This is only our opinion… it is neither right nor wrong.

133 Did the Success of KISS Alive! Fuel the Explosion of Disco Music?

Episode 133, July 7, 2015. Three main topics this week… Book reviews of Me Inc. by Gene Simmons and the Neil Bogart biography Going Platinum… Did the success of KISS Alive! fuel the explosion of disco music?…. Our comments about the Ros Radley episode that we pulled down. Why we did it and our feelings about the book.

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  • Mike Scott

    Michael, your volume is barely audible compared to Mark and Tommy. Can we give your headset to Mark instead? 🙂

    Now that I’ve bashed him, I agree with Mark in that the success of Donna Summer and the Village People contributed to the overall disco sound and scene but it’s a stretch to suggest that KISS Alive! was responsible for the success of disco as a whole. Certainly Casablanca was a big player in the genre and they desperately needed the success of KISS Alive! and Donna Summer and more to survive. At a minimum, it could be argued that KISS Alive! helped Casablanca survive, and the subsequent artists that were developed by Casablanca contributed to the disco movement. But, the genre was already coming and other artists and labels already had success on the charts (“Love’s Theme,” “Rock the Boat,” “Kung Fu Fighting,” etc.). So, Casablanca is just one of the success stories of the disco era that happened to also have KISS as an act…and possibly its savior.

    Disco didn’t really gain full momentum for another 2-3 years when Saturday Night Fever was released and other major artists (and their labels) had seen the potential and capitalized on it. Unfortunately, that included KISS to a very small degree on Dynasty (it’s NOT a disco album people!). But, I still love that record and admit to owning Donna Summer and Village People albums back in the late seventies as well. It was good music, and now is iconic for its time. It’s also having a bit of a resurgence in modern day pop music which sounds pretty good in my opinion.

    I hope the upcoming movie about Neil Bogart and Casablanca is accurate and well-done. It would be a fun trip down memory lane and hopefully representative of the significance of Bogart and KISS in the history of the label as well as the music industry as a whole. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take as long as The Elder!