Who invented disco?
A key development in creating disco seems to be longer song length. Typical radio pop songs were (and still are) about three minutes in length. Nightclub DJs noticed how one great song could keep people happy on the dance floor and wanted to extend this experience as long as possible.
Early disco artists were influenced by the ten-minute song "Sex Machine," by soul legend James Brown in 1970. The first disco hits include "Love's Theme" from Love Unlimited Orchestra, "Your Song" written by Elton John and performed by Billy Paul, and "Love Train" by the O'Jays, which were popular in 1972 and 1973.
The first major media discussions of disco were in Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines in 1973. These articles probably didn't coin the term, but they did bring national attention to the rising trend.
Mix master Tom Moulton made two huge contributions to the burgeoning disco scene. In 1974, for Gloria Gaynor's first album, Never Can Say Goodbye, Moulton mixed a medley of three songs into a dance mix that lasted the whole length of one album side.
Then, in 1975, Moulton worked with recording engineer José Rodriguez to invent the 12" single -- a vinyl record as big as a long-playing album, but with only one, long, remixed song on it. Moulton distributed the new singles as promotional items for nightclub DJs, and the 12" caught on fast. The next year, the first commercial 12" single was released, and the disco era exploded around the U.S. and the world.
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