In September of 1975 Biddu, an Indian-born producer/musician based in England, made a splash in American discos with his disco orchestra version of the theme from the movie Summer of '42 and as producer for Tina Charles' first disco hit, "You Set My Heart On Fire." David Bowie's collaborative work with John Lennon paid off on the anthemic disco and pop hit "Fame." The "Queen of Disco" Gloria Gaynor returned to the charts with another album side medley kicked off by "Casanova Brown."
Biddu Orchestra - "Summer Of '42" (Epic)
Biddu is one of the first Indian born music producers to gain widespread success in the western pop music market. He gained his first major pop fame producing Carl Douglas' 1974 proto-disco smash "Kung Fu Fighting." He then put together the Biddu Orchestra studio group and earned a major disco hit with a lush orchestral version of the theme from the hit movie Summer Of '42.
David Bowie - "Fame" (RCA)
In 1975 David Bowie became one of the first major rock musicians to embrace the disco sound. "Fame" is more of a hard funk song, but it was hypnotic and danceable. The Beatles' John Lennon contributed his talents to what became David Bowie's first #1 pop hit in the US.
Tina Charles - "You Set My Heart On Fire" (Columbia)
Tina Charles was a veteran studio session singer when she connected with producer Biddu following his success with Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting." "You Set My Heart On Fire" was just the first of a series of disco hits featuring Tina Charles' powerful voice.
Gloria Gaynor - "Casanova Brown" Medley (MGM)
Gloria Gaynor's full album side medley on her debut album Never Can Say Goodbye was such a success, it was decided to follow a similar formula on her next album Experience. "Casanova Brown" kicks off a swirling disco-soul medley of three songs that lasted 19 minutes long. Tom Moulton once again mixed the trio together. Gloria Gaynor easily maintained her crown as "Queen of Disco."
Labelle - "Messin' With My Mind" (Epic)
Following their massive success with "Lady Marmalade," LaBelle turned in a more rock-oriented direction with "Messin' With My Mind" written by group member Nona Hendryx. While still danceable, missing was the disco flare of songwriters Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan.
Mike and Bill - "Somebody's Gotta Go" (Arista)
Mike and Bill were the duo of MIchael Felder and William Daniels. Their style combined gruff soul vocals with sweet falsetto.
Ohio Players - "Love Rollercoaster" (Mercury)
Despite urban myths that a scream heard in the mix is the sound of someone actually dying, the Ohio Players earned a massive #1 pop and R&B smash hit with "Love Rollercoaster." It is one of the most familiar classics of early disco. The funky instrumental track irresistibly propels the song forward. Segments of the song have frequently been sampled in later recordings.
Philly Devotions - "I Just Can't Make IT (Without You)" (Columbia)
The sound of the Philly Devotions is an outstanding example of the Philadelphia disco sound that was one of the most prevalent of early disco. Sweeping orchestral R&B coupled with soulful group vocals.
Trammps - "Hooked For Life" (Atlantic)
"Hooked For Life" finds Trammps in a laidback mellow disco groove. It helped establish the group as one of the pre-eminent R&B vocal bands of early disco.