ne thing's for certain about the prime period of the discotheque: There weren't a whole lot of people walking around with cameras. Of course, the era saw the beginning of the video clip, so a few of those are floating around, but as for actual footage... not so much. Wanting to bring you some real, honest to God club footage, I found myself at a loss for anything that wasn't already scooped up for the Maestro documentary. So, with what little we got, I bring you Classic Disco Tubes from the Land that Time Forgot! Or something to that effect...
Not only did the album which gave us "Supernature" (Cerrone 3) have some astonishingly wack cover art, Cerrone actually made an equally wack video to explain it! Well, sort of. The basic gist is thus: people in animal masks and hospital scrubs threaten the known universe by... running around a lot... in an age where technology has gone TOO FAR. The only hope? Why, a petite Frenchman in a white turtleneck and his multicolored drum kit, of course! Which, it should be noted, isn't really synched-up to the beat. Oh, and no, I have no idea what the naked girl in the jungle is all about.
What precisely disco would have become without "I Feel Love" is uncertain. The futurik orgasmatron ran on Teutonic engineering, but Donna's swooping vocal is pure sensuality—untethered by the locked-groove of R&B; and cascading freely through the erotic ether of pure, muscular tone. At this precise moment in time, Eno's mind was blown, Italo was born, and rockers found another reason to hate electronics. The video, if I'm not mistaken, contains footage from Thank God It's Friday, Casablanca's disco flick cash-in, but most amusing are a whippet-thin Donna and a mustache-free Giorgio fronting a bored band to the delight of coked-up white people. Extra credit for "trippy" effects.
A classic long before its recent use in a film that shall remain nameless and blameless, Leroy Gomez' Santa Esmeralda were known for their great covers done in a flamenco-disco stylee. This clip from the Netherlands shows (again!) an impossibly thin singer and some tres exotique lighting (not to mention those yummy dancers), but it's the strength of the tune that propels this vision rare. That and wondering exactly what our boy Leroy has under his lower lip that he keeps sucking on...
Well, what could be more disco than, er... the letter "D?" Not much. But, at the height of its mainstream appeal, there were more disco parodies than you could shake a tambourine at—and Jim Henson had a hand in quite a few of them. The two great things about this Sesame Street clip are the innocent co-opting by children's television programming of gay fashion trends and the thought of dancefloors cluttered by doorknobs, dolls, and dishes.
By: Mallory O’Donnell
Published on: 2006-12-14