Are you ready to boogie? How much do you know about disco music?


By: Lenore Brown

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Disco music was some hot stuff that gave us a fever, made us shake our bodies down to the ground, and taught us what jive talkin' was. This quiz will test your knowledge of some of the grooviest music around.

In what decade did disco music rise to the forefront of the music scene?

The 1970s brought Elvis Presley to the White House, the break-up of The Beatles, and the explosion of disco music. This typically high-energy genre featured elements of funk, pop, salsa, and a bit of soul as well.


What was a unique characteristic of disco clubs?

The flashing multi-colored dance floor is synonymous with the disco era. Some floors are created with lights actually in the floor, and others are created with lights that flash down from above and create the illusion of a multi-colored floor.


Which 1977 film helped catapult disco music around the world?

Saturday Night Fever, starring John Travolta, helped popularize disco music around the world. The film was a great success and portrayed Travolta as the ambitious Tony Manero working his way up in the dance world and falling in love. His solo on that flashing disco floor is iconic, as well as his white suit on the movie's poster.


What 1976 Disco song proclaimed "Burn Baby Burn?"

Disco Inferno, a disco song by a group named The Trammps, produced a very memorable lyric that continued on in pop culture history, "Burn Baby Burn!" The Trammps were one of the first disco bands, with influence in soul as well. They started seeing major success in 1972 and later won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.


What shiny silver apparatus was popular in disco clubs?

Disco balls make are reminiscent of the disco era, but they were around long before the 70s. Clubs in the 20s also had them. Today, you might be able to find them at dance recitals or ballroom competitions. In fact, a popular television dancing show features a mirror ball trophy, essentially a disco ball on a stick.


What highly successful disco group featured brothers, Barry, Robin, and Maurice?

The Bee Gees were one of the most successful disco groups of the 1970s. Consisting of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, the band experienced several hits including Stayin' Alive, You Should Be Dancin', and Night Fever. The brothers also had a younger sibling named Andy Gibb who had a successful music career of his own but died tragically young.


What style of pants was popular in the disco era?

Bellbottom pants were extremely popular in the disco era. These pants were wide at the bottom, or shaped like a bell, and they briefly came back into fashion in the early 2000s as well. Polyester was a fabric of choice, and platform shoes often completed the ensemble.


What 1978 disco song by the Village People has listeners joining together to spell out letters?

The Village People were known for dressing up in several distinct outfits -- such as a police officer and a Native American -- while they sang, but they were also known for their massive hit, Y.M.C.A. To this day, people still love the song and form the shape of the letters with their hands. It's a bit hit at high school dances, weddings, and the like.


What was a popular line dance done to disco music?

The Electric Slide was a popular line dance in the disco era, and other songs often prompted dances of their own. Dances like these were staples in disco dance clubs.


Rick James had a hit disco song about a super what?

Rick James found a hit with "Super Freak," released in 1981 as the disco era was starting to peter out. The song crossed over into the funk genre but still found popularity with fans of disco.


What disco song was featured in Sprint's 1990's commercials?

Night Fever, by the Bee Gees, was a memorable soundtrack to several 1990s commercials from telephone giant, Sprint. Advertisers were able to pass along the message that people could talk all night with the deals they got from Sprint, giving them a 'night fever' of sorts.


Gloria Gaynor proclaimed that she would do what in her hit disco song?

Gloria Gaynor's 1978 hit "I Will Survive" gave hope to women everywhere who had been through a difficult break-up. It's still an often-played song today and encourages men to "go on now go, walk out the door." It tells them they aren't welcome anymore. The song serves as an anthem for wronged women.


People who were anti-disco would proclaim that disco was what?

Those who didn't like disco music tried to declare disco as being dead. An evening called Disco Demolition Night occurred in 1979 at Comiskey Park in Chicago. At this event, a bunch of disco records were blown up between a baseball doubleheader, damaging the field and preventing the second game from being played.


Which soul singer found success singing sensual disco songs?

Barry White was a soul singer who later found success in the disco era. He had a deep voice and was known for producing many songs of a sensual nature. He had numerous Billboard hits and won three Grammy awards.


Which Michael Jackson album, released in 1979, had several dance songs and won a Grammy?

With popular dance tracks like “Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough” and “Burn This Disco Out,” Michael Jackson skyrocketed as a solo artist and won himself a Grammy. Though disco's popularity was petering out, he followed this album with the iconic album, Thriller.


Which of these is a song from successful disco band, KC and the Sunshine Band?

KC and the Sunshine Band, started by Henry Wayne Casey as a band named Junkanoo, initially struggled gaining success. However, with the advent of disco's popularity, they were able to produce a string of hits, including "Get Down Tonight," "That's the Way (I Like It)," and "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty." As the disco era ended, they didn't keep up the momentum, but continued to perform.


What television show capitalized on the popularity of disco?

Hosted by Don Cornelius and Deney Terrio, Soul Train debuted in 1971 and featured a variety show format with games, dancing, interviews, songs, and more. The show ran in syndication until 2006 and impacted the landscape of African-American culture and disco music in America.


What type of suit was often worn for dancing to disco music?

A leisure suit, typically featuring matching pants and jacket in light or pastel colors, was often worn when going out to the disco clubs. Sometimes the suits would also have patterns, such as plaid. These days, people wouldn't be caught dead in them!


Which glam rock band got boogie fever and recorded a disco track in 1979?

"I Was Made for Lovin' You" was KISS's attempt at joining the disco craze. It was released as part of their 1979 album, Dynasty, and performed well on the charts. Fans can now continue enjoying this song through dance-based video games where the game has been featured.


In what time signature were most disco songs?

4/4 is a fast tempo and usually great for dancing because it's easy to keep the beat. Most disco songs found success with this lively time signature.


Which disco artist's real name was LaDonna Adrian Gaines?

Donna Summer was an extremely successful disco artist with such hits as "Last Dance" and "Love to Love You Baby." Known as the Queen of Disco, she graced the charts with her popular tunes until she passed away in 2012 at the age of 63.


What was one of the first songs released in a "Nu-Disco" sound in 1980?

Funkytown, released in 1980 by Lipps, Inc., was one of the first songs to be released in a "Nu-Disco" sound. This offshoot of pure disco continued to feature a danceable beat but with a more electronic sound. This song was a #1 hit, and is considered by some to be the last true disco hit to top the charts.


In 1977, The Commodores compared a woman to what kind of house?

The Commodores had a big hit with "Brick House" in 1977, bringing a funky vibe to the disco scene. One of the band's breakout stars was Lionel Ritchie who had a string of hits into the 21st Century.


What is the name of the Swedish singers of "Dancing Queen?"

ABBA was a Swedish pop group that had a string of hits, including the very popular "Dancing Queen," which was featured in the musical, "Mamma Mia." Starting in 1972, the group had success with hits such as "Waterloo," "Knowing Me, Knowing You," and "Super Trouper."


What kind of music did Wild Cherry want us to play in 1976?

Wild Cherry released a song in 1976 entitled "Play That Funky Music" to great success, but it was the band's only hit. Previously, they had been playing rock music to mediocre reception. Rumor has it that someone shouted, "play some funky music, white boy" at one of their concerts, and history was made.


What is the name of a Prince song that many consider to fall within the disco realm?

"I Wanna Be Your Lover" was a disco hit from Prince, released in 1979. Prince was a successful recording artist with decades of hits spanning many genres. From "Purple Rain" to "I Feel For You," his songs provided the soundtrack to a generation.


Which 1977 Marvin Gaye hit has been compared to Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"?

Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give it Up" was a 1977 hit that encouraged people to keep on dancin'! The song was a global success and topped several charts. But there's some controversy tied to the song. In 2015, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams lost a lawsuit which resulted in them having to pay over $7 million to Marvin Gaye's family for allegedly ripping off the song, instead of just trying to evoke a feeling.


What changed about the way people danced with each other in the disco era?

The disco era saw the return of people partnering with each other to dance and discover fun ways of dancing with each other. Contrary to the individualistic nature of the 1960s, dancing in the 1970s was communal and focused on the fun relationship of dancing and movement.


What animal had a dance named after it in the disco era?

The Funky Chicken debuted during this era and forever graced, or annoyed -- depending how you look at it -- folks on the dance floor ever since. The dance is comprised of movements that make the dancers look like they are a chicken, from flapping arms to a clucking head.


Which dance move began in the 70s and later found success with the break dancing scene?

The Robot was a popular type of stylized movement in which dancers appear to move like a robot. Michael Jackson became known for this type of movement. Today the movement is sometimes seen as a corny representation of dance, but continues to be the inspiration for many dance moves.


What kind of thing did Peaches and Herb want dancers to shake?

Peaches and Herb told dancers to "Shake Your Groove Thing" in 1978, and the world responded! The song made it high on the charts and was a great example of a pure disco classic.


What hairstyle, popularized by Farrah Fawcett, was popular for dancing disco babes?

Farrah Fawcett's feathered hair won the hearts of many, as both men and women showed off their luscious locks with the feathered hairstyle. The Afro was also a popular unisex hairstyle and featured little maintenance when boogieing on the dance floor!


Who is credited with starting the disco dance club environment?

David Mancuso started holding regular dance parties at his Manhattan apartment that came to be known as the Loft. Bringing together all sorts of people to hear music in new and fascinating ways set the stage for disco and the future of music in general.


What was the name of Van McCoy's one hit disco wonder?

Van McCoy was a successful songwriter who decided to release his own material in 1972. He found success with "The Hustle" but couldn't seem to make any other strides on the charts, cementing him as a 70s one-hit wonder.


Thelma Houston didn't want the listener of the song to do what?

Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way" was a global hit that was also included on a soundtrack, furthering its popularity. This track also won a Grammy and solidified Houston in music history.


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