In the 1970s, as the disco tsunami engulfed America, the question, "Do you wanna dance?" became divisive, even explosive. What about this music made it such hot stuff? In her incisive history, Alice Echols reveals the ways in which disco transformed popular music, propelling it into new sonic territory and influencing rap, techno, and trance. This account probes the complex relationship between disco and the era’s major movements: gay liberation, feminism, and the black freedom struggle. You won’t say “disco sucks” again as disco pumps back to life in this pulsating look at the culture and politics that gave rise to the music.
About the Author
Alice Echols is Barbra Streisand Professor of contemporary gender studies and professor of history at the University of Southern California. A former disco deejay, she is the author of four books including Hot Stuff and the acclaimed biography of Janis Joplin, Scars of Sweet Paradise.
Engrossing…Hot Stuff is not just about disco; it reexamines the ’70s as a decade of revolution.
— James Gavin - New York Times
Hot Stuff is a thoroughly researched, scholarly credible and fiercely entertaining dissection of disco’s origins and influence…An endearing platform—with matching shoes—to the music we can’t and shouldn’t forget.
— Warren Pederson - San Francisco Chronicle
An alternate account of those hazy-crazy yesteryears that’s ultimately indispensable. — Smith Galtney - Time Out
A quietly dazzling history…Hot Stuff is the result of a lifetime of thinking deeply about the music and its influence.
— Peter Terzian - Los Angeles Times
Exhilarating, perceptive…an important work of cultural and musical resuscitation, written with a scholar’s acumen but a fan’s ardor. — Melissa Anderson - Newsday
Remarkable…Carried along by prose that is as sleek and slinky as its subject. — Christine Stansell, author of The Feminist Promise
Echols aims for—and thoroughly achieves—a range of higher cultural insights…Revelatory. — Publishers Weekly
A well-researched, culturally sensitive time capsule. — Kirkus Reviews
[An] entertaining and convincing reclamation of what was once Western culture’s most reviled music…It’s a scholarly read powered by the thump-thump of Giorgio Moroder’s synths; you’ll find yourself humming Ring My Bell and searching YouTube for evidence of Sylvester’s fabulosity.