Who needs a time machine when you have disco music?
This genre was super popular in the 70s, but many songs are so good that they’ve stuck around and are still well known today.
This list has some of the best disco songs of all time and is sure to give you a blast from the past. Let’s dance!
Le Freak – Chic
Chic introduces you to a new dance called “Le Freak” in this classic disco track. Anyone can do it, and everyone will enjoy it! The basis of the dance is just to “freak out,” hence the name. It’s easy to lose control and have a good time to the sounds of this great song.
Related: Find this song on our list of 70s songs.
Get Down Tonight – K.C. & The Sunshine Band
‘Get Down Tonight’ topped many charts due to its flirtatious nature. The song takes on the perspective of a guy flirting with someone, hoping she’ll dance with him and maybe even come home with him to “do a little dance, make a little love.” The long instrumental break featuring syncopated piano and brilliant horns gives a great soundtrack for all the dancing the couple is sure to do.
Disco Inferno – The Trammps
The heat of a thriving dance floor is compared to an actual inferno in this jazzy disco song. The rasp of the vocals adds an unmatched passion to the track, and the repeated “burn, baby, burn” makes it a catchy song through and through. The idea for the song was born from the movie The Towering Inferno, where a scene features a disco on fire.
Related: This song is on our playlist of songs from Saturday Night Fever.
Dancing Queen – Abba
‘Dancing Queen’ is one of the most memorable songs from the famous movie Mamma Mia, and its captivating melodies are sure to get stuck in your head (but you won’t be complaining). This song celebrates the potential found in youthful energy—you can’t wait to fill yourself with the world and feel the freedom in your bones. In short, “you are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.”
Related: Enjoy our upbeat songs about dancing playlist.
Night Fever – Bee Gees
‘Night Fever’ was used in the movie Saturday Night Fever, which became a staple movie of the disco era. The shimmering instrumentation creates that feeling of having “night fever,” which is when the sun’s setting brings out a whole new energy, both in individuals and communities. The lights go down, the drinks go up, and everyone’s “prayin’ for this moment to last.”
Related: Check out more of the best night time songs.
Lady Marmalade – Labelle
The iconic line “voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?” comes from this song and means, “do you want to sleep with me tonight?” ‘Lady Marmalade’ is a song about being unafraid to ask for what you want. Usually, going up to someone and asking them this question is considered way too blunt, but this song has a fun time with the idea.
Related: You probably know this song from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack.
I Feel Love – Donna Summer
Slowly oscillating synth and atmospheric vocals add an ethereal quality to this song, which talks about how good it feels to love and be loved. Donna Summer sings, “it’s so good, I’m in love, I’m in love,” repeating the lines throughout the song. Her angelic vocals show us just how good she feels while making us feel the same way.
Related: Find more House of Gucci songs.
I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
This classic self-empowerment song has irresistible melodies to strut around and dance to. After a bad breakup, Gloria Gaynor is afraid to face life alone but slowly embraces her independence in this upbeat tune. Dancing along to this song can be particularly cathartic if you’ve recently been through a breakup. You can scream along with lines like, “I’m not that chained-up little person still in love with you.”
Related: Hear this song on our list of the best survivor songs.
Y.M.C.A. – Village People
Don’t worry if you’re not a skilled dancer—even the most uncoordinated person can easily do the Y.M.C.A. dance! As this upbeat song chants, “It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.,” you can form the letters with your arms. It’s a silly (and easy) dance that is sure to bring about laughter.
Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
Whimsical trilling and funky guitar make this a staple of the disco genre. It’s groovy, it’s catchy, and it’s addictive. Michael Jackson sings about spending a night with someone, encouraging them to let the good feelings drive their actions – “don’t stop ’til you get enough.” If you’re chasing a dream or connecting with someone, don’t stop until you feel fulfilled. It’s a great outlook for many aspects of life.
Related: Dance the night away with this great party music.
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Sylvester
Sylvester sings about how romantic (or even just sexual) attraction can be all-consuming. This song seems to take place at a club on a night out, and when the pair is dancing close to each other, the world is thrown into hyperfocus. “You make me feel mighty real,” sings Sylvester, telling us how he feels more substantial and alive just by being close to this other person.
Daddy Cool – Boney M.
‘Daddy Cool’ has all the classic elements of a disco song, from thrumming basslines to repetitive group vocals. Though there aren’t many lyrics, we know that a girl is infatuated with this really cool guy. “She’s crazy like a fool, wild about Daddy Cool.” The song evokes in the listener the same feelings that this girl is experiencing—anticipation, joy, and passion.
Love Train – The O’Jays
This heartwarming tune promotes love worldwide and has an incredible beat. The “love train” is traveling all around the globe, encouraging people in different places to extend grace and love towards their neighbors. There’s no better feeling than unconditional love, and The O’Jays know it. They hope you can come to know it too, saying, “people all over the world join hands, start a love train.”
Related: All aboard our train songs playlist!
We Are Family – Sister Sledge
‘We Are Family’ is an iconic disco-style song that was particularly huge in the early 80s. Now, it’s heard at any event where people want to promote connection and unity. This song promotes forming connections, even with strangers, with the line “we are family, get up everybody and sing.” Anyone here is welcome to the family, and everyone here should celebrate it.
Related: Grab your sister and enjoy these sibling songs.
Boogie Wonderland – Earth, Wind, and Fire with The Emotions
Despite the funky beat and grooving rhythm of ‘Boogie Wonderland,’ it isn’t exactly a happy song when you look at the lyrics. The song takes a look into the unhealthy escapism clubs can provide. This “boogie wonderland” is a place to try and forget about the pains of your life, which is a little sad when you think about it.
Related: Make your getaway to our escape songs playlist.
Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
‘Stayin’ Alive’ is a hallmark of the disco era, and its popularity has survived the test of time. Its addictive melodies are fun to sing, and its steady beat is perfect for dancing to. Not only is this a sonically awesome song, but it is also inspirational, motivating the listener to power through whatever hard times they may experience. Despite inevitable obstacles in life, you can always try to say, “I’ll live to see another day.”
Ladies Night – Kool & The Gang
This disco song is driven by warbling bass and is the perfect song for a girls’ night out. ‘Ladies Night’ celebrates femininity and how having fun with your girlfriends can carry such joy and power. “You can fulfill all your dreams—party here, party there, everywhere,” and no one but the sun will stop you.
Car Wash – Rose Royce
You wouldn’t usually think of a car wash as the optimal place to host a dance party, but this song might change your mind. Rose Royce finds opportunity and entertainment at the car wash, singing, “let me tell you, it’s always cool, and the boss don’t mind sometimes if you act the fool.” The song was written for the movie Car Wash, which explains its unique subject matter.
Related: Mop up the mess to the tune of these cleaning songs.
1999 – Prince
Prince has a peculiarly positive outlook on the world ending, saying, “life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.” This song came out during the Cold War when various nuclear weapons had the power to destroy the world unannounced. This song reminds us that none of us have control over how, when, or if the world ends. All we can do is enjoy it while it still exists. Prince’s choice is to “dance [his] life away.”
Related: Listen to our playlist of songs about the end of the world.
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Though this song has an unsettling backstory, its beat is unmatched. Michael Jackson was no stranger to hearing rumors about himself, but hearing a woman say he was the father of her child was too much to ignore. ‘Billie Jean’ is his response, where he clarifies that this rumor isn’t true. The riveting beat and tension-filled melodies make this a great disco track.
Related: Move to the music of these dance songs.
Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston
Thelma Houston begs her lover not to leave her in this passionate uptempo song. This person has lit a fire in her, and only their love can save her. The vocals are fiery, the instrumentation anthemic, as Houston tells this person, “my heart is full of love and desire for you, so com’on down and do what you got to do.”
I’m So Excited – Pointer Sisters
Lots of disco songs carry themes of sexual intimacy, and ‘I’m So Excited’ has some of the most obvious references to this kind of desire. The Pointer Sisters sing about the anticipation of knowing you’re going to spend the night with someone, saying, “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.” The horns’ triumphant nature and the song’s quick tempo add to this feeling.
Funkytown – Lipps Inc.
The instantly recognizable beat of ‘Funkytown’ will get you grooving on your feet. Lots of horns and catchy melodies make this a great song to dance to, sing along to, or at least tap your foot to. It was a huge hit and has even been covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks. Though “Funkytown” is technically New York City, it’s fun to think about it as a fictional disco getaway where the only thing that matters is dancing to the music.
Related: Head over to our playlist of the best songs about N.Y.C.
Ain’t No Stopping Us Now – McFadden & Whitehead
‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’ is a motivational track about finding an inner strength that helps you make a promise to yourself to never give up. Even though life gets hard and can start to feel unmanageable, “we won’t let nothing hold us back. We’re puttin’ ourselves together.” It’s certainly no easy task, but this song reminds you that it is possible.
Related: This song features on our list of Boogie Nights songs.
If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman
Yvonne Elliman is unwilling to compromise on who she loves, and the subject of this heavenly song is the only person she wants. A lot of us probably have experience with the intensity of love and how you can start to feel almost desperate to be with the person you like. Elliman sings, “If I can’t have you, I don’t want nobody, baby,” showing that this love is irreplaceable—no one else would even come close.
Related: Wanting someone? Here are some more I want you songs.
Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Baby – Barry White
Barry White is obsessed with his love (in a good way). No matter how close they are or how much time they spend together, it’s not enough. White wants to be near her every second of every day and is in constant disbelief over how it is possible to love someone as much as he loves her—”what am I gonna do, ’cause you blow my mind.”
Related: You won’t be able to get enough of these obsessed songs.
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything – Barry White
This is a beautiful love song with piano trills and harmony-filled backing vocals. Barry White sings to his partner, explaining their importance to him. “You’re my sun, my moon, my guiding star,” he sings, using that metaphor of true love being all-consuming. This love is his whole world, and the cinematic strings add to just how transcendent that feeling can be.
Related: Who’s your everything? Listen to these songs about the love of your life.
Super Freak (Part I) – Rick James
‘Super Freak’ has an unbelievably iconic bassline and is almost guaranteed to get everyone in the room on their feet. Rick James sings with a cadence that is fun to match, and the call and response sections are always great in disco songs. The track follows an enigma of a girl willing to try anything. Even though she’s “the kind you don’t take home to mother,” she’s definitely fun to be around.
Related: Have a great karaoke night singing these funny songs.
Get Up and Boogie (That’s Right) – Silver Convention
There’s only one rule to follow while listening to this song: “get up and boogie.” It’s a song made for dancing, with many interesting instrumental solos and plenty of dance breaks. Piano, strings, and drums give you a steady beat to follow and fun melodies to dance to.
Love is in the Air – John Paul Young
When you think about it, the universality of love is beautiful. Wherever you look, you can find love. Whether platonic, personal, familial, or romantic, there is no shortage of love in the world. This song captures the buoyancy of this realization, singing, “love is in the air everywhere I look around, love is in the air, every sight and every sound.”
Related: Fall in love with more songs with the word love in the title.
Rock the Boat – The Hues Corporation
This swaying song compares love to “a ship on the ocean.” As the love between the pair sails through life, they face storms, rough waters, and lost cargo. But the ship always stays on course because their love is steady. Still, they must be careful not to “rock the boat.”
Related: Sail away with our songs about the ocean playlist.
You to Me Are Everything – The Real Thing
‘You to Me Are Everything’ is a moving song about the intense emotions of unrequited love. It can be bittersweet to care for someone that doesn’t feel the same way about you. It feels good to love someone, to be there for them. But there’s also that longing for someone more—”you’ve got the best of me, come on and take the rest of me.”
Related: See more loving someone who doesn’t love you back songs.
Blame It on the Boogie – The Jacksons
The Boogie is all-consuming and inescapable. Once you find the joys of dancing, you just can’t stop. Music becomes magic, and you’ll say, “I just can’t control my feet.” The Jacksons capture that passion for dance beautifully in this incredibly catchy song, which immediately became a classic of the late 70s.
Yes Sir, I Can Boogie – Baccara
Even if you aren’t particularly proud of your dance skills, this song might inspire you to embrace your moves, no matter your level. The key is to find the song that works for you (maybe ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’ is the one for you!). The alluring melodies and quick instrumentation will have you saying “I can boogie, boogie woogie all night long.”
Rasputin – Boney M.
This unique disco song tells the story of the infamous Russian monk, Rasputin. If you’ve ever played Just Dance, you probably would recognize this song as one of the most fun dances of the game. The song follows a narrative style, telling the listener how Rasputin was loved by women and hated by his numerous enemies, who eventually ended up assassinating him.
Related: Learn something with our historical songs playlist.
Heart of Glass – Blondie
Blondie sings about the difficult and confusing feelings of a love that isn’t what you thought it was. The person she thought she loved and trusted wasn’t like that in reality, but Blondie’s feelings blinded her. She soon discovered that “love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind.” This is a classic disco song of the 80s, but if you’re more into rock music, Miley Cyrus’s cover of ‘Heart of Glass’ puts a pretty cool spin on the song.
Rock Your Baby – George McCrae
‘Rock Your Baby’ is a soothing track, with an organ-like synth adding an element of worship to the love present in this song. George McCrae wants to be held by his woman, seeking comfort and love only a romantic partner can provide. “Woman, take me in your arms, rock your baby.”
Miss You – The Rolling Stones
‘Miss You’ seems to be about that deep longing for something you can’t have. It’s catchy, and the electric guitar is fantastic, but it’s a lyrically heavy song. The narrator talks to the person he misses, saying, “I’ve been haunted in my sleep, you’ve been starrin’ in my dreams.” Even when he’s resting, he can’t escape the memories of this person.
Related: Check out more songs in the key of C.
Young Hearts, Run Free – Candi Staton
This song is partly a warning and partly a celebration. Candi Staton laments over the heartbreak her marriage brought her, encouraging young people not to be tied down by saying, “what’s the sense in sharing this one and only life.” There’s nothing quite like the openness of hearts that haven’t been broken yet, hence the line “young hearts run free.” The captivating horns add a victorious feel to this introspective song.
Related: See our playlist of Romeo and Juliet songs.
December ’63 (Oh What a Night) – The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons sing about a night to remember in this quintessential disco song from the 70s. Though the specific night referenced in this song is the night of the narrator’s first time with someone, the wonderstruck vocals and jubilant piano are sure to bring up memories of any night that was particularly impactful in your life.
I’m a Man – Macho
This song’s cinematic synth and ambient vocals hypnotize, especially when the horns come in. Macho sings about the inevitable faults of man, like being messy or consumed by hobbies. The narrator accepts that he’s not perfect but wants the person he loves to know that his faults don’t take away from his feelings: “I’m a man, yes I am, and I can’t help but love you so.”
More, More, More (Part 1) – Andrea True Connection
This smooth song filled with enticing horns is sexy and suggestive, made even more so by Andrea True’s alluring vocals. True is down for a good time and wants to experience a night with someone special, singing ‘take me where you want to, me and my heart you steal.” The track is all about that feeling of wanting more and how when you really love someone, it seems like you can never get enough.
The Hustle – Van McCoy
The lyrical sparseness of this groovy song helps your body focus on the rhythm for the ultimate disco dancing. ‘The Hustle’ is a kind of disco dance that originated in New York, and Van McCoy wrote this song after seeing people dance. Horns, strings, and whistling windpipes make this a happy song all around, something that just lets you move and feel good.