The Return of Disco
“September”, a song created by Earth, Wind & Fire, is the first Disco song I fell in love with - at least that I can recall. But c’mon? Who doesn’t love that song? It’s one of those songs that make you feel free. That makes you feel almost as if nothing else, but the moment exists.
And that’s why I think some of the best party music is disco. At the heart of the genre stand influences from: funk, soul, rock, and pop. And more than that, the lyrics and focus always seem to be happiness. The combination of these elements evokes the need to let go and live in the moment. And considering the time that it emerged, this makes sense.
Disco: Roots & Today
The roots of Disco can be traced all the way back to the 60’s. Early forms of French dance clubs had begun using discs in favor of live bands. The age of DJ’s was still just a seed, but growing, nonetheless. And in the African-American community, Soul and Funk where thriving. The increase in focus on love in music was continuing, right around the height of the civil rights movement. And as we’ve seen, the more we push to be treated as humans, the more we are pushed back. It’s almost as if Disco was necessary for us to find brief points of freedom, freedom from what it means to be black in America.
Now with both the birth of DJ’s and the focus on dancing and happiness, Black and gay culture created the idea of modern dance clubs. And the focus became creating those perfect euphoric moments. The relief of letting go.
And after the year that 2020’s been, it seems like this is where we’re headed to. With the coronavirus causing a worldwide pandemic and the unjust murders of many African Americans erupting into country-wide protests, it seems like the years to follow will include must needed healing from the year of 2020.
If the flu pandemic taught us anything, it’s that people love to party after being holed up in fear of a virus. An explosion of party and dance culture is set to emerge soon, and one that might change what and how music is made. Now I know Disco will probably never fully re-emerge, and that’s okay. Cultures are supposed to grow and change. But won’t it be exciting to live in a time where nothing matters but the party? Where we live as if there’s no tomorrow?
We could all benefit from the Return of Disco.