Wednesday, March 10, 2010

49 Songs from my Roller Disco Days or 1980-81's The Soundtrack of my Life

Quite possibly one of the worst photos of me...ever.

Perhaps you remember the post I wrote about a year ago about my return to the roller rink of my childhood. The image above was taken sometime around 1980-1981 and this time around, I'd like to talk about the music from that time that stays with me to this day.

I grew up primarily listening to AM radio and Mom's record collection- which at the time included Barry Manilow, The Bee-Gee's, Barbara Streisand, Sonny & Cher, and the soundtracks to Saturday Night Fever and Grease. (Some other time I'll tell you about how I threw out my Dad's old Santana and Jimi Hendrix 8-Tracks because the music scared me... D'oh!)

Around 8th grade, I started to spend an excessive amount of time at the local skating rink courtesy of neighbors who were there 4 days a week. While these days, my iPod is filled with extreme diversity such as heavy metal, ambient, world music, rock, jazz, swing, etc., the music below is what's really in my blood. It's why I can skate, dance, drum & shake the hell out of a shekere. Let me send out a big huge THANK YOU to the rink's DJ (I wish I knew who they were!) who helped create the soundtrack to my life.

I've always held the theory that the music from your early teen years, that time before high school and when things start to get all pubescent & wonky, is the music that stays with you forever.

Let me first preface that I have been working on assembling these songs for YEARS...... Many were only available on 12" EP's and later on compilation tapes. (Which I would later replace with CD's) iTunes helped tremendously to fill in the final missing pieces with the exception of one song which I could never find, (one of my all-time favorites) "On the Beat" by the BB&Q band which I finally found on You Tube - a tinny mono version but a version nonetheless that allowed me to stop thinking it was a figment of my imagination.

These are the ones that I specifically remember skating to. (or at least I think I did.... cut me a break, I'm old.) When one of these songs would come on you'd suck up the last bit of Pepsi from the cup, toss it in the trash and skate like hell to get out on the floor and feel the beat.

Oh heck. I just realized that I don't have a copy of "Always & Forever" or "Superfreak" or "17" or "Double Dutch Bus" arrrrgh!!!! I thought I was done! How could I forget those? iTunes, here I come! (I guess the more time passes, the more I recall though I can't seem to remember what I did 5 minutes ago...)

And so here you go. 49 songs from my roller disco days. There were 50, but I had to cut Michael Jackson's "Wanna be Startin' Somthing" because that came later.

Ai No Corrida Quincy Jones
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now McFadden & Whitehead
And the Beat Goes On The Whispers
Apache The Sugar Hill Gang
Boogie Oogie Oogie A Taste Of Honey
Boogie Wonderland Earth, Wind & Fire with The Emotions
Brick House Commodores
Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me) The Gap Band
Celebration Kool & The Gang
Circles Atlantic Starr
Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) Chic
December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Disco Inferno The Trammps
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough Micheal Jackson
Donna Summer - Bad Girls Donna Summer
Early In The Morning (12" Version) The Gap Band
Fantastic Voyage Lakeside
Forget Me Nots (12" Version) Patrice Rushen
Get Down On It Kool & The Gang
Got to Be Real Cheryl Lynn
The Hustle Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
I'll Be Around The Spinners
I Got My Mind Made Up Instant Funk
I Will Survive Gloria Gaynor
Instant Replay Dan Hartman
It's a Love Thing The Whispers
Knock On Wood Mary Griffin
Ladies Night Kool & The Gang
Let's Groove Earth, Wind & Fire
Let's Start the Dance Bohannon
Mama Used to Say Junior
Never Can Say Goodbye Gloria Gaynor
Off the Wall Michael Jackson
On the Beat BB&Q Band
Que Sera Mi Vida Gibson Brothers
Rapper's Delight (Long Version) The Sugar Hill Gang
Rock The Boat Hues Corporation
Rock With You Michael Jackson
September Earth, Wind & Fire
She's a Bad Mama Jama (She's Built, She's Stacked) Carl Carlton
Stomp! The Brothers Johnson
Take My Heart (You Can Have It If You Want It) Kool & The Gang
Take Your Time (Do It Right) The S.O.S. Band
Too Hot Kool & The Gang
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) MFSB/The Three Degrees
Vertigo / Relight My Fire Dan Hartman
Working My Way Back To You Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
You Dropped A Bomb On Me The Gap Band
8th Wonder The Sugar Hill Gang

Note: There of course were a few quintessential disco songs such as Chic's "Le Freak" and Lipps Inc's "Funkytown" that I really didn't care for which is why they don't live on my iPod.

Please enjoy.

FYI - Amazon often has music (MP3's) cheaper than iTunes. I'll give you one to get you started.

2 comments:

Donald said...

That is quite a list. I find myself humming many of these on a regular basis. I don't remember all the words so I make up my own. Great choices - How did you go from these to head banger rocker chick?

Biffybeans said...

Don, good question and I'm still trying to figure it out. 9th grade in high school introduced me to a lot of different kinds of music- most notably New Wave. I think that led me to the local underage clubs which in turn had bands.... I think somehow it was Van Halen that bridged the gap to rock, and then Metallica to metal. Both who are still on my all-time fav list.

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