7 of the best disco songs from the 70s

The father of disco, composer/producer Giorgio Moroder, once said, “Disco is music for dancing, and people will always want to dance.” Since then we have been dancing to disco music. To properly capture the spirit of disco, we’ve found seven of the best disco tracks from the decade it first peaked, the 1970s.

1. “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees (1977)

A normal resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. The Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” has a tempo of 103 beats per minute. No wonder listening to “Stayin’ Alive” makes you tap your feet and sway your hips – it’s designed to bring excitement to the stage by mimicking a rapidly beating heart.

2. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor (1978)

Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is an anthem for the people. This applies to breakups, female empowerment, and the LGBTQ+ community – a ballad for everyone.

At first I was scared, I was petrified
I kept thinking that I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking about how much you hurt me
And I grew strong
And I learned to get along
.

3. ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” (1976)

If you’re under 17 or older, fear not, “Dancing Queen” is truly timeless. You are still able to dance and dance – just have the best time of your life. But taking a step back, note that “Dancing Queen” quickly became Swedish band ABBA’s most successful single after the group decided to emulate American disco music.

4. “September” from Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)

Do you remember the night of September 21? Nope? Well, that was the night our hearts rang in tune where our souls sang.

5. “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (1975)

Coming in hot is another disco track that immortalizes a particular moment, a chance encounter. “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” is fascinating in both its nostalgia and its harmonies by the New Jersey quartet.

6. “The Freak” from Chic (1978)

Oh, panic! Chic, now known as Nile Rodgers & Chic, premiered the popular disco track “Le Freak” during a jam session at Bernard Edwards’ apartment. In that original jam session, the “freak out” chorus was “fuck you”, but the former stuck after realizing the latter just wasn’t cut out for the carefree disco scene. This change in lyrical approach worked well for Chic, as we well know today.

7. “Don’t Stop Until You’ve Had Enough” by Michael Jackson (1979)

“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” was Jackson’s first chart-topper that he wrote for himself, and he wrote it for an exceptionally high vocal range. Jackson’s screeches are also heard throughout this track which would become even more successful on Jackson’s next album, Thriller.

Bee Gees featured photo courtesy of Capitol Records

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