The rise of disco in the 1970s is often considered a shallow period of American culture. It’s the decade of debauchery, drugs and dance.
But beyond the decadence, Alice Echols argues in her new book, Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture; that Disco as a genre, allowed under-represented groups a voice in popular culture.
Coincidentally, the two marginialized groups Echols highlights (gay men and black female singers), were thrusted into the center of the muscial genre at the time and currently informs current popular culture.
Echols constructs a revisionist history of disco, by combining pivotal moments of disco history with political and socio-ecomonic advances that wouldn’t exist sans the platforms and pulsating beat.
Writer’s note: The chapter on Chaka Khan is a must read!