Death Disco  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Death Disco" (1979) is a song by Public Image Ltd. The record was released in both 7" and 12" single formats with two versions of the song, "1/2 mix" and "Megga mix" on the 12" version. The song was released in an alternative version as "Swan Lake" on the group's second album, Metal Box, with slight changes at the end.

The track was covered by Arbeid Adelt! as "Disco Death".

Death Disco is also the title of a compilation album by French DJ Ivan Smagghe and a compilation on EMI.

Background

"Death Disco" is a song by Public Image Ltd. The record was released in both 7" and 12" single formats with a "½ Mix" of the song and "Megga mix" (an instrumental re-recording of "Fodderstompf" from Public Image: First Issue) on the 12" version. It reached number twenty on the UK Singles Chart. The song was released in an alternate version as "Swan Lake" on the group's second album, Metal Box, with slight changes at the end. The title change reflects the quote from Tchaikovsky's Act 2, Scene 10: Moderato of Swan Lake that surfaces in Keith Levene's guitar part.

In his autobiography, Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, Lydon stated that the song was written for his mother, who had died of cancer not long before. "I watched her die," he told Select in 1990. "She was tough, my mum. She asked me to write a disco song for her funeral. This was hardly happy stuff."

According to AllMusic, "the song is built on a dense groove informed equally by dub and disco" and features both "Lydon at his most desperate and stark" and Keith Levene "dishing out shards of guitar that complement the rhythm one moment and then shift into horrific riffing the next."

"Death Disco" was also included on the 1983 album Live in Tokyo.

The song was ranked at No. 11 among the top "Tracks of the Year" of 1979 by NME.

Paul Lester of The Guardian wrote that "Death Disco" was "the biggest hit with a load of rhythmical dissonance [...] until the dosser disco of Happy Mondays' "Hallelujah" ten years later."

Track listing

7" vinyl
  1. "Death Disco" – 4:11
  2. "No Birds Do Sing" – 4:41
12" vinyl
  1. "½ Mix" - 6:42
  2. "Megga Mix" - 6:51

Personnel





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Death Disco" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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