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Synopsis

Disco thumps back to life in this pulsating look at the culture and politics that gave rise to the music.

In the 1970s, as the disco tsunami engulfed America, the question, “Do you wanna dance?” became divisive, even explosive. What was it about this music that made it such hot stuff? In this incisive history, Alice Echols reveals the ways in which disco, assumed to be shallow and disposable, permanently transformed popular music, propelling it into new sonic territory and influencing rap, techno, and trance. This account probes the complex relationship between disco and the era’s major movements: gay liberation, feminism, and African American rights. But it never loses sight of the era’s defining soundtrack, spotlighting the work of precursors James Brown and Isaac Hayes, its dazzling divas Donna Summer and the women of Labelle, and some of its lesser-known but no less illustrious performers like Sylvester. You’ll never say “disco sucks” again after reading this fascinating account of the music you thought you hated but can’t stop dancing to.

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