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5 Disco Versions of Songs You Didn’t Know Existed

November 11, 2015

Disco was everywhere in the late 1970s, and almost everybody hopped on the bandwagon.

Disco Ball

In 1977, producer Trevor Lawrence put together a group of studio musicians and called them the Wilton Street Place Band and recorded a disco novelty song called “Disco Lucy.” It’s a disco version of the I Love Lucy theme song. While the original has lyrics, this version doesn’t use them, opting for the famous instrumental melody and repeated chant of “dance, dance, disco Lucy.” Amazingly “Disco Lucy” reached #24 on the pop chart.

Doctor Who has been off and on on British TV (and around the world) since 1963, but it peaked in popularity in the late 1970s, when Tom Baker played the titular role. (He’s the one who wore the long rainbow scarf when fighting off aliens and robots.) Almost as iconic as Baker is the creepy, synthesizer driven Who theme song. In 1978, a British group called Mankind made a disco version of the song, which reached #25 on the English charts.

Disc jockeys in nightclubs often played extra-long versions of dance songs to keep people dancing. Individual songs could last upwards of seven minutes…just like “The 12 Days of Christmas.” It makes sense then that there’s a disco version of it. A studio band called Mirror Image released it in 1978. Oddly enough, this version of the sing-along classic doesn’t have any lyrics. (It’s a little repetitive.)

“Night and Day” is one of the most famous pop standards and Frank Sinatra songs, although it was written by Cole Porter and first performed in 1932 by Fred Astaire. In 1977, Frank Sinatra re-recorded the song—his fifth time recording it overall—as a dance song. It did not provide the comeback Sinatra was hoping for, and failed to make the pop chart.

Bruce Johnston joined the Beach Boys in 1965, but in the ’70s he found his calling as an arranger and producer, helping to craft Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. And in 1977, he recorded a six-minute disco version of a surf rock classic. No, not something by his own Beach Boys, but “Pipeline,” by the Chantays.

Trivia Books

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