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Disco was a worldwide sensation in the 1970s, and some of the best musicians of that decade led the charge, creating many classic hits.
With stars like the Bee Gees, ABBA, and Michael Jackson penning anthems in the disco era, there’s no denying the power of the songs.
So tonight, we’re breaking out the platform shoes and sequin flares to get down to the 20 best disco songs of all time.
Best Disco Songs
20. “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge
It’s fitting that “We Are Family” became Sister Sledge’s signature song, as the vocal group’s lineup featured four sisters from the Sledge family.
The song was released in April 1979 and went Gold in the US. It was both produced and written by Chic members Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards.
It was the first time the pair wrote a song for any act other than their own band, and they were inspired to write it after meeting the Sledge sisters.
19. “Miss You” – The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are probably not the first band that comes to mind when you think of the best disco songs, but the disco beat of “Miss You” went all the way to number 1 in the UK.
The song was written by Mick Jagger while jamming with keyboardist Billy Preston during rehearsals for the band’s March 1977 club dates.
Jagger claimed the song wasn’t written specifically as a disco song, but Keith Richards was not so shy, stating it “was a damn good disco record; it was calculated to be one.”
18. “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” – Barry White
The Walrus of Love was in fine form with his 1974 single “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything,” which was cut from his third studio album Can’t Get Enough.
White co-wrote and produced the song, which went to number one in the UK and was his fourth US top-ten hit.
17. “Heart of Glass” – Blondie
Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry said “Heart of Glass” was one of the first songs the band wrote, but it took years to arrange and record it.
“We’d tried it as a ballad, as reggae, but it never quite worked,” the 70s music star said.
The song is listed at number 66 on the highest-selling singles of all time in the UK, and Rolling Stone ranked it at number 255 on its list 500 Greatest Songs of all Time list.
16. “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” – Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart’s take on 70s disco features an instantly recognizable chorus hook and synth melody and proves the rocker is no slouch at dance music.
Duane Hitchings, one of the songwriters, said that rock ‘n’ roll guys thought they were dead when the music from Saturday Night Fever came out.
However, he explained that Stewart had an ace up his sleeve.
“Rod, in his brilliance, decided to do a spoof on disco. Very smart man,” he said.
15. “Blame it on the Boogie” – The Jacksons
Michael Jackson did several of the best disco songs, both during his solo career and his earlier work with The Jacksons.
“Blame it on the Boogie” was originally co-written by English singer-songwriter Mick Jackson in the hopes of selling it to Stevie Wonder.
The song was instead picked up by The Jacksons and became their most popular song.
The Jacksons’ version and Mick Jackson’s recording were released just a few days apart in 1978. This oddity helped the song gain press coverage, and both versions charted on both sides of the Atlantic.
14. “Rasputin” – Boney M
German disco band Boney M definitely made a strikingly unique disco song with “Rasputin,” with its folk melodies and lyrics about Grigori Rasputin, the controversial advisor to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
The song ruffled a few feathers back in the motherland, though, and it was omitted from the pressing of their album in the Soviet Union.
The group was also banned from performing the song during their ten show run in Moscow in 1978.
13. “YMCA” – Village People
Among numerous big dance songs from the group, “YMCA” became the Village People’s biggest hit on the back of its clever, sing-along hook and excellent vocal performances.
The Village People’s ‘policeman’ Victor Willis co-wrote the song with producer Jacques Morali.
The lighthearted tune remains a popular choice for sporting events across the US and Europe, where crowds perform a dance to spell out the letters in the song’s name.
12. “The Winner Takes It All” – ABBA
ABBA’s blonde bombshell Agnetha Fältskog showcases her powerhouse soprano voice in this beautiful ballad.
One of several disco hits from the group, Abba members Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson wrote “The Winner Takes It All.”
Ulvaeus said the heartache of his divorce with Fältskog inspired the song’s lyrics.
11. “Night Fever” – Bee Gees
The Bee Gees have many of the best disco songs to their name, and the insistent funk groove of “Night Fever” is one of their finest hours.
The Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” was written by the Gibb brothers themselves and was a smash hit in many a dance club.
It was one of several of the group’s songs that was featured on the soundtrack for the hit John Travolta movie Saturday Night Fever.
10. “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is one of the disco songs which became an anthem for the seventies.
Robert’ Boogie’ Bowles, who played guitar on “I Will Survive”, said that the musicians recorded the song in only 35 minutes.
This was because the song was a B-side, and they’d spent the majority of the session recording the A-side “Substitute.”
Gaynor was grieving the recent death of her mother when she recorded the song and was also in a back brace at the time due to a stage injury.
“That’s why I was able to sing the song with so much conviction,” she explained.
9. “Boogie Wonderland” – Earth, Wind & Fire
One of several great disco songs from legendary Chicago act Earth, Wind & Fire, the upbeat good times feel of “Boogie Wonderland” has become one of their most enduring works and was heard nonstop at many discos.
The song featured four-piece female vocal group The Emotions, who also hail from Chicago, and was produced by Earth, Wind & Fire members Maurice White (vocals) and Al McKay (guitar).
8. “December ’63 (Oh What a Night)” – The Four Seasons
The infectiously catchy lead vocals of “December ’63 (Oh What a Night)” are provided by The Four Seasons drummer Gerry Polci, while frontman Frankie Valli provides the bridge and backing vocals.
The band’s keyboardist Bob Gaudio co-wrote the song with his wife, Judy Parker, as a nostalgic remembrance of the kindling of their romance.
7. “More Than A Woman” – Bee Gees
“More Than A Woman” is one of several Bee Gees hits featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and remains among fans’ favorite disco songs from the group.
The disco-funk rhythm was written by the band themselves and was a regular fixture in their live sets. It remains a radio playlist staple to this day.
6. “Mamma Mia” – ABBA
Swedish superstars ABBA penned many popular disco songs and the upbeat disco dance groove of “Mamma Mia” is one of the finest hours.
The romantic pop tune features stunning dual lead vocals from Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, as well as a brilliant instrumental arrangement from ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who wrote it with band manager Stig Anderson.
5. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” – Michael Jackson
The King of Pop tried his hand at disco music with a number of tracks, with “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” being one of his best.
Michael Jackson wrote the disco pop tune himself, as well as co-producing with his longtime producer Quincy Jones.
The nightclub hit was the first solo recording over which Jackson enjoyed creative control, which was evidently a good move as it won him his first Grammy and American Music Award.
4. “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” – ABBA
“Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” kicks off with a haunting minor key guitar melody, but the groovy beat that follows made it one of the top disco songs from ABBA and a great song to dance to.
Agnetha Fältskog provides the lead vocals in the verse of this dance song, with Anni-Frid Lyngstad joining to create the strident dual vocal hook in the chorus, as well as providing backing vocals throughout.
3. “How Deep is Your Love” – Bee Gees
The chilled vibe and flawless vocal performances of “How Deep is Your Love” made the ballad one of the most famous disco songs.
The track was a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and is number 27 on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs.
It’s one of three Bee Gees tracks to feature on the list, alongside “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever.”
2. “Stayin’ Alive” – Bee Gees
“Stayin’ Alive” kicks off with its iconic funky guitar riff, and Barry Gibb follows it up with one of the greatest vocal intros ever.
The dance floor hit was popular with DJs and peaked as a number-one single in the US, where it stayed for four weeks.
Beyond its status as a dancefloor hit, “Stayin’ Alive” also found success, quite fittingly, as a method to train medical professionals on how to perform chest compression at the right speed during CPR, as the song’s steady 103 beats per minute is a perfect guide tempo.
1. “Dancing Queen” – ABBA
The genre is all about dancing, so of course ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” tops the list of disco classics.
The feel-good tune about a teen dancer was a massive international hit and is indisputably one of the best disco songs. It is also often cited as one of the best songs of all time and ranked at 171 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
“Dancing Queen” topped the charts in 17 countries and is ABBA’s only US number-one hit.
It remains the group’s most popular song, and with 915 million streams on Spotify it has clocked up almost double the figure for their second most streamed song.
The mid-tempo track is driven by a piano and synth arrangement and an insistent hi-hat groove.
Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad are in fine form, singing dual lead vocals throughout the song in their signature style.
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