This Friday, join Drive host Rich Terfry as he celebrates the golden age of disco — and the 40th anniversary of the New York club at the centre of it all, Studio 54. Tune in for an hour-long continuous mix of the best disco hits, plus stories from the world's most famous nightclub: Friday, April 28, at 6 p.m. (6:30 NT), on CBC Radio 2 Drive.
In the mid- to late 1970s, disco briefly lit up the world, providing a polished and pumped-up soundtrack to a pansexual, multicultural nation of people who just wanted to dance. Montreal, specifically, was home to one of the hottest disco scenes thanks to its numerous dance clubs and vibrant nightlife. This made Montreal not only a cultural mecca for the literal movers and shakers, but also a place that could make or break records. According to Redbull Music Academy, Billboard magazine credited clubs like Montreal's Lime Light for the sales success of a number of early disco hits.
This activity also correlated to the relatively high number of acclaimed Canadian disco acts and musicians who found success at home and abroad. Disco instrumentals even had a moment, when Frank Mills's "Music Box Dancer" became a hit in 1978, four years after he actually recorded it.
Beyond the strangely popular and pervasive piano hits, there were a host of lush, brash and bold voices that came out of Canadian disco, and many of the songs deserve to live on. Here are 10 tracks you need to know, almost four decades after it all began.
Claudja Barry, '(Boogie Woogie) Dancin' Shoes'
Freddie James, 'Everybody Get Up and Boogie'
Alma Faye Brooks, 'Stop I Don't Need No Sympathy'
France Joli, 'Come to Me'
Patsy Gallant, 'Sugar Daddy'
Boule Noir, 'Aimer D'Amour'
The Raes, 'A Little Lovin' Keeps the Doctor Away'
Pierre Perpall, 'Oui c'est dans la danse'
Duncan Sisters, 'Boys Will Be Boys'
Gino Soccio, 'Dancer'
You can also check out this CBC radio documentary on the Montreal disco scene in the '70s:
Hang out with me on Twitter: @_AndreaWarner