Doug: If any of you remember WLUP disc jockey Steve Dahl's "Disco Demolition" at Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 12, 1979, you'll recall how a publicity stunt actually led to the downfall (temporarily, you could argue) of a musical genre. Dahl is perhaps one of the original "shock jocks" and has been a fixture on Chicago radio before and ever since.
Doug: But I'm here to confess... I liked disco then, and I still have quite a collection on my iTouch. I don't like all of it, but let's face it: some of those songs just have a great hook. Boogie Oogie Oogie -- you don't like that one? Shake Your Groove Thing? C'mon. The name alone drags you along. And of course there's the extended version of the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, smash I Feel Love. It's all toe-tapping, rump-shakin' singalong nostalgia at this point, but I'll go just a bit further -- it was innovative for it's time, and at the beginning of the era the musicians played their own instruments. And the vocals weren't augmented by synthesizers. So there... Why do I sound like I'm apologizing for this? Sheesh -- you'd think I was reading a funnybook in public!
Doug: Anyway, today -- for those of you who want to play -- let's have a little tussle between two of the most successful acts of the disco period: the Bee Gees and KC and the Sunshine Band. The Bee Gees were of course successful long before disco landed, and both bands enjoyed at least a fair amount of success into the 1980's. But what did you like during the mid- to late-70's?
Doug: KC and the Sunshine Band has a website, and from it I post the following information. All I can say is -- this is a pretty darn good resume'...
Their first record, BLOW YOUR WHISTLE, made the top 15 on the R&B chart.
Their second album, KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND, was released in 1975, went triple platinum and contained the #1 hits GET DOWN TONIGHT, THAT’S THE WAY (I LIKE IT), BOOGIE SHOES and ROCK YOUR BABY. Also in 1975 he won the American Music Award for Best R&B Artist.
KC & The Sunshine Band became the first act to score four #1 pop singles in one 12-month period since the Beatles in 1964. Three of those singles crossed over to become #1 R&B, as well.
KC’s third album, PART 3, released in 1976, also went triple platinum and contained the #1 singles I’M YOUR BOOGIE MAN, SHAKE YOUR BOOTY and KEEP IT COMIN’ LOVE.Doug: The Brothers Gibb are probably recognized as the premier act of the disco era. Again, successful before, they re-invented themselves and created a style that branched over into other artists. And what a lot of people don't know is that Barry Gibb has served as songwriter and producer for many, many other hits for other artists.
Doug: You can click this link to that bastion of historical accuracy, Wikipedia, to see a table of the Bee Gees hits and chart positions from around the world. Consider this my disclaimer in the event any of the information within is incorrect - I don't want anyone ripping on me like back in the solo Beatles comments. While I don't think the Bee Gees swept in and dominated as KC and the Sunshine Band did with seven #1's in quick succession, the success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is undeniable in the annals of popular music.
Doug: So who ya got?