Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ode to a Falsetto

So I watched this week's episode of "Glee" and I realize that I watch this show out of habit lately, mostly to make sure I'm not missing a buzzworthy musical performance. I dislike most of the characters and their storylines. And the disco episode was no different, but it did remind me that disco music overall gets a bad rap.

It's OK if you hate disco, I don't, but as with all forms of music, I don't embrace it unequivocally as a genre. There's a lot of just plain bad stuff lumped into the nebulous disco category. Novelty songs. Copycat drivel. It's the same in most types of music, there's great stuff and not-so-great stuff. Then there are the transcendent singles: "Don't Leave Me This Way," "Bad Girls," "Boogie Wonderland," "Get Down Tonight." Songs so of their era, but still pulsing with energy, compelling you to dance. And then beyond that there is the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack, and the singular compositions of Barry Gibb. "Stayin' Alive" is a work of art no matter how you look at it, as far as I'm concerned. And it's for this reason I get pissed off when people say that disco sucks. Because what's going on here is so complex, so innovative. Genius. It's contribution to popular music can't be overlooked.

Not to mention that Barry Gibb is an underrated as a songwriter to begin with. He's often cast aside as merely a disco artist, but his work is so prolific, his range so broad. It's not fair that he and "Disco Duck" will go down in the same annals of history. The Bee Gees' disco stuff is amazing, definitive. But their older songs (plus a lot of songs by other artists you may not have known were written by Barry) deserve recognition.

Like this guy here:

I realize they're already in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, but I think their relevance is going to be misremembered. And it's a shame is all. One more for good measure.

OK, two.

RIP, Maurice.

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