Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture

Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture

Alice Echols

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0393338916

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"Remarkable. . . . Carried along by prose that is as sleek and slinky as its subject."―Christine Stansell, University of Chicago

Alice Echols reveals the ways in which disco transformed popular music, propelling it into new sonic territory and influencing rap, techno, and trance. She probes the complex relationship between disco and the era's major movements: gay liberation, feminism, and African American rights. You won't say "disco sucks" as disco thumps back to life in this pulsating look at the culture and politics that gave rise to the music. 20 black-and-white photographs














“Vegas showgirl version”: Vilanch quoted in ibid., 167. “big act to break out”: Thompson, ed., Long Road, 62. This article originally appeared in a 1971 issue of the Advocate. “destroy reality”: Quoted in Gamson, Fabulous Sylvester, 92. “And people complain”: Christgau, Record Guide, 383. “Magnetta Washington”: Gamson, Fabulous Sylvester, 142. “Here were all these”: Sylvester quoted in Tim Lawrence, “I Want,” n. 1. For more on his attitude towards disco, see also John Schauer, “Sylvester:

quoted in “The Rolling Stone Interview with Madonna,” Rolling Stone, September 10, 1987, 88. “white suit”: Barry Gibb quoted in Bob Cannon, “Disco’s ‘Fever’ Pitch,” Entertainment Weekly, January 22, 1993. There was little let-up in the nineties for the Bee Gees. In 1996, when they appeared on the BBC show Clive Anderson All Talk, they put up with a number of putdowns before Barry Gibb, followed by his brothers, walked off the set. See Chris Rock…“If

records such as “Mighty Love,” “I’ll Be Around,” and “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.” One can’t know the extent to which White’s gospel of love prevailed in the discos, bars, and bedrooms of the seventies where his music played. After all, the relationship between the textual and the social is tricky. We do know that as the seventies came to a close his woman-centered love songs, and disco more generally, provoked a backlash among the young black men who began to turn toward the harsher sounds

about the rioters’ energy and anger. However, many would have agreed with activist Jim Fouratt, who thought the Stonewall was a “real dive, an awful sleazy place set up by the Mob.” Moreover, younger activists often took a dim view of drag, which seemed a throwback to the days when gay men were considered (and often thought themselves) gender “inverts,” internally female if externally male. Lesbian feminists of gay liberation developed a different critique of drag for fetishizing the very things

owner, knowing gay men’s preference for late-night partying, hoped to maximize his profits by attracting heterosexual revelers to the early shift. On the club’s opening night, the straight people whom the owner had bargained on leaving at ten o’clock were still partying, to the dismay of arriving gays. Infinity was enormously profitable, but according to one longtime disco scenester, “gays never took the place seriously,” which left a vacuum that the despised bridge-and-tunnel crowd eventually

Download sample