The Secret Disco Revolution explores the Disco revolution in terms of its social and historical impact, and in the process demonstrates Disco’s importance to the evolution of Culture in the late 20th Century.
‘Cheesy’ probably describes what comes to mind for most people when you mention Disco today.
However, the genius and Cultural importance of the Disco revolution may lie in how it was able to bring about a Social Revolution in the disguise of what seemed to be nothing more than a frivolous and sometimes hedonistic diversion.
The Birth Of The Disco Revolution
The seeds of the disco revolution lie in the disillusionment following the Vietnam War coupled with Industrial decline particularly in the Motor Industry as well as Race Conflicts linked to the Civil Rights Movement which brought a Malaise to late 1960s America that had not been experienced since the end of World War 2.
Nowhere was this dejection more pronounced than in late 1960s New York which was at the point of bankruptcy. Crime, drugs and prostitution were rampant, and it seemed like the City leadership had no solution.
It was within this environment that various Counter Cultures would emerge in response to these conditions, which would give birth to the disco revolution.
The seedy nightclub New York scene would provide fertile ground for the disco revolution for this new form of music to find its audience and gain a foothold in New York nightlife.
Key to Disco’s success and the Disco revolution was the Cultural diversity of the Gay, Feminist and Multi-Racial audience itself, that up until that time had remained largely hidden from view.
They were part of a subculture whose idiosyncrasies were not part of mainstream America. The Disco revolution provided a bridge through which they could communicate with mainstream culture, and in the process usher in a Social Revolution that would transform Society and Culture permanently.
Rise Of The Disco Revolution Rejects
The Secret Disco Revolution sums up the Disco revolution as a tool for the liberation of Women, Blacks and Gays.
This goes straight to the heart of the Disco revolution as a movement for the disenfranchised.
Music, Fashion and Politics all converged on the Dancefloor, with the Disco revolution giving expression to the Zeitgeist that had emerged out of the negative conditions of late 1960s America.
The Disco revolution took over the culture as underground Club Disco Anthems began to take over mainstream Radio. This aspect of the disco revolution also changed the music industry, Radio and the way Music was sold and marketed.
As Disco revolutions Cultural impact swelled, disco demanded an even bigger stage as the seedy nightclubs in which it had been birthed were no longer adequate.
The result was a new glamarous and hedonistic disco revolution Club Culture best epotimised by Studio 54. In the meantime, even the mainstream could no longer resist the charm of the disco revolution and Hollywood responded to Disco’s call by releasing the Disco themed classic Saturday Night Fever.
The Decline Of The Disco Revolution
From the mid-1970s, the Disco revolution began to fade as Disco became a victim of its own success.
Disco’s acceptance into the mainstream during the heyday of the Disco revolution had watered down its revolutionary spirit and the creativity of Artists and Producers had waned as more formulaic Pop records in order to gaurantee Chart success were now being produced.
Within a short 3 years of the Disco revolution, Disco music had changed from being the voice of the untouchables, to the sound of Burger King commercials.
Inevitably, this created the space for more ‘authentic’ Rock n Roll and Punk Music now perceived as the new Counter Culture sound to replace Disco after the Disco revolution.
In the end, the Disco revolution only burnt brightest for about 3 years before disappearing from the mainstream. Nevertheless, the impact of the silent Social Revolution the Disco revolution enacted on the dancefloor remains with us today.
In addition, the Disco revolution also introduced Production techniques that still form the foundation of EDM and Pop Music Production today. Last but not least, the legacy of Clubs like Studio 54 also contributed to nightlife Culture as we know it to today.
In Studio 54: Behind The Scenes, we get a glimpse into the hedonism and madness of the disco revolution.