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Hot Stuff: A Brief History of Disco Paperback – March 6, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; First Edition edition (March 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380809079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380809073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,910,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While disco remains one of the most maligned of all musical genres (according to Andriote, as much for its roots in African-American, Latino and gay dance clubs as for its hedonistic packaging), it is a music that refuses to die (instead it is renamed or deeply influences HiNRG, techno, rave, hip-hop, jungle or just plain dance). While it lives on (either in full albums like Cher's Believe or Madonna's Ray of Light or sampled in songs by the Notorious B.I.G. and Robbie Williams), its marginalization continues with Andriote's slight history. While not as exuberantly detailed as Alan Jones and Jussi Kantonen's delightfully exhaustive Saturday Night Forever: The Story of Disco (A Cappella, 1999), which focused on the artists and their songs, this volume instead focuses on the social history and culture of the movement that flourished between 1974 and 1979. Kitschy, glitzy and underground, disco thrived with its core minority fans and avoided popularization (the actual long-playing 12-inch music mixes were available to club D.J.s only). Middle America didn't embrace the phenomenon until the release of 1977's Saturday Night Fever, when John Travolta and the Bee Gees made it palatable for the masses and, incredibly, ushered in disco albums by Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra and Mickey Mouse. Andriote's in fine form covering the "disco sucks" backlash, detailing how it resulted from both an oversaturation of inferior product and homophobia. The appendix of artists and key songs is hit and miss, sometimes up-to-date (Donna Summer), more often not (Loleatta Holloway). Even with excellent writing from Andriote (Victory Deferred), fans of the music will find little new here, especially if they've already bought Saturday Night Forever. Photos not seen by PW.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Andriote's rhapsodizing expresses one popular view of disco, the booty-shakin' craze that swept '70s America like a tidal wave of pomade. Another, more musically concerned perspective sees disco as what happened when the record companies dumbed down the music of George Clinton and James Brown. Andriote acknowledges disco's generation from '60s and '70s funk, but surly pop historians may carp that Andriote overstates the talents of the likes of Giorgio Moroder at the expense of less glitzy American progenitors and practitioners of the back beat. But then, the book is promoted as a "lighthearted yet in-depth look at one of the most outrageous eras in musical--and cultural--history," and as such, it's fan-friendly puffery that painlessly imparts a bit of pop music history. If an entertaining look at the music and careers of such stars as Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer, the Andrea True Connection, and the Village People is what you're after, look no further. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

NEW: In 2014, I published my first children's book, WILHELMINA GOES WANDERING--based on the true story of a runaway cow in Connecticut. For five months, the Black Angus hung out with a herd of deer, was mistaken for a bull, evaded capture, and was ultimately betrayed by her sweet tooth. Read my reimagined version of the story. Visit www.runawaycowbook.com.

IN THE WORKS: My literary agent is shopping the proposal for a new nonfiction book I plan to write about gay men's resilience and what everyone can learn from it.

BACKGROUND: I started my professional writing career doing book reviews for the national LGBT magazine The Advocate, while I was taking graduate-level writing and publishing classes at Emerson College in Boston. I decided to detour to Chicago instead, for a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University--and then a 22-year career in Washington, D.C., as a freelance journalist focused on health and medicine. I've reported on HIV/AIDS since 1986. My award-winning history of the AIDS epidemic in America, VICTORY DEFERRED, is my most substantial contribution to the literature on HIV/AIDS. In 2011, I released an updated and expanded second edition of VICTORY DEFERRED. All of the interviews and resource materials I used to develop the book are part of the "John-Manuel Andriote VICTORY DEFERRED Collection" curated by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C.

I also write about cultural trends, LGBT issues, politics, and a wide variety of subjects that interest me. For example, in 2014, I have interviewed renowned microbiologist and HIV 'co-discoverer' Dr. Robert C. Gallo for the Los Angeles Review of Books; written a feature for Earth magazine about geologist Dr. Robert M. Thorson's efforts to preserve New England's historic stone walls; and authored a feature for Pacific Standard magazine about the area where I grew up and live today. That article, "The Other Connecticut, the Other America," trended to the #1 most popular spot in the magazine's Top 10 list.

REVIEWS/AWARDS: Kirkus Reviews called my book VICTORY DEFERRED: HOW AIDS CHANGED GAY LIFE IN AMERICA "The most important AIDS chronicle since Randy Shilts' And the Band Played On." The 1999 University of Chicago Press book won the 2000 Lambda Literary Awards "Editor's Choice" award, was a finalist for the New York Publishing Triangle's Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, and was an American Library Association honored book.

Please visit www.jmandriote.com for more information.

Customer Reviews

2.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Monteagudo on May 31, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having written an excellent book about AIDS (Victory Deferred), I expected more from John-Manuel Andriote. Instead, Andriote's history of disco is too brief and incomplete. I wanted to read more about the culture of disco, especially as it relates to those of us, like Andriote, grew up gay in the 1970's. Still, any history of disco is better than nothing to this dyed-in-the-wool disco fan and, within its limitations, Hot Stuff is OK.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
I certainly enjoyed this brief, fun trip down memory lane. Mr. Andriote successfully evokes the essence of an era in a wonderful, light and fun way. Hot Stuff offers a lucid explanation of the confluence of factors that caused disco music to begin, and then explode into the mainstream. He is at his best when evoking the energy of this era and the "disco scene". As you turn the pages, you too will re-live the era and if only for a brief moment, you will lose 4 inches from your waist, regain the hair you have lost and fit into those bell-bottom jeans one more time. Thank you John-Manuel for the trip down memory lane.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bob madrid on March 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Recently read and interviewed the author on my show. It is a quick read looking at the various cultures that contributed to "Disco". There were some interesting facts that I did not remember from the era, so it was fun seeing it all over again. Take a look around, the kids are all looking at "disco" and the culture as glamour anew...wake up..it is not all that. Read it and you decide.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Despite the authors own glowing review, I found that this book lacked the enthusiasm , and the zest for life that marked the disco era. How could one write a book about Disco that lacks the passion that pumped through the music and got us all on the dance floor .
SATURDAY NIGHT FOREVER was a much better read this this lack luster number.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "ric700" on June 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
for the author to write his own (surprise!) five star review below. For that reason alone, this book merits a one star rating. This is only reinforced by an actual perusal of its pages.
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