There was a line drawn in the sand when disco came to town. And if you were a rock and roller you were supposed to hate disco. No questions asked.
At a Chicago White Sox game they took to blowing up disco records in the middle of the field one night as part of a promotion. That's how intense the vehement of the rockers could be when it came to disco.
And when our favorite rock musicians began to incorporate disco into their music we were stunned. How could The Rolling Stones, The J Geils Band, even The Grateful Dead succumb to it?
Being a fan of all sorts of music I secretly held onto the belief that there was some good disco music. I liked the energy, the beat was uplifting and positive. Besides, a good melody and hooks trumped whatever genre a song was associated with.
The past few days have seen the passing of two giants of the disco era, Donna Summers and Robin Gibb. Both losing their battles with cancer.
I prefer the early works of both artists. Donna Summer teamed up with Giorgio Moroder to take over the dance club scene before she went on to top 40 fame. Incorporating the sound of German electronic music Donna Summer created a sound very foreign to pop music of the time. There was the rumor that she was actually masturbating while she recorded the vocal track for "Love To Love You Baby".
Robin Gibb, part of the three brother Australian group the Bee Gees, was my favorite. I always envisioned him with his long hair, finger stuck in one ear while he harmonized with his siblings.
The Bee Gees will mostly be remembered for their disco hits of the mid to late 70s but it was their sixties pop songs which I will always cherish. Though sole survivor Barry, Maurice died in 2003, sang lead on the majority of their later songs Robin did sing lead on a number ofthem in the early days. His wavering falsetto so distinctive as in the fist verse of this live version of "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart".