80s Hi-NRG Disco

Some popular Hi-NRG Hits dating from 1982 to 1987

An Introduction To This Blog

In July 1984 I started to go to nighclubs in Scotland, and began a voyage of discovery into Hi-NRG dance music. The current trend that summer was the explosion of High Energy dance music into mainstream commercial success in the UK. Records such as “Self Control” by Laura Branigan, “Jump” by The Pointer Sisters, “Searchin'” by Hazell Dean, “You Think You’re A Man” by Divine, and the eponymous “High Energy” by Evelyn Thomas all became top 10 hits. This style of music had reamained underground in the gay clubs since the dying days of Disco in 1979-1980, but ‘came out’ in style in 1983 and 1984. You can read about the beginnings of my journey into the world of Hi-NRG and Italo Disco on my blog post here.

This blog is an attempt to chronologically document the development of the Hi-NRG sound in the UK, from its closeted roots in the gay clubs, to the world wide success of such producers like Stock, Aitken & Waterman towards the end of the 80s. The blog will attempt to bring some coherence to the influences behind the music, from its roots in 70s disco and early 80s boogie to Eurodisco and Italodisco. The blog is based on my own thoughts, reflections and experiences in the 80s dancing to, and collecting, these records, and is not meant to be an academic treatise .

I will be publishing the weekly Boystown Disco, Hi-NRG and later Eurbeat charts that were compiled by James Hamilton and Alan Jones for Record Mirror magazine from July 1982 to 1989 to help explain the evolution of Hi-NRG in the UK. The charts were a lifeline for discovering new releases, as well as new American, Canadian and European 12″ singles that were setting the dance floors alight. You can find all James Hamilton’s weekly Disco Columns written for Record Mirror, starting in 1969, here: https://jameshamiltonsdiscopage.com/

Although the Hi-NRG sound dwindled away from 1987 onwards, being replaced in the clubs with House, Techno, Italodance and Trance, there is still worldwide interest in the orginal 80s tracks, especially in Mexico, Japan and Eastern Europe, where singers and artists from the 80s still perform, and huge nightclubs still play the records at packed out events. There are also many on-line radio shows dedicated to 80s Hi-NRG and Italodisco which have worldwide audiences.

Over the last 36 years I have built up a vast collection of original 1980s Hi-NRG and Italodisco 12″ records, and this blog will link to my YouTube channel videos which contains many of the tracks that will appear in subsequent posts. In the meantime, here is one of my own mixes of 80s HI-NRG to start readers on this journey into the world of Hi-NRG!

Check out some of my favourite Hi-NRG tracks on my YouTube channel, where I regularly put up videos recorded from my own record collection, and new discoveries from the 80s here: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrCjrn

I also post my vinyl mixes on Mixcloud here: https://www.mixcloud.com/jamiej80sdisco/

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