***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 fire4. Shed Seven - Disco Down
Dance, dance, dance through the fire
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 been3. Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage
To every single disco all around
Another night, another town
It's time to burn this disco down
Fire in the disco...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.
Fire in the Taco Bell...
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?