Listen to a Playlist of Holiday87’s Favorite Disco-Dance Tracks
Ahead of the debut solo record from The Knocks’ Ben Ruttner, here are 12 tracks that get the artist in the disco mood.
It seems like as a culture we’re on the verge of finally moving past the era of shaming disco, with reconsiderations of Disco Demolition Night and its racist roots and a perhaps overly serious reverence for Boogie Nights marking the subtle shift. Additionally, we’re seeing the genre bleed into all types of other pockets of music, from early 2010s indie rock to mainstream pop music, with disco’s subtle influence on ’90s Brit-pop and the ’00s house revival serving as inspiration.
Disco is also the backbone for the solo debut of The Knocks’ Ben Ruttner, whose first album as Holiday87 drops this Friday. The self-titled release leans on the duo’s funked-out, good-vibes electronic sound while owing a bit more to downtempo and techno—and in its glammiest moments, hints of disco and other formative dance genres.
Ahead of the LP’s release, Ruttner went ahead and gave us a short list of his favorite tracks that similarly refract the light of a slow-spinning disco ball, from undersung Rolling Stones numbers to the latest left turn from Arcade Fire.
The Rolling Stones, “Miss You”
I feel like the Stones don’t get enough credit for this disco slapper. I love that every band in this era has at least one disco-esque song…it shows that disco never goes out of style!
The Blackbyrds, “Mysterious Vibes”
One of my favorite soul songs that also leans disco. This was flipped into a classic rap song and now I think someone needs to make a modern version of it! This is me asking the universe to please make someone re-sample this song to make a new hit out of it.
The Chemical Brothers, “Got to Keep On”
The Chem Bros are a huge influence of mine, and this song off their latest album is probably one of my top three favorites of theirs ever. The mix of disco, electro, and house is perfect, and the disco bells are incredible!
Arcade Fire, “Everything Now”
Arcade Fire doing disco was my dream come true. Add Thomas from Daft Punk as producer and it exceeds my expectations. There is a big ABBA influence, obviously, and I’m not mad at it at all.
Poolside, “Harvest Moon”
Still one of my favorite covers. This one never gets old. Doing Neil Young justice takes a lot. Poolside nails it and adds some stank to it at the same time.
Boys Noize, “Mvinline”
Boys Noize doing filter house was something I didn’t know I needed. Love how he kept this so simple and made it feel like a proper disco-house song from the late ’90s. This song deserves way more attention.
Le Tigre, “Deceptacon (DFA Remix)”
A blog classic. This was a staple in DJ sets coming up playing parties in NYC, and it will still pack the floor anytime you play it. I wish DFA would keep making these remixes.
Robyn, “Ever Again”
This album was my album of the year when it came out. I probably listened to the whole thing in its entirety four times a week. This closing disco jam is my favorite song on the record.
Blur, “Girls & Boys”
Another dingy NYC bar DJ set staple. I remember only knowing Blur from “Song #2,” and when I heard this it made me do a deep dive into more of their music.
Pulp, “Disco 2000”
While we’re on the Brit-pop wave, I have to mention this one. Although it’s kinda more rock than disco, it still has those disco bells and the great four-on-the-floor groove. I wonder if there’s a proper disco edit of this anywhere…
New Young Pony Club, “Tight Fit”
This song still feels fresh to me. I think if it came out now it would go viral on TikTok or something. I miss this sound. Sassy vocals over simple disco beats. Bring back NYPC!
The Knocks, “Classic”
Shameless self plug. Not much to say about this one besides that I am grateful for this song and owe a lot to it. I hope it stands the test of time like some of the other disco influenced songs above.