Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Pink Floyd Top 50 Countdown (#20-16) & This Week's Statistics

Hello, my friends, old and new! Before we proceed with the Pink Floyd top 50 countdown, let me just thank Simple Radio and its fabulous DJs, Kostas & Panos, for having me as a guest on their show last night. We all had a wonderful time. Wish you were here!


As we have come to the final stretch of our countdown, I've thought I'd present a few key songs from the solo careers of the Pink Floyd members. We begin with the crazy diamond himself, Syd Barrett. His first solo album was The Madcap Laughs (1970). He was assisted by former bandmates Roger Waters and David Gilmour. The opening track, Terrapin, seems to go on three times as long as its five-minute length, creating a hypnotic effect through Barrett's simple, repetitive guitar figure and stream of consciousness lyrics:


The plain gorgeous Golden Hair is a musical setting of a James Joyce poem that's simply spellbinding:


His second (and last) album also came out in 1970 and was simply called Barrett. His former bandmates Richard Wright and David Gilmour are with him, as well as Humble Pie's Jerry Shirley. The opening track, Baby Lemonade, is among the best in the album:


And the best is saved for last - a joyful little tuba-plus-acoustic guitar romp entitled Effervescing Elephant:


At #20 on our list is (not completely by coincidence) very much a Syd Barrett song; it's called Bike and it's the final track featured on their 1967 debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

In the song, Syd Barrett's lyrical subject shows a girl his bike (which he borrowed); a cloak; a homeless, aging mouse that he calls Gerald; and a clan of gingerbread men, because she "fits in with [his] world." With each repetition of the chorus, a sudden percussive noise is heard similar to the firing of two gunshots. Towards the end of the song, he offers to take her into a "room of musical tunes". The final verse is followed by an instrumental section that is a piece of musique concrète: a noisy collage of oscillators, clocks, gongs, bells, a violin, and other sounds edited with tape techniques, apparently the "other room" spoken of in the song and giving the impression of the turning gears of a bicycle. The ending of the song fades out with a tape loop of the band members laughing reversed and played at double speed. The song was written for Barrett's then-girlfriend, Jenny Spires.

It's the one song that seems to stick with everyone from their first listen to Piper, the childlike absurdity of its verses - which pays little attention to meter and rhymes when it feels like doing so, making an unsettling contrast with the almost-coherent refrain. Like Barrett at large, near total anarchy, but with just enough of a whiff of something true at the center for fans to continue decoding the enigma 50 years later.

This is probably Barrett's most touching song. Give it a cursory listen, and it's just another nursery-rhyme-y account of his bizarre, if engaging, whimsicalities. But listen closer. This is a love song. "You're the kind of girl who fits into my world," Barrett sings, hopefully. This is how I live, Barrett is saying. Can you join me in it? An off-kilter song for off-kilter lovers, and exhibit A for the case that Barrett's self-destruction, accidental or not, was a major tragedy for Rock, as it was of course to the band itself.


At #20 was the closing track of the B-side of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. At #19 it's the opening track of the same. Interstellar Overdrive is the instrumental opus of the Syd era, a nearly-ten-minute expansion of Barrett's all-time grungiest riff, with a mind-melting mid-song breakdown of meowing guitars and chirping organs, that hisses back to life with a stereo-panning riff reprise. Only Sister Ray managed to get quite this dark or deep in 1967, and the fact that the band was able to achieve such stratospheric later-career success without ever straying too far from this experimental, instrumental core is the true testament to the group's collective genius.

A landmark composition in the history of psychedelic rock and perhaps Syd Barrett's greatest achievement as the frontman of Pink Floyd, Interstellar Overdrive is only a song in the nominal sense. This sprawling, shape-shifting instrumental took on a different contour every time Barrett-era Floyd took the stage; sometimes it stretched across 20 minutes of jazzy meanderings, and other times it held tighter to that central descending guitar hook and wrapped up in a relatively concise fashion. Floyd fans who generally ignore the Barrett era may find little to love in any version of Interstellar Overdrive, but squint hard and it's undeniable: The song's wild, reckless spirit planted the seeds for Floyd as we know and love them today.

Here's what Dave Brock, the founder, singer, songwriter, and guitarist of Hawkwind has to say about it:

"It's very true that it's the same tune as the theme to Steptoe And Son. I saw them play it once at UFO on Tottenham Court Road when the light-show was giant blobs behind the screen, and they went off on great tangents. My collection of Floyd is all early days, nothing since Ummagumma. What they were doing then was lovely and free, those long tracks we loved listening to. Prior to all this, it was two- or three-minute tracks. The record companies freaked out, they thought our attention spans wouldn't take any more. Interstellar Overdrive was avant-garde rock music. We were doing psychedelic freak-out stuff in a circus tent when they were rising stars. They were the kings of space-rock then, with those repetitious chords, elongated solos, and electronics – going out there for long periods. You can make a parallel with modern jazz. They were making rock music abstract. Of course, they had to give the odd nod to the music business – an Arnold Layne. But Interstellar Overdrive gave us absolute freedom."


This is them live at the UFO Club, London, on 27 January 1967:


At #18, we find One Of These Days, from Meddle (1971). Essentially a jam with a really, really psychedelic breakdown, the instrumental One of These Days leads off Meddle and instantly points toward the tighter, more-focused Pink Floyd that would unfold. Driven by a throbbing dual bass line courtesy of Roger Waters and David Gilmour, it would also provide Nick Mason with some of his most prominent drum work in the live setting - as well as one of his only vocal parts in the band's lengthy catalog, uttering the downright evil, slowed-down threat, "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces."

It's the true starting gun for '70s Floyd, a spectral voyage into the great art-rock unknown. One heavily delayed, single-note bass riff shouldn't be nearly enough to build a song this mighty around, but that kind of studio ingenuity would prove the group's greatest weapon in the decade going forward - and here, the band surrounds the anti-hook with sweeping wind noises, growling guitars, extraterrestrial organs, racing drums and reversed percussion until it poses as much of a threat as Mason's garbled title intro.

Jeff Dexter, UFO DJ and promoter, says: "A real acid freakout. It's got a thundering bass intro. And it's got that wonderful sweeping slide of Dave's. That was the song the Floyd did for the Roland Petit Ballet [Paris, 1973]. Being involved with that was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Being an old ballet dancer myself, to go to France with Floyd and see it being performed was just fantastic. I was at the front of the stage with a camera, filming it all."

"I used to put Pink Floyd on at the Roundhouse a lot in the early days. And on June 2, 1967, my wedding day, they played for us. I always loved Money, too. In fact, it was me who convinced them to put Money out as a single. They had no faith in it because it had such strange timing. But when I got the first version of it, I played it at the Roundhouse, then called Steve [O'Rourke, Floyd's manager from 1968-2003] and told him to get over there. Whenever I played it, people went ape-shit. It was the best idiot dancing I'd ever seen. I said, 'That is a big hit.' Steve wasn't sure, but I told him: 'Don’t worry about it. It'll be Floyd's calling card for the rest of their lives.' And nobody's ever written that up before because they were so out of it at the time!"


Here they are, live at Pompeii, in 1972:


We now move on to the song at #17. It is Us and Them from their 1973 masterpiece, The Dark Side of the Moon. The song has its origins in some meditative music Wright contributed to Floyd’s work on the soundtrack to Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point, though it wasn't used. Waters found a melody for it and a set of lyrics that is a standout on the record, a closely controlled series of ironies, travesties, and dichotomies marking the dead-end days of the early '70s.

Pink Floyd has a reputation for being a "space-rock" band, a moniker that tends to confuse casual fans of Pink Floyd (and non-fans): The group gets stuck with this label not because their songs are often about outer space, but because a key element that drives much of their best work is an attention to aural space in the music itself. Us and Them, the airy, relaxed centerpiece of The Dark Side of the Moon, is one of the best examples of Pink Floyd's delicate touch and use of space, with a slow, gentle chord progression swirling atop a bass-pedal tone. The song's power is amplified by a gigantic shift in dynamic from the calm, floaty verses to a thunderous chorus as well as emotive saxophone work from frequent collaborator Dick Parry. The lyrics of Us and Them are Pink Floyd at its most philosophical, searching for meaning in the futility of conflict and asking the crucial question of whether or not humanity is capable of truly being humane.

It's a Floyd song for sure, with militaristic lyrics, a surging chorus and a tough-talking roadie spoken-word sample ("Well I mean, they're not gonna kill ya, so like, if you give 'em a quick short, sharp shock... they won't do it again"), but it stands out because it's one of the few Floyd songs you could picture being recorded by a whole range of artists. Maybe it's the What's Going On?-worthy sax that shows up at all the right moments, or the universality of the opening lines, but the song connects on a level that's closer to soul than prog, giving Dark Side a beating heart to go with its overactive brain.


Here they are, Live at Earl's Court, London, 1994:


Finally for today, at #16, it's Hey You, the song that opens the second disc of The Wall (1979). The song was proof that Floyd had the stuff to maintain two LPs worth of enthralling riffs and structural imagination. Doesn't exactly kick the record off with a bang - the slithering mix of acoustic guitar and fretless bass (by Andy Bown from Status Quo, of all people) makes for one of the band's most disquieting intros - but by the time Waters leaps in an octave higher on the third verse, it's demonstrated itself as a ballad powerful enough to raise the emotional stakes for the set's back end, setting the tone for all the bitter isolation and chilling emptiness to follow.

It's easy to forget that Pink Floyd have their roots in the blues. (Fun fact: Their name is derived from not one but two blues musicians, specifically Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.) But a tender ballad like Hey You is a pleasant reminder of this fact. Sure, it's far more stylish and shiny and outlandish than anything that ever came out of Chicago or the Mississippi Delta, but when you get past the psychedelia and the creepy conceptual story involving Pink, it's really a pained meditation on the ill-fated choices we all make and how the world can often feel so cold. It doesn't get more bluesy than that, but Floyd expands upon those feelings with all sorts of wizardry: Gilmour’s scale drops like rain on a moonless night; the savage breakdown feels as if the floor has been swept off our feet; and Waters' cry on his verse sounds as if he's screaming from a black hole. The textures are all very metaphorical, and that's partly why it's so affecting, but again, like any age-old blues song, the success of Hey You boils down to its core themes and how we'll relate to them forever.


This is the Alan Parker film version:


This is Live at Eart's Court - August 9, 1980:


Now, let's continue with last week's statistics; the number of visits is more or less the same and all the new stories got their fair share of love, but you suddenly seem to have developed a liking for the old countdown lists. The Chuck Berry, Doors, and Led Zeppelin lists were among the most-visited stories.

As far as countries are concerned, those that scored last week did so this week as well, with the exception of Russia, which was replaced on the weekly top 10 by Italy.

Here are this week's Top 10 countries.

1. France
2. the United States
3. the United Kingdom
4. Greece
5. Canada
6. Spain
7. Cyprus
8. Germany
9. Australia
10. Italy

Here are the other countries that graced us with their presence since our last statistics (alphabetically): Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Happy to have you all!

And here's the all-time Top 10:

1. the United States = 31.0%
2. France = 22.9%
3. the United Kingdom = 8.6%
4. Greece = 7.8%
5. Russia = 3.4%
6. Germany = 2.4%
7. Cyprus = 1.25%
8. Italy = 1.19%
9. Canada = 1.02%
10. the United Arab Emirates = 0.43%


That's all for today, folks. Till the next one!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Your Disco Requests

Hello, my friends! Today is our last day of Disco. It's also your day. Today's show will include requests; songs that you asked for and songs that I dedicate to you. Let's get on with it!


I begin with our good friend, Martini421. Martini suggested three songs, also writing introductions for each. These are his introductions and his requests:

Sharon Redd: Although she wasn't gay (at least not to my knowledge), she has strong gay bonafides. First, she was one of Bette Midler's Harlettes. Second, one of her songs, In The Name Of Love was huge in gay clubs. Incidentally, my #2 song for the 80s. Third, she toured in gay clubs. I was lucky to see her in a gay club called Bennetts in Scotland - my first gay venue. She had other big club records but unfortunately, she left us too early as she died from AIDS-related complications in 1992.

This is In The Name Of Love:


Still with Martini421: Megatone Records was the pre-eminent label in the late 70s / early 80s focusing on gay and gay-friendly artists. The star among them was Sylvester. Paul Parker was stablemate of Sylvester. He had a big club hit with Right On Target. But, my favorite record of his is his version of Time After Time.

This is Paul Parker with Right On Target:


This is Martini's favorite, Time After Time:


We move on to another of our good friends, Alan. Alan has suggested a couple of songs, both by Connecticut's own, D.C. LaRue. The first one is called Cathedrals:


... On the second one, D.C. LaRue seeks the assistance of the fabulous Rita Moreno. It is called Have A Really Good Time:


Now we move on to our good friend from Hawaii, the Record Man. He has given us a variety of songs to choose from - RM, I will play them all. he has also written his own introductions, which I will use.

I have already played some of his songs during the previous shows. I've acknowledged one of them, but there were two that I've just realized were his suggestions. Here are his introductions to these two. To listen to them click on the link.

The Trammps with That's Where The Happy People Go. Magnificent kissing cousin to Marvin Gaye's similarly themed Got To Give It Up.

Don't Let Go by Isaac Hayes. 'Ol Chef's musical style shifted several times over the years so it wasn't much of a surprise when he donned his dancin' shoes and boogied onto the floor with this one.

Now, let's listen to the rest of the Record Man's requests, along with his introductions:

Beautiful Bend with That's The Meaning/Boogie Motion. Classy disco in the Chic vein:


Company B with Fascinated. This tune is simply, wait for it...fascinating!


Patrick Dennis with Like An Eagle. Sort of cheesy but what would you expect from a porn and soap opera actor?


Cathy Dennis with Everybody Move. Long past the classic Disco era but still a great hi-energy homage:


SOS Band with The Finest. You know they're good when their sound is co-opted by so many others.


Donna Allen with Serious. No introduction here:


Shake Me, Wake Me by Barbra Streisand. Disco was still in its early stages in 1975 so I was surprised Babs had the wherewithal to put her toe into the water with this slice of heaven from a very underrated album - Lazy Afternoon:


Your Love Is So Good For Me by Diana Ross. From one of her best albums of the 70s:


Now it's time for my dedications. Naturally, the first song is dedicated to my partner for life. It's a song that we both love and I'm sure that goes for most of you too. This is It's Raining Men by The Weather Girls:


The next song is dedicated to all of you DJs and ex-DJs (I know that there's a lot of you following GayCultureLand) out there. You have my utmost respect, ladies, and gentlemen. This is Indeep and - what else? - Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life:


Movin' by Brass Construction is dedicated to all of the good people that click on the Facebook link and visit our blog. Power to you!


Now come the dedications to all of you out there who are unknown to me personally and still keep reading this. I don't know who you are but I love you all! I wish we could all get together and have a Woodstock-like festival. I begin with the United States, the country that originally backed this blog and is still #1 on the all-time list. Since I'm mostly writing about your music, I'm doubly proud of you showing up. For you, my American friends, here's I Can't Go for That (No Can Do) by Daryl Hall & John Oates:


We come to the country that's going very strong recently, the second home of my life partner, France. It is a beautiful country that I have often visited. A vous, mes amis Français, je dédie Just an Illusion par Imagination:


Next is my birth country, the United Kingdom. To all my British friends, forgive me for adopting the American-spelling rules. (It's inevitable, I'm afraid...) Also, British humor, it's the best. Ai No Corrida by Chaz Jankel is dedicated to you:


Now we come to the countries that I spent most of my life in: Greece (most of my adult life) and Cyprus (much of my childhood). These two beautiful countries, where nature and history produce an indelible mix, are linked in more ways than one, so I decided to dedicate two Dance hits from the same artist, one each. The artist is Yazoo (Yaz to the Americans). Για τους Έλληνες φίλους μου, να είστε όλοι καλά, το Situation είναι για 'σας:


Για τους Κύπριους φίλους μου, εύχομαι να βρεθεί σύντομα λύση που να ικανοποιεί και τους Ελληνοκύπριους και τους Τουρκοκύπριους, ώστε να είναι βιώσιμη. Σας αφιερώνω το Don't Go:


Next up is a historic European nation, Russia, whose gay population, along with that in many of its neighboring countries, is unfortunately under persecution. I appreciate all of you reading this and I wish there would be more I could do. Для вас, мои Pусские друзья, я посвящаю Rockit by Herbie Hancock:


We come to another key European nation, Germany. Having people from the land of Bach and Beethoven reading this is an empowering feeling. Ihnen, meinen Deutschen freunden, widme ich Let The Music Play von Shannon:


To the best-dressed people in Europe and their land of history and culture, Italy, io dedico Menergy di Patrick Cowley:


To my Canadian friends (I've visited once, it's beautiful) who get to share the best of both worlds, America and Europe, I dedicate a Dance hit by a Canadian-American act formed in Montréal, Chéri. The song is Murphy's Law:


To my Arabian friends, especially those from the United Arab Emirates, who hold position #10 on the all-time list, I know that life is hard for most of our gay brothers out there. My heart bleeds for you. I dedicate to you, the big Dance and Pop hit Wordy Rappinghood, by the offshoot of the Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club:


To my Iberian friends, the Spanish and the Portuguese, I've never really visited (just a few hours at Barcelona), but there are a lot of deep connections with your countries. Respect to you! I dedicate to you this big Dance hit, I believe it was a big hit on your part of the world as well; it's Can't Take My Eyes Off You by the Boystown Gang:


To my friends from Benelux, (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), all countries with culture and a sense of justice, countries that have been pioneers on the gay rights issues, I dedicate When the Rain Begins to Fall by Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora. I also dedicate the song to my friend Snicks; his encouragement helped get this blog off the ground. Plus, I know that he has a soft spot for Pia Zadora:


To the rest of my European friends, let's keep our beautiful continent united and a beacon of human rights for the world. I dedicate to all of you an international hit that originated in Denmark. White Horse by Laid Back:


To my Brazilian friends, I wish that I can visit your beautiful country one day. I feel that we have a kindred spirit. Eu dedico aos meus amigos Brasileiros, It's My Life de Talk Talk:


To my friends in the Spanish-speaking American countries, I will repeat what I said to my Brazilian friends because I feel the same: I wish that I can visit your beautiful countries one day. I feel that we have a kindred spirit. Lo dedico a mis amigos Latinoamericanos un himno gay, So Many Men, So Little Time por Miquel Brown:


Now, let's visit Australia, New Zealand, and all the islands that comprise Oceania. Congratulations on your recent gay marriage win, mates! I have lots of favorite Australian acts - and I'm sure more will show up in the future. Also to AfterElton's Aussie Pete, if you happen to be reading this, I love you no matter what. To my Oceanian friends I dedicate a song that was a big hit over there, Hold Me Now by the Thompson Twins:


Now we come to the biggest continent out there, Asia. It's geographically the biggest, it includes the world's most populated countries, as well as a number of ancient civilizations. Lots of respect for you all. In many Asian countries, our gay brothers are facing difficulties. I hope that the future will be brighter for all! To you, my Asian friends, I dedicate the hopeful I'm Living My Own Life by Earlene Bentley:


Finally, we go to the birthplace of Homo Sapiens, Africa. It's also the land where people suffer most. Poverty, wars, and violent homophobia seem to be the norm in many countries. I believe that Africa can be the future of mankind - if only... I don't know, I don't want to spin theories about situations that I know very little about, but let me tell you: you all have my love and my wishes that tomorrow will be a better day for you. To my gay African brothers I dedicate the appropriately titled Coming Out Of Hiding by Pamala Stanley - with the wish that soon, not one of us will need to be in hiding anymore:



Friday, 12 January 2018

Big Disco Crossover Hits, part 5

1979-1980 were practically the last years of Disco as the dominant force on the Pop charts. There were still a number of big crossover hits through the early 1980s, but the number was meager compared to the second half of the 1970s. People still danced, but they didn't dance exclusively to Disco, they also danced to New Wave, Pop, and Rock; when I visited LA in the summer of 1979, the song that brought all the dancers to the disco floor was My Sharona, a Rock hit. However, big Pop, Rock, and R&B stars were still making Disco-friendly music in 1979. We will begin with them.


Cher needs no introduction; a Pop veteran, who started having hits in the mid-1960s and is still relevant today, an Oscar-winning actress, a consummate show-woman and a bonafide Queer Icon. In 1979 she released Take Me Home, a #2 Disco hit. It also hit #8 in the US Hot 100 and #21 on the R&B chart:


Another artist who needs no introduction is Barbra Streisand. All the above in relation to Cher apply to her too - and even more gloriously. One of a handful of EGOT winners, she's among the most powerful persons in show business. In 1979 she teamed up with the Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, and together made No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), a US Disco #1 and an international hit:


To listen to the rest of Donna Summer's big crossover hits of 1979, click here.

Barbra Streisand also had a solo hit that crossed over; it was The Main Event/Fight from the film, The Main Event:


Bette Midler had (a minor) crossover hit with Married Men:


Stephanie Mills was also a singer and actress. Never Knew Love Like This Before (1980) was her biggest hit:


Also in 1980, the title track from 9 to 5, sung by Dolly Parton was a huge Pop hit and a minor Disco hit:


The same chart pattern applied to It's Still Rock and Roll to Me by Billy Joel:


... As well as Late in the Evening by Paul Simon:


David Naughton was primarily an actor. He starred in 1981's An American Werewolf in London, which had the honor of receiving the first-ever Oscar for Best Makeup. In 1979 he led the TV series Makin' It. The title track was a big crossover hit:


Herb Alpert is an extremely talented musician and entrepreneur (he co-founded A&M Records). He had lots of hits in the 1960s, among them, this instrumental classic, A Taste of Honey:


In 1979, he paid his tribute to Disco and was rewarded with the huge hit, Rise:


He followed it up with the also big crossover hit, Rotation:


Super Trouper by ABBA was #1 in the UK and a #1 US Disco hit:


The Doobie Brothers were one of the biggest Rock bands in the 1970s. What a Fool Believes was their second #1 hit on the Hot 100, as well as a top 40 Disco hit:


Would you expect to find Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd on this list? Well, it was a huge #1 in the US and the UK, as well as in most of the world, but it was also a #57 Disco hit. So, yes.


Another band that you'd never think to look for on the Disco chart would be the Avant-Garde band from Ohio, Devo. Still, Whip It was a hit both on the Hot 100 and the US Disco chart:


Queen were riding high in 1979-1980. Another One Bites the Dust was a #7 hit in the UK, but it was even bigger in the US: #1 Pop, #2 R&B, and #2 Disco:


Another big Rock hit that also made the Disco chart was I Was Made for Lovin' You by KISS:


Toto had (a minor) crossover hit with Georgy Porgy:


Pop royalty Paul McCartney also experimented with Disco. In 1979, there was Goodnight Tonight:


... Coming Up was his big 1980 hit:


Elton John was another Pop megastar who experimented with Disco. He made an EP with Philadelphia's super-producer Thom Bell. Are You Ready For Love? was one of the tracks, which went to #1 in the UK when it was released in a remixed version in 2003.


Victim Of Love was produced by Pete Bellotte. It wasn't one of Elton's big hits, but it was a hit nonetheless:


Even the Beach Boys jumped on the bandwagon: Here Comes the Night wasn't a big hit, but it made both the Pop and the Disco chart:


The divine David Bowie had a couple of crossover hits in 1980 - and both were classics; there was Ashes to Ashes:


... and there was Fashion:


M was an Electro-Pop group and also the act with the shortest name to hit #1 on the Hot 100. It also peaked at #4 (US, Disco) and #2 (UK) with the song Pop Muzik:


Gary Numan was a British Electro-Pop wizard. Cars was a #1 hit in the UK and a top 10 in the US. It also made the US Disco chart:


We continue with a bunch of British acts that had big hits in the UK (mostly in the top 10), as well as on the US Disco chart. Some also charted on the Hot 100.

Money, an electro remake of the classic Barrett Strong R&B hit by The Flying Lizards, was a hit (#5, UK - #22 US, Disco):


This is One Step Beyond by Ska legends, Madness:


Hands Off... She's Mine was a crossover hit by another successful Ska band, The Beat:


The Specials was another popular UK Ska band, with emphasis on the political, while Madness and The Beat were more about fun. Rat Race was The Specials' crossover hit:


The Grand Master of Reggae himself, the amazing Bob Marley, had a crossover hit with the majestic Could You Be Loved:


The late, great Ian Dury and The Blockheads appear with Reasons To Be Cheerful, part 3:


Another one of Ohio's super-talents, Chrissie Hynde, and her band The Pretenders had their first huge hit with the seductive Brass in Pocket:


You wouldn't expect the Clash, the top Punk band ever, to have also entered the Disco chart, but they have, twice. There was the galvanizing London Calling:


... As well as the super-cool Train in Vain (Stand by Me):


The Jam, a dynamic band influenced by the Mod sound of the 1960s, Paul Weller's brainchild, was another British supergroup at the time. Start! was a crossover hit:


Adam and the Ants was probably the most popular act in Britain in 1980-81. Dog Eat Dog was a crossover hit:


... So was Antmusic:


Turning Japanese was a cool crossover hit by The Vapors:


To Cut a Long Story Short made the world aware of Spandau Ballet:


Enola Gay is a great one by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark:


This is Echo Beach by Canadians Martha & the Muffins:


New Zealand should be proud of Split Enz. The band that was founded by Tim Finn and later included his brother, Neil, before they would go on to create one of the best Pop groups of the 1980s, Crowded House. Meanwhile, they gave us I Got You, a #1 hit in Australia and New Zealand, #12 in the UK, #13 in Canada, #53 US, and #82 on the US Disco chart:


Yellow Magic Orchestra put Japan on the international Pop-hit map and gave the world Ryuichi Sakamoto. Mission accomplished. Computer Game (Theme from the Invaders) was a crossover hit:


The Crusaders were a Jazz band, yet they had a classic crossover hit with Street Life, featuring the amazing Randy Crawford:


Another superlative Jazz musician, George Benson, who had already successfully crossed over to R&B and Pop, extended his reign to Disco with Give Me the Night:


Did you know that Prince's first major Pop hit, I Wanna Be Your Lover, also was a #2 Disco hit? Now you know it:


Another one of music's giants, Stevie Wonder had a huge crossover hit with one of my favorite songs of his, Master Blaster (Jammin'):


Back Together Again by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway wasn't a big Hot 100 hit, but it made the top 10 in the UK, the US R&B chart, and the US Disco chart:


The R&B veterans, The Isley Brothers, gave us It's a Disco Night (Rock Don't Stop):


The man who recorded the protest song and classic R&B hit, War, Edwin Starr that is, returned in 1979 with two big crossover hits; there was Contact:


... and H.A.P.P.Y. Radio:


Celebration was one of Kool & the Gang's greatest hits:


Fame introduced Irene Cara to the world; a #1 hit and an Oscar winner:


The Spinners, one of the top R&B acts of the 1970s, also had two big crossover hits; there was Working My Way Back to You:


... and Cupid / I've Loved You for a Long Time (medley):


Another popular group, The Brothers Johnson, crossed over with Stomp!:


Oscar winner for Shaft, Isaac Hayes, had Don't Let Go:


Bonnie Pointer had a few hits after leaving The Pointer Sisters. Her most prominent was Heaven Must Have Sent You:


... Followed by the remake of the Four Tops' classic, I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch):


Her sisters, The Pointer Sisters, didn't just sit and stare. In 1979 they gave us Happiness, which also appeared in the film Donnie Brasco:


... One of their biggest hits was He's So Shy from 1980:


The Three Degrees were having hits since the early 1970s. The Runner was a good way to end the decade:


All of the above are considered to be Pop, Rock, and R&B hits that crossed over to the Disco charts. The following tracks were Disco hits that crossed over to the Pop charts.

Ring My Bell by Anita Ward topped all available charts:


Funkytown by Lipps, Inc. came close:


Knock on Wood (the Eddie Floyd hit that was also remade by David Bowie) was a smash for Amii Stewart:


The Second Time Around was Shalamar's biggest hit ever:


This is Take Your Time (Do It Right) by The S.O.S. Band:


Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead was very big:


Another duo that scored in 1979 was Ashford & Simpson with Found a Cure:


This is Disco Nights (Rock-Freak) by G.Q.:


I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl) was a dance classic by Instant Funk:


Keep On Dancin' was a big hit by Gary's Gang:


Canadian France Joli's crossover hit was Come to Me:


Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet was a big hit by Gonzalez:


And the Beat Goes On was a big hit by The Whispers:


Let's Get Serious by Jermaine Jackson was one of the biggest hits of 1980:


Also one of the biggest hits of 1980: I Don't Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops, Up Side Your Head) by The Gap Band:


Remember Foxy and their hit Get Off? They followed it up with Hot Number:


Remember Evelyn King and Shame? She followed it up with I Don't Know If It's Right:


Another big hit; Don't Stop the Music by Yarbrough & Peoples:


Use It Up and Wear It Out by Odyssey was a #1 UK and a top 10 US Disco hit:


... So was Feels Like I'm in Love by Kelly Marie:


Jump to the Beat by Stacy Lattisaw peaked at #3 in the UK and at #1 on the US Disco chart:


This is Rufus and Do You Love What You Feel:


Thelma Houston followed up Don't Leave Me This Way with Saturday Night, Sunday Morning:


This is I Shoulda Loved Ya by Narada Michael Walden:


This is Don't Push It, Don't Force It by Leon Haywood:


As the last song for today, here's one of the best songs of all-time: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division is a Rock classic. It peaked at #13 on the UK Singles chart. It's gloomy and pessimistic - aeons apart from the smooth and hedonistic sounds of Disco. Yet it was a US Disco hit, albeit at #42:




So, today we have covered 1979 and 1980. You may have noticed that there were more songs from other genres on the Disco chart than on previous years. This was a sign that Disco was losing ground. People wouldn't stop dancing, but they would be dancing to different kinds of music now...