KISS, Elton John, And Your Mom Should Have Aborted These Five Disco Songs

watch out watch out for goofyRemember disco? Yes, yes, of course you do. You own the latest Daft Punk record, which could have come out 35 years ago and would have been a mid-tempo classic. No matter how old you are, you know all the words to Stayin’ Alive. But if you didn’t live through disco’s heyday, you have NO IDEA how much ill-advised disco there was. Everybody did a disco song. LITERALLY everybody. Your mom did a disco song. (Your mom is hot.) We’ve collected some of the best — and by best we of course mean worst — for your earhole pleasure. We’ve provided you with a handy ranking of each song on our Bad Idea-o-Meter, with one being completely happynicetime, five being meh, and ten being oh dear god why why why.

Omitted from the list: one-hit disco era wonders, because those weren’t as much ill-advised as just unsurprising cash-in attempts. Also omitted, disco songs by non-disco artists that were legit awesome, like Rod Stewart’s Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.

Kiss – I Was Made for Lovin’ You

OK, it isn’t a terrible song. It’s just so…weird. You’re KISS! You breathe fire and pour blood everywhere. Your bassist’s claim to fame is having slept with like 4000 women. Was disco really for you?

Bad Idea-o-Meter Ranking: 6, because KISS should have just recorded Detroit Rock City over and over forever Amen.

Wings – Goodnight Tonight

One of the most inexplicable of the bunch, video-wise. There’s some sort of Golden Age of Radio thing happening and Paul’s hair is slicked back in the most unappealing way imaginable. If you don’t want to punch him in the first 45 seconds of the video, you have no pulse.

Bad Idea-o-Meter Ranking: 9. It would have been 8 but seriously, that video.

Eartha Kitt – Where Is My Man?

Actually, it isn’t entirely certain that this one should be on here. We mean, Eartha Kitt. EARTHA KITT. She practically invented sexy acquisitiveness with “Santa Baby,” and this song is just as perfect:

Where is my baby when will he start?
To use his Visa right to my heart
I’ll give him Carte Blanche
Baby be smart,
Baby, drop your amount in my account
But do it now.

It should not surprise you at all to learn that there was a 12-inch remix of this version that was a staple in gay clubs until…well, until still happening.

Bad Idea-o-Meter: 1. She gets bonus points for the sexy subtle hip-shaking in the vid.

Elton John – Johnny B. Goode

Elton John doing a disco song isn’t actually all that bad an idea, right? He certainly had the outfits and the attitude and the extreme gayness. But a disco cover of Johnny B. Goode? Why on earth would anyone think this was a good idea? Did Elton lose a bet or something? Also, he’s got that weird gay fascist cop outfit thing going that was all the rage in the 1970s, but he still ends up looking like a moon-faced kitten.

Bad Idea-o-Meter: 9, because by definition Elton John disco songs should be better.

Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra

Steve-o got to the disco game a little late, waiting until 1982 to unleash a song with possibly some of the worst lyrics of the modern rock era:

I feel the magic in your caress
I feel magic when I touch your dress
Silk and satin, leather and lace
Black panties with an angel’s face

Combine that with a video so bad it looks like it could almost be a deliberate parody, and you have a solidly awful piece of music history.

Bad Idea-o-Meter: 10, because in the video the horse/unicorn/Pegasus thing in the Steve Miller Band logo actually comes to cartoon life and flies.

Meco – Star Wars Theme Song

Honestly, this is just in here so we had an excuse to post the video, which might be the greatest video of all time. Yes, we’re perfectly aware this isn’t an official video, but is instead from the Dutch version of Solid Gold but we don’t care because seriously, look at this thing.

Bad Idea-o-Meter: Either negative eleventy or eleventy. We’re still not sure.

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  • SullivanSt

    Some of these are almost as ill-advised as Taylor Swift doing dubstep.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      it’s ok, she’ll break up with dubstep next week and write a song about it

  • I heart that Steve Miller Band video, and also it’s not disco so much as a 60’s blues guitarist turned 70’s stadium rocker attempt at 80’s new wave.

    • FauxAntocles

      Oh, but Abracadabra is just too sad – it hurts to listen to it.

  • JMP

    Hey now, some of us lived through disco’s heyday but don’t remember any of this because we were too busy being babies.

  • “I wanna reach out and grab ya!”Pure magic.

  • discus_sucks_ass

    Ah, yes Disco. Weird now many of those songs are now stripper standards…

  • la bibliotequetress

    “Good night, tonight” is another lyrical wonder from the Paul McCartney Redundent School of Redundancy Academy Lyric Songword Writing. The people who brought you, “but if this everchanging world in which we live in…”

    • SullivanSt

      My in-brain autocorrect always translates that to “in which we’re living” just to make it less stupid.

      • la bibliotequetress

        I can’t not hear the stupid.

        • weejee

          So a preposition is a bad thing to end a sentence with?

    • peteywheats

      Out on that “Paul McCartney was a bad songwriter” limb, eh?

      • gedjcj

        Trying to reconcile “Yesterday” with “Let ’em In” makes my brain hurt.

  • natl_[redacted]_cmdr

    No wonder cocaine was so popular.

    • weejee

      ♪♫ Riding that trainHigh on cocaineCasey Jones you better watch yer speed ♫♪Ooops, this is a disco post.

  • Insane Clown Wizard

    How could you have forgotten “Stars on 45 – ABBA/Beatles Medley”?

  • Rhonda

    I had that Disco Duck album! The disco, Disco Duck Qwack

  • tomsveb

    There should be a bonus award for the reverse; the non-disco artist who inexplicably did a disco song that was a triumph and a million times better than disco ever deserved.I am of course talking about Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” which is pretty much the only enduring disco-era song worth listening to in a non-ironic way.

  • Kgprophet

    Why doesn’t the cop outfit work on Elton John? Because his name’s Reginald Dwight.

  • weejee

    Needs moar Cry Baby™.

    • weejee

      It does the linkies in a different way. emmelemm will be pleased to get a head’s up before clicking the clickie.

  • peteywheats

    “Ve du nut haff de space coztumen.””Jus uds de Wild West Cowboy outfittens”

  • Squirrel_t_robot

    Anyone else remember when the Grateful Dead allegedly went disco?They didn’t, but ‘Shakedown Street’ fooled a lot of Dead Heads.

  • gedjcj

    That Meco vid: I kept waiting for the ponies…

  • $160578

    “Disco Duck” was the number two choice in the election for class song when I was a senior.It does us no credit that “Disco Lady” was the winner.I wrote in “Earache My Eye”, but it was disregarded like the vote of a black college student in North Carolina

  • Lectricboogaloo

    Lisa is the caliber of music critic I wish I’d known of before I joined the Moonies. I just would have read her columns, instead. Keep em coming, Lisa. Thanks!

  • Elaine Kurpiel

    Meco? Awful! awful! awful! Most of the people I was with hated disco and we spent our time listening to protest songs, smoking weed, attending protests and the other great music of the times. Also annoying our parents. You young whippersnappers don’t know the meaning of good music. And you had better stay off all the lawns.