The Best Hits By Big Stars Riding The '70s Disco Wave

Categories: Music

Disco was so big in the 1970s--and it will be big again at my upcoming event--that huge names rode the spandex waves by putting out unexpected dance songs, some better than others.

Here are the most memorable to my eyes (and my dancing thighs).

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"Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" was a huge disco hit for Rod Stewart, not the first person you'd think of for a dance-floor boogie anthem. But Rod's husky voice was so incongruous and his performance so committed that it totally worked, even if the theme had a certain fromagey-ness.

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A similar song of sexual desperation, "Take Me Home" was very big for Cher, whose sultry stylings made this a soft and intimate dance-floor respite from the more pounding thump-thump tunes. Every time they played this, the entire crowd wanted to go home and mate--but not until the end of the song.

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Maybe the weirdest disco song of all was "Baby I'm Burning," a surprise dance hit for Dolly Parton, who normally specialized in down-home stuff like "Jolene" and "Coat of Many Colors". But this one sizzled, with a driving, percolating beat, and Dolly made you dance as if you'd cannonballed out of the Ozarks with your boogie woogie dancing shoes in partying mode.

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Motown superstar Diana Ross had a smash with "Love Hangover," a sexy murmuring that erupts into full-throttle, euphoric disco and has you agreeing "I don't need no cure" for a song this hot. She went on to have many more disco hits (like "I'm Coming Out" and "Upside Down") and became the defining big-star-turned-disco-who-turned-disco-OUT.


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6 comments
nostradavid
nostradavid

"Baby I'm Burning" sounds "clap" related. Ouch! 

matthewlangan
matthewlangan

I still hear BABY  BURNIN blasting outta SCANDALS-the gay western bar across the street from my house here in WILTON MANORS FLORIDA

CafeMuscato
CafeMuscato

My own favorite, if fairly ill-fated, attempts at the genre remain Bette Midler's over the top "Knight in Black Leather" ("he smells just like a brand new car!") and her take-no-prisoners go at "Strangers in the Night" - there's a quality in her voice on that one that means you just know that even as she sang it, she was mortified...

williamHK
williamHK

@CafeMuscato There exists a different version of "Strangers" - produced by Moogy Klingman (r.i.p.) I believe - he used to write about it on his website.  That whole album had a bunch of different takes and outtakes.  I like her version of it - - Arif Mardin was genius.  But I know what you mean, her vocal sometimes doesn't sound so good.   

williamHK
williamHK

@CafeMuscato I also think Sinatra hated her version and may have spoken to the press about it.

williamHK
williamHK

Baby I'm Burning didn't really seem disco to me, kind of awful.  Did NYC clubs ever play it?  I don't remember ever hearing it.

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