Disco is a genre of dance-oriented music that originated in African American, gay and Hispanic American communities in 1970s. In what is considered a forerunner to disco style clubs in February 1970 New York City DJ David Mancuso opened The Loft, a members-only private dance club set in his own home. Most agree that the first disco songs were released in 1973, though some claim that Soul Makossa by Manu Dibango's from 1972 to be the first disco record. The first article about disco was written in September 1973 by Vince Aletti for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1974 New York City's WPIX-FM premiered the first disco radio show.
Musical influences include funk, soul music. The disco sound has a soaring, often reverberated vocals over a steady "four-on-the-floor" beat, an eighth note (quaver) or sixteenth note (semi-quaver) hi-hat pattern with an open hi-hat on the off-beat, and prominent, syncopated electric bass line. Strings, horns, electric pianos, and electric guitars create a lush background sound. Orchestral instruments such as the flute are often used for solo melodies, and unlike in rock, lead guitar is rarely used.
Well-known late 1970s disco performers included Bee Gees, Donna Summer and The Jacksons. Summer would become the first well-known and most popular female disco artist, and also played a part in pioneering the electronic sound that later became a part of disco. While performers and singers garnered the lion's share of public attention, the behind-the-scenes producers played an equal, if not more important role in disco, since they often wrote the songs and created the innovative sounds and production techniques that were part of the "disco sound". Many non-disco artists recorded disco songs at the height of disco's popularity, and films such as Saturday Night Fever and Thank God It's Friday contributed to disco's rise in mainstream popularity and ironically the beginning of its commercial decline.
During this period of decline in disco's popularity, several record companies folded, were reorganized, or were sold. In 1979, MCA Records purchased ABC Records, absorbed some of its artists, and then shut the label down. RSO Records founder Robert Stigwood left the label in 1981 and TK Records closed in the same year. Salsoul Records folded in 1984. Casablanca Records had been releasing fewer records in the 1980s, and was shut down in 1986 by parent company PolyGram.
Many groups that were popular during the disco period subsequently struggled to maintain their success—even those that tried to adapt to evolving musical tastes. The Bee Gees, for instance, only had one major hit in the United States after the 1970s—even though later songs they wrote and had others perform were successful. Of the handful of groups not taken down by disco's fall from favor, The Jacksons—and Michael Jackson in particular—stand out: In spite of having helped define the disco sound early on, they continued to make popular and danceable, if more refined, songs for yet another generation of music fans in the 1980s and beyond.
As disco's popularity sharply declined in the United States, abandoned by major U.S. record labels and producers, European disco continued evolving within the broad mainstream pop music scene. European acts Silver Convention, Love and Kisses, Munich Machine, and American acts Donna Summer and the Village People, were acts that defined the late 1970s Euro disco sound. Producers Giorgio Moroder, whom AllMusic described as "one of the principal architects of the disco sound" with the Donna Summer hit "I Feel Love" (1977), and Jean-Marc Cerrone were involved with Euro disco. The German group Kraftwerk also had an influence on Euro disco.
By far the most successful Eurodisco act was ABBA. This Swedish quartet—with such hits as "Waterloo" (1974), "Fernando" (1976), "Take a Chance on Me" (1978), "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" (1979), and their signature smash "Dancing Queen" (1976)—ranks as the eighth best-selling act of all time. Other prominent European pop and disco groups were Luv' from the Netherlands and Boney M., a group of four West Indian singers and dancers masterminded by West German record producer Frank Farian. Boney M. charted worldwide hits with such songs as "Daddy Cool", "Ma Baker" and "Rivers of Babylon".
Another euro-disco act was Amanda Lear, where eurodisco sound is most heard in Enigma ("Give a bit of Mmh to me") song (1978).In France, Claude François who re-invented himself as the king of French disco, released "La plus belle chose du monde", a French version of the Bee Gees hit record, "Massachusetts", which became a big hit in Canada and Europe and "Alexandrie Alexandra" was posthumously released on the day of his burial and became a worldwide hit. Dalida released "J'attendrai", which became a big hit in Canada and Japan, and Cerrone's early hit songs, "Love in C Minor", "Give Me Love" and "Supernature" became major hits in the U.S. and Europe.
The resurgence of Disco, the second generation of Disco artists, commonly referred to as "Dance" or "Dance Pop" artists took shape. By this point, this style of music no longer favoured only the highly orchestral song structure. Post-disco (club music or dance) is the significant period in popular music history that followed the commercial "death" of disco music that emerged during late 1970s and early 1980s. The stripped-down musical trends followed from the DJ- and producer-driven, increasingly electronic and experimental side of disco, and were typified by the styles of dance-pop, boogie, italo disco and the early alternative dance. Techno and house are both rooted in post-disco music. From 1990 forward, while not commonly referred to as Disco, continued to gain mainstream success.
Nu-disco is a 21st-century dance music genre associated with the renewed interest in 1970s and early 1980s disco, mid-1980s Italo disco, and the synthesizer-heavy Euro disco aesthetics. The moniker appeared in print as early as 2002, and by mid-2008 was used by record shops such as the online retailers Juno and Beatport.
These vendors often associate it with re-edits of original-era disco music, as well as with music from European producers who make dance music inspired by original-era American disco, electro and other genres popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is also used to describe the music on several American labels that were previously associated with the genres electroclash and french house.
In 2013, several 1970s-style disco and R&B songs charted, and the pop charts had more dance songs than at any other point since the late 1970s. The biggest disco hit of the year as of June was "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk, featuring Nile Rodgers on guitar. The song was initially thought likely to be a leading candidate to become the summer's biggest hit that year; however, the song ended up peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks behind another major disco-styled song, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", which spent twelve weeks at number 1 on the Hot 100, and in the process became the eventual song of the summer itself. Both were popular with a wide variety of demographic groups. Other disco-styled songs that made it into the top 40 were Justin Timberlake's "Take Back The Night" (No. 29), and Bruno Mars' "Treasure" (No. 5) and and Michael Jackson's posthumous release "Love Never Felt So Good" (No. 9).
In addition, Arcade Fire's Reflektor and Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, both featured strong disco elements, topped the Billboard 200 in 2013. In 2014, disco music could be found in Lady Gaga's "Artpop" and Katy Perry's "Birthday" and in 2015 with Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk". .