When Rock Met Disco: The Story of How the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, KISS, Queen, Blondie, and More Got Their Groove On in the Me Decade

Backbeat: Rowman & Littlefield. Apr. 2023. 298p. ISBN 9781493063895. pap. $24.95. MUSIC
Author/filmmaker Blush (New York Rock) turns his attention to the intersection of disco and rock in the late 1970s. His latest work is a nostalgia-filled study of the impact of disco on pop culture and the incorporation of its basic tenets into the evolution of popular music. The book contains solid historical background on the rise of disco as a means of escape for gay, Black, and Brown people. The genre was a rhythmic offshoot of R&B developed from the music of Barry White, with its four-on-the-floor dance beat and its shunning of romantic or meaningful themes. Catching the music industry off guard, disco rapidly took over pop culture by influencing fashion and style, opening 20,000 U.S. discotheques, taking over televised dance shows, and spawning the top-grossing film and top-selling album with Saturday Night Fever. Tempted by the enthusiasm, rock stars and groups (Debbie Harry, Rod Stewart, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd) strayed into disco, developing crossover dance-oriented rock, ignoring the anti-disco rage of the “disco sucks” generation. The book’s appendix includes rock-disco classics, the songs’ backstories, and quotes from the artists.
VERDICT Fans of ’70s music will likely reminiscence and enjoy the entertaining photographs.
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