Disco Lady

Album: Eargasm (1976)
Charted: 25 1

Songfacts®:

  • Written by Don Davis, Harvey Scales and Lee Vance, this song was originally titled "Disco Baby." Scales brought the song to Davis, who was Taylor's producer, Davis came up with new lyrics inspired by an African dancer he saw in Spain who would draw all eyes to her when she started dancing. The Impressions had a song called "Gypsy Woman," and Davis used those themes to create his song - instead of a Gypsy Woman, he had a Disco Lady.
  • Johnnie Taylor, nicknamed the "Soul Philosopher," recorded for Stax Records until the label imploded in 1975. Moving to Columbia, his first release was this massive disco hit, which finds Taylor singing the praises of a lady on the dancefloor. Members of George Clinton's crew, including Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell, played on the track, and Telma Hopkins - of "Shut Your Mouth!" fame - sang backup. It was recorded at United Sound Studios in Detroit, where Davis usually worked.
  • The Platinum award was instituted in 1976 by the RIAA for albums selling one million units and singles selling two million units (in 1989 they lowered the requirements for singles so Gold was 500,000 units and Platinum was a million). This was the first single to ever be certified platinum and it's claimed that to celebrate his success, Taylor took a bath in Dom Perignon champagne.
  • Though there had previously been several disco songs that had reached #1, this was the first Hot 100 chart-topper with the word "disco" in its title. "A lot of people thought it was disco," mused Taylor. "But it was not a disco tune. We were just talking about disco."
  • This song was a huge hit on both the Pop and R&B charts, which it climbed simultaneously. It spent four weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and six weeks at the top of the R&B chart.

Comments: 3

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 3rd 1976, Johnnie Taylor performed "Disco Lady" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was in its first of four weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, and it spent 19 weeks on the chart, with eight of those weeks on the Top 10...
    One month earlier on March 7th, 1976 it reached #1 {for 6 weeks} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1966 and 1990 he had thirty-nine hits on the R&B Singles chart; fourteen made the Top 10 with four reaching #1, his three other #1 records were "Who's Making Love" {1968}, "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone" {1971}, and "I Believe in you" {1973}...
    Johnnie Harrison Taylor passed away on May 31st, 2000 at the age of 66.
  • Tc from Chicago, IlPlatinum record sales were for the sale of 2,000,000 or more units originally. Later the standard was lowered to Gold record status of sales of 1,000,000 to under 2,000,000 units.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyWhen this song came out, a five-year-old girl whom I used to baby-sit heard it as "Crisco Lady." I'm surprised Weird Al or someone like that hasn't done a parody with that title. Another time, my mother and I were at a neighbor's house. This song played on the radio. The neighbor, my mother and I all laughed. Our neighbor's young daughter wondered what was so funny. "Listen to the words," I instructed her. After hearing us laugh at "move it around" or one of those lyrics, the daughter exclaimed, "You have dirty minds!"
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