Starting in 1973, Vince Aletti wrote and published a weekly column in Record World magazine. The column featured playlists from DJs all over America. Aletti added to this his own insights and observations, interviews and thoughts on the emergence of disco. The Disco Files contains all his writings from that column over those five years. It is, therefore, the ultimate and ideal chronicle of disco. It describes, as the weeks went by, how the disco clubs, the DJs, and disco music itself evolved, in a live-action format that makes it all come alive again.
Beautiful illustrations and thousands of reviews and playlists: the ultimate disco reference
The Disco Files amounts to a reference book on disco, the disco dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia in one. It’s full of regional charts and DJ top-ten playlists allowing discovery or confirmation of what songs were hits and for how long. It’s also chock-full of commentary by DJs and record reviews, some of them commenting on music and performers who were later famous, but in this contemporary view you see them as they were starting out as near-unknowns. The growth of disco from an ignored movement to a national phenomenon is set forth week by week as it actually happened, as related in the music magazines of the time.
In addition to the weekly Record World column in its entirety (before it was taken over by Brian Chin in 1979), The Disco Files contains other articles written by Aletti for magazines like Rolling Stone and The Village Voice. In this age of digital-everything, the comments on various qualities of vinyl records bring back the past; universal agreement had it that the twelve-inch singles of many songs had a better sound than the album versions. Some of them were mixed differently or recorded with dance clubs in mind. Those who weren’t part of the disco scene when it happened, but were fans either from the outside or after the fact, will find a lot here, including references to songs that never made it to pop radio. A comprehensive disco Bible for the music’s prime years, before the late-‘70s meltdown, The Disco Files 1973-78 is a must-own reference for the serious disco enthusiast.