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All bad things trace back to Disco

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Max, May 2, 2001.

  1. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    You know, hating boy bands and overexposed but marginally talented radio bands is not the solution. I think all bad things today, from a musician's standpoint, can be traced to disco.

    First, disco made live bands unpopular and gave celebrity status to the D.J. We've NEVER recovered. You ask most people from high school age and up and they would rather dance, party, wed, whatever, to a D.J. rather than a band.

    Second, disco deemphasized musicianship and replaced it with repetitive drum tracks, programmed stuff, synths, etc. Rap IMO is just an off-shoot from it. Techno, the same thing. I'm not saying that those genres are without merit. However, they sacrifice what I call "musicality." Songwriting has fallen victim to all of this and I think struggles to this day. At least as to popular acceptance.

    I like boy bands for the simple fact that they get girls screaming, which is a good thing. I don't like their music though.

    If elected to anything, I would propose legislation banning the playing of anything by Boston on the radio. Their songs have simply been played too much.

    But our common enemy is disco and the continued role of the D.J. They are who I wish would disappear.
  2. ASR


    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Okay, your views on Disco I can handle, but you start talking like that about Boston, and I get a little aggravated... ;)
  3. In Everclear's music video for "AM Radio" the bassist magically changes into a different shirt in the end and the shirt says "Disco still sucks"
  4. all i know is that if i hear any more songs saying something like: "hey mr dj put my favorite song on so i can dance" im going to put an axe through my radio


    Apr 13, 2001
    Kent, England.
    Bo Selecta!
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    A lot of the onus is on we musicians.

    Whenever one can be pulled off successfully, the people at the raves where one of my bands plays are flat out THRILLED to have live music. You can marry techno with disco, throw in some funk, and you're golden.

    One reason disco hit so big is because bands were making themselves unavailable. Everything had to be concert-sized proportions with lavish production and sound systems so complex you needed Kurzweil to set the stuff up.

    FYI - Boy bands have been suffering. They have been trending less and less in radio station heavy rotation for the last month or two. There's hope yet, Max.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I guess their "fans" have finally reached puberty.

    I asked a dad at work about how he felt buying these kinda albums for his kids; he did say that once his kids got old enough & hadda spend their own hard-earned money on Brittany, Spice Girls, etc...that was the day that stopped being "fans".
  8. "In Everclear's music video for "AM Radio" the bassist magically changes into a different shirt in the end and the shirt says "Disco still sucks"" - Jrthebassguy

    Yeah, and so does Everclear...

    Anywho, disco and rap, etc. have musicianship, you just gotta listen to the right stuff. The Roots, the Fugees, D'angelo (he considers himself a lyricist) all right their own music, with real instruments, and sometimes play the instruments. I'm not really a fan of disco, but it's as valid as any other musical form.
  9. I am with bassline 1414 on this one. true a lot of disco was garbage but you have to listen to the right stuff. the stuff that had its feet in the funk.

    Taste of Honey
    K.C. and the sunshine band
    The Trammps
    Ohio Players
    Average White Band
    Rolls Royce
    Earth Wind and Fire
    Lipps Inc.

    These are all "Bands" not samples, and all of them have at least one song with great bass playing.
    It is possible that the bass player in any of these bands could open up a whole new world of playing for you. I am not going to get into the Boston thing. :D
  10. false. i've asked the opinion of many of my peers on this and they all say the opposite. in fact, my college just had its end-of-the-year formal and hired a band. now this was the first dance i had ever been to with a live band, and i'm sure the same applies to a lot of people who were there. anyway, the band was awesome, played popular oldies and a couple newer songs (and the bassist had a really cool steinberger) and it absolutely blew any dj away.

    so my conclusion is that there are just a lot more DJs around than cover bands.
  11. You guys shoulda been there!

    I started playing professionally in 1975. Right smack in the middle of the disco reign. It was murder - we worked and we worked constantly but it was a battle against the radio garbage of the time. We did 2 sets of "dance" music, rolling our eyes until we could get to the last 2 sets of stuff that we did for ourselves.

    GruffPuppy, I absolutely agree with your list there except for one entry - KC! Sure he had a danceable groove but IMO there wasn't any other redeeming feature to latch onto. The rest of your list featured some absolutely awesome playing. Add to that the Isley Bros. and Mothers Finest and you've got a real show!
  12. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    Dancehallclasher, that is GREAT that a good band came and blew the DJ away. What I am saying is, disco changed the culture of the local dance; ruined it in my opinion. Kind of as an aside, in order to have an audience, don't you younger guys have to be fairly defined and narrow in what kind of band you are and the style you choose to play?
  13. This reminds me of something. All my life I have heard people tell me 'you can't dance to this' talking about rock music or anything other than hip hop or 'R&B' (which has nothing to do with Rythme and Blues of old), when in fact you can dance to anything with a beat if you want to. People have been dancing to Rock and/or roll since it was invented. What bothers me the most about it is that the people saying this, which is the majority of people that I know, don't know what dancing is. All they do is hump each other. It's a disgusting thing to watch. And I'm not a prude or anything. I can't stand to watch it, it makes me sad even thinking about how stupid people are. I wish I lived where dancehallclasher lived because it's nothing like that here at all.
  14. I like disco! There, I said it. It's fun to play, and some of it's actually pretty good. Sure, a lot of disco sucked, but so does a lot of country, and metal, and punk, and blues, and everything else. Every type of music has its good and its bad, I think disco just gets a lot of unfair treatment.
  15. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    You know, I'd really like to agree with this topic, and 25 years ago, I would have, but the truth is that you can't ignore the groove that underscored so much of disco. Sure, a lot of what got laid on top of the sound was questionable, but even an early metalhead like meself dug the hell out of The Ohio Players. I still think it's odd that the leaders of disco were three Australian brothers, but that's pretty much the truth of it. I guess my biggest problem with disco was the lack of guitar overall, but the beat was always really strong. Donna Summer was always good, there was Cameo, early Commodores (Brick House) and lots of stuff that I still enjoy. Sorry guys, but as a bassist, you really can't dismiss Disco, just as you really can't dismiss Motown.
  16. Yea I knew I was streching with that one, but BassPlayer just did a write up on KC's bassplayer so I figured what the heck. They also did a write up on ABBA's bass player but I choose to skip that one.

    Isley Bros. are great, how about the Bar-Kays?
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Rick Finch's (of KC) write-up in Bass Player was long overdue. The Sunshine band gets dissed on a regular basis but I'll be the first to tell you that I thought they were tight. Big, solid and above all memorable basslines, killer rhythym guitar and nice horns. Some of his stuff was downright clever...okay, it wasn't Mingus but what is?;). He did something few bassists to this day can grasp, getting to the essense of a bass line, playing only what's needed to propel the song. I can appreciate that.

    The Ohio Players (Marshall Jones)were on the cutting edge of sophisticated R&B/Funk...I wouldn't call them Disco in the classic sense. The Isleys (Marvin Isley)and Barkays (Jmes Alexander)best work was pre-Disco. Cameo (Aaron Mills), too. The same with AWB (Hamish and Alan), easily one of the best Funk bands ever, straight out of the James Brown school of Funk:

    Killer drums, in the pocket.
    Tight bass
    One guitar strokin'
    One guitar pickin'
    In your face horns

    Simple;). You can get away with damn near anything with this formula(ever see Eddie Murphy's "James Brown-Hot Tub"?)...but it's not Disco:D

    I always thought the Bee Gees had excellent production and basswork. Check out the bass work on "You should be dancing". Not too shabby.

    No one has mentioned Chic with the master, Bernard Edwards? That was Disco at it's finest.

    Disco did suck, for people who didn't dance or want to play that type of music. People always seem to point out the worst of any genre, in this case maybe Ethel Merman or Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven" but I'll tell you what...I would have been tickled witless to have Bernard Edwards' spot or Bobby Watson's spot (excellent bassist) with Rufus or even Rick's spot in the Sunshine Band back then.... it was all about having fun...

    and I'm not the least bit ashamed to say it:D
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...nice post(I like your comment about "...one guitar pickin' & the other strokin'". Check out the intro to "Cut The Cake"...or "School Boy Crush", or etc. ;)
    'Sfunny what some of you guys call Disco; AWB?! The Ohio Players?! ;)

    Anyway, another group from that era that got palyed in clubs was Heatwave...their keyboardist & principle writer, Rod Temperton, wrote some cool basslines(as did David Frank, keyboardist in the '80s R&B band, The System).
  19. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    It's all a matter of labels. The Ohio Players may not have been true disco, but it was in the disco realm (clubs, radio airplay, etc.) that most people got exposed to them. Sooooo, we tend to lump them into the disco scene. My wife is a bonafide disco fan - she knows most of the lyrics of the big hits. The best fun, for me, in the disco era, was to go to a discotheque after playing a rock gig. As much as the girls didn't come to our gigs, they sure liked hanging around the longhaired rock types rather than the John Travoltas of the disco scene. :)
  20. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Ah, The System, "You Are In My System", that's a killer tune with a hip synth bass line. Speaking of bands of that era, ever check out Skyy? Let's also not forget about Slave and the bass work of Mark Adams. Last but hardly least is MTUME, man there was a lot of good music that came out of that era!


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