Introduction: Every generation thinks it's music is the best. In this case, Billy Parker puts forth the argument about his generation's music, disco.
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Article by: Billy Parker
Think your generation's music was the best? Everyone does. Remember arguing with your grandmother that some crooner, who's only claim to fame is a really boring Christmas special, couldn't get near the octave range of Robert Plant with a hot air balloon? That somehow your dad doesn't understand Pearl Jam's lyrics because he can only sing two words, Peace and Love. Or maybe peace and love baby. And everybody knows Elvis couldn't string Eddie's guitar for him. Couldn't even open the case.
The common denominator is it all boils down to what was ripping up the airways when you were young. But the best was my years of teenage angst. Disco!
This is the era that combined the hottest band in the universe at the time, The Bee Gees, with its biggest individual act, Peter Frampton. Mix in behind the scene talents from the producer of the blockbuster pop movie. (Saturday Night Fever.) What do you get? Yes, it was Disco that was asked to pay tribute to the greatest rock & roll album of all time. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band! Now, digitally remastered and available on CD. Finally! Nobody before or since has even tried to compete with this musical tribute.
So you've seen Dire Straits, AC/DC, Metallica and had great seats to Nirvana. Can't compare to Springsteen, The Who, Doobie Brothers in there prime. Please, people with white hair claiming they saw Morrison and Janis pass out on stage is banal at best.
Well I'm here to tell you Peaches and Herb kick butt. "Shake your groove thing" is an encore like no other. The Village People have everyone spelling out "YMCA" with their hands. K.C. just cranks out hit after hit. You'll never see so many women scream (or maybe its cry) as when Gloria Gaynor declares "I will survive!" So what if you saw "The Wall." How many people can honestly say they saw The Knack?
Which generation's music produced the most famous nightclub in history? Can you name one Heavy Metal club? Maybe Cher can limo up and down Sunset Boulevard but she couldn't get into Studio 54. Even Hedonism has its standards. Seen any Go-Go girl dancers lately? But Discotheques are making a comeback. The Marcarana is long gone, because everyone wants to do The Hustle.
Want to compare Billboard charts? Chic has more top 10 hits than Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead combined! And they're not in the Hall of Fame? Must be an oversight.
Woodstock. The name conjures up the 60's in one word. Woodstock 99 with it's destructive bonfire's. Altamont, Watkin's Glen, Live Aid. All, defining moments of musical generations. But none will come close to Disco's crowning moment. Comesky Park, summer 79. Only Disco could display such passion, excitement and universal feeling without any musical acts being scheduled! Here was one of the largest crowds of the season brought together at a baseball game because Disco was the guest of honor between a double- header. The tribute was so strong the second game was canceled. The Trammps "Disco Inferno" burn baby burn, probably pushed everyone over the edge.
Every musical genre has an anthem. "Hope I die before I get old." "Don't worry, be happy." But only disco could take a novelty #1 and turn it into a T-shirt, merchandise powerhouse. "Disco Duck" topped the charts and its influence could be felt from coast to coast. Wherever Disco was being played you could always here people screaming. "DISCO DUCKS, DISCO DUCKS!!. At least, that's what I think they were saying.
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