The best dance song ever made

I have often tried to avoid labeling anything as THE BEST.  It is theoretically impossible if you’re a creative person because you are constantly moving and extracting anything you touch, hear or wonder about.  I have been enveloped it the percussion we categorize as dance music, now called electronica, for about 80 percent of my life, and it always pains me when people make fun of or look down upon disco like a faded pair of bell-bottomed jeans tucked away in one’s closet, but it was that disco sound that was running the fever pitch of countless nights across thousands of dance floors around the globe, helping people reach their inner clandestine fantasies to reach their soulful apex of what is dubbed as THE natural high.  The lights were all over the place, everyone was horny, care free, and some of the most brilliantly arranged orchestral songs were lighting the way into the minds, bodies, and souls of club dwellers.  Back then, clubs were really clubs.  If you don’t understand, just keep reading…

MacArthur Park was a song written in the sixties by Jimmy Webb.  It was performed by British Thespian actor Richard Harris.  It is a very weird and incomprehensible song if you don’t dive into the lyrics.  Basically, it reflects the broken heart of a lover who just broke up, and MacArthur Park was the actual name of the park where all the lost memories ran rampant.  Apparently, the writer of the song had witnessed the wedding of the ex-lover in the same park while hiding in a nearby shed.  It was raining heavy that day, and the symbol of “the cake in the rain” with “the green icing flowing down” symbolized the love that was slowly being washed away.  Deep- ain’t it, but very cleverly written!

Anyway, about a decade later, the reins were handed over to producer Georgio Moroder and vocalist Donna Summer who essentially transformed it into the MacArthur Park Suite: An epic 17 and a half minute dance music journey that never lets up till this day.  A true masterpiece in sound.  The track starts and ends with MacArthur Park, and combines an orchestral odyssey that seamlessly moves at about 130 beats per minute.  The song literally shook the world of dance music, and helped many DJs acquire a much needed bathroom break in the midst of every evening.

When you hear the song in its entirety, try to place yourself in the production studio formulating all the twists and turns, and then relay it over to a full blown studio session orchestra, a drummer, a keyboard player, guitarist, and one of the most talented female voices to ever grace the culture of dance music: Donna Summer (RIP).

The MacArthur Park Suite will be, in my book, the best disco/dance song ever made and written.  Why,  because there will never be another song produced this close to perfection.  When you really get into the track, seventeen minutes seems to roll by quite quickly.  Try that with any other dance song ever written.  What… Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express? Alex R. Constadinos’s Romeo and Juliet?  Clivilles and Coles “Pride (A Deeper Love)?  Not even close…

MacArthur Park was an amazing piece of artistic work, but it also was a disco song.  So, the next time you hear people refer to disco as a mere musical fad, or even go as far as to joke about it, you need to put them on to some of the most incredible timeless shit to ever grace the grooves of a record.

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