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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Let's Face the Disco and Dance


"All major labels, all that 'formula dance' stuff I've been hearing on KTU for years, all by female singers that sound exactly alike and THEY ALL SUCK!!!" So exclaims dance-music legend, producer D.C. LaRue. I happen to concur. "[M]y humble opinion, of course. Or...it it just me and I'm getting 'too old' to boogie?" LaRue asks. Sadly, I have to beg the same question when I look at the latest Billboard dance/club charts. 

If today's dance clubs, at least in America, have a hard time bringing in the crowds, is it because of the state of dance music today? And does the current renewed interest in classic '70s disco reflect a disenchantment with music created for today's dance floors? Too many hip-hop artists' and American Idols' remixed radio hits? Too few genuine disco divas in the mix?

Artists like Kristine W, Inaya Day, Crystal Waters, Deborah Cox, Debby Holiday, Kylie, Carol Hahn,  Amber Dirks, Taylor Dayne continue to chart on Billboard. Yet, just when there's hope of a revival, the club chart seems to sink again under what D.C. LaRue labeled "'formula dance' stuff." 

The highly promoted, homophobic, racist Disco Demolition Night in Comiskey Park was able to cut down disco music in its prime in 1977. Yet, the music survived under different names: HiNrg, House, Techno, Trance. It carried on through the '80s, '90s and beyond. But now it seems stifled by over-commercialism and payola (as one dance diva knowingly confided in me, off the record; Lord, I have my own Deep Throat).

Cher has a new album coming out (eventually!) that promises "hard core dance music." Janice Robinson just recorded a new album. Hope may be on the horizon. Stay Calm and Carry On, dance-music fans! And support your discos! Disco has style, disco has class, disco has elegance and it's on its way back. And, D.C., get ready to put on your boogie-woogie oogie-woogie dancing shoes.


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