Top 10 Disco Songs

Script written by Craig Butler. Some songs encourage you to dance; these disco songs won’t take “no” for an answer. For this list, we’re considering those classic disco tunes from the genre’s peak during the 1970s-80s. We’ve based our choices on a mix of how iconic or memorable they are as well as their overall popularity and success. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Disco Songs. Special thanks to our users Luke Okins, NZ1967, Blackolig, Nana Amuah, Opst3r, Jerome Magajes, Kris A, Al Bebak, King Moka, jordanrichtermgmt, Piotr Pornobolszewik Wielki, Crazemaniak, Paola Garcia, Pusparini Basuki and Edimilson Lennon for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Disco Songs


Some songs encourage you to dance; these songs won’t take “no” for an answer. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Disco Songs.

For this list, we’re considering those classic disco tunes from the genre’s peak during the 1970s-80s. We’ve based our choices on a mix of how iconic or memorable they are as well as their overall popularity and success.

#10: “Get Down Tonight” (1975)
KC and the Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine Band boogied all the way to the #1 spot on the charts with this incredibly infectious dance track. Starting off with a guitar line that was recorded at double speed, “Get Down Tonight” is essentially a paean to the joys of dance and sex – and unmistakably links the two together. As KC would have it, getting down on the dance floor leads to getting down in the bedroom – and maybe vice versa. And that’s a pretty good summation of the appeal of the disco era.

#9: “Get Down on It” (1981)
Kool & The Gang

Disco with a funk groove is always a welcome combination, and “Get Down On It” delivers the goods in this area. A top 10 pop hit for Kool & the Gang, the Something Special track doesn’t go in for complicated introspection in its lyrics; the message is simple and direct. But the words are wrapped in some classic Deodato beats and a production that is both sly and smooth. The insinuating rhythm section produces a sound that’s both hypnotic and invigorating, and J.T. Taylor’s easy vocals blend in perfectly.

#8: “Funkytown” (1980)
Lipps Inc.

This incredibly catchy tune soared to the #1 position in 28 countries – a record that was not beaten until Madonna’s disco-inspired “Hung Up” in 2005. “Funkytown”’s quirky sound is a combination of several factors, including the strategic use of the Moog Vocoder to give the voices that spacey electronic ring. But it’s the awesome, insistent beat that propels the song along; mixing a little bit of new wave with traditional disco, the Lipps Inc. single exults in a hoped for utopia where grass and flowers have been replaced with a shiny, endless dance floor.

#7: “Boogie Wonderland” feat. The Emotions (1979)
Earth, Wind & Fire

Music can mend a broken heart – and dancing can pick that heart up off the floor and get it beating again. That’s the essential message behind “Boogie Wonderland,” and it encapsulates the romanticism that was one reason discos were such a phenomenon. Earth, Wind & Fire, teamed with the Emotions, providing some glorious vocals; they create the kind of music that makes a person believe they really can find true love on the dance floor. If not, they can still shake it till they forget their cares anyway.

#6: “Dancing Queen” (1976)
ABBA

Nobody knew how to throw together infectious pop hooks quite like ABBA, as this monster international hit demonstrates. From the first moment, when a piano glissando bleeds into an angelic chorus wordlessly oohing and aahing, “Dancing Queen” grabs hold of the listener’s ear and won’t let it go. The beat behind the tune isn’t as openly propulsive as most disco hits, but it’s all the more powerful for that reason. And the silky vocals are heavenly.

#5: “Last Dance” (1978)
Donna Summer

Donna Summer is the undisputed disco queen, with her “I Feel Love” breaking ground as one of the first real examples of electronic dance music. On the Oscar-winning “Last Dance,” Summer starts out slow and tender, her voice sensually caressing the opening lyrics. But when the beat starts, the singer jumps wholeheartedly into total diva mode. Summer rides the song like a thoroughbred and ends on an amazing final note that fixes the song forever as a treasure.

#4: “Disco Inferno” (1976)
The Trammps

The Trammps’ disco classic was released in 1976 and became a dance club hit, yet it didn’t make an impression on the general public until it was included on the “Saturday Night Fever” movie soundtrack two years later. The song was inspired by the destruction of the dance club in the film “The Towering Inferno,” but it really caught fire when it played as John Travolta snaked across the screen. One of the hottest and smoking-est dance tracks, it absolutely forces people out of their chairs and onto the floor.

#3: “Le Freak” (1978)
Chic

Bernard Edwards lays down a bass line on “Le Freak” that is as funky as it is tantalizing, and listeners are catapulted into the song’s sleek, cool ambiance. Written after Edwards and Nile Rodgers were turned away from Studio 54, the song’s first phrase was originally a bit stronger than “Freak out!” Chic had the last laugh on Studio 54, though; the chart-topping single sold seven million copies and holds the record as the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records.

#2: “I Will Survive” (1978)
Gloria Gaynor

Most classic disco songs are about…well dancing. But Gloria Gaynor’s multi-platinum monster hit has other things on its mind: namely, making sure that the entire world – and one person in particular – knows that she is not someone to be messed around with. A glorious anthem of self-reliance, inner strength and defiant anger, “I Will Survive” stands the traditional torch song on its head. Those seeking personal empowerment need look no further; get those fists pumping while those feet get moving.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

- “Hot Stuff” (1979)

Donna Summer

- “Lady Marmalade” (1974)

LaBelle

- “Car Wash” (1976)

Rose Royce

- “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” (1978)

Sylvester

- “Shame” (1978)

Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King

- “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” (1979)

McFadden & Whitehead


#1: “Stayin’ Alive” (1977)
Bee Gees

The Bee Gees told everybody in 1976 that they should be dancing; a year later, the entire world was on its feet, thanks to the disco juggernaut that was the “Saturday Night Fever” movie soundtrack. And “Stayin’ Alive” is about as iconic as a song you can get; more than any other single cut, it indelibly captures the feel, the sound and the intensity of the entire disco era. The Gibb brothers’ tune is built on an undercurrent of alternating tension and release, perfect for a time when people danced like their lives depended on it.

Do you agree with our choices? What other unbeatable disco songs deserve to be on this list? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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