Monday, October 1, 2018

Musical Monday - Use It Up and Wear It Out by Odyssey

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: July 26, 1980 through August 2, 1980.

As I have noted before, by 1980, disco was dying - at least in the United States. In fact, in the U.S., one might argue that disco was already a corpse by 1980 and everyone was getting ready to start putting the nails in its coffin.

In Europe, and by extension, the U.K., on the other hand, disco would thrive for some time in 1980 and beyond. This is somewhat interesting given that Britain was the home to a couple of music scenes that were fairly extreme reactions to disco, the most prominent of which was punk. Even so, disco lasted far longer as a musical force in the U.K. than it did in the U.S.

That said, this song seems to me to be a pretty good example of both why disco became popular in the first place, and why it had such a relatively short shelf life. Use It Up and Wear It Out is an incredibly danceable song, with a good beat and a driving bass line. It is peppy, happy, and everything anyone would want on the dance floor. It is also incredibly forgettable. There is simply nothing to hold on to when the song is finished. The lyrics are insipid, the beat and bass line are great, but there's nothing else to the song in a musical sense. Almost everything that might have made this song memorable has been stripped away in favor of making for a better groove.

As they were so often wont to say on American Bandstand "Its got a good beat and I can dance to it", but in this case, that's pretty much all there is to the song.

Previous Musical Monday: Xanadu by Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra
Subsequent Musical Monday: Magic by Olivia Newton-John

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Xanadu by Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: The Winner Takes It All by ABBA

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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