Stereogum’s 40 Disco Songs That Definitely Don’t Suck

What’s This Playlist All About? To spotlight the 40th anniversary of “Disco Demolition Night,” a vinyl-destroying stunt pulled off by disgruntled disco-hating disc jockey Steve Dahl at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979, Stereogum’s Nate Patrin took on the task of proving that—even four decades later—disco was due a great deal more respect. According to Patrin, “This playlist is all the proof you need that no matter where it came from or where it went after it ‘died,’ disco had something for everybody.”

What You Get: The mix features only tracks from the 1970s, only one song per artist, no rock crossovers—and no Bee Gees, because, according to Patrin, “you’ve probably made up your mind about them already.” Sequenced chronologically, the list has plenty of sass, sex, and sleek beats, but it also features some of the decade’s weirdest and wildest jams, from indisputable legends like ABBA, Donna Summer, and Chic to Eurodisco maestros and funky misfits tearing up dance floors from New York to London and well beyond. Hear feminist knockouts (Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman”) alongside dark and doomy theatrics (C.J. & Co.’s “Devil’s Gun”), soul-baring epiphanies (Teddy Pendergrass’ “You Can’t Hide from Yourself”), and, of course, The Trammps’ undeniable classic “Disco Inferno.”

Greatest Discovery: The smooth, nearly psychedelic “Could Heaven Ever Be Like This,” a slinky, brass-filled groove from 1977 by jazz drummer Idris Muhammad—it’ll make you fall for both jazz and disco at the same time.

Final Verdict: Has Disco Aged Well? Looking back, disco seems far more prophetic than anyone ever imagined. Without freaky, funky, forward-thinking tracks like Cerrone’s “Supernature,” Space’s “Magic Fly,” or Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” artists like Daft Punk and LCD Soundsystem would have never existed. That’s probably why the rock purists were so afraid of disco’s potential takeover.