Survive the Nightlife

Jen Kehl at My Skewed View and Kristi at Finding Ninee host Twisted MixTape Tuesday, a blog hop that’s all about music.  The premise is to create a five song mix based on the week’s theme.  (You can click on the button above if you’d like to play along).

Here’s Jen’s instructions for today’s topic: If you were going to make a mix for a friend in the seventies what would it contain? This is NOT a best of. This is If You Were You, in the seventies, and You Were Making A Mix Tape For A Friend (on any topic) What Would It Be?

I’ve got a musical guilty pleasure…disco music.  I was around 8-years old when disco really began hitting the airwaves and its some of the first music that really made an impact on my young impressionable psyche (now you know the root cause of all my character flaws).  So its only natural that for my 70’s mix tape I feather my hair, put on my tube top, satin stretch pants, and platform shoes to head to the roller rink and skate the night away under the mirrored disco ball (I was too young for the Studio 54 scene).

One commenter from last week’s 70’s Part 1 post pointed out that there was a lot of muscle in my list, so this week I’m highlighting the ladies.  Particularly those that I associate with certain events or times over the course of my life so far.  While the disco powerhouses like Diana Ross or Donna Summer may have dominated the music charts, none of them really hold any special meaning for me.

1.  I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor (1978).  I can’t help it.  Even thirty some-odd years after it hit the charts, I still love this song and count it as my favorite disco song.  I adore the original and I even enjoy the covers by Cake and Safire (used for the movie She-Devil with Roseanne Barr).

2.  Turn the Beat Around – Vicky Sue Robinson (1976).  This song really didn’t hit my radar its first time around, but in the mid 90’s Gloria Estefan did a remake for the Sly Stallone/Sharon Stone movie, The Specialist that got my attention.  Over the years since, I’ve grown attached to the original and this will always be the second song I request at a disco party.  Not that those are real popular down South.

3.  I Love the Nightlife – Alicia Bridges (1978).  I first remember this song from the movie Love at First Bite (and now bringing it up, I want to watch it again).  As fate should have it, the singer was the DJ in a club we used to sneak into when I was in college (and underage)  in the late 80’s.  Every once in a while, she could be coaxed out of the booth to sing on special occasions.

4.  Knock on Wood – Amii Stewart (1979).  They used to play this song frequently in the club mentioned in my previous choice with an extended intro of the three drumbeats.  As soon as everyone heard those beats there was usually a surge towards the smallish dance floor to get a “good” spot before it got too crowded.  Good times.  I was surprised to find this wasn’t the original version and not even the first (or second) cover, one of which was by David Bowie.

5.  Ring My Bell – Anita Ward (1979).  By the time this song came out, I was in junior high.  That awkward and geeky stage when everything about you and all your friends is changing.  So it was only natural that the school board of the Houston suburb where I lived in at the time thought it was the perfect time to devote a semester of our gym class to learn how to dance.  The country and western portion wasn’t too bad since it was mostly line dancing, but the couple months spent on disco was torture.  Back then we had gym class every day, unlike now where my son only goes twice a week.  We were assigned partners to learn to “couples dance” like they did in Saturday Night Fever.  Sixty pairs of clumsy kids that didn’t feel at home in their own bodies being forced to dance with each other in “assigned pairs” is a special kind of hell.  That we got to visit every single day during the week and they always played this song.  It may not evoke fond memories, but it left a lasting impression.

Dream Sig2

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18 comments

  1. Kristi Campbell

    I love your choices! I have “I Will Survive” on my iphone and ipod and crank that sucker up every time it comes on. I love your middle school story – and yeah, definitely a special kind of hell.

    • Dream

      As much as I hated it at the time, having to learn the cotton-eyed joe and the hustle swing served me well later in life during a brief period of hanging out at a country western bar.

  2. Clark Scottroger

    I will say that I have over-come the mainstream-sanctioned disrespectin of ‘the Disco Music’… ‘I will Survive’ and ‘Turn the Beat Around’ are totally good songs. (Of course the Beegees did not fare so well when their anthemic ‘Stayin Alive’ got featured in the wonderful movie ‘Airplane!’

    • Dream

      I realized this week more than any other that a lot of the music I choose has been featured in movies I enjoy. I’ve been analyzing whether I like the movies because of the music…or I love the music because of the movie associations.

  3. Slu

    Hey Dream(er)… I always joke about Disco. But, trust me: I am married to a Disco LOVER!!! So, it’s always “around.” It’s all good & fun. I said last week to someone that “I Will Survive” was my wife’s anthem before I met her when she was a single parent. Great song in a great movie: The Replacements. If “Knock on Wood” broke out, my wife would say: Let’s go.” Ha… and that would be a “Kodak Moment.”

    Great List, Slu

  4. Lance

    your list is the anti-list to my list and vice versa. But, I admire your commitment.

    You do love the nightlife and you do like to boogie.

    • Dream

      Most definitely and I knew when the topics came out and I chose a disco theme for one week that it wouldn’t be too popular of a genre. But I was committed to doing it (and lazy since I’d already written it). There may be a few weeks like that for these upcoming summer topics, but its music of my many moods.

  5. Sarah Almond

    Girl Power YEAH! Great song choices-I considered going this route but settled on earworms instead-I’m glad you focused on these great ladies! Boogie on!

    • Dream

      I’m glad you did go with the earworms, even if I’m still humming about “the hottest spot north of Havana” this morning. Girl Power!

  6. troy P.

    I still firmly beleive that disco was invented by gay people for the sole purpose of showing straight people just how little they know about dancing.
    And disco.
    And fashion.
    And, oh, I’m now craving “Love At First Bite” as well. So thanks for that.

    =)

    • Dream

      I think ALL of the 70’s fashions, not just disco, were hideous. But that’s just me. Have fun with George “Is that tan real?” Hamilton!

  7. Linda Roy

    I gotta admit, I’m not all up in the disco, but I do love me some “Ring My Bell”. That song is fun as hell to sing and infectious. Well really, so is “I Will Survive”. You can’t not get happy and all finger pointy and singing along to that one. Ooh – you know what else was good? “If I Can’t Have You”…I don’t want nobody baby…If I Can’t Have You…aahhh aaahhh woah…

  8. Jen

    I love disco. I love you for making this disco list! So much. I am so happy there’s going to be disco on our YouTube playlist! Also totally love Cake’s version of I Will Survive, however it has bad words in it so I can’t play it around the boy anymore…

    • Dream

      Its so funny you mention that about the bad words because I was just thinking last night that as we move into the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s lists, I need to review the lyrics and videos closely for “bad words”. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll censor myself or just slap a NSFW/small children warning on my posts.

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