Disk music was one of the predominant forms of pop music in the 1970s. While later generations made disco songs, the genre never again reached the same level of cultural saturation that it did during that decade. Here’s a look at the top five disco songs of the disco decade.
5. ‘Mean Girls’ by Donna Summer
No disco discussion would be complete without mentioning the undisputed queen of the genre, Donna Summer. Summer was one of the few to actually make a career out of the genre. Even within that framework, her output was diverse, from the hi-NRG techno of “I Feel Love” to the pseudo ballad of “Last Dance.”
Summer’s hit “Bad Girls” contains one of her best beats, but it’s also one of her biggest songs. She makes being a “bad girl” seem fun and dangerous at the same time. Female artists from Madonna to Lady Gaga to Tove Lo owe a debt of gratitude to Summer in general and this song in particular.
4. ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor
While Summer inspired many other artists, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” clearly inspired many other songs. While there had been feminist pop hits before (for example, “These boots are made for walking“and Carly Simon”You are so vain“), Gaynor combined a feminist farewell with the elevation of dance music. You can hear echoes of this song in everything from Ariana Grande”Release” to “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia.
3. ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’
One of the 40 Most Perfect Hits of All Time, ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” has a killer melody and packs a lot of emotion. On one level, “Dancing Queen” is a song about the joys of youth. On another level, it can serve as a nostalgic and somewhat sad reminder of adolescence. While “Dancing Queen” is a disco song in the broadest sense, it doesn’t sound like any other disco song, making it a once-in-a-lifetime classic.
2. ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees
Besides Summer, the Bee Gees were the biggest stars of the genre. Here they found a groove that simultaneously earned them a permanent spot on early music stations, made John Travolta a megastar, and made millions forget the band had a career before they started making dance music. As long as there are clubs, “Stayin’ Alive” will get people up and moving.
1. ‘Don’t Stop Until You Have Enough’ by Michael Jackson
Coming to the end of disco’s ubiquity, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” proved that Michael Jackson was not only a talented children’s singer, but also an incredible pop songwriter. In fact, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” was the first song he wrote that topped the chart. billboard hot 100.
The King of Pop proved he could do everything from hard rock to R&B ballads to African beats, but “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” remains his most impressive dance number. Although we might remember him for the suspense Above all, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” demonstrates his outside the wall was was just as dignified.