Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion

Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion

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The three-disc box set Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion was released just after PBS premiered the program of the same name, which featured new performances -- from Anita Ward, Thelma Houston, A Taste of Honey, KC & the SunshineSee more details below


The three-disc box set Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion was released just after PBS premiered the program of the same name, which featured new performances -- from Anita Ward, Thelma Houston, A Taste of Honey, KC & the Sunshine Band, and several others -- with archival footage from the disco era. Content-wise, the box doesn't do much to separate itself from the average disco compilation series, leaning heavily on mainstream hits. Each of these 58 songs reached the pop chart, remarkable for a movement with most of its roots planted in clubs that were only a little like Studio 54, populated by marginalized blacks, Latinos, and gays -- a subculture avoided or barely acknowledged by many Saturday Night Fever fans. (The difference is also in the stark contrast between excluded people who were inclusive and included people who were exclusive.) Most of the songs here have appeared on scores of other disco compilations, but those discs are prone to flimsy packaging and poor sound. Distributed by Sony, this box has excellent sound, insightful liner notes, and plenty of bold photographs, all of which make it a helpful disco starter kit. That said, it does rely mostly on radio edits of the songs, always an unfortunate move when dealing with a style of music that thrived on extended, elaborate grooves (granted, a high quantity of tracks on a disc is always appealing to the average consumer's eyes). The discs are broken down by geography, bizarrely enough, moving from the West Coast to the Midwest and East Coast to everywhere else. This causes confusion. Freez was a U.K. group, so they appear on the "South and Across the Atlantic" disc, despite relying heavily on production from Americans Arthur Baker and John Robie. If you apply the same rationale, Midwesterners Diana Ross and the Jackson 5 should appear on the Midwest/East Coast disc, but they're on the West Coast disc due to Motown's L.A. base. Despite a few blunders (two too many Village People songs and a few damp squibs that should remain on those low-budget comps) and the problematic setup, there are plenty of inclusions that won't lose steam any time soon, no matter how many times they're played -- Heatwave's "Boogie Nights," Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa," Odyssey's "Native New Yorker," A Taste of Honey's "Boogie Oogie Oogie," Chic's "Le Freak," and Indeep's "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" are prime examples. In other words, don't let all the nitpicking get in the way of a good time.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Shout Factory

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Disc 1

  1. Hot Stuff  - Donna Summer
  2. You Dropped a Bomb on Me  -  Gap Band
  3. Y.M.C.A.  -  Village People
  4. Got to Be Real  - Cheryl Lynn
  5. Do Ya Wanna Funk  -  Sylvester
  6. What Am I Gonna Do With You  - Barry White
  7. Heaven Must Have Sent You  - Bonnie Pointer
  8. Dancing Machine  -  Jackson 5
  9. Too Hot Ta Trot  -  Commodores
  10. In the Navy  -  Village People
  11. It's Raining Men  -  Weather Girls
  12. After Dark
  13. Upside Down  - Diana Ross
  14. Super Freak, Pts. 1-2  - Rick James
  15. Boogie Oogie Oogie  -  Taste of Honey
  16. Rock the Boat  -  Hues Corporation
  17. Love's Theme  -  Love Unlimited Orchestra
  18. Don't Leave Me This Way  - Thelma Houston

Disc 2

  1. Shame  - Evelyn "Champagne" King
  2. Play That Funky Music  -  Wild Cherry
  3. Knock on Wood  - Amii Stewart
  4. More, More, More, Pt. 1  - Andrea True
  5. Turn the Beat Around  - Vicki Sue Robinson
  6. More Than a Woman  -  Tavares
  7. Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me Girl  -  Spinners
  8. A Fifth of Beethoven  - Walter Murphy
  9. Call Me  -  Blondie
  10. Funkytown  -  Lipps, Inc.
  11. Ladies Night  -  Kool & the Gang
  12. September  -  Earth, Wind & Fire
  13. Doctor's Orders  - Carol Douglas
  14. Le Freak  -  Chic
  15. December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)  -  Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
  16. The Hustle  -  Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony
  17. Shame, Shame, Shame  -  Shirley & Company
  18. Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life  -  Indeep
  19. Native New Yorker  -  Odyssey
  20. I Will Survive  - Gloria Gaynor

Disc 3

  1. Get Down Tonight  -  KC & the Sunshine Band
  2. Pick Up the Pieces  -  Average White Band
  3. Boogie Fever  -  Sylvers
  4. Dancing Queen  -  ABBA
  5. Fly, Robin, Fly  -  Silver Convention
  6. Ring My Bell  - Anita Ward
  7. Chase  - Giorgio Moroder
  8. No Parking (On the Dance Floor)  -  Midnight Star
  9. Soul Makossa  - Manu Dibango
  10. I Love the Nightlife (Disco 'Round)  - Alicia Bridges
  11. If I Can't Have You  - Yvonne Elliman
  12. Boogie Nights  -  Heatwave
  13. Young Hearts Run Free  - Candi Staton
  14. I Just Want to Be Your Everything  - Andy Gibb
  15. Disco Lady  - Johnnie Taylor
  16. That's That Way (I Like It)  -  KC & the Sunshine Band
  17. Born to Be Alive  - Patrick Hernandez
  18. I.O.U.  -  Freeez
  19. Venus  -  Bananarama
  20. Come to Me  - France Joli

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Album Credits

Technical Credits

Arthur Baker   Composer
Steve Cropper   Composer
Eddie Floyd   Composer
Debbie Harry   Composer
Rick James   Composer
Frederick Knight   Composer
Kool & the Gang   Composer
Cheryl Lynn   Composer
Lionel Richie   Composer
Barry White   Composer
Maurice White   Composer
Paul Jabara   Composer
David Foster   Composer
Alicia Bridges   Composer
Roger Cook   Composer
Bernard Edwards   Composer
Keith Forsey   Composer
Robin Gibb   Composer
Van McCoy   Composer
Nile Rodgers   Composer
Alan Gorrie   Composer
Paul Shaffer   Composer
Giorgio Moroder   Composer
Patrick Hernandez   Composer
Walter Murphy   Composer
Michael Zager   Composer
Gerald Jackson   Composer
Barry Gibb   Composer
Manu Dibango   Composer
Harvey Scales   Composer
Benny Andersson   Composer
Roger Ball   Composer
Ronald Bell   Composer
Pete Bellotte   Composer
Henri Belolo   Composer
Vincent Calloway   Composer
Harry Wayne "K.C." Casey   Composer
Reuben Cross   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Don Davis   Composer
Lamont Dozier   Composer
Malcolm Duncan   Composer
Harold Faltermeyer   Composer
Dino Fekaris   Composer
Richard Finch   Composer
John H. Fitch   Composer
Kenny Gamble   Composer
Bob Gaudio   Composer
Maurice Gibb   Composer
Cary Gilbert   Composer
Tony Green   Composer
Roger Greenaway   Composer
Steven Greenberg   Composer
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer
Wally Holmes   Composer
Leon Huff   Composer
Pete Jackson   Composer
Janice Marie Johnson   Composer
Ronald LaPread   Composer
Silvester Levay   Composer
Sandy Linzer   Composer
Bobby Lovelace   Composer
Robbie McIntosh   Composer
Onnie McIntyre   Composer
McKay   Composer
Alonzo Miller   Composer
Jacques Morali   Composer
Ted Myers   Discographical Annotation
Walter Orange   Composer
David Paich   Composer
Rob Parissi   Composer
Judy Parker   Composer
Dean Parks   Composer
Freddie Perren   Composer
Denny Randell   Composer
John Robie   Composer
Sylvia Robinson   Composer
Lonnie Simmons   Composer
Simon Soussan   Composer
Geoff Stephens   Composer
Hamish Stuart   Composer
Rudy Taylor   Composer
Rod Temperton   Composer
Björn Ulvaeus   Composer
Robbie Van Leeuwen   Composer
Milan Williams   Composer
Allee Willis   Composer
Victor Willis   Composer
William King   Composer
Thomas McClary   Composer
Richard Foos   Executive Producer
Lisa Glines   Art Direction
Stig Anderson   Composer
Sabrina Soussan   Composer
Michael Cleveland   Composer
Patrick Crowley   Composer
Don Fletcher   Composer
Albert Vance   Composer
Barry Walters   Liner Notes
Garson Foos   Executive Producer
Perry L. Kibble   Composer
Susan Hutcheson   Composer
Bill Simmons   Composer
T.J. Lubinsky   Executive Producer
Stephan Prager   Composer
Jeff Palo   Producer

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