The biggest disco ball in the world is coming to Leeds on July 1st as a part of Duke Studios’ Big Disco. The event at Duke Studios Sheaf Street will consist of a massive street party running from 3 in the afternoon until midnight, with the likes of Craig Charles, Greg Wilson and many more providing the tunes along side the giant disco ball.
What’s more, the party curated by Duke Studios will include a synchronised dance with the Big Disco and little discos and fringe events part of the Yorkshire Festival. But what track will be given the honour of soundtracking such an occasion? It’s up to you to decide. Here we have listed the nominations that have been chosen by some of the brightest musical stars from around the country, with the deciding vote being left with you.
The Bomb – The Bucketheads
A classic house anthem. The Bucketheads is the alias of New York’s Kenny Dope, with this particular hit being released on Henry Street Music back in 1995. Utah Saints are one of the crowning jewels in Leeds rich musical history, with the homegrown duo having coined 9 Top 40 Hits and sold over 2 million records worldwide. Tim Utah and Jez Willis went silver with their debut album and are still playing worldwide today.
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
As one of David Bowie’s biggest selling singles, Let’s Dance became a number one hit in the US after its release in 1983. Nile Rodgers provided the legendary riff which inspires all bodies to aim for the nearest dance floor. Spearhead of the critically acclaimed Disco Circus compilation mixes, Mighty Mouse is another fond Yorkshire export who built his reputation making disco edits, reworking artists like Robbie Williams, Gill Scott Heron, Prince, ABBA and many others.
Sexmachine – James Brown
Featuring Bobby Byrd on backing vocals, Get Up Sex Machine has been listed as one of Rolling Stone’s greatest songs of all time. James Brown recorded the single as a two part single, with the release landing in 1970. Greg Wilson is one of the most respected DJs worldwide for his tape deck mixing and innate knowledge when it comes to everything house and disco related. Having started deejaying in 1975, he is one of the most important figures in the UK dance music scene and an ex resident of the iconic Hacienda nightclub in Manchester.
Fat Boy Slim
I Feel Love – Donna Summer
I Feel Love is renowned for being the first ever dance track to adopt the four-four rhythms and the use of synthesisers in a repetitive style. Engineered by Giorgio Moroder, the track became an instant classic for discos and dance clubs. Norman Cook is undisputedly one of the most influential British dance artists of all time. As the producer of several Platinum discs and countless Top 10 hits, he has helped shape what dance music is today, with his DJ sets still attracting hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world.
History Repeating – Propellerheads
Released on the album Decksanddrumsandrockandroll in 1997, this single is a fusion of a number of styles including jazz, break beat and big beat. It hit the shelves on Wall Of Sound and was a Top 20 hit. Craig Charles is the king of Funk & Soul. Hailing from Liverpool, Craig started out as a television presenter and a star on Coronation Street, having now been the host of the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on BBC Radio since 2002. He is also an accomplished touring DJ with gigs all over the country week in week out.
JoJo and JCub Kelly
Keep The Fire Burning – Gwen McCrae
Keep The Fire Burning landed in 1982 on the legendary Atlantic record label, with the single still making dance floors erupt today. JoJo Kelly is the host of Capital FMs breakfast show with Adam and Danny, however many will know her from the legendary Hirsty’s Daily Dose show on Galaxy. JoJo has been a shining light in Yorkshire since 1997, likewise has her husband Jacob, who owns the 212 Bar, E.A.R Records and the new Doghouse Record Store, which is due to open in September on Kirkgate.
La La Land – Green Velvet
Charting in the Top 5 in a number of European countries, La La Land was made by Cajmere under his Green Velvet alias, the moniker that put out harder edged techno to his house flavours as the name aforementioned. Annie Nightingale is one of the most well known female DJs from around the UK, having hosted her BBC Radio 1 show and also been honoured with an MBE by the queen. Annie has also worked as a TV presenter on one of the best-voted shows of all time, The Old Grey Whistle Test.
Keep On – D-Train
Reaching the number 2 spot on the Billboard 100, this post-disco track was remixed by the likes of Francois K, who also did the mixing on the original single. Danielle Moore is the fronting lady of one of todays best live music acts, Crazy P. Having been shaking up dance floors for over 15 years, Crazy P is a perfect balance between disco, soul and funk, however they have also been known to raise the roof with their housier picks, their own of which have been released on 20:20 Vision and Futureboogie.
Corinne Bailey Rae
Good Times – Chic
As Chic’s second number one single, Good Times sold 5 million copies, which at the time made it the best selling single Atlantic Records had put out. Corinne is the Leeds based singer, songwriter and musician who was voted the best breakthrough act in 2006, having now gone on to release a number one debut album and three Grammy nominations. With record sales of over five million worldwide, she is one of the most accomplished artists to come from Yorkshire.
Teardrops – Womack & Womack
Reaching the Top 5 in 5 countries, Teardrops was Womack & Womack’s lead single from their 1988 album Conscience, with the track having been covered countless times in the past decade. Dave Beer is the founder of the legendary club night Back To Basics, which started in Leeds in 1991. Now celebrating its 25th Anniversary, Basics has maintained its stellar worldwide reputation through its parties across the globe, yet always keeping Leeds as its proud home. Dave has a home in the Leeds city museum in the exhibition of the cities popular culture and has worked with the likes of David Bowie, The Kaiser Chiefs and The Pigeon Detectives.
Get Lucky – Daft Punk
Get Lucky was Daft Punk’s huge single from 2013 that featured the American singer and songwriter Pharrell Williams. It has sold nearly 9.5 million copies worldwide. Foz is one of the cities most accomplished and hard working club promoters, currently working for Mint Club on their regular club nights and annual festivals. He is also the protagonist behind the legendary Dirty Disco parties and helped Distrikt Bar become the gem that it is today in the expanse of Leeds nightlife.
Rob Da Bank & Josie
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Billie Jean was the second single from Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album Thriller, Written and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones, it is one of the bets selling singles to date. Rob Da Bank is one of the longest running radio hosts on BBC Radio 1 and is also the brains behind Bestival, which is renowned as one of the biggest and best festivals in the world. This is where ‘The Worlds Biggest Disco Ball’ was first shown and is on loan from!
1999 – Prince
Prince’s eponymous debut album gave a number of hit singles including 1999, which hit the Top 5 in several countries. After Prince’s untimely death, the track has re-entered the charts reaching number 27. The Brett Domino Trio is known for their use of atypical musical instruments in their performances that are usually covers and some original songs. Expect Kazoos, stylophones, ukuleles and lots of electronic gadgets in all their material.
Do Your Thing – Basement Jaxx
This upbeat party anthem from Basement Jaxx was put out on their second studio album Rooty and was used in several films and video games, not to mention peaking on the UK chart at number 32. Duke Studios is the creative events space on Sheaf Street in Leeds that is putting together this massive Big Disco party. The venue will play host to the worlds biggest disco balls on the 1st of July and have got together to choose their own song choice for the big dance.
Hey Boy Hey Girl – Chemical Brothers
The final choice is The Chemical Brothers’ Hey Boy Hey Girl. With a sample taken from The Roof Is On Fire by Rock Master Scott and The Dynamic Three, this became a Top 10 hit for the duo and one of their most well known singles. The Big Disco is being run in association with Yorkshire Festival, which first ran up to the Grad Départ in 2014. It is 100 days of culture filled with artistic experiences, local amenities as well as artists from Yorkshire and around the world.
The Big Disco gets underway July 1st at Duke Studios Sheaf Street
Words by Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of The City Talking