January 26, 2021

Who killed the Music Music album ’? | Culture


We love to explain the story from dramatic facts. It is assumed that the hippie utopias of the sixties agonized after the Altamont festival (December 6, 1969) or that the grunge It ended with the stupid suicide of Kurt Cobain (April 5, 1994). Another common place places the sinking of the disco music July 12, 1979.

That day the Disco Demolition Night was held in a Chicago stadium. ¿Mandeee? An occurrence of Steve Dahl, announcer who played rock on the radio and who, for more or less reliable reasons, hated disco music. Dahl invited to the baseball meeting of a local team, the White Sox; delivering a vinyl of disco music, anyone could enter paying 98 cents; the disks would be destroyed in the intermission.

Dahl touched a sensitive nerve: it was a movement of Puritan rock fans who claimed that Disco sucks, that disk it sucked. The result: about 70,000 spectators filled the enclosure and its surroundings. At the break, when Dahl exploded the collected records, the crowd went wild, stormed the field and prevented the continuation of the game. The riots, picked up on television, have entered the legend.

Documentaries abound in this regard. The one produced by the Red Bull Music Academy has the best finish, although it carries a dubious ideological burden and provides a myopic conclusion. Assume that the public who attended the call of Steve Dahl sublimated, with hatred of disco music, his homophobia and racism. There may be murky feelings in the background but remember that the disk it was not music automatically identified with blackness: although heir to the Sound of Philadelphia and the funk James Brown, in the media was represented by whites like John Travolta or the Bee Gees. Only some specialists knew of its origins in the gay underworld of New York. Even more: in other films of the 1979 folklore, black rioters are distinguished.

The cover of Steve Dahl's book about the end of disco music.


The cover of Steve Dahl’s book about the end of disco music.

I suspect that this was a genuinely American tumult: testosterone, students on vacation, heat and the excuse, provided by Dahl, a demagogue who complained of not finding “Travolta suits of my size; Anyway, I don’t know how to dance. ” I have enough doubts about the conclusion of the Red Bull documentary: that the Disco Demolition Night ended the music of discos.

It will be no. Like all fashion, the disco music He suffered from market saturation. Leading companies –RSO, Casablanca Records- became accustomed to endorsed, commercial technique that filled the stores with their novelties (although later tons of unsold copies were returned). But those traps did not prevent other companies from continuing to invoice danceable successes.

No decline: in the months following the Disco Demolition Night, on the list of Billboard they reached the number 1 formidable fill-ups like Good times (Chic), Don’t stop ‘til you get enough (Michael Jackson), Funkytown (Lipps Inc), Upside down (Diana Ross), Celebration (Kool & the Gang) and On the radio (Donna Summer) Then, he changed the label, the sound was simplified, the faces changed. And the artist emerged who would defend the aesthetics of the disco music: one Madonna.

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