Disco Industry

In 1975, disco music began to be issued in a new format, the “single.” This new format allowed for Dj’s to mix and edit songs for club play, which became a larger marketing tool for companies profiting from disco music. Through “record pools,” advanced copies of record would be given to DJs before the release to test the audience’s response on the dance floor. A key example of this the sixteen-minute version of Donna Summers “Love to Love you Baby” (1975) which helped establish Summer as the “Queen of Disco.”

Discos most profitable commercial venture was the release of the film Saturday Night Fever. Although filmed in Manhattan and Brooklyn and it featured the local veteran DJ Monty Rock III, the film was not intended as a documentary of the local disco scene. The film gave a skewed picture of disco dancing since John Travolta’s character and the Bee Gees are neither gar nor of African decent. Discos success came from obscuring its sociocultural origins. However, Saturday Night Fever, confirmed New York’s reputation as the Disco capital and made a lasting impression on American audiences. By the mid-1970’s disco music became a multi million-dollar industry and a prominent symbol of African American dance style and defined sense of community among the gays in the United States.

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