Disco: Choosing joy

Get down.
Get down.
Image: Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi
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They tried to kill disco, but it will never die. The stubbornly upbeat genre came out of an economically turbulent moment—one to which we see a lot of parallels today. So what is it about a crisis that just makes us want to dance?

Sponsored by Alumni Ventures

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Kira Bindrim is the host of the Quartz Obsession podcast. She is an executive editor who works on global newsroom coverage and email products. She is obsessed with reading and reality TV.

Camille Squires is a reporter at Quartz covering cities. She is obsessed with subway maps, dogs, and Netflix Mexico.

Show notes

Camille’s Obsession email on disco and accompanying playlist

“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees

“Love Train” by the O’Jays

“Le Freak” by CHIC

“Bad Girls” by Donna Summer

Burger King disco ad (late 1970s)

McDonald’s disco ad (1979)

Intel disco ad (1997)

Budweiser disco ad (1980)

Doja Cat + disco

Dua Lipa + disco

Madonna’s recent disco era

Silk Sonic + disco

Sesame Street Fever, Sesame Street’s disco album inspired by Saturday Night Fever (1978)

This episode uses the following sounds from freesound.org and incompetech.com:

Twinkle Chimes by everythingsounds

Stringed Disco by Kevin MacLeod

Read the full transcript, or a lightly edited version.