Discotheque rock '73: Paaaaarty!  

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"One of the most spectacular discotheque records in recent months is a perfect example of the genre: Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa." Originally a French pressing on the Fiesta label, the 45 was being largely undistributed by an African import company in Brooklyn when "a friend" brought it to the attention of DJ Frankie Crocker. Crocker broke it on the air on New York's WBLS-FM, a black station highly attuned to the disco sound, but the record was made in discotheques where its hypnotic beat and mysterious African vocals drove people crazy. Within days, "Soul Makossa" was the underground record and when copies of the original 45 disappeared at $3 and $4, cover versions (many unlicensed and one a pirated copy put out under another group's name) were rushed out. Atlantic Records stepped into this confusion, bought the U.S. rights and had both the single and an album out on their own label days later."--"Discotheque rock '73: Paaaaarty!" (1973) by Vince Aletti

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Discotheque rock '73: Paaaaarty!", written by Vince Aletti and published Rolling Stone on September 13 1973), was the first professional writing on disco.

Excerpts:

"Paar-ty! Paar-ty! . . . You hear the chant at concerts, rising like a tribal rallying cry on a shrill wave of whistles and hard-beaten tambourines. It's at once a call to get down and party, a statement that there's a party going on and an indication that discotheques, where the chant originated, are back in force . . . ."

". . . in the last year they've returned not only as a rapidly spreading social phenomenon (via juice bars, after-hours clubs, private lofts open on weekends to members only, floating groups of party-givers who take over the ballrooms of old hotels from midnight to dawn) but as a strong influence on the music people listen to and buy."

"The best discotheque DJs are underground stars, discovering previously ignored albums, foreign imports, album cuts and obscure singles with the power to make the crowd scream and playing them overlapped, non-stop so you dance until you drop."

"Records like the O'Jays' "Love Train," Eddie Kendricks' "Girl You Need a Change of Mind," the Intruders' "I'll Always Love My Mama," the Pointer Sisters' "Yes We Can Can" and the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" were broken or made in discotheques, but, with few exceptions, their acceptance above ground was nothing compared to their popularity with the dance crowd. Other records . . . live and die in discotheques, like exotic hothouse flowers."



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