[REMOVE ADS]




Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 73
  1. #1

    The Temptations: The Emperors of.....Disco?

    Read an intersting piece yesterday relating to the "birth" of disco. Many sources credit "Soul Mokossa" (1973) by Manu Dibango as being the "first disco song" but this article also speculated that the honors could go to The Temptations for "Law of the Land".

    Has anyone else ever heard of this? Here it is, from YouTube. I definiately hear disco elements, and remember, this was 1973 as well.....


  2. #2
    By the time the Masterpiece album came out we had already been dancing up a storm in the clubs.

    I think of "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes as the first unofficial disco song. "Feel The Need In Me" by The Detroit Emeralds marked the beginning of disco for me.

    I don't have my references handy but by the time Masterpiece was released we had long been dancing to "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". Eddie Kendricks' "Keep On Truckin'" and "Boogie Down" came out about the same time.

    I think Eddie's songs would be considered the beginning of disco over "Law Of The Land". I would love to read that article, I love vintage disco. Do you have a link?

    "Law Of The Land" was and is a favorite of mine. Although, in the clubs in Boston, I don't recall it as being anything special. Many times the song was mixed with the Undisputed Truth's version which came out about the same time. Their version has a bit more energy. I can never decide if I prefer one version over the other - depends on my mood I guess, as is the case with many Motown songs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ0Kt4oxkkQ

  3. #3
    BTW there were also two versions of "Soul Makossa". I have both 45s and I can't think who did the other version. Both were out about the same time also.

    Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys by the Equals on Shout Records, if I recall, was another favorite in those early years.

    The Bottle by Gil Scott-Heron, and so many others.

    Gloria Gaynor's "Honeybee" came out in 1973, I think, on a Columbia 45. After she had her hit with "Never Can Say Goodbye" on MGM, "Honeybee" was included on that album. Ah, the memories.

    Sorry if my dates are off, I don't have access to my references (books, CDs or records).

  4. #4
    Van McCoy's "Hustle" was also one of the early, early disco hits...and I think well before they called it disco.

  5. #5
    Marybrewster, you must be young if you don't remember "Masterpiece". It was a sizable hit that year, and modeled after "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". Unfortunately, the song doesn't get any airplay on oldies radio, but isn't worn out like it's predecessor.
    Last edited by soulster; 09-14-2011 at 03:27 AM. Reason: moved bulk of post to the disco thread

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Read an intersting piece yesterday relating to the "birth" of disco. Many sources credit "Soul Mokossa" (1973) by Manu Dibango as being the "first disco song" but this article also speculated that the honors could go to The Temptations for "Law of the Land".

    Has anyone else ever heard of this? Here it is, from YouTube. I definiately hear disco elements, and remember, this was 1973 as well.....


    I have always heard that Eddie Kendricks, "Girl You Need A Change of Mind" from his 1971 album "Can I" was the first disco song. It was a killer and can fill a dance floor to this very day.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Marybrewster, you must be young if you don't remember "Masterpiece". It was a sizable hit that year, and modeled after "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". Unfortunately, the song doesn't get any airplay on oldies radio, and isn't worn out like it's predecessor.

    Kenneth, "The Hustle" came out in the summer of 1975, after disco was already a fad. Before that song came out, we had already had many disco hits, including one that many still consider the first disco hit, but wasn't really a disco hit at all: "Rock The Boat" by The Hues Corporation. Both songs incorporated what was called the Latin Hustle, both a dance and a musical style popularized by "Rock The Boat". Of course, before those, we had other claims to the first disco song:

    Love Train - The O'Jays
    Where Did Our Love Go - Donnie Ebert
    Son Of My Father - Giorgio Moroder
    The Love I Lost - Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes [In fact, the drummer (Earl Young?) is credited for inventing the open-closed syncopotated hi-hat pattern.]
    Armed And Extremely Dangerous - First Choice
    ..and anything by Barry White!

    And, we had many disco hits before then, like "Doctor's Orders" by Gloria Gaynor, "Do It "Till You're Satisfied" by B.T. Express, "Attitude Dancing" by Carly Simon, "Swearin' To God" by Frankie Valli, "Rock Me Gently" by Andy Kim, and, again, just about anything by Barry White! But, by 1975, The Tempations had gotten nasty funky with "Shaky Ground"


    Many interesting points Soulster and great examples. We had a really nice thread on the main forum from earlier this year covering the Disco Era. I am going to find it and "bump it up" .

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Many interesting points Soulster and great examples. We had a really nice thread on the main forum from earlier this year covering the Disco Era. I am going to find it and "bump it up" .
    yes, please do! My comments would probably be better served in that thread, as this one is about "Masterpiece". But, the door was opened with the suggestion of it being disco...

  9. #9
    I guess you're right, Marv2. I thought "Hustle" was earlier than that. I do remember "Doctor's Orders" and "Rock the Boat" as being a couple years before.

    This is why I love Wikipedia...they have all these facts at your fingertips.

  10. #10
    While Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "The Love I Lost" is often credited for ushering in the Disco era, I think there is one earlier song--from the Summer of 1969--that presaged the Disco era more than any other:

    "In A Moment" - The Intrigues
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Or-ac5skrM

  11. #11
    soul makossa was covered by afrique......on pye uk.

    its worth getting hold of too imo

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I guess you're right, Marv2. I thought "Hustle" was earlier than that. I do remember "Doctor's Orders" and "Rock the Boat" as being a couple years before.

    This is why I love Wikipedia...they have all these facts at your fingertips.
    I don't need Wikipedia. I just remember it all because I grew up in the 60s and 70s. I'm pretty good at timelines and such. In fact, "Rock The Boat" was on the top of the charts exactly one year earlier than "The Hustle". "Doctor's Orders" was on the charts around Chrstmastime in 1974.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    yes, please do! My comments would probably be better served in that thread, as this one is about "Masterpiece". But, the door was opened with the suggestion of it being disco...
    Actually Soulster .. when this thread started it was about "Law Of The Land"

    "Law of The Land" by THE TEMPTATIONS was released as a 45 in Britain in September 1973 and got to #41 on the UK Charts .. not a huge hit but much better than "Masterpiece" which didn't chart at all.

    Over the years there have been a number of threads here on SDF about what could have been the first "Disco" record and what can be considered a "Disco" record. There is even a constant debate about whether "Disco" was a style of music or whether it was just music that was promoted and popularised through being played in Discos!!

    Living in Britain I first came across the term "Disco" late in the '60s .. a "Disco" was a nightclub that played music off disc for people to dance to, rather than having live bands. Every large town and city had at least one .. predominantly they played "Black" music .. R&B/Soul/Motown/Stax/Reggae/Rocksteady .. and if it was "Pop" it was the more uptempo and dancable/R&B influenced stuff.

    At that time, in Britain, we didn't have any R&B Radio .. we didn't have much music radio at all actually .. and the only public place where you could hear a lot of Soul/R&B being played was in a "Disco". However the term "Disco" related to the venue, not to the music being played there.

    It was also "common knowledge" in Britain that in the U.S. nightclubs featured "live bands" and were not "Discos" as such and that to hear Soul/R&B all you had to do was tune into a local Radio Station (this is probably a sweeping generalisation).

    Anyway, the point that I'm trying to make is that in the late '60s/early '70s in the U.S. Soul/R&B was generally promoted and popularised via the Radio, in Britain "Disco" exposure was equally important. This meant that in this period the best selling "Soul/R&B" tunes in Britain tended to be uptempo/midtempo material (nowadays known as "Northern Soul") .. in the U.S. there was a mix of Uptempo, Ballad and Funk material. Crucially, U.S. record companies, when recording and releasing R&B/Soul would have an eye out for how it sounded on the Radio, not how it sounded in a Nightclub.

    I can hardly claim to be an expert on what was going on in the U.S. at that time, living 3000 Miles away, but from my outside perspective .. reading "Blues & Soul" etc. it seems that sometime around 1972/3 "Discos" started to become established in parts of the U.S. and that overwhelmingly they were playing uptempo/midtempo R&B/Soul. So, sales of uptempo R&B/Soul started to pick up and some U.S. record companies (Roulette, Scepter and P.I.R. come to mind) started to think about how their releases might sound in a nightclub. And some people started calling this music "Disco".

    So, I think what actually makes a record a "Disco" record is it being recorded/produced with how it sounds when played in a nightclub being a major consideration.

    I'm not sure about the exact first time that I first saw "Disco" in "Blues & Soul" being used to describe a variety of music rather than a venue but it would have had to have been some time late in 1973, especially with new Philadelphia recordings like "The Love I Lost"/"Look Me Up"/"Both Ends Against The Middle" ... certainly by mid 1974 the term was being used very liberally to describe new uptempo R&B/Soul .. "Rock The Boat"/T.S.O.P/"Rock Your Baby" etc. etc.

    Back to "The Law Of The Land", it certainly fitted in with this new phenomenon, it was very "up" and dancable. Whether it was recorded/produced with "Disco" play in mind is another matter, there was an instrumental version of the tune released in 1974 which undoubtedly was.

    ALFIE KHAN SOUND ORCHESTRA .. "Law Of the Land"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWDRme7EKOw

    Roger

  14. #14
    I got a schizum about that label or term Disco. What ever happened to Disco? Was it music with a basic 100 to 130 bpm drum beat ,that was danced to and played in the clubs, or Discotheques aka Disco's. Wasn't there clubs before they started calling them discos? What was the music they danced to before Disco called. R&B?/Soul, Funk????

    Johnjeb--"Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys by the Equals on Shout Records, if I recall, was another favorite in those early years."

    Yes that was/is a bad azz jam. It was 71/72 ,and I was in high school. A classmate of mine turned me on to it. They were playing it at the parties in the Village , Mancuso's Loft , and it worked it's way into the Black teen clubs in the Bronx ,along with Kool and The Gang (FUNKY MAN ,FUNKY STUFF) for example as well as older records like The Horse , Mayfields "We're A Winner" ,Dyke & The Blazers "Funky Broadway" and countless other R&B/Soul tracks , that were our dance music. We didn't have any specific name for it.

    Roger--
    ("I can hardly claim to be an expert on what was going on in the U.S. at that time, living 3000 Miles away, but from my outside perspective .. reading "Blues & Soul" etc. it seems that sometime around 1972/3 "Discos" started to become established in parts of the U.S. and that overwhelmingly they were playing uptempo/midtempo R&B/Soul. So, sales of uptempo R&B/Soul started to pick up and some U.S. record companies (Roulette, Scepter and P.I.R. come to mind) started to think about how their releases might sound in a nightclub. And some people started calling this music "Disco".)

    Partially correct ,but the record companies didn't really catch up/ become involved until later around the late 70's. During the early 60's the European concept of the Discotheque was considered a Jet-Set ,in thing here in the states. There were dance music recordings out then that were played in the Discotheque Bars and clubs, which were basically underground ,but records like The Peppermint Twist ,(Joey Dee) ,The Twist (Chubby Checker) ,Mashed Potatoe were played there ,,and since they were dance music played in clubs I guess in hindsight they were "Disco Records/Music too.
    "Disco", was a fad ,a label that was put on all dancable music and specifically R&B/Soul as a basis for an industry. There was always danceable R&B/Soul music before they started calling it Disco and applying a certain style to it.

    ("However the term "Disco" related to the venue, not to the music being played there.")

    And that's where things got out of control here. Clubs and D.J's started to grow in numbers and diversify in types of music being played ,to be unique ,the common factor was that all the music was and had to be ...Danceable.

    ("soul makossa was covered by afrique......on pye uk.")

    The original Dibango recording of "Makossa" was played in the upscale Discotheque in N.Y. called The Rasberry Freeze, which was the hangout of N.Y. radio DJ Frankie Crocker. He played it on the air but it was a French import by way of Africa and was not available here in the U.S. commercially. Afrique picked up on it and eventually Atlantic put the original out here. Aint nothin like the real thing and the original holds to this day to be a classic.........Dance track.

    Back to "Law" , a danceable track no doubt , but there were countless danceable records years before that and really ,how can anybody twist they mouth to even dare to call the Temps......Disco.???

    Aww hell no.............

  15. #15
    Daddyacey and Johnjeb ..

    "Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys" by THE EQUALS was a big hit in the U.K. in Late 1970/early 1971 on the President label. It entered the U.K. chart on Dec 19th 1970 and peaked at #9.

    THE EQUALS were a multi-racial group fronted by EDDIE GRANT and I think all their recordings were done in London. They burst into public conciousness in 1968 when their "Baby Come Back" got to #1 across Europe .. I think I'm right in saying it was #1 in France first then got repromoted in Britain where it also got to #1.

    Tamla617 .. that version of "Soul Makossa" by Afrique came out on Mainsteam in the U.S. and I believe it got released on Pye in the U.K. later.

    And everyone .. "Doctors Orders" was originally a U.K. Top 10 entry in the spring of 1974 for SUNNY, some 6 months before it got picked up by CAROL DOUGLAS who did her "Gloria-Gaynoresque" version of it. SUNNY (LESLIE) was one of the top London female session singers and was involved in a lot of studio projects notably BROTHERHOOD OF MAN ..

    This is her version ..

    SUNNY .. "Doctor's Orders".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smX3rWqsLpg

    Roger

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by daddyacey View Post
    I got a schizum about that label or term Disco. What ever happened to Disco? Was it music with a basic 100 to 130 bpm drum beat ,that was danced to and played in the clubs, or Discotheques aka Disco's. Wasn't there clubs before they started calling them discos? What was the music they danced to before Disco called. R&B?/Soul, Funk????

    Johnjeb--"Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys by the Equals on Shout Records, if I recall, was another favorite in those early years."

    Yes that was/is a bad azz jam. It was 71/72 ,and I was in high school. A classmate of mine turned me on to it. They were playing it at the parties in the Village , Mancuso's Loft , and it worked it's way into the Black teen clubs in the Bronx ,along with Kool and The Gang (FUNKY MAN ,FUNKY STUFF) for example as well as older records like The Horse , Mayfields "We're A Winner" ,Dyke & The Blazers "Funky Broadway" and countless other R&B/Soul tracks , that were our dance music. We didn't have any specific name for it.

    Roger--
    ("I can hardly claim to be an expert on what was going on in the U.S. at that time, living 3000 Miles away, but from my outside perspective .. reading "Blues & Soul" etc. it seems that sometime around 1972/3 "Discos" started to become established in parts of the U.S. and that overwhelmingly they were playing uptempo/midtempo R&B/Soul. So, sales of uptempo R&B/Soul started to pick up and some U.S. record companies (Roulette, Scepter and P.I.R. come to mind) started to think about how their releases might sound in a nightclub. And some people started calling this music "Disco".)

    Partially correct ,but the record companies didn't really catch up/ become involved until later around the late 70's. During the early 60's the European concept of the Discotheque was considered a Jet-Set ,in thing here in the states. There were dance music recordings out then that were played in the Discotheque Bars and clubs, which were basically underground ,but records like The Peppermint Twist ,(Joey Dee) ,The Twist (Chubby Checker) ,Mashed Potatoe were played there ,,and since they were dance music played in clubs I guess in hindsight they were "Disco Records/Music too.
    "Disco", was a fad ,a label that was put on all dancable music and specifically R&B/Soul as a basis for an industry. There was always danceable R&B/Soul music before they started calling it Disco and applying a certain style to it.

    ("However the term "Disco" related to the venue, not to the music being played there.")

    And that's where things got out of control here. Clubs and D.J's started to grow in numbers and diversify in types of music being played ,to be unique ,the common factor was that all the music was and had to be ...Danceable.

    ("soul makossa was covered by afrique......on pye uk.")

    The original Dibango recording of "Makossa" was played in the upscale Discotheque in N.Y. called The Rasberry Freeze, which was the hangout of N.Y. radio DJ Frankie Crocker. He played it on the air but it was a French import by way of Africa and was not available here in the U.S. commercially. Afrique picked up on it and eventually Atlantic put the original out here. Aint nothin like the real thing and the original holds to this day to be a classic.........Dance track.

    Back to "Law" , a danceable track no doubt , but there were countless danceable records years before that and really ,how can anybody twist they mouth to even dare to call the Temps......Disco.???

    Aww hell no.............
    I had never heard of the Temptations being referred to as a Disco act either.

  17. #17
    I'm going to try to move this line of discussion over to here:
    http://soulfuldetroit.com/showthread...6972#post66972

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I had never heard of the Temptations being referred to as a Disco act either.
    Me neither! But, in retrospect, one cannot deny the sound was there. Just like with the O'Jay's "Love Train". It was just a groovin' soul song in late 1972 to us, but if you take off the vocal track...straight-up disco! well, Tom Moulton did just that in the "disco" remix, he faded down the vocals for part of it.

  19. #19
    Haha,may i chime in for a second,i haven't the faintest idea of what the first disco song was[and i don't lose any sleep over it either]but i've mentioned before that although it wasn't a hit coming at the end for them as it were the marvelettes cover of[a breathtaking guy-1971]could've been a nice disco tune...if you have the track take a listen!

  20. #20
    Getting back to "Law of the Land": It's not even close to disco!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    I'm going to try to move this line of discussion over to here:
    http://soulfuldetroit.com/showthread...6972#post66972
    Hey cool! See ya there.

  22. #22
    Trammps Zing from 1972 must have been one of the first Disco records.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx0pnqoenbQ

  23. #23
    manu's soul makossa was originally the theme to camaroon's "match of the day" football (soccer to the cousins!) tv prog.

    and i'll agree with those that dont think the temps were a disco group.
    what about hughs corp. rock the boat,george mc crae's rock your baby?mfsb TSOP 1974? i dont think disco was much earlier.being played in a disco doesnt make it disco.i know we were not calling those disco or anything before them.i do remember the donna summer,gorgio moroder and munich machine stuff being dubbed (euro) disco

  24. #24
    I don't think the tempts were disco either, the only close thing they came to disco was thier 1978 atlantic album.

  25. #25
    marybrewster hasn't been back to this thread since she started it. I wonder why.

  26. #26
    Hey Candy they released a couple of other disco records.........most notably their effort "Do The Temptations" Track 1. Why Cant You and me Get Together and track 4. Theres No Stopping Until We Set The World Rocking........

    Name:  Temts do.jpg
Views: 623
Size:  50.0 KB





    I never considered them being a disco act and never once thought about Law Of The Land that way, just more of Norman Whitfields magic, although to stay current they had to drop a disco sounding tune here and there.......and If I go back to their Album Psyhedelic Shack........"You Need Love Like I do Dont You", another Whitfield tune...... sounds tailor made for disco.......lol......
    Last edited by paladin; 09-15-2011 at 12:06 PM.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    marybrewster hasn't been back to this thread since she started it. I wonder why.
    Did you miss me?

    Interesting conversation; nice to read all of your opinions.

  28. #28
    And for those of you with your panties in a bunch, where does my post, or the article I refer to, call The Temptations a "disco act"? Could someone PLEASE point that out to me? kthanksbye

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    Actually Soulster .. when this thread started it was about "Law Of The Land"

    "Law of The Land" by THE TEMPTATIONS was released as a 45 in Britain in September 1973 and got to #41 on the UK Charts .. not a huge hit but much better than "Masterpiece" which didn't chart at all.

    Over the years there have been a number of threads here on SDF about what could have been the first "Disco" record and what can be considered a "Disco" record. There is even a constant debate about whether "Disco" was a style of music or whether it was just music that was promoted and popularised through being played in Discos!!

    Living in Britain I first came across the term "Disco" late in the '60s .. a "Disco" was a nightclub that played music off disc for people to dance to, rather than having live bands. Every large town and city had at least one .. predominantly they played "Black" music .. R&B/Soul/Motown/Stax/Reggae/Rocksteady .. and if it was "Pop" it was the more uptempo and dancable/R&B influenced stuff.

    At that time, in Britain, we didn't have any R&B Radio .. we didn't have much music radio at all actually .. and the only public place where you could hear a lot of Soul/R&B being played was in a "Disco". However the term "Disco" related to the venue, not to the music being played there.

    It was also "common knowledge" in Britain that in the U.S. nightclubs featured "live bands" and were not "Discos" as such and that to hear Soul/R&B all you had to do was tune into a local Radio Station (this is probably a sweeping generalisation).

    Anyway, the point that I'm trying to make is that in the late '60s/early '70s in the U.S. Soul/R&B was generally promoted and popularised via the Radio, in Britain "Disco" exposure was equally important. This meant that in this period the best selling "Soul/R&B" tunes in Britain tended to be uptempo/midtempo material (nowadays known as "Northern Soul") .. in the U.S. there was a mix of Uptempo, Ballad and Funk material. Crucially, U.S. record companies, when recording and releasing R&B/Soul would have an eye out for how it sounded on the Radio, not how it sounded in a Nightclub.

    I can hardly claim to be an expert on what was going on in the U.S. at that time, living 3000 Miles away, but from my outside perspective .. reading "Blues & Soul" etc. it seems that sometime around 1972/3 "Discos" started to become established in parts of the U.S. and that overwhelmingly they were playing uptempo/midtempo R&B/Soul. So, sales of uptempo R&B/Soul started to pick up and some U.S. record companies (Roulette, Scepter and P.I.R. come to mind) started to think about how their releases might sound in a nightclub. And some people started calling this music "Disco".

    So, I think what actually makes a record a "Disco" record is it being recorded/produced with how it sounds when played in a nightclub being a major consideration.

    I'm not sure about the exact first time that I first saw "Disco" in "Blues & Soul" being used to describe a variety of music rather than a venue but it would have had to have been some time late in 1973, especially with new Philadelphia recordings like "The Love I Lost"/"Look Me Up"/"Both Ends Against The Middle" ... certainly by mid 1974 the term was being used very liberally to describe new uptempo R&B/Soul .. "Rock The Boat"/T.S.O.P/"Rock Your Baby" etc. etc.

    Back to "The Law Of The Land", it certainly fitted in with this new phenomenon, it was very "up" and dancable. Whether it was recorded/produced with "Disco" play in mind is another matter, there was an instrumental version of the tune released in 1974 which undoubtedly was.

    ALFIE KHAN SOUND ORCHESTRA .. "Law Of the Land"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWDRme7EKOw

    Roger
    Thank you for this brilliant and well put together post. Very educational, you could teach "Disco 101".

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by paladin View Post
    Hey Candy they released a couple of other disco records.........most notably their effort "Do The Temptations" Track 1. Why Cant You and me Get Together and track 4. Theres No Stopping Until We Set The World Rocking........

    Name:  Temts do.jpg
Views: 623
Size:  50.0 KB


    .
    Thanks for reminding me, I forgot about that album a bit.

  31. #31
    very good roger

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    And for those of you with your panties in a bunch, where does my post, or the article I refer to, call The Temptations a "disco act"? Could someone PLEASE point that out to me? kthanksbye
    I think it's your thread title...

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    I think it's your thread title...
    But the thread title does have a question mark at the end which implies a certain disbelief that THE TEMPTATIONS could be labelled as a "Disco" act!!

    If I think about it, of the established Motown acts back in 1975/6, THE TEMPTATIONS were probably the ones who were least "tempted" to jump on the "Disco" bandwagon. Motown, as a whole, seemed resistant to the trend, but then we had DIANA ROSS with "Love Hangover", THE JACKSON FIVE with "Forever Came Today", THE ORIGINALS with "Down To Love Town, THE MIRACLES with "Love Machine" (all recordings I really love) and Motown joined in.

    Norman Whitfield, the writer and producer of "Law Of The Land" also produced some great "Disco" tracks in 1976/77 .. "You Plus Me" by THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH and some of the recordings by ROSE ROYCE come to mind.

    Roger

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    But the thread title does have a question mark at the end which implies a certain disbelief that THE TEMPTATIONS could be labelled as a "Disco" act!!
    Yes, but it opens the door...

  35. #35
    Here's a review of The Temptations "DO THE TEMPTATIONS" LP from the newspaper SOUL America's Most Soulful Newspaper, Vol 2 No. 14 (Oct 26,1976):

    This is an album for those who have lost faith in The Temptations. The Temps have tried on several different 'sounds' since leaving long-time producer Norman Whitfield in 1973, and now they seem to have hit it right with this new LP. Surprise! In many ways, this is the same sound they left behind. Catchy, hummable music lives anew.
    On Display for the first time in a while are some of the things that used to be associated so closely with the Temps. Their harmony is once more at peak form, from the soring tenor of newcomer Glenn Leonard in the slow song "I'm On Fire", to the grumblingly sensuous ad-libs of bass singer Melvin Franklin in the same tune.
    "There Is No Stopping ('Til We Set The Whole World Rockin')" is the obligatory disco tune on the album, and even at that, it comes out sounding good because of a few dashes of the old time Temps' finesse.
    "Who Are You (And What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life)?", features some pretty nice guitar work and has an upbeat happiness to it that pretty well characterizes the rest of the LP.
    The Temptations wrote and seem to enjoy doing the material on this album, and their enjoyment shows in snappy, old-fashioned songs like "Put Your Trust In me, Baby", while the song "I;Take You In" has a well-done preach/rap lead by Edwards going for it.


    On the same page, under "Hot Singles", is another interesting review:

    "Catfish", The Four Tops. Like everyone else, the Four Tops have decided to go disco, so "Catfish" was "thrown" together to provide a danceable record with ridiculous lyrics. The intro is good, the beat average, but the lyrics are a little hard to deal with. Since this is the title track of their upcoming LP, one wonders what the rest of the LP will be like.

    Incidently, one of the cover stories in this same issue is titled, Is Black radio disappearing into thin air?. The article laments the fact that "crossover" "Groups such as Wild Cherry, Average White Band, Boz Scaggs, Hall and Oates, John Valenti... are getting airplay on what used to be Black radio stations." the author interviews several program directors from around the country who basically agree they "play music that attracts the most audience."

    Certainly, no one familiar with the music of The Temptations would call them a "disco act", but a guy's gotta eat and pay the rent.


    I think The Godfather of Soul, James Brown summarized the impact of the Disco era on old-school Soul and R&B artists best in his 1986 autobiography. Particularly the synthesized period, where he felt irrelevant. It was a difficult period for him and other acts who were used to making their living off live tours:

    By the middle of 1975 disco had broken big. Disco is a simplification of a lot of what I was doing, of what they thought I was doing. Disco is a very small part of Funk. It's the end of the song, the repetious part, like a vamp. The difference is that in the funk you dig into a groove, you don't stay on the surface. Disco stayed on the surface...

    Disco was easy for artists to get into because they really didnt have to do anything. Its was all electronic sequencers and beats-per-minute--it was done with machines....They thought they could dress up in a Superfly outfit, play one note, and that would make them a star...But that was not the answer. It destroyed the musical basis that so many people worked so hard to build up in the sixties. The record companies loved disco because it was a producer's music....

    Disco hurt me in a lot of ways. I was trying to make good hard funk records that Polydor was trying to soften up, while the people were buying records with no substance. The disco people copied off me and tried to throw me away and go with young people. You can't do that. You have to come back to the source. Disco hurt live music in general...
    Last edited by sunshineonacloudyday; 09-15-2011 at 07:50 PM.

  36. #36
    Ok everyone knows disco is short for discotheque (French) = an entertainment venue or club with recorded music played by Disc jockeys through a PA system. We also know that Jimmy Saville started it all in 1943 in Otley (look it up on Wiki). We also know that Gloria Gaynor didn't do Doctor's Orders - Sunny did the original and definitive version and Carol Douglas did an inferior version (but the "B" side "Baby Don't Let This Good Love Die" was something else). Actually Jane McDonald also does a reasonable version of Doctor's Orders. I also went to the local disco at Hyde Town Hall on Thursday nights and that was in 1970 - big there were Needle In A Haystack, Band Of Gold, Jimmy Mack, (Blame It) On The Pony Express, Give Me Just A Little More Time, Candid etc etc. All long before Law of The Land of course. Who can forget Disco Tex and his Sex O Lettes - Get Dancin' which came along much later.

    So what was the question?

  37. #37
    @ Candy, No big deal........I appreciate your being here.........

  38. #38
    actually, Regine started it all in France..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9gine_Zylberberg
    Last edited by Jimi LaLumia; 09-15-2011 at 09:07 PM.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshineonacloudyday View Post

    I think The Godfather of Soul, James Brown summarized the impact of the Disco era on old-school Soul and R&B artists best in his 1986 autobiography. Particularly the synthesized period, where he felt irrelevant. It was a difficult period for him and other acts who were used to making their living off live tours:

    By the middle of 1975 disco had broken big. Disco is a simplification of a lot of what I was doing, of what they thought I was doing. Disco is a very small part of Funk. It's the end of the song, the repetious part, like a vamp. The difference is that in the funk you dig into a groove, you don't stay on the surface. Disco stayed on the surface...

    Disco was easy for artists to get into because they really didnt have to do anything. Its was all electronic sequencers and beats-per-minute--it was done with machines....They thought they could dress up in a Superfly outfit, play one note, and that would make them a star...But that was not the answer. It destroyed the musical basis that so many people worked so hard to build up in the sixties. The record companies loved disco because it was a producer's music....

    Disco hurt me in a lot of ways. I was trying to make good hard funk records that Polydor was trying to soften up, while the people were buying records with no substance. The disco people copied off me and tried to throw me away and go with young people. You can't do that. You have to come back to the source. Disco hurt live music in general...
    James Brown summed it up nicely, but I didn't detect that much bitterness in him. After all, he know he was the man who started it all. I will say that it seems the Europeans, where the brand of disco Americans came to despise, doesn't seem to have been based that much in American R&B.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    I think it's your thread title...
    I stand corrected. What I was trying to imply is that the referenced article suggested they were the PIONEERS of Disco. Po-tay-to. po-tah-to.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    I stand corrected. What I was trying to imply is that the referenced article suggested they were the PIONEERS of Disco. Po-tay-to. po-tah-to.
    Well, we know the person who wrote the article is wrong.

  42. #42
    In the sixties USA, large dance halls playing pre-recorded music was not new. However, by the late 60s, the socio-political climate was ripe for a new phenomenon: The first wave of Baby Boomers turned 21 years old--"club age" around this time. By the early 70s, Nixon's resignation and the end of the Vietnam War lifted people's spirits, and we left the streets for the Discos. The upbeat, uptempo music of that time (especially coming out of Philly!), reflected the collective mood. We called it "Disco Music" (still Soul Music then), and 'Disco' clubs was where we danced to it.

    But while we may have danced to records in the clubs, we also flocked to see the artists perform live too. One of the most memorable shows for me at this time was Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, with KC & the Sunshine Band. We danced our asses off, to both live music, and to records in a Disco.

    The scene changed by the late 70s, with dance/synth DJ music attracting a younger crowd and taking precedence over live music, or recorded music made by musicians, as James Brown stated.
    Last edited by sunshineonacloudyday; 09-16-2011 at 12:35 AM.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    Well, we know the person who wrote the article is wrong.
    But TRULY, is there EVER ANY article that isn't without inaccuracies or personal opinion?

    We can argue this all day long, and I have the time, so bring your best.

  44. #44
    I've been doing a spot of googling and I've found this on discomusic.com that references the notion that "Law Of The Land" by THE TEMPTATIONS could be regarded as the first "Disco" record.

    http://www.discomusic.com/forums/sho...ot-by-Temptati

    It seems the quote comes from a book called "Turn The Beat Around" by PETER SHAPIRO.

    http://www.amazon.com/Turn-Beat-Arou.../dp/0571211941

    Of course, what this thread has illustrated is what an emotive term "Disco Music" can be. As a UK resident I have to say I've never understood what the objection is supposed to be ..

    Roger

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    Of course, what this thread has illustrated is what an emotive term "Disco Music" can be. As a UK resident I have to say I've never understood what the objection is supposed to be ..

    Roger
    As an American resident, I can tell you exactly what it is. It's several things: racism, sexism, and homophobia. Then, there's the belief among many of disco's critics that it is not real music. Jazz fans say it is simple, and reduces music to it's primal elements. Rock fans claim that there's no real musicianship, or that it's a producer's medium. Religious and conservative types criticize the liberal use of drugs and the alleged promotion of casual sex associated with disco, all while ignoring the prevalence of these things in other types of music. And, what is interesting is how disco's critics are the same as critics of hip-hop, that it's not real music. What comes to my mind when this is mentioned is that both of those forms of music have deep roots in Black American culture.

    One of the reasons disco was despised is simply that the record labels exploited it, shoved it in our faces. It was everywhere! To the labels, disco was a quick buck, and it's recklessness and saturation of the market led to the record industry depression on the early 80s.

    Was disco derivative? Sure it was! All modern music is derivative of something that came before it.
    Last edited by soulster; 09-16-2011 at 08:27 PM.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    As an American resident, I can tell you exactly what it is. It's several things: racism, sexism, and homophobia. Then, there's the belief among many of disco's critics that it is not real music. Jazz fans say it is simple, and reduces music to it's primal elements. Rock fans claim that there's no real musicianship, or that it's a producer's medium. Religious and conservative types criticize the liberal use of drugs and the alleged promotion of casual sex associated with disco, all while ignoring the prevalence of these things in other types of music. And, what is interesting is how disco's critics are the same as critics of hip-hop, that it's not real music. What comes to my mind when this is mentioned is that both of those forms of music have deep roots in Black American culture.

    One of the reasons disco was despised is simply that the record labels exploited it, shoved it in our faces. It was everywhere! To the labels, disco was a quick buck, and it's recklessness and saturation of the market led to the record industry depression on the early 80s.

    Was disco derivative? Sure it was! All modern music is derivative of something that came before it.

    Several good and accurate points Soulster!

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Several good and accurate points Soulster!
    * The music has it's foundation in the music of Black Americans
    * The vast majority of disco's stars stars were female and/or Black. The voice heard on disco records were most often female voices.
    * The majority of D.J.s were gay.
    * The natural constituency of disco music and discos were Black, Latino, and gays.
    * The focus of disco music was on the rhythm section, not the guitar.
    * In the height of disco's popularity in the late 70s, with the sudden dominance of Eurodisco, the deep groove rhythm was de-emphasized, and steady, monotonous, four beats-per-measure, and simple bass patterns were emphasised and sped up. The emotive singing was removed and replaced with nebulous chanting or repetitious words. Think cheap porno music from the 70s and early 80s.
    * By 1978, it seemed that every artist was forced to release a disco song. Most pop songs had some kind of disco feel. Many veteran artists had little choice but to record disco albums or sit out the fad. Either way, they lost sales
    * It was a producer-driven genre, without many self-contained bands, although the most successful songs came from them.
    * Enjoying disco music was seen as having a requirement of knowing how to dance, and go dancing, one usually had to "dress up" or adhere to a specific dress code.

    These are just some of the reasons people hated disco.

    There were scores of R&B artists who felt pressured into disco:
    James Brown
    Wilson Pickett
    The Temptations
    Four Tops
    Curtis Mayfield
    O'Jays
    Manhattans
    Johnnie Taylor
    Issac Hayes
    Jerry Butler
    Joe Tex
    Billy Preston
    Aretha Franklin

    The list goes on...

    The rock artists who had, or were forced to put disco songs on their albums were:

    Alice Cooper
    Kiss
    Heart
    Rolling Stones
    Blondie
    Rod Stewart

    Some of them were successful, some not.

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    As an American resident, I can tell you exactly what it is. It's several things: racism, sexism, and homophobia. Then, there's the belief among many of disco's critics that it is not real music. Jazz fans say it is simple, and reduces music to it's primal elements. Rock fans claim that there's no real musicianship, or that it's a producer's medium. Religious and conservative types criticize the liberal use of drugs and the alleged promotion of casual sex associated with disco, all while ignoring the prevalence of these things in other types of music.
    Well, I have to agree on virtually everything you say here Soulster. But what we have here are two strands of reasoning. Dislike of "Disco" as a type of music, and dislike of "Disco" as an element of somebody's choice of lifestyle.

    I can understand objections of "Rock" and "Jazz" fans on purely musical grounds, if they liked "Disco" as a musical form they would not have been been keen "Rock" or "Jazz" fans to begin with.

    As to objections to the music on "moral" grounds .. so what? As you say, these things are just as prevelent with other forms of music.

    What I find difficult to understand is why some regular (American) posters on this forum get upset when a good Soul/R&B record from the mid '70s is described as "Disco" when
    A : It was, and still is, highly "up" and danceable.
    B : It had the type of sound that at the time was being described as "Disco".
    C : It was popular and appeared in "Disco" charts published in Record World/Billboard/Blues & Soul etc.
    Especially as, in 1974/75/76 .. "Disco" was one of the main strands of Soul/R&B .. a souped-up version of Soul and/or Funk, with a few Latin elements thrown in.

    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    One of the reasons disco was despised is simply that the record labels exploited it, shoved it in our faces. It was everywhere!
    I think in Britain we were a bit lucky in that in 1978/79 we escaped a lot of that over-exposure. "Disco" was just another type of music here, alongside "Rock", "Pop", "Punk", "Reggae", "Jazz-Funk", "Country", "Northern Soul" etc. etc. One Radio Station (Radio Luxembourg, a nighttime AM station broadcasting from Continental Europe) adopted a "Disco" format for a while but that was the only one.

    Another big difference here was that in 1977 there was a big explosion of interest in "Punk-Rock" spearheaded by THE SEX PISTOLS. It quickly morphed into "New Wave" , a slightly less abrasive form of "Punk Rock" which was also very commercially successful.

    As I recall, in 1978/79 British "Rock" fans disliked "Punk Rock/New Wave" just as much as they disliked "Disco" ( which to them would include Soul, Funk and Jazz/Funk ) if not more!!

    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    * The music has it's foundation in the music of Black Americans
    * The vast majority of disco's stars stars were female and/or Black. The voice heard on disco records were most often female voices.
    * The majority of D.J.s were gay.
    * The natural constituency of disco music and discos were Black, Latino, and gays.
    * The focus of disco music was on the rhythm section, not the guitar.
    * In the height of disco's popularity in the late 70s, with the sudden dominance of Eurodisco, the deep groove rhythm was de-emphasized, and steady, monotonous, four beats-per-measure, and simple bass patterns were emphasised and sped up. The emotive singing was removed and replaced with nebulous chanting or repetitious words. Think cheap porno music from the 70s and early 80s.
    * By 1978, it seemed that every artist was forced to release a disco song. Most pop songs had some kind of disco feel. Many veteran artists had little choice but to record disco albums or sit out the fad. Either way, they lost sales
    * It was a producer-driven genre, without many self-contained bands, although the most successful songs came from them.
    * Enjoying disco music was seen as having a requirement of knowing how to dance, and go dancing, one usually had to "dress up" or adhere to a specific dress code.

    These are just some of the reasons people hated disco.
    Well yes .. if you are talking about 1978/79. Some points wouldn't be true in 1974/75/76 and some of the points wouldn't have been relevent in Britain.

    * The music has it's foundation in the music of Black Americans

    Yes, I totally agree .. though some people on this forum try to pretend it is not the case.

    * The vast majority of disco's stars stars were female and/or Black.

    In the latter days females predominated. Black artists predominated from the beginning.

    * The voice heard on disco records were most often female voices.

    Only in the later years.

    * The majority of D.J.s were gay.

    Quite possibly, though how can you tell, you can never be certain that someone is not gay?

    * The natural constituency of disco music and discos were Black, Latino, and gays.

    In the U.S. most probably yes. In Britain it was just as much a white working class phenomenon. Black British people were more likely to be interested in Reggae. Latinos (in the U.S. sense) don't exist here.

    * The focus of disco music was on the rhythm section, not the guitar.

    Yes .. which is what I like about it!!

    * In the height of disco's popularity in the late 70s, with the sudden dominance of Eurodisco, the deep groove rhythm was de-emphasized, and steady, monotonous, four beats-per-measure, and simple bass patterns were emphasised and sped up. The emotive singing was removed and replaced with nebulous chanting or repetitious words. Think cheap porno music from the 70s and early 80s.

    Yes .. which is when I started to tire of it, though by 1979 Soul/R&B already seemed to be abandoning the fast and furious sounds of 1976/77 and funkier slower dance grooves were coming back into fashion .. kicked off by records such as "Shame" by EVELYN "CHAMPAGNE" KING and "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by TASTE OF HONEY.

    * By 1978, it seemed that every artist was forced to release a disco song. Most pop songs had some kind of disco feel. Many veteran artists had little choice but to record disco albums or sit out the fad. Either way, they lost sales

    I'm not sure if "forced to release" is correct, maybe "felt the need to release" is closer to the mark.

    Artists like JAMES BROWN certainly suffered, and I felt that too many of the "Disco" tracks that established Soul/R&B acts were releasing were too long, padded out with conga drum intros and outros (useful for lazy DJs) and overlong, unimaginative instrumental breaks.

    "Get Down" by GENE CHANDLER is a good example of this .. as a 3 minute 7" single I think it works well, as a 7 minute 12" to me it is overlong!!

    * It was a producer-driven genre, without many self-contained bands, although the most successful songs came from them.

    Well yes, but then that was often the case with pre "Disco Era" Soul Music .. Motown was very producer driven .. especially those Norman Whitfield productions by the likes of THE TEMPTATIONS and THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH ..

    * Enjoying disco music was seen as having a requirement of knowing how to dance, and go dancing, one usually had to "dress up" or adhere to a specific dress code.

    Yes, we had all of that in Britain, the wise amongst us would practice our dance moves in front of a mirror at home.

    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    There were scores of R&B artists who felt pressured into disco:
    James Brown
    Wilson Pickett
    The Temptations
    Four Tops
    Curtis Mayfield
    O'Jays
    Manhattans
    Johnnie Taylor
    Issac Hayes
    Jerry Butler
    Joe Tex
    Billy Preston
    Aretha Franklin

    The list goes on...
    Well, I think a list of Soul/R&B acts that didn't record a "Disco" track or two in the 1974-78 period would be very short. As to them being "pressured" into it I have my doubts, I'm sure many of them enjoyed singing those songs.

    Should THE O'JAYS should be on that list? .. their "Love Train" was one of those "pre-disco-era" tracks that virtually defined the genre and their "I Love Music" ( which to me is very "Disco" ) is such a good song I can't possibly imagine them having to be "pressured" into recording it.

    Similarly WILSON PICKETT's pre-disco-era "In Philadelphia" L.P. has some very "disco" tracks, check out "International Playboy", and I think his career was in decline well before "disco" was used to describe a style of music.

    As for THE TEMPTATIONS, back in the 1960s they were recording uptempo dance gems such as "Get Ready" and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" which if recorded in another era could have been classified as "Disco".

    I could say the same about THE FOUR TOPS and JOHNNIE TAYLOR .. "I Can't Help Myself" and "Who's Making Love" both have a very incessant groove, why wouldn't they do the occasional dance track in the 1970's if that is how they had made their
    name to begin with?

    With ISAAC HAYES his "Disco Connection" is an absolute gem and was an instant hit with me and the Great British public.

    With JOE TEX his "Ain't Gonna Bump No More" was a good fun record, I'm sure he had a ball recording it!

    ARETHA FRANKLIN and JAMES BROWN undoubtedly suffered in the Disco Era, but then apart from "Too Funky In Here" by Mr Brown I've never heard anything from either of them from 1977-79 that gets me very excited!

    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    The rock artists who had, or were forced to put disco songs on their albums were:

    Alice Cooper
    Kiss
    Heart
    Rolling Stones
    Blondie
    Rod Stewart
    Well .. I think that is where in the U.S. the problem was .. some (American) "Rock" fans hated their heroes dabbling in "Disco". Though "Satisfaction" by THE ROLLING STONES was as incessant a groove as you could possibly get and in Britain neither BLONDIE nor ROD STEWART were considered as "Rock" acts.

    Roger

  49. #49
    Most historians credit this song as the first.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr soul View Post
    Trammps Zing from 1972 must have been one of the first Disco records.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx0pnqoenbQ

  50. #50
    Roger, you made a lengthy post. I'll have to get back to this later when I have more time.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.