In 1977 the non-stop “get up, get down” carnival that was Disco, seemed to encapsulate everything Punk was against. Its slick arrangements, the combination of orchestrated strings, over-produced sounds and peppy meaningless lyrics seemed to come from the opposite end of reality. Disco was flashy, it primped and it preened, it splashed itself in cheap aftershave, wore medallions and wiggled around the dance floor like a peacock in heat. Disco was everywhere, from the radio playlists to the nightclubs, the sound of Disco’s trademark grating falsetto even echoed around the gymnasium whenever it was temporarily re-purposed for the school disco. In 1977, to young Punk ears, Disco was nothing more than mass produced vacuous rubbish, listened to by morons.
While the proto Punk girls spent break times talking about the latest issue of Strangled or plotting our own fanzines, the girls who liked Disco music would sing along to the latest tunes through the crackles of their contraband transistor radio, all the while flicking through “Mates” magazine and swapping stories of last evening’s happenings regarding who snogged who up the rec. They were busy doing nothing at all to change mine or anyone’s mind, though it was also slightly galling to witness how much fun they were having – despite being obvious cretins.
With Punk founded on the idea of change, about challenging old ideas, ideas about politics, self sufficiency and DIY, Disco not only looked totally lame in comparison, it also looked stuffed up to its own sequined gills with pomp and irrelevance, so naturally war was declared.
Such was the strength of feeling, by the late 70s anti-disco punk songs started to appear, The Vibrators released Disko in Moscow, and in Seattle, punk band The Accident featuring punk girl singer Lisa Nansen, went a step further with their riffy anti-disco jump-about “Kill The Bee Gees”, which some may say was going too far.
By January 1979 we all had to get over ourselves pretty quickly when Blondie released their game-changing punk disco melange “Heart of Glass”…maybe that kind of disco was ok…it wasn’t like it was actual disco…it was more sort of punk-ish…