Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture

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W. W. Norton & Company, Mar 29, 2010 - History - 288 pages
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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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gayla.bassham - LibraryThing

This proved to be a fascinating look at disco and its effect on African-American, gay, and feminist thinking in the 1970s. Echols may overreach in some of her analysis, but I thought most of her ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - e-zReader - LibraryThing

I just finished reading Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture. I was never into the 1970s disco scene and didn't really know too much about it or how huge it really was socially or ... Read full review



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About the author (2010)

Alice Echols is Barbra Streisand Professor of contemporary gender studies and professor of history at the University of Southern California. A former disco deejay, she is the author of four books including Hot Stuff and the acclaimed biography of Janis Joplin, Scars of Sweet Paradise.

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