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Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Stage Is Set For Donna Summer's Triumphant Comeback

Now that the retro wave has peaked, this was an idea waiting to be published. The New Yorker briefly notes the emergence of a book entitled Turn The Beat Around by Peter Shapiro, subtitled The Secret History of Disco:

"Shapiro’s history emphasizes its roots in nineteen-seventies New York, where hippie idealism had given way to stagflation and gang warfare. While the city decayed, marginal communities—gays, blacks, Latinos—congregated in abandoned warehouses to commune on makeshift dance floors. Shapiro argues that disco was 'glamour as defiance,' a movement that promoted racial integration and aided the mainstreaming of homosexuality. His book ranges widely, from Nazi Germany, where Swing Jugend (proto-discogoers, in Shapiro’s view) met covertly to dance to 'degenerate' jazz, to the rooftops of the Bronx, where Latino gangs did the hustle."

A review in the Village Voice goes on to say: "Shapiro [has] rapturous passages describing the way songs feel, including a dazzling reading of 'I Feel Love.' That particular tidbit, which takes up almost an entire chapter, is worth the asking price alone."

And this is from The New York Times: "...Shapiro's no-rhinestone-unturned approach makes for highly entertaining reading, including short profiles of such dance floor icons as Chic and Giorgio Moroder and an exploration into the origins of disco's ubiquitous ''whoop! whoop!' sound effect...Try to resist the temptation to turn directly to the book's discography to see how many of the albums it cites are in your own collection."

All together now: "D.I.S.C.O.!"


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