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Thread: Hard-Core Disco?

  1. #1
    fabio is offline Indie Release [Level 4]

    Hard-Core Disco?

    I am reading “Turn the Beat Around” by Peter Shapiro and was puzzled by the statement found on page 195. It seems that towards 1974 the mainstream disco records “made by a bunch of white people” for Gloria Gaynor, Carol Douglas and Don Downing were alienating the R&B community (understandably) and the more hard-core disco scene.
    Which prompted me to ask : How the disco music can be divided by “commercial” and more hard-core? When did the disco music become too commercial and more importantly which disco artist can be defined hard-core and which not?

  2. #2

    Re: Hard-Core Disco?

    The music should really be divided along subgenres and even along racial lines. There was the obvious Euro-disco/Soul-disco spilt.

    You could even create a subgenre of pop disco like Shirley and Co.'s "Shame, shame, shame" that sounded like Holland, Dozier, Holland's work in the early 70's with only brief instrumental passages if there were any at all. Most of the top 40 disco was verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge or interlude, and back to chorus. Many instrumentals didn't follow that rigid structure. Most instrumentals were not huge hits but they're were exceptions. Most soul disco does have longer instrumental interludes and bridges. Often times on the 45 edits, those instrumental passages are boiled down.

    What was played on soul radio was the songs that were compatible with songs earlier in the era. In 1975, disco became a phenomena and it became structurally closer to pop. Many pop standards from decades before were rapidly being discoized. Soul disco focuses on roots like the K-Gees, Booker T and MGs, Curtis Mayfield, Holland Dozier Holland's output, and obscure funk. For soul disco fans, disco really started in the very very early 1970's and around 1974 a certain method of time-keeping became more strident. That signature time-keeping method became known to most as the signature trait of disco.

    When I think hard core disco, they could possibly be referring to music with huge elongated instrumental passages.

    Hard-core artists: Salsoul orchestra, Brass Construction, Blue Magic, Trammps, MFSB, Constellation Orchestra, Skyy, Gino Soccio, Crown Heights affair, stuff played at Paradise Garage

    Non-core artists: Donna Summer, Bee-gees, Carol Douglas, Hot Chocolate, Village People, stuff played on top 40 radio
    Last edited by eddie; December 16th, 2006 at 01:17 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: Hard-Core Disco?

    Many Disco tunes that did well in the Disco charts, didn't crossover to the black radio audience and vice versa. I guess if you amalgamated a record's disco placings with what it did, or didn't do on the R'n'B charts, you'd begin to get an idea of whether or not it was 'hardcore' soon enough.

  4. #4

    Re: Hard-Core Disco?

    Quote Originally Written by fabio View Post
    I am reading “Turn the Beat Around” by Peter Shapiro and was puzzled by the statement found on page 195. It seems that towards 1974 the mainstream disco records “made by a bunch of white people” for Gloria Gaynor, Carol Douglas and Don Downing were alienating the R&B community (understandably) and the more hard-core disco scene.
    Which prompted me to ask : How the disco music can be divided by “commercial” and more hard-core? When did the disco music become too commercial and more importantly which disco artist can be defined hard-core and which not?
    "Commercial" and "hard core" are both pretty subjective terms and different people probably have different definitions of both. My 2 cents would be: in terms of commercial music and disco, when SO MANY artists (the Beach Boys, Johnny Mathis, the Stones, Paul McCartney and countless others) began releasing disco records and disco mixes when they showed NO INTEREST in the music before it was popular, I considered their motivation to be purely (or at best, mostly) financial gain (occasionally some of the music was good, so maybe complaining is silly). I've often heard the term "hard core" (in musical terms) referring to music with no commercial potential at all (but that too could be considered the opinion of the person speaking). I don't think the fact that much of my favorite disco music never made much (or any) impact on the pop OR RandB charts (Lime, Amant, Double Exposure, Voyage...) meant it was "hard core" ; some very vibrant disco DID make it to the pop and/or RandB charts (Change, many Casablance artists, etc). I blame the program directors at the radio stations for frequently not knowing good music when they heard it (I don't listen to radio now but I feel most of the people who decide what music is played on television STILL don't know what good music is, only what sells).

  5. #5

    Re: Hard-Core Disco?

    I remember reading an article in BLUES & SOUL back in 1979 with RICK JAMES.

    He was saying that his stuff was pure funk and the reporter kept saying his stuff was disco.He also discussed the fact that his great friend SUZI LANE had just done her album with GIORGIO MORODER and that her stuff was considered disco because even though she was black ; it did nothing on the soul charts.

    He went : I'm R&B and SUZI is disco ; DONNA SUMMER on the other hand is CRISCO because she's a well oiled machine that crossed over and is all over the charts regardless of colors.

    KRIS
    KRIS

  6. #6

    Re: Hard-Core Disco?

    I'd consider Change and Chic to be well known hard-core disco. To me, any disco that didn't sell out was hard core. Alot of times, disco and funk are intertwined and impossible too differentiate. Again, one has to look at the genre from a soul, pure dance, and rock perspective.

    Artists like Voyage, Silver Convention, Cerrone, Lime were heavily Euro-disco oriented as opposed to soul disco oriented. They really didn't sell out to rock so I guess one could consider them hard core disco also. There was also underground Italien disco that had an indirect link to soul disco.

  7. #7
    fabio is offline Indie Release [Level 4]

    Re: Hard-Core Disco?

     

     

     

    Thanks Guys.
    As far as i can see we all seems to have a personal view on the subjet.
    Contrary to what some of you said, i consider artists like Silver Convention, Richie Family, Voyage and Bee Gees non hard-core disco (really don't know how to explain this, just listen to the sound)
    I would list Donna Summer in between hard-core and "commercial" just because I FEEL LOVE is such a masterpiece...
    Change, Chic, Barry White, MSFB,(some of)The Philly Sound, Diana Ross's Love Hangover, Marvin Gaye's Got to Give it Up, Idriss Muhammed's Could Heaven ever be like this and many more (>>?) would be those one that i like to consider hard-core disco, but then again those are the records i like and i would like to consider my taste hard-core.LOL

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