Black Pop and the Rise of Disco
This notion builds on the national youth dance culture which started in the 1950’s.
1970’s Main stream music: funk, soul, Motown pop, and fusions of these styles.
Woodstock concert…Wattstax was organized by Stax Music label (same as southern soul) for the benefit
of communities that were damaged in LA.
Reggae and Disco
Started to join main stream through the course of the 1970’s
Funk has a complex groove (multilayered collection of riffs and rhythms played by different instruments
and is the support structure for the vocals/lyrics). Funk is the ancestor of rap and hip hop it is also for
disco. It derives its characteristics (groove) from jazz. It has a strong bass for dancing.
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly and the Family Stone
o Elements of Psychedelic music: electronic effects on the guitar pedals (wah-wah effect).
o Lyrics and melody are unimportant it’s all about the groove.
o Similar to Acid Rock in the sense that it can be trans-like: music is about the process not
just the goal.
Papa was a Rolling Stone – The Temptations
o Melody is not normal
o Elements of Psychdelic: Wawa pedals on base and guitar. Syncopation. Groove is very
o Elements of Motown pop: they sing a lot in harmony. String section.
o Lyrics are anti-Motown. They are witty, about life, reflect about poor children. Not
about fantasy; about reality (for urban children)
o Elements of Soul: Saxophone
o Song was written a couple of years (early 1970’s) after Martin Luther King Jr. died in late
1960’s. Vietnam War is still going on.
Progressive Rock is a fusion of rock and classical music. The Beatles were an obvious source for this
Living for the City – Stevie Wonder
o Used many synthesizers (instrument of progressive rock)
o Vocal timbre is rough which is similar to soul.
o B section uses instrumentals and vocals,
o Lyrics are socially conscious; more bitter and accusatory. It’s a call for change.