Disco. Even after almost forty years we still don’t fully understand it. It came on like a force of nature; strong and fast, swiftly devouring everything in its path. It swallowed up formerly rockin’ musicians and in their place left lame overly-catchy songs with throbbing bass. It wasn’t pretty. But by god, it was fun to dance to! It seemed like everyone had a “disco phase” in the late ’70s…even bands that probably wish you’d forget all about it. Read on to hear 10 Saturday Night Fever-worthy tunes from the most unexpected of bands. Strap on your platforms and enjoy!
10. “Here Comes The Night” by The Beach Boys (1979)
America’s band traded their famous harmonies for a robotic vocoder on this re-imagining of their 1967 song, “Here Comes The Night.”
9. “Back Chat” by Queen (1982)
Bass-player John Deacon wrote this funk fresh track from the royal band’s Hot Space disc.
8. “(No More) Love At Your Convenience” by Alice Cooper (1977)
OK, seriously? Vincent Furnier loved to shock, but nothing prepared us for the gooey strings and slick production work from this cut off his genre-bending Whiskey & Lace record.
7. “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman” The Kinks (1979)
From their Low Budget album, this was Ray Davies’ attempt at a low budget disco hit. It’s particularly reviled in fan circles.
6. “Goodnight Tonight” by Paul McCartney & Wings (1979)
Not even an ex-Beatle was immune to the ravages of disco fever. But we have to admit, we kind of like this one…especially the Spanish-influenced flamenco guitar and dueling six-string solos.
5. “Shakedown Street” The Grateful Dead (1978)
The psychedelic rangers went from alt-country rock to disco funk? A long strange trip, indeed.
4. “Day Tripper” by James Taylor (1979)
It’s weird enough to hear the Beatles done with a disco beat, but having it sung by Sweet Baby James? Very unique.
3. “I Was Made For Loving You” by KISS (1979)
Perhaps the most notorious disco dalliance on this list. It became a chart hit, but many members of the KISS army called “sell out!” Bonus points for inclusion in Moulin Rouge’s “Elephant Love Medley.”
2. “Emotional Rescue” by The Rolling Stones (1980)
We saw the signs as far back as 1978 with “Miss You,” but this single from two years later is so much worse. Even Keith Richards’ was reported to have disapproved of this new musical direction, and is widely seen as evidence of the growing division between himself and frontman Mick Jagger.
1. “Night And Day” by Frank Sinatra (1977)
Ol’ Blue Eyes is admittedly not a rocker, but this disco version of the Cole Porter chestnut is so shocking that we just had to include it!
[Photo: Getty Images]