Closer Look: 1978 Disco

As the dancer’s response to rock n roll, and the spark that started the electronic fire of the 80s, Disco music was a dynamic turning point in music history. It fuses elements of soul, funk, and dance, the eye of the genre hurricane that is the 1970s. Many see disco as a cheap pop gimmick centered solely around superficial aesthetics, but it’s a truly vibrant, complex, and indulgent genre at the core.

Enjoy and subscribe to the latest Closer Look above! Scroll down for the individual tracks selected from the Disco of 1978.

Disco’s main sonic tropes typically include four on the floor beats, groovy basslines, rich string runs, and high flying vocal melodies. The main elements that set it apart from soul and funk are the upbeat tempos and more repetitive instrumentals that give the sound a more syncopated, pulsing energy. This is expected of course, as disco and its culture are centered around dancing.


The genre exploded in the late 70s for a plethora of reasons. For one, trendy dances of the time like “the bump” and “the hustle” brought the sound into clubs, a phenomenon we’ve seen continue into the 2000’s and now 2020’s with internet virality. There was also the 1977 hit film Saturday Night Fever that brought the culture to many outside of the music community. The peak popularity however was undoubtedly in 1979 when Michael Jackson helped the sound explode into the mainstream with his record Off The Wall, possibly the biggest platform that disco ever saw.


Donna Summer – Love To Love You Baby

Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive

Sylvester- You Make Me Feel

Village People- Macho Man

Boney M.- Rivers of Babylon

CHIC- I Want Your Love

First Choice- Hold Your Horses

Linda Clifford- Runaway Love

Karen Young- Hot Shot

Chaka Khan- I’m Every Woman

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