Euro disco  

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

European disco are non Anglo-American disco productions and artists, it includes French disco, German disco and Italian disco.



The term "Euro-Disco" first used during the 1970s, to describe the non Anglo-American disco productions and artists. It has some of it's roots on the 50s and 60s French/Italian pop music and sounded very eurovision - like. Typical examples of that era, are Abba, Boney M, Eruption, Cerrone, Amanda Lear, Dschinghis Khan, Teach-In, Snoopy, etc. By the late 70s, a "Latin"-like sound added to the genre. Artists like Italy's Raffaella Carrà and France's Gibson Brothers are typical examples of this 70s euro-disco style.

After the Disco Demolition Night promotional event that took place on July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago USA, the term "Euro-Disco" also disappeared from the mainstream in Europe. "Disco" took over to describe those productions for a while and then the very wide term of "italo-disco".

The "eurodisco" term returned mutant many years later, to refer to the collection of the styles and genres of electronic dance music that had emerged from Europe by the early 1980s, incorporating elements of electropop and disco into new hybrids such as Euro - Hi-NRG (Power), Italo disco, Eurobeat. The term is also commonly written as Eurodisco and Euro-disco and some call this same genre as "80s European dance". The main reason of the term's comeback, is based on the fact that the Italian fans of Italo-Disco, don't like today the use of the term italo-disco to be used by the rest Europeans for their productions. During the 80s, the term "italo-disco" was used for the 80s Eurodisco. There was also some Canadian Disco productions (Trans X, Lime) that at the time used the same term.

A typical 80s Euro disco song has a contrasting verse-chorus form, a synthesizer-based accompaniment, and lyrics sung in English. At the time such music was considered pop, italo disco, new wave or even disco music.

One of the early representors of the 80s genre was a British group Imagination, with their series of hits throughout 1981 and 1982. In 1982 a variation of Euro disco began to develop in Italy by groups like Gazebo, Kano and Lectric Workers. The new variation is known as italo-disco. Euro disco variations appeared later in France, Germany, Spain and Greece. The Italian and German Eurodisco productions were the most popular. During the mid 80's, German Disco artists Modern Talking and Bad Boys Blue, became very popular in Central, southern and eastern Europe. Then, at the late 80's, Italian disco artists Spagna and Sabrina became popular in Europe with euro-disco songs entering top charts in every major European country, combining Italo-disco and Eurobeat elements.

The influence of Euro disco had infiltrated dance and pop in the U.S. by 1983, as European producers and songwriters inspired a new generation of American performer eager to breathe new life into dance music otherwise abandoned by US radio. While disco had been declared "dead" due to a backlash there in 1979, subsequent Euro-flavored successes crossing the boundaries of rock, pop, and dance, such as "Call Me" by Blondie and "Gloria" by Laura Branigan, ushered in a new era of American-fronted dance music often forgotten in favor of, or considered a subgenre within the "Second British Invasion" happening concurrently. Branigan (produced by German producer Jack White) moved deeper into the Euro disco style for further hits, alongside Giorgio Moroder-produced US acts Berlin and Irene Cara.

By 1984, musicians from many countries had begun to produce Euro disco songs. In Germany, notable practitioners of the sound included Modern Talking, Sandra, and Alphaville. Austria had Falco, although he was also heavily influenced by rap and rock music. Britain's most famous contributors to disco music in the mid-80's were the Pet Shop Boys until Stock/Aitken/Waterman-produced singers such as Rick Astley and Kylie Minogue conquered the airwaves (UK's Eurobeat). Euro disco hits produced also on Spain and Greece and much later on Poland and Russia.

Some note that the same elements which were later embraced in greater measure as Euro disco had already come together cohesively as early as the mid- to late-1970s in certain tracks by artists such as the Swedish group ABBA, and the American singer Donna Summer.

By the early 1990s, its mainstream popularity having waned in Europe, Euro disco developed into Eurodance.

The last addition on the Euro disco genre, is Disco House (a.k.a. French house). It is more of a "back to the roots" music style, with 70s euro disco influences far before the Italo Disco explosion (more specific Space Disco, Hi-NRG disco, Canadian Disco and P-Funk).

French disco

On a European level, the pop star Dalida was the first to make disco music in France with 1975's "J'attendrai" which was a big hit there as well as in Canada and Japan in 1976. She also released many other disco hits between 1975 and 1981, including "Monday, Tuesday... Laissez-moi danser" in 1979, translated the same year as "Let Me Dance Tonight" for the USA, where she was their "French diva" since her late-1978 performance at the Carnegie Hall. Soon after Dalida's pioneering French disco work, other French artists recorded disco: Claude François, in 1976 with his song "Cette année-là" (a cover of The Four Seasons' disco hit "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)"), then the famous "yé-yé" French pop singer Sheila, with her group B. Devotion, who even had a hit in the USA (a rarity for French artists) with the song "Spacer" in 1979. Many other European artists also recorded disco music.

German disco

In Germany, Frank Farian formed a disco band by the name Boney M around 1975. They had a string of number one hits in a few European countries which continued into the early 1980s, with songs such as Daddy Cool, Brown Girl in the Ring and By the Rivers of Babylon. Still today, the trademark sound of Boney M is seen as emblematic for late 70's German disco music.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Euro 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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