The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees: “Death to Disco” Again?

10 Disco Songs Even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Could Like

10 Disco Songs Even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Could Like

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Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 7 2011 4:39 PM

Does the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Still Think “Disco Sucks”?

Disco queen Donna Summer.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its latest class of inductees today, calling up hard rockers Guns N’ Roses, funk rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers, rap rockers The Beastie Boys, folk rocker Donovan, rock pianist Laura Nyro, and rock rockers The Small Faces/The Faces. As a rock fan, I’m happy to see all these artists get some love. Rock on, guys! Seriously.

On the other hand, I can’t help but feel let down by the omissions. The shortlisters that didn’t make it in this year include Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Heart, War, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Eric B & Rakim, and Donna Summer—a list that’s quite a bit more diverse, and not just when it comes to genre.

If there’s one of these artists who would have been both the most surprising inclusion and the most deserving one, it’s Donna Summer. Instead, more than thirty years after Disco Demolition Night, it seems that rock’s long-held belief that “disco sucks” lives on.

As Slate music critic Jody Rosen pointed out to me in an email today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame actually has opened its doors to some disco, though—if primarily from canonical rockers (mostly straight white males), and rock artists who rode the disco wave (namely, the Bee Gees). So while we can’t expect that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will abandon its musical prejudices overnight, we can hope it will speed up the process.

To help ease them with that change, we’ve compiled a list of ten of the greatest disco songs by Hall of Fame rockers:

Forrest Wickman Forrest Wickman

Forrest Wickman is Slate’s culture editor.

The Rolling Stones - “Miss You”


Rod Stewart – “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

The Four Seasons – “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”


Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall”



Blondie – “Heart of Glass”


Wings (Paul McCartney) -  “Goodnight Tonight”



David Bowie – “Let’s Dance”


The Clash - “The Magnificent Seven”



Queen - “Another One Bites the Dust”


The Grateful Dead – “Shakedown Street”