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Intro

In a Nutshell:

Glam, glitter, noise, decadence, racial integration, sexual liberation, incomparable fame… in a way, the frequently defamed 1970s disco movement had it all. Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” rose to the top of disco’s bright, sweaty heap of dance hits and escapism, and before you could say “walk out the door,” the fringe dance-club movement known as disco became a permanent part of musical history.

About the Song

ArtistGloria Gaynor Musician(s)Gloria Gaynor (vocals)
AlbumLove Tracks
Year1978
LabelPolydor
Writer(s)Freddie Perren, Dino Fekaris
Producer(s)Dino Fekaris
Learn to play: http://www.azchords.com/g/gaynorgloria-tabs-11991/iwillsurvive-tabs-139456.html
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Shmoop Connections

Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
These days, the telltale signs of Gloria Gaynor’s disco glamour show up in everything from Lady Gaga to Maroon Five. And “I Will Survive” joins its female empowerment predecessors such as Aretha Franklin’s ”Respect” and its descendants such as Beyoncé’s ”Single Ladies” in a seemingly endless stream of female-empowerment-meets-dance-floor awesomeness.

You wouldn’t guess from listening to a disco medley today that disco’s early days were laden with controversy, though. The idea of disco in the 2010s is so uncontroversial it’s almost boring, a mere backdrop to today’s synthed-out pop sounds. But back in the 1970s, some people thought the new music was vacuous, silly, or even dangerous. Others, like many die-hard rock and roll fans, thought it was criminally unoriginal, an elitist art form that represented the corruption of the times. For others, like Gaynor and many of her followers, the meaning of disco can be summed up in two words: Disco Saves. But what exactly did the people need saving from…? Shmoop knows. Shmoop always knows.

On the Charts

“I Will Survive” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978 and remained on the chart for 27 weeks, making it the biggest crossover disco hit of the decade (most disco songs remained on club and dance music charts without gracing the mainstream Hot 100).

In 1980, “I Will Survive” received the only Grammy Award ever for Best Disco Recording. It was a short-lived category.
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