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European disco and Eurodisco

Related: Italo disco - Cerrone - Martin Circus - Orlando Riva Sound - Giorgio Moroder - Klein & MBO - Telex - ABBA - disco - European music

Just an Illusion (1982) - Imagination

Space Woman (1977) - Herman's Rocket
image sourced here.

First ... (1982) - Klein & M.B.O. (1983 Atlantic records shown)

Pre-1975 photo of ABBA, credit unidentified

Computer World (1981) - Kraftwerk [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

E=MC2 - (1979) Giorgio Moroder [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


European disco is disco music produced by European and British producers and acts. --Jahsonic [Jan 2006]

Term Euro Disco refers to a collection of styles of electronic dance music in Europe in 1980s, such as Hi-NRG and Italo Disco. It originated in 1981 from Electropop and Disco.

One of the early representors of the style was a British group Imagination with their series of hits in 1981-1982. In 1982 Euro disco began to develop in Italy by groups like Gazebo, Kano and Lectric Workers. In 1983 Italian disco artists became popular in Europe with disco songs entering top charts in every major European country. In 1984 musicians from other countries also began to produce Euro disco songs. In Germany it was Modern Talking, Sandra and Fancy.

In late 1980s Euro disco developed into Eurodance. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_disco [Aug 2005]

Note: According to the article above, European disco and Euro Disco are two different musical genres: the first being European artists and producers who emulated American disco in the mid and late 1970s, the latter being a more electronically 1980s genre. As such, Space Woman (1977), by Herman's Rocket is European disco, whereas Just an Illusion (1982) by Imagination is Euro Disco.

More on Imagination and their 1983 Night Dubbing album:

Mid-80s soul 'n' sleaze trio which countered a series of dodgy Top Of The Pops appearances with their Night Dubbing album in 1983. Of interest for a Larry Levan remix of "Changes" but unfortunately held back from the outer regions of dub strangeness by sucrose harmonies and inflexible basslines. (David Toop, 1994)

Internationally, the pop star Dalida was the first to make disco music in France with 1975's "J'attendrai" which was a big hit there as well as in Canada and Japan in 1976. She also released many other disco hits between 1975 and 1981, including "Monday, Tuesday... Laissez-moi danser" in 1979, translated the same year as "Let Me Dance Tonight" for the USA, where she was their "French diva" since her late-1978 performance at the Carnegie Hall. Soon after Dalida's pioneering French disco work, other French artists recorded disco: Claude François, in 1976 with his song "Cette année-là" (a cover of The Four Seasons' disco hit "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"), then the famous "yé-yé" French pop singer Sheila, with her group B. Devotion, who even had a hit in the USA (a rarity for French artists) with the song "Spacer" in 1979. Many other European artists also recorded disco music; in Germany, Frank Farian formed a disco band by the name Boney M around 1975. They had a string of number one hits in a few European countries which continued into the early 1980s, with songs such as "Daddy Cool", "Brown Girl in the Ring" and "By the Rivers of Babylon". Still today, the trademark sound of Boney M is seen as emblematic for late 70's German disco music. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco#Origins [Jul 2006]

see also: Disco - Europe - Euro disco

As a groundwork for house music

But it wasn't just American music laying the groundwork for house. European music, spanning English electronic pop like Gary Numan and Soft Cell, sparse German proto-techno by Kraftwerk, the more disco based sounds of Giorgio Moroder and Klein & MBO and Belgium's Telex were immensely popular in urban areas like New York and Chicago.

The German sound

The most known Eurodisco-sound is the sound of the German Eurodisco: Giorgio Moroder, Pete Bellotte, Munich Machine, Keith Forsey, Harold Faltermeyer, Mats Bjorklund, Frank Farian, Amii Stewart.

They made name with Donna Summer, Roberta Kelly, Sparks, The Three Degrees, Blondie and others.

The sound of Giorgio Moroder is easily recognised by the special synthesiser sound.

One of the first singles Giorgio made was 'Son of my father'.

In the disco-era Giorgio had his own record label: Oasis, which was distributed in the U.S. by the famous Casablanca label.

Pete Bellotte, born August 1946, was home producer of the European Ariola label in Germany and came in contact with Giorgio Moroder for the 'Son of my father' single, and made them from that moment on a team.

Pete had a studio in his house near Munich where he made the music for Trax, together with Keith Forsey, a drummer born January 1948 in London.

He played on albums from Silver Convention, Boney M, Roberta Kelly, Donna Summer and others.

Frank Farian made records with Boney M, Eruption, Gilla. --Corné De Rijck

The French sound

Another beautiful Eurodisco-sound is the French sound: Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo, Alec R. Costandinos, Don Ray, Love & Kisses, Voyage, La Belle Epoque, Sheila B Devotion, Cerrone.

Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo are well known as producers and writers of songs from The Village People, The Ritchie Family and Patrick Juvet.

Alec R. Costandinos made music which was also called art-disco. Music which was recorded on an album and the numbers on the album were album-side long. One album had only one or two numbers on it. He worked together with Don Ray. On the albums there are two singers from London heard: Madeline Bell, (also worked on albums from Giorgio Moroder) and Vicki Brown. Don Ray also worked with Cerrone, the man from the hit Supernature.

Voyage is a group which mixed native sounds with disco. Many samples from the albums were used in other recordings later in the eighties.--Corné De Rijck

Italo disco [...]

The Italian sound has names such as Jacques Fred Petrus, Celso Valli, Claudio Simonetti, Giancarlo Meo, Mauro Malavasi,Quelli Del Castello.

Jacques Fred Petrus and Mauro Malavasi made records with Revanche, Macho and The Peter Jacques band. Songs as I'm a man, Walking on music, You get high in N.Y. City and several more got high on international disco-charts.

Celso Valli who wrote and Quelli Del Castello who produced did the music for Tantra, Azoto, The Passengers.

Easy Going had a huge disco-hit with 'Fear' and Vivien Vee had a disco hit with 'Give me a break' in 1980. These songs came from Giancarlo Meo and Claudio Simonetti. --Corné De Rijck

Other Eurodisco-sounds

The other Eurodisco-sounds came from Holland (Risque, American Gypsy),Belgium (Patrick Hernandez, The Chocolat's , Two Man Sound, Emly Starr Explosion, Telex), Sweden (Abba), Spain (Santa Esmeralda, Leroy Gomez). --Corné De Rijck

How to throw a Euro-disco party

So the Faze Action mix of "Magia Do Prazer" by Banda Black Rio or even the Kylie tracks don't do it for your friends anymore? Spinning "Car Wash" is out of the question and you cannot bring on the "Saturday Night Fever" album ever again after the fashionista types started to roll their eyes. They know there's more to disco than that because they have danced to it. Maybe if you expand your perimeters a little you can still stand tall behind the decks. Difficult? Not necessarily. Need to part with a lot of cash buying rare records? Well, up to you but you know we are talking about your reputation here.

There are two rules in throwing a kicking disco-themed party. Rule one is never encourage silly wigs or white polyester suits. Rule two is forget all about Studio 54. Celebs such as Ian Schrager and Cher, Hollywood screenwriters of bad biopics and indeed some recent books on disco history claim that waltzing past the velvet ropes into the Studio was the biggest thrill of your life. Not true. All it came down to was the biggest anticlimax ever; The music sure sounded good, the lights and the effects were dazzling and one could sure see the Kennedys, the Von Furstenbergs and all the expected Lizas, Andys and Calvins lounging around, but "the giddy epicenter of 70's hedonism, the eight wonder of the world and the ultimate disco hothouse of beautiful people" the place was definitely not. First of all, most of the people were less than beautiful. Overdressed, overdrugged and past it in every sense, they were not a sight to behold. -- Jussi Kantonen via http://www.discostyle.com/jussi_kantonen.html

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