Friday, 5 May 2017

My Top Ten Disco Fire Songs

***I was going to bring you My Top Ten Fred Songs today, but blogger just deleted the whole post while I was editing it and I can't get it back. I am bereft. Luckily, I had this one in reserve. I'll dedicate it to all my blogging buddies who are getting together for gigs and good times this weekend. Try not to burn any discos down, guys...***

One of the biggest problems I have with compiling new Top Tens these days is finding myself with too many great songs that fit the criteria. A couple of weeks back, a song JC suggested in the comments made me think about doing an Indie Disco Top Ten: ten indie songs about discos. But when I started to compile my list, there were hundreds to go at... so I had to find a more specific subject matter.

The other problem I have when compiling lists like this is that, on occasion, the Number One is so blindingly obvious that it kind of renders the whole countdown irrelevant. At the end of the day though, it's just meant to be a list of ten tracks I dig. The order is only for you guys to argue about. That said, depending on your age or tastes, there are TWO blindingly obvious choices for Number One this week. My choice will surprise nobody who's been reading this nonsense for any great length of time, but let's remember: it's the journey, not the destination, which matters.

10. Michael Jackson - Burn This Disco Out

One of the lesser known tracks from Off The Wall, this has some great brass stings. Not sure how you burn a disco out though.

9. Pop Will Eat Itself - Radio PWEI

Mentions Disco Inferno. Also mentions most other words in the English language.

8. Pet Shop Boys - Burn

It took the Pet Shops Boys thirty years before they decided to join The Smiths.

7. Clinton - People Power In The Disco Hour

AKA Cornershop's Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres, this contains the excellent observation that "disco is the halfway to a full discontent", before exhorting us to "get this disco heat onto the streets", which is close enough for a shoehorn.

6. Wombats - Backfire At The Disco

As previously revealed, there are a great many records in my collection that I've never actually got round to listening to. Confession time: this is the first time I've given this song the time of day.

I like it.

A lot more than I expected to.

5. David Bowie - Bring Me The Disco King

Finally released on Bowie's 2003 album Reality, this was originally recorded to a fast disco beat with Nile Rodgers ten years earlier. As far as I know, that version has never been released, though I'd love to hear it. It'd have to go some to beat this version though...
We could dance, dance, dance through the fire
Dance, dance, dance through the fire
4. Shed Seven - Disco Down

Imagine Oasis had a sense of humour and a record collection that went beyond their dads' old Beatles, Kinks and Who vinyl. I have very fond memories of seeing Shed Seven play live back in the day; I never understood why they weren't more widely acclaimed...
Feels like I've been
To every single disco all around
Another night, another town
It's time to burn this disco down
3. Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage
Fire in the disco...
Fire in the Taco Bell...
I have featured this ridiculous song a number of times before; I will likely do so again. I wish I could tell you that one day I will grow out of it and not want to watch its preposterous, high camp video ever again... but honestly, I hope I never do.

The song becomes even more enjoyable when you know that the "female" vocals (as mimed by actress Tina Kanarek in the video) were actually recorded by Jack White.

2. The Trammps - Disco Inferno

Written by Leroy Green and Roy 'Have Mercy' Kersey. I want that as my middle name! (Oh, wait a minute, Rol is my middle name. Forget that then.)

The most obvious contender for Number One?

You might think so...

1. The Smiths - Panic

A song so majestic that when I imagine its intro, I add a fanfare in my head. I am actually surprised when the fanfare doesn't happen.

This is the Smiths song I am most likely to quote when discussing music, particularly if anyone ever asks me why I don't like modern (i.e. anything from the last 30 years) dance music. "It says nothing to me about my life." I'm sure you all know the story behind the origins of this song, but here's a cool visual reminder...

Panic took a stand against pop music that had nothing to say, but was bizarrely accused of a racist subtext by those who considered disco to be "black music". Johnny Marr countered by threatening to "kick the living shit" out of the NME writer responsible, while also pointing out that there were no black members of New Order. The NME went on to vote Panic the sixth best dance record of 1986.
Burn down the disco...
Hang the blessed DJ!
Because the music they constantly play
It says nothing to me about my life

Which one makes you want to burn, baby, baby?


  1. No-one mentions Shed Seven enough anymore.
    Saw them live once - they were a better band than history perhaps gives them credit for.
    I'm off to immerse myself in the outer edges of Britpop

    1. They were fun. Fun is a very underrated quality in bands these days.

  2. I'm delighted to see a flurry positive vibes for Shed Seven. More than once I've sketched out a post in praise of this most underrated of bands, but never quite nailed it. I must try harder next time. Another fine Top 10 Rol.

    1. Go for it, Swede: I want to read that post!

  3. I think you can guess which one of these would be my favourite - Vivid memories of John T in his white suit impressing everyone with what would now be seen as pretty lame moves.

    Really liked that Electric Six one as well though (and Taco Bell putting in another appearance).

    1. Dancing is ultimately very silly. Doing what Travolta did is no sillier than anything else people do on the dancefloor... although it was a bit more posy.

    2. "Dancing is ultimately very silly"! I know you are very much a lyrics man and thanks to you and a few of the other bloggers I am now taking a lot more interest in them but for my entire life I have primarily "felt" the music and if it makes you want to dance , I do. Cleared the floor on many occasion in many a venue as once it gets inside you there is nothing you can do to stop it - Sadly not many chances to partake now but for a Mothers Day treat DD took me out on the town (for the first time in years) and again we cleared the floor as she has obviously inherited that wonderful gene that just makes you want to Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance. (But not to Kenny Loggins or Nutbush City Limits).

    3. Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying it is without merit. I am saying that the action of moving your body in time to a pop beat is, often, from the point of view of a passive observer, a very silly thing to witness. Professional dancers can make it look artistic, but most of us... Even Pan's People and their ilk... Well... It would all look a bit daft to that visiting alien.

    4. You've just not got that dancing gene have you? It's not that you move your body in time to the pop beat, the pop beat gets inside you - It only looks silly if the dancers have been heavily choreographed as were Pans People - even I cringed at their overly literal dance moves.

      I have just come back from watching the stage show of Dirty Dancing at our local theatre (now they could all really move) and right at the end we were all encouraged to get up and dance in the aisles - Not your thing at all I know, but no guilty pleasures remember and I loved it. Tonight, no-one put Alyson in the corner! If the aliens landed they would just see an example of pure, unadulterated joy.

      I promised myself today I would stop filling up people's comments boxes and reign it in a bit - Sorry, will do better, promise.

  4. Just jump in your car and head north - Still time!?

  5. Oh no, I feel for you with the disappearing post - aargh. Hate it when things like that happen. I've started writing mine in Word now (with Autosave on) and then pasting in to Blogger to be on the safe side. Hope you can reassemble it!
    Another great mixed selection and I love that photo of M!

    1. Reassembling is a no go, I'll have to rewrite it. I'm not sure I have the energy to write the same post twice. The same thing happened this weekend, but luckily I'd followed your advice and kept a word copy open at the same time.

  6. Never hidden my love of getting onto a floor and moving my ever expanding body to whatever sounds are coming through the speakers. And I don't care how silly I look to others (but I do worry that one of these days as I stay up for the seventh song in a row that my heart is going to give in)

    Hadn't heard the Clinton song before, so a big thanks for that.

    The Pet Shop Boys track is just outstanding. Take note New Order...that's how you do things these days!


    1. Always loved the Pet Shops Boys... never really got New Order.


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