Turn the Beat Around
The Secret History of Disco
Author: Peter Shapiro
A long-overdue paean to the predominant musical form of the 70s and a thoughtful exploration of the culture that spawned it
Disco may be the most universally derided musical form to come about in the past forty years. Yet, like its pop cultural peers punk and hip hop, it was born of a period of profound social and economic upheaval. In Turn the Beat Around, critic and journalist Peter Shapiro traces the history of disco music and culture. From the outset, disco was essentially a shotgun marriage between a newly out and proud gay sexuality and the first generation of post-civil rights African Americans, all to the serenade of the recently developed synthesizer. Shapiro maps out these converging influences, as well as disco's cultural antecedents in Europe, looks at the history of DJing, explores the mainstream disco craze at it's apex, and details the long shadow cast by disco's performers and devotees on today's musical landscape.
One part cultural study, one part urban history, and one part glitter-pop confection, Turn the Beat Around is the most comprehensive study of the Me Generation to date.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In The News
"Let the pop-culture wars begin anew, with Shapiro's deeper, more balanced take on disco vitally informing the discussion."—Booklist
"A thorough historian with a slangy, accessible voice, Shapiro delivers an engrossing account of our platform-shoed past."—Variety
"An interesting work of cultural history."—The Guardian