Why Were There So Many Songs About Boogying in the '70s?

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Earth, Wind & Fire, "Boogie Wonderland"
A Taste of Honey, "Boogie Oogie Oogie"
Chic's "Dance, Dance, Dance" ("Yowsah, yowsah, yowsah/I wanna boogie with you")
Bowie's "Starman" ("Let the children boogie")
T. Rex "I Love to Boogie"
Rapper's Delight ("up jump the boogie," etc.)
Michael Jackson's "Rock with You" ("You gotta feel that heat/And we can ride the boogie")
Stevie Wonder's "Boogie On Reggae Woman"
Heatwave, "Boogie Nights"
The Sylvers, "Boogie Fever"
Kool & the Gang, "Jungle Boogie"
Alicia Bridges, "I Love the Nightlife" ("love the nightlife/I got to boogie")

Etc.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 15:22 (one week ago) link

tissue shortage

Evan, Friday, 19 February 2021 15:25 (one week ago) link

Is that why Eddie Murphy eventually put the boogie in his butt?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 15:27 (one week ago) link

I blame it on the

Bastard Lakes (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 19 February 2021 15:28 (one week ago) link

It's almost as if an entire genre dedicated to, and revolving entirely around, dancing exploded in the seventies or something.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 19 February 2021 15:34 (one week ago) link

But it's interesting that at first it was applied to white rock music but by end of decade it could only mean disco. Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music" (1976) still used the word to mean rock.

Josefa, Friday, 19 February 2021 15:44 (one week ago) link

at first it was applied to white rock music

Obviously not but maybe you only mean in the 70s?

I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to Mark Grout Tonight (Tom D.), Friday, 19 February 2021 15:52 (one week ago) link

... which would make sense as the thread is about the 70s doh!

I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to Mark Grout Tonight (Tom D.), Friday, 19 February 2021 15:53 (one week ago) link

Right... but that raises another question is the Bowie/T Rex boogie supposed to be related to boogie-woogie?

Josefa, Friday, 19 February 2021 15:54 (one week ago) link

I always thought "boogie" sounded weirdly square/anachronistic, a la boogie-woogie bugle boy. Did people really call dancing "boogying" in the '70s? Like, were Bowie and Bolan and their crew all, hey guys, let's go to the club and boogie? "Starman," for example, was 1972. That's still before the dance music/disco craze, isn't it?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:11 (one week ago) link

Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" was ... 1971? That's got "Wild Night," with its "and the boys do the boogie-woogie on the corner of the street." I guess "boogie-woogie" was a specific dance move/craze?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boogie-woogie_(dance)

The term boogie woogie is confusing; the dance can be danced to the music style called boogie-woogie but is most often danced to rock music of various kinds. The name was taken since the name rock'n'roll used in competition dance was already taken by a highly acrobatic dance form.

Doesn't help, imo.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:14 (one week ago) link

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boogie#History

brimstead, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:16 (one week ago) link

words have history, shit is crazy!

brimstead, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:16 (one week ago) link

I can attest that people did call dancing boogying in the '70s. It looks like "Jungle Boogie" (1973) is an early example of boogie meaning funky but were they somehow using the word jokingly in that case? Difficult to say.

Josefa, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:20 (one week ago) link

different origin story (from the 70s!):

https://www.straightdope.com/21341422/what-s-the-origin-of-boogie

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 19 February 2021 16:35 (one week ago) link

So by that explanation,"boogie" has ... negative connotations? From meaning heretic or devil stuff to racistly morphing into "black person" to (further) racistly morphing into meaning "black music" and then just generally "dance music?" The link I, er, linked to was funny because it cited "boogie woogie" specifically as a rock and roll dance, so named because there was already a dance named rock and roll. Looks like the Andrews Sisters song was about a jazz player drafted into the army in WWII and forced to play taps and whatnot. So I guess "boogie woogie" in the post-war years morphed into less jazz and more rock and roll as jazz itself no longer reigned as youth music. I suppose the likes of Bowie and Bolan and Van Morrison were thinking of their post-war youth and the rise of rock and roll.

Of course later there is the boogie down Bronx, which refers to its place as the origin of hip-hop in many of same dance clubs where people were boogying.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 17:02 (one week ago) link

because we all liked to boogie and wanted the world to know

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Friday, 19 February 2021 17:29 (one week ago) link

I think the real question is why aren't there more songs about boogying now?

chap, Friday, 19 February 2021 17:36 (one week ago) link

recent enough - Wizkid always delivers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpwDhrN4-wY

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 19 February 2021 17:55 (one week ago) link

(that’s Saeon ft. Wizkid • Boogie Down)

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 19 February 2021 17:56 (one week ago) link

Boogie Shoes

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 19 February 2021 17:59 (one week ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccz_XYbof6Y

Lily Dale, Friday, 19 February 2021 19:17 (one week ago) link

Isn't there a band called Endless Boogie? (yes.)

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 19:24 (one week ago) link

Lou knew where it was at.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDymH1RW-AA

I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to Mark Grout Tonight (Tom D.), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:25 (one week ago) link

Lou's song "So Alone" was from 1980, so not eligible, despite containing the following lyric from the poet of the streets:

"Oh, get up and boogie, oh baby, get up and dance
Oh, get, get, get, get up and boogie, baby, oh, get up and dance
Shake your booty, mama, oh, get up and dance"

I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to Mark Grout Tonight (Tom D.), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:27 (one week ago) link

that’s right:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG-Bez96j5Y

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:51 (one week ago) link

Boogie is life how is this a question?

The Scampo Fell to Earth (Noodle Vague), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:56 (one week ago) link

Also Baccara still my favourite UK number 1 ever

The Scampo Fell to Earth (Noodle Vague), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:57 (one week ago) link

Is boogying, like, choogling?

pomenitul, Friday, 19 February 2021 19:57 (one week ago) link

maybe my favourite of the boogie songs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ee3C2m3OXE

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:59 (one week ago) link

Also Baccara still my favourite UK number 1 ever

claro que si

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 19 February 2021 20:00 (one week ago) link

Is boogying, like, choogling?

short answer = no sir, it is not
long answer = oh christ, maybe in many ways it is

The Scampo Fell to Earth (Noodle Vague), Friday, 19 February 2021 20:01 (one week ago) link

Is boogying, like, choogling?


pom, I’m surprised. if anyone should know about the finesses of the boogie it’s you! Romanian is the only language that has 50 words for boogie:

spirit of the boogie = *spiritul boogiei*
the spirit of the boogie = *spiritul muierului*
blame it on the boogie = *Dă vina pe bau-bau*
let the children boogie = *lăsați copiii să se mute*
yes sir, I can boogie = *da domnule, pot dansa*
I love to boogie = *Îmi place să mă bag*
I love the nightlife, I got to boogie = *Îmi place viața de noapte, trebuie să mănânc*
I wanna boogie with you = *vreau să fiu cu tine*

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 19 February 2021 21:37 (one week ago) link

Fun fact: there are actually 100 words for bughii in Romanian!

pomenitul, Friday, 19 February 2021 21:39 (one week ago) link

(I lol’d at ‘spiritul muierului’ btw.)

pomenitul, Friday, 19 February 2021 21:41 (one week ago) link

Choogling (post-CCR) seems like how the hirsute denim-clad dudes might get down at a butt rock show in the '70s. Like, you would boogie to Chic, but you would choogle at a Brownsville Station show.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 21:54 (one week ago) link

Is choogle the province of butt-rock?

pomenitul, Friday, 19 February 2021 21:55 (one week ago) link

It's proprietary to CCR, but a lot of people peddled cheap knockoffs in the '70s.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 21:57 (one week ago) link

A friend and I put out a book on '70s pop/rock long ago and had a chapter on (the white version of) this. We called it HRS--hard rockin' shit (I wish we'd gone with hard rockin' sludge instead). Humble Pie, Foghat, Brownsville Station, BTO, etc. For the sake of simplicity, we lumped that and Southern Rock together.

"Right from the start, HRS attached profound spiritual significance to a human transaction called 'boogie.' Few of us really know what the word means, and some of us don't even like to say it, but familiarity with its intricacies was part of an HRS zealot's basic training."

I don't where boogying ends and choogling begins. It all just sort of intuitively fit together for us at the time--I claim no scientific expertise.

clemenza, Friday, 19 February 2021 22:07 (one week ago) link

"don't know"

clemenza, Friday, 19 February 2021 22:07 (one week ago) link

is ... no one mentioning that "boogie woogie" was a style of blues from the 20s

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Friday, 19 February 2021 22:45 (one week ago) link

i guess kind of touched on in the boogie woogie (dance) post but

it does seem to me there was a fascination in the disco era w the aesthetics of the roaring 20s kinda right

50 year gap makes the 2020s to the 1970s [weebey gif]

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Friday, 19 February 2021 22:46 (one week ago) link

several links have in fact been posted, deej

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 19 February 2021 22:54 (one week ago) link

I always thought the ba-ba-ba-ba-baaa vocals in Chic's "Dance Dance Dance" were actually a callback to stuff like Andrews Sister, come to think of it.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 22:58 (one week ago) link

yea i see the links... i feel like speakeasy / flapper vibes that were big in the 70s might have some loose spiritual connection to that time

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/df/bb/07/dfbb0765ac09fefab7def76c281f9872.jpg

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Friday, 19 February 2021 23:07 (one week ago) link

Moreso the disco industry was fascinated by the swing era, since that was the last big time for couples dancing

Josefa, Friday, 19 February 2021 23:16 (one week ago) link

Boogie with Canned Heat in '68 was boogie chooglie. Boogie with Stu in '75 was boogie woogie.

BrianB, Friday, 19 February 2021 23:24 (one week ago) link

Choogling (post-CCR) seems like how the hirsute denim-clad dudes might get down at a butt rock show in the '70s. Like, you would boogie to Chic, but you would choogle at a Brownsville Station show.

Bolan boogied AND choogled in the 70s fwiw.

I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to Mark Grout Tonight (Tom D.), Friday, 19 February 2021 23:49 (one week ago) link

He's a boogie bridger.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 19 February 2021 23:56 (one week ago) link

Also was a groover iirc

Josefa, Friday, 19 February 2021 23:57 (one week ago) link

was bowie's "let all the children boogie" a reference to john lee hooker's "boogie chillen"?

would a nit be nice? (NickB), Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

No one's mentioned Little Feat yet: "Triple Face Boogie" and "Old Folks Boogie."

clemenza, Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:31 (one week ago) link

one of my least favorite disco songs is "Boogie Woogie Dancin' Shoes" by Claudja Barry

eisimpleir (crüt), Saturday, 20 February 2021 09:33 (one week ago) link

(xp) I assume that's a different "Old Folks Boogie" from the 50s song covered by Beefheart?

I'm Going to Bring a Watermelon to Mark Grout Tonight (Tom D.), Saturday, 20 February 2021 09:38 (one week ago) link

Not sure--I have the first (the medley version on Feets Don't Fail Me Now), not the second.

clemenza, Saturday, 20 February 2021 13:49 (one week ago) link

Hypotheses:

(1) When '70s rock bands use the term "boogie," the song form and rhythm will likely resemble historical (mostly black) forms of music known as "boogie,"* but in instrumentation and delivery will sound heavy metal (as the term "heavy metal" was being used then, e.g., as much Grand Funk as Sabbath). So a kind of dance metal for the greasers and grits - though T. Rex belong here as much as the Brownsville Stations and Foghats, but T. Rex's audience sociology is a bit different, as was the band's musical attack. (And T. Rex pose a problem for Phil and Scott's hard-rockin' shit chapter in that T. Rex clearly boogie but obv. aren't the anti-glam that Phil and Scott say the HRS bands are. Brownsville Station aren't particularly anti-glam either; they ref. T. Rex, cover "Sweet Jane.")

*I'd loosely call it a shuffle rhythm, in 4/4 but built on triple meter. John Lee Hooker would be a touchstone for these acts.

So of course the first track I listen to in order to test Hypothesis 1 is Thin Lizzy's "Boogie Woogie Dance" which it turns out does NOT use a boogie rhythm; in fact, other than being rock seems like an undercover musical experiment that doesn't remind me of much else. (Thin Lizzy clearly a subject for further research.)

Frank Kogan, Saturday, 20 February 2021 19:26 (one week ago) link

Fortunately Brownsville Station's "Martian Boogie" is right on the money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYgT1cfly8E

Frank Kogan, Saturday, 20 February 2021 19:27 (one week ago) link

(2) When disco or funk bands use the term "boogie" they're not referencing or sounding like a musical form. I'm gathering from the discussion here it's a more diffuse term, not just dancing but a way of being and living. I'm obviously not the person to try to explicate this.

Frank Kogan, Saturday, 20 February 2021 19:28 (one week ago) link

Not '70s, but there's the use of "boogie" as a moniker in hip-hop, e.g., Boogie Down Productions, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie.

Frank Kogan, Saturday, 20 February 2021 19:29 (one week ago) link

Hello Frank! :)

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 20 February 2021 20:45 (one week ago) link

Hi Tracer! Was just admiring the "I HOPE YOU LIKE PHISH AND TAYLOR SWIFT" doormat.

Frank Kogan, Saturday, 20 February 2021 21:16 (one week ago) link

You should look at the late 40s hillbilly boogie scene where every song is something boogie.

Stevolende, Saturday, 20 February 2021 21:52 (one week ago) link

Frank!! (Phil here.)

clemenza, Saturday, 20 February 2021 22:05 (one week ago) link

Yes, I recognized your sobriquet, and the book you were referencing.

Stevolende is quite correct; there are gobs of '40s hillbilly boogies. Used to own an album by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith but I never really followed up. Sort of a wind-it-up dance before the rage and optimism of rockabilly.

I'd say as many as not didn't use the triple beat so it swung less but stomped more.

Here's a nice one from the 13th century:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjaFyhkGpLE

But this isn't what the '70s boogie rockers were pulling from. They were going for a sloppy prole blues.

Frank Kogan, Saturday, 20 February 2021 23:17 (one week ago) link

weird that status quo never had a song about boogie afaict, cos in the uk at least they are boogie rock incarnate

would a nit be nice? (NickB), Saturday, 20 February 2021 23:19 (one week ago) link

Here's a '40s 'billy that foreshadows the wild ones of the '50s:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzt1iA2D_Kg

Frank Kogan, Saturday, 20 February 2021 23:33 (one week ago) link

Tube Steak Boogie is another rock boogie that doesn't really boogie.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 20 February 2021 23:49 (one week ago) link

this thread fuckin whips ass. thank you all

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Sunday, 21 February 2021 01:50 (one week ago) link

maybe my favourite of the boogie songs:

Don’t think I ever saw this video before, thanks!

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 21 February 2021 02:28 (one week ago) link

your jab of boogie for the day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBVNOrV0Pr4

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 26 February 2021 12:16 (six days ago) link

The greatest TV series of all time opens up with the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYgKmOJT_gM;>death of Boogie</a>

octobeard, Friday, 26 February 2021 18:08 (six days ago) link


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