DOR! The Wave of the Future!

Posted more for socio-historical interest, than because it’s any good: A confusing college-daily-paper trend piece, conflating at least two different kinds of music (am I talking about new wave or talking about funk? why can’t I make up my mind?) and tossing in a questionable anti-disco subtext to make things even more disingenuous. Rap and the Stones and even AC/DC figure in somewhere, too. Then again, pretty sure I first heard of “dance oriented rock” while reading Robert Christgau’s 1979 Pazz & Jop essay, at the beginning of 1980: “White people (dancing to the B-52s) were once again catching up with the black music of an earlier time, in this case James Brown funk. Bizzers began talking about DOR– dance-oriented rock –instead of disco, and a real punk-disco fusion was achieved by two notable records, which oddly enough ended up on top of the first P&JCP singles chart: Ian Dury’s ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’/’Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 3’ and M’s ‘Pop Muzik.” So maybe new wave and funk were the same??

Columbia Missourian, 25 December 1981


  1. Dance-Oriented was a nice way to put it: “We’re not saying you can actually dance to this, or would necessarily want to, or, God forbid, *should*—not that high pressure stuff, but it’s catchy.”


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