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.