Where is the line between disco and post disco drawn?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by lc1995, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    I notice that when looking at Wikipedia articles of songs from the early 80s, they often have "Post-Disco" listed as the genre. But in many cases, I can't really figure out what's so different about it from the material of the same artists from 1979 that is always labeled "disco".
    Such as Kool and the Gang's early 80s material versus their late 70s material.
     
  2. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk "You say you'll change the constitution"

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    Right about the knees
     
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  3. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    IMO post disco is more pop oriented or synth based. Disco as a genre died off in 1980 - Village People / Bee Gees still popular. 1981 the beginning of the post disco era
     
  4. el supernautico

    el supernautico A traveller of both, time and space

    Location:
    Germany
    Besides that I think it's only a marketing thing, I'd say "Post Disco" is disco music that was released after Disco wasn't hip anymore, meaning after "New Wave" came in and was more hip.
    No changing of musical style IMHO.
     
  5. samurai

    samurai "See the glory, of the royal scam."

    Location:
    MINNESOTA
    Where is the line between disco and post disco drawn?
    On a mirror.
     
  6. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York
    So is it really just a matter of what music historians label it in retrospect?
    I understand post disco was more electronic, but I think the same could be said of disco in 1979 compared to the early disco hits like "Rock the Boat" and "What a Night"
     
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  7. el supernautico

    el supernautico A traveller of both, time and space

    Location:
    Germany
    Exactly. Giorgio Moroder's "The Chase" and Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" all came out in the later 70ties and are heavily based on synths.
    As for the retrospective labeling, it's only my opinion, others might correct me.:)
     
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  8. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery

    ...It seems to be more a non-American phrase...partly reflecting the way that saying the word " disco " became ABSOLUTELY TABOO!:yikes: for...a while:confused:...post the record-burning rallies and the " death of disco.....................As has seemed...to be reflected here:evil::hide:;)?
     
  9. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident

    That's the first time that I hear the term 'post-disco' being coined. Disco didn't suddenly die in 1979, although Americans are led to believe so because of Disco Demolition Night - an event that went unnoticed over here in Europe anyway. But I do believe that disco had a backlash because of its huge popularity in the second half of the 70s. And for a while the 'disco' word became kind of taboo.

    IMO what we called disco was still allive and well until 1982 or so. During the early 80s it had a natural evolution, becoming more electronically based, ofthen with higher BPM (Beats Per Minute) rates and edgier, funkier rhythms It was called electric boogie for a while IIRC (think: Shannon - let the music play) and during the latter half of the 80s it evolved into house and techno. From that moment on all these styles were simply lumped in the dance category.
     
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  10. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Another bloody Yank down under...

    If I had to name a last disco hit, I'd probably go with "Funkytown". There were hits after that one that had elements of disco, but the sound really wasn't quite the same.
     
  11. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery

    ...Is it May be just those boogyin' tracks by Headless Body and the Topless Bars, from NYC?:yikes: Or that version of " Philadelphia Freedom " that was a Saturday night classic by Norm and The Rockwells?:laughup: I mean, not to horse around...I just want to be a pillar of this board:frog::agree::evil:!!!!!!!!!!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou ladies and germs:laugh:.
     
  12. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    I was thinking of this one as well, probably the last pure disco number one
     
  13. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident

    Hmm, depends on how you call it (and in what part of the world you lived), but I'd say 1981 and 1982 had lots of hits that still could be called disco. But admittedly, it was more of the vein of things to come - Patrick Cowley, Lime, Sharon Redd, Miquel Brown etc. I think it was called High Energy at the time, or maybe a little later on.

    The Wiki entry on 'Post disco' says it right IMO: Disco in Europe remained relatively untouched by the events in the U.S., decreasing only in Britain, but this was mostly because of the emergence of the new wave and new romantic movements around 1981, and continued to flourish within the Italo disco scene although the interest for electronic music in general was indeed growing.

    Post-disco - Wikipedia
     
  14. Bassist

    Bassist Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    The invention of the Roland 808 in the early 80s.

    At that point (from a UK perspective) Disco split off into two directions - dance floor oriented Pop Soul on the one hand, still primarily song based, with real instruments and moderate tempos (Shalamar, Evelyn King, Lynx, Change et al) and on the other hand Electro which was about what technology could do post Moroder and allowed for cross over with early Hip Hop (Mantronix etc). The need for synthesised sounds to essentially operate as mechanised versions of real instruments completely went out of the window and it all starts with the 808 exceeding the capabilities of a real, four-limbed musician and drum programming becoming a role in its own right.

    Outside of the Disco and its variants Marvin's "Midnight Love" and Thomas Dolby's "The Flat Earth" were massively important records that were driven at the rhythm section end of things by the 808 and the Fairlight . They brought the cutting edge technology of drum sounds / techniques back into a song based, album oriented environment.

    Obviously there was a leakage of influence back and forth (Janet Jackson's Control is a great example of that) but if I had to put a year on it then some point around 1982 / 1983 feels pretty good to me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  15. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I think The Pointer Sisters is a good example of post-disco. Maybe the start.

    He's So Shy.

     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  16. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident

    Yup, the Pointer Sisters are a real good example of a vocal group that turned to that dance-floor oriented pop soul, as Bassist so aptly describes it. I think even better examples would be other Pointer hits like If you wanna get back your lady, Automatic and Jump. That 'lady' song also reminds me of the disappearance of the handclaps in most disco/dance songs during the 80s. In the latter half of the 70s, disco rhythms were ofted accentuated by handclaps. As technology evolved, these were replaced by heavier drum sounds and all sorts of electronic persussion. I think that's another distinct difference between disco and post-disco.
     
  17. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    Human League's Dare was at the forefront when it came to cutting edge technology married to pop songs. An incredibly influential album.

    Also interesting compare disco artists disco era hits with those from the early 80's.
    Such as That's The Way and Give It Up by KC
     
  18. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

    On the dance floor.
     
  19. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tarragona (Spain)
    what about Depeche Mode, OMD, Soft Cell..?
     
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  20. Bassist

    Bassist Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    True. I thought about Dare and it was definitely influential but I don't think Martin Rushent had the technology to fully programme the drums the way you could with an 808. IIRC all of the electronic drums were done on a Linn LM-1 which had a more limited sound palette than the 808 and other inflexibilities. The 808 was also available to a lot more people so it permeated into the culture more. Admittedly the Linn is on a bunch of big hit records but generally still sounds like someone trying to make their drums sound like drums that could be played by a human or by a robot with a human drummer sensibility. Interesting though to compare Dare with Crash which I am 90% sure was an all 808 album but the 808 is used quite traditionally rather than with the impossible to play fills and such which were an Electro hallmark. Kind of plays into what I said about the Pop Soul sensibility post Disco being the more traditional one and Electro being more experimental and seeing the tech as a range of instruments in their own right.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  21. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brisbane,Australia
    Human League were the first major synth band to make synth songs not sound cold or robotic (Kraftwerk) but very commercial and poppy.Paving the way for other electronic bands.

    Big fan of all those bands btw
     
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  22. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    A lot of early disco hits realized on horns and strings and lush arrangements. Remember the likes of The Richie Family and even Van McCoy? Though synths were used right out of the box on some early disco hits, gradually the horns and strings disappeared to be replaced by even more electronics.
    I want to say “I Feel Love” changed the game. After the success of that revolutionary single, disco became something that could entirely be created by virtually one man in a studio.
     
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  23. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Location:
    Niagara Falls
    It was over the morning after Disco Demolition Night. The term, "post-disco," was not used in 1979-1980.
     
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  24. Todd W.

    Todd W. It's a Puggle

    Location:
    Maryland
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    I use "disco" as a catchall term for dance/club music from the mid-70s on. So all EDM--(including breakbeat, bubblegum bass, drum & bass, dubstep, house, techno, trance, trap, wonky, etc.) is "disco" in my usage. :shrug:
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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