Disco & Seymour Stein

For decades, people have maligned disco music. This week, Jim and Greg take an in-depth look at the genre from its origins in marginalized communities to its height of popularity. They'll also explore groundbreaking artists like Sylvester, the Bee Gees and more. Also, Greg talks to Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein about signing acts like the Ramones and Madonna.

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Seymour Stein

stein Seymour Stein is a living legend in the music industry: Breaking into the record business when he was only a teenager, Stein co-founded his own label, Sire Records, in 1966. Sire went on to sign superstars like Madonna and bring musical movements like new wave and West Coast hip-hop to a wider audience. Earlier this summer, Stein announced his departure from Sire and Warner Bros. and released a tell-all memoir. Greg revisits his 2015 conversation with Stein in front of a live audience at the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago, under the auspices of the Lake FX Summit + Expo.



disco Boasting one-of-a-kind artists like the gender-bending Sylvester to the expansively creative Donna Summer, disco is sorely underrated. At least, that's what Jim and Greg argue in their retrospective of the genre. Disco did more than give us catchy, dance-ready tunes: it championed marginalized voices, especially those in the Black and LGBTQ communities. Jim and Greg outline major moments for the genre, from its R&B roots, to the infamous Disco Demolition night in Chicago, to its influence on genres to come.

Featured Songs

  1. Earth, Wind & Fire with The Emotions, Boogie Wonderland, Boogie Wonderland (single), ARC and Columbia Records, 1979
  2. Madonna, Like a Virgin, Like a Virgin, Sire, 1984
  3. Talking Heads, Road to Nowhere, Little Creatures, Sire, 1985
  4. The Beatles, Love Me Do, Love Me Do (single), Vee-Jay Records (Tollie), 1964
  5. Belle and Sebastian, Seymour Stein, The Boy with the Arab Strap, Jeepster, 1998
  6. Talking Heads, Take Me to the River, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Sire, 1978
  7. Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Walking on the Water, Blank Generation, Sire, 1977
  8. The Ramones, Blitzkrieg Bop, Ramones, Sire, 1976
  9. The Ramones, I Wanna Be Sedated, The Road to Ruin, Sire, 1978
  10. The Ramones, It's Not My Place (In the 9 to 5 World), Pleasant Dreams, Sire, 1981
  11. Focus, Hocus Pocus, Moving Waves, Sire, 1971
  12. The Pretenders, Brass in Pocket, The Pretenders, Sire, 1980
  13. The Pretenders, Message of Love, The Pretenders II, Sire, 1981
  14. Linda Ronstadt, When Will I Be Loved, Heart Like A Wheel, Capitol Records, 1974
  15. Talking Heads, Psycho Killer, Talking Heads: 77, Sire, 1977
  16. Ice-T, O.G. Original Gangster, O.G. Original Gangster, Sire, 1991
  17. Mighty Sparrow, Jean and Dinah, Heat Wave, BLS Records/VP Records, 1994
  18. Ice-T, Race War, Home Invasion, Rhyme $yndicate/Priority Records, 1993
  19. Madonna, Material Girl, Like a Virgin, Sire, 1984
  20. Madonna, Everybody, Madonna, Sire and Warner Bros., 1983
  21. Chance the Rapper, Favorite Song (feat. Childish Gambino), Acid Rap, self-released, 2013
  22. Juluka, Scatterlings of Africa, Scatterlings, Warner Bros., 1982
  23. The Bee-Gees, Stayin' Alive, Saturday Night Fever: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, RSO, 1977
  24. McFadden & Whitehead, Ain‘t No Stoppin’ Us Now, Ain‘t No Stoppin’ Us Now (single), Philadelphia International, 1979
  25. Shirley and Lee, Let the Good Times Roll, Let the Good Times Roll (single), Aladdin, 1956
  26. Shirley & Company, Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame (single), Vibration, 1974
  27. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Don't Leave Me This Way, Wake Up Everybody, Philadelphia International, 1975
  28. Thelma Houston, Don't Leave Me This Way, Any Way You Like It, Motown, 1976
  29. Sylvester, You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (single), Fantasy Records, 1978
  30. Sylvester and the Hot Band, Southern Man, Sylvester and the Hot Band, Blue Thumb Records, 1973
  31. Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive, I Will Survive (single), Polydor, 1978
  32. Barry White, Let the Music Play, Let the Music Play, 20th Century, 1976
  33. Rose Royce, Car Wash, Car Wash: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, MCA, 1976
  34. The Love Unlimited Orchestra, Love's Theme, Love's Theme (single), 20th Century/Pye International, 1973
  35. Donna Summer, I Feel Love, I Remember Yesterday, Casablanca, 1977
  36. Chic, Good Times, Risqué, Atlantic, 1979
  37. Sugarhill Gang, Rapper's Delight, Rapper's Delight (single), Sugar Hill, 1979
  38. Blondie, Rapture, Autoamerican, Chrysalis, 1980
  39. Queen, Another One Bites the Dust, The Game, EMI & Elektra, 1980
  40. Dessa, Fire Drills, Chime, Doomtree Records, 2018
  41. The Bad Man, Staring at Your Telephone, Aint Clean, self-produced, 2017
  42. Salem Wolves, Shake, Shake, MegaHex Records, 2018
  43. I Am, Roky Erickson, Gremlins Have Pictures, Pink Dust, 1986
  44. Colter Wall, The Devil Wears A Suit and Tie, Imaginary Appalachia, Young Mary's Record Co., 2015
  45. Phantastic Ferniture, F*ckin ‘n’ Rollin, Phantastic Ferniture, Polyvinyl Records, 2018
  46. The Bad Man, Purple Nose Dog, Aint Clean, self-produced, 2017