as the latter half of the decade progressed. Artists like Donna Summer, The Bee-Gee’s, Gloria Gaynor, Chic, Alicia Bridges, Yvonne Elliman scored huge disco hits that that not only became staples in discotheques and night clubs, but also on pop radio. The genre would eventually grow so large that artists outside the genre (Rod Stewart, Earth Wind and Fire, Blondie) were now recording disco records for the sake of airplay. In the meantime, actors, disc-jockeys and other media celebrities were also recording novelty disco records for the sake of cashing in on the phenomenon.
By 1979, disco music now had a strangle-hold over top 40 radio to the point of effectively keeping artists of other genres of music from getting likewise spins. In the meantime, disco music itself was becoming cookie-cutter, impersonal and automated in scope. Finally fed up with the triteness of it all, a Chicago DJ organized a disco demolition night at Comiskey Park on the night of July 12: where he encouraged the baseball fans in attendance to bring disco records to be destroyed. Hordes of fans complied and mayhem ensued as these records were demolished on the field; under the banner of ‘Disco Sucks!’ The backlash against disco music now underway. T-shirts and other paraphernalia with the aforementioned slogan were widely worn. Radio stations began to taper off the amount of disco music they played, and in the meantime the music industry began to clamor behind other genre’s of music in response.
Fast forward thirty-three years to 2012…
Much like Disco three decades before, the prominence of Dance-pop music (particularly electro, euro and house) now over saturates contemporary music–so much so that it too often keeps other genres of music off of top 40 radio; forcing many artists to conform to its presence. Dance music began to reemerge in pop culture in the mid/late ’00s, and now (like in Disco’s final years) has now become banal, cliche and emotionally empty.
Did disco music suck? Eh. Probably. To be fair, though, all genres of music has its moments of greatness and suckiness. The problem back then is that by the end of the 1970s, it overbore the music scene to the point where if you weren’t an artist whose music was knee deep into its stylings–or a fan with a knee-deep appreciation of it–you were basically snubbed by the mainstream. Much like today. If your song isn’t marinated in electro dance-pop, or sound interchangeable with the likes of Katy Perry and David Guetta, then it doesn’t any real air time. Enough is enough.