Hot Tunes?

 

Y’all went and made me do it. You knew I would go to Charmin and outhouses if pressed. So, here we are: disco.

The Rolling Stones went disco with “Hot Stuff” from their 1976 Black and Blue album. The lyrics are simple to trite, and the music a repetitive dance track. It did not make the Top 40, unlike the ballad “Fool to Cry.”

Credit the Stones with trying to give the people what they wanted, but if you want a dance tune titled “Hot Stuff,” you really want to go with the Queen of Disco. Donna Summer recorded an entirely different song, also entitled “Hot Stuff,” on her 1979 album, Bad Girls. Produced by English producer Pete Bellotte and Italian producer Giorgio Moroder (the master of synthesizer pop), “Hot Stuff” was the lead single and became Donna Summer’s most popular song.

The synthesizer and guitar lines are distinctively Giorgio Moroder, but the attitude is all Summer. She smolders without showing up nearly naked, unlike [fill in the latest pop tart here]. Donna Summers began her collaboration with Moroder and Bellotte after meeting them in Europe, where she was performing stage plays, like Hair, (auf Deutsch)!

The same year that the Rolling Stones’ “Hot Stuff” fizzled, Donna Summer was cooking with “Love to Love You Baby,” one of her early collaborations with Bellotte and Moroder.

The lyrics are not more sophisticated than the Stones’ “Hot Stuff,” but imagine them played back to back in a discotheque. Summer was in her element; the Stones, not so much. It is as if the Stones were waving their fans’ lighters, while Summer ignited a disco inferno. In the immortal words of Jerry Reed, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot [When You’re Not, You’re Not]:”

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  1. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    What’s next for this month of Hot Stuff!? Disco Duck? If you don’t like my playlist, perhaps you will write about hot jazz, or “Le Jazz Hot!”


    This is an entry in June’s theme series: Hot Stuff!” We have a lot of open days as the summer season starts. Please stop by and sign up to share your own angle on the topic, however loosely construed.

    • #1
  2. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    This is what disco hath wrought:

    • #2
  3. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Yer really scraping the bottom of the cultural barrel here, Clifford.  So if you’re looking for hot tunes,  here is my contribution:

    Richard Wagner’s opera Siegfried, the scene where Siegfried takes the broken pieces of a mighty sword (called Nothung) and forges them together in a foundry’s hot fire so that he can eventually slay the fiery Dragon, Fafner.  These are consecutive scenes from two different productions.

    • #3
  4. The Great Adventure! Inactive
    The Great Adventure!
    @TheGreatAdventure

    You had to include the Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In, didn’t you.

    2011 my daughter and her HS a capella group auditioned and made it onto NBC’s The Sing Off – basically an a capella version of American Idol, The Voice, etc.  The kids’s repertoire included songs by Muse, Adele, Maroon 5 among others.  For a bunch of 15-18 year olds, they were pretty good.

    Unfortunately none of their songs were ones that Warner (the producer of the show) had rights to.  So the kids got stuck with the Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In mashup – a song that originally came out when their parents were much younger than they were at the time.  They gave it a good shot but got ejected the first week.  I’ve hated that song(s) ever since.

    And an interesting tidbit from that experience.  The contracts the contestants (and their parents/guardians) had to sign stated very clearly that the “producers have the right to override America’s vote”.  I’m sure all of the other competition shows have the same or similar clauses.  I haven’t watched any of those since either.

    • #4
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    The Great Adventure! (View Comment):

    Unfortunately none of their songs were ones that Warner (the producer of the show) had rights to. So the kids got stuck with the Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In mashup – a song that originally came out when their parents were much younger than they were at the time. They gave it a good shot but got ejected the first week. I’ve hated that song(s) ever since.

    And an interesting tidbit from that experience. The contracts the contestants (and their parents/guardians) had to sign stated very clearly that the “producers have the right to override America’s vote”. I’m sure all of the other competition shows have the same or similar clauses. I haven’t watched any of those since either.

    Fascinating peek under the hood. 

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Yer really scraping the bottom of the cultural barrel here, Clifford. So if you’re looking for hot tunes, here is my contribution:

    Richard Wagner’s opera Siegfried, the scene where Siegfried takes the broken pieces of a mighty sword (called Nothung) and forges them together in a foundry’s hot fire so that he can eventually slay the fiery Dragon, Fafner. These are consecutive scenes from two different productions.

    I have not yet begun to scrape:

    As to Wagner’s ring and the Siegfried line, or line about Siegfried, I think Marvel took only 32 seconds to say it best:

    There are lots of open days left in the month. It could be a real hot mess…do stop by, sign up, and do a favor to yourself and Ricochet!

    • #6
  7. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    This is what disco hath wrought:

    Perhaps, given the White Sox record for the season, the owner should not have apologized and the fans got their money’s worth, even with the second game of the doubleheader cancelled.

    • #7
  8. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Clifford A. Brown: So, here we are: disco.

    I respectfully remind the author that we have a Code of Conduct on this site…

    • #8
  9. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Yer really scraping the bottom of the cultural barrel here, Clifford. So if you’re looking for hot tunes, here is my contribution:

    Richard Wagner’s opera Siegfried, the scene where Siegfried takes the broken pieces of a mighty sword (called Nothung) and forges them together in a foundry’s hot fire so that he can eventually slay the fiery Dragon, Fafner. These are consecutive scenes from two different productions.

    I have not yet begun to scrape:

    I dunno.  You are going pretty low with “Disco Inferno.”

    • #9
  10. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Disco?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kBxb-NmxNc

    • #10
  11. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Disco?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kBxb-NmxNc

    About the worst musical video I’ve seen produced by people with tens of millions of dollars.

    • #11
  12. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Disco?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kBxb-NmxNc

    About the worst musical video I’ve seen produced by people with tens of millions of dollars.

    Not sure why we’re only seeing the link.  To avoid the video:

    I call disco.

     

    • #12
  13. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Disco?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kBxb-NmxNc

    About the worst musical video I’ve seen produced by people with tens of millions of dollars.

    Not sure why we’re only seeing the link. To avoid the video:

    Surely lyrics inspired by their compatriot Shakespeare.

    • #13
  14. Jon1979 Lincoln
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Steve Allen did a hysterical bit around 1980 where he talked about the poetry of modern music lyrics, and first read the lines, dead seriously, from the Beatles’ “Yesterday”, before transitioning into reading the lines, also dead seriously, from Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” (it used to be available on YouTube, but got taken down).

    • #14
  15. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Another pop star hitting the disco trail:

    I promise to stop now.

    • #15
  16. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    The thing I find interesting about that video of Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff is how many musicians were required to perform dance music in the 1970s.  Back then, simply adding a synthesizer to your musical ensemble didn’t take jobs away from other musicians.  If anything, dance music required more musicians than rock music did, since dance music producers had such an affinity for horn and string sections.

    • #16
  17. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Disco?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kBxb-NmxNc

    About the worst musical video I’ve seen produced by people with tens of millions of dollars.

    In the early days of video production, less money often (usually?) resulted in a better music video.  If you had money to burn, you’d often rent out a studio with lots of (1980s vintage) video effects equipment, and those videos got dated very quickly.  If you didn’t have money to burn you’d hire a small crew to shoot outdoors, guerrilla-style, on 16mm film.  Those videos have aged much more gently.

    Compare the video for Emotional Rescue to the video for Our Lips Are Sealed.  It’s a fairly sure bet that the video for Emotional Rescue cost more money to produce.  The video for Our Lips Are Sealed was shot by two or three guys, a single camera (probably a spring-driven Bolex), and maybe 400 feet of film stock.  The interior “concert” sequences look like they were shot at a comedy club:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kBxb-NmxNc

    On the other hand, one shouldn’t pretend that a low budget guaranteed a good music video:

    • #17
  18. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    What’s next for this month of Hot Stuff!? Disco Duck?

    • #18
  19. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    As my roommate wisely observed over the rim of his 7 and 7…

    Women like to dance.

    Men like women.

    Cogito ergo disco.

     

    • #19
  20. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    As my roommate wisely observed over the rim of his 7 and 7…

    Women like to dance.

    Men like women.

    Cogito ergo disco.

    How come you never see men doing “line dances” like the Electric Slide then?  I know, smarts enters into it, but think of all the women.

    Are you comin’ with me?
    Come let me take you on a party ride
    And I’ll teach you, teach you, teach you
    I’ll teach you the electric slide

     

    • #20
  21. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    How come you never see men doing “line dances” like the Electric Slide then?

    I can do The Humpty Dance. 

    • #21
  22. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    How come you never see men doing “line dances” like the Electric Slide then?

    I can do The Humpty Dance.

    Dance!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDfH4BVHN6w

    • #22
  23. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Mickey Mouse Disco?  Just when I thought this thread could go no lower….

    • #23
  24. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    You can’t talk Disco without the most sampled song in all of ever… damn, the bass was so awesome then…

    • #24
  25. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    The thing I find interesting about that video of Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff is how many musicians were required to perform dance music in the 1970s. Back then, simply adding a synthesizer to your musical ensemble didn’t take jobs away from other musicians. If anything, dance music required more musicians than rock music did, since dance music producers had such an affinity for horn and string sections.

    Yes. In fact, the extended dance version did have a passage where a horn section came in. I listened so I could report. You are welcome.

    • #25
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    As my roommate wisely observed over the rim of his 7 and 7…

    Women like to dance.

    Men like women.

    Cogito ergo disco.

     

    Truth.

    • #26
  27. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    You can’t talk Disco without the most sampled song in all of ever… damn, the bass was so awesome then…

    Sampled more often than Amen, Brother ?

    • #27
  28. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    Sampled more often than Amen, Brother ?

    Ain’t never heard of this.  I heard Good Times referred to as the most sampled a few times over the years, though. 

    • #28
  29. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Mickey Mouse Disco? Just when I thought this thread could go no lower….

    Oh, you have no idea….

    • #29
  30. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Mickey Mouse Disco? Just when I thought this thread could go no lower….

    Oh, you have no idea….

    This quite possibly represents the complete annihilation of High Western culture as we know it.

     

    • #30

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