Disco in the 1970s and early 1980s was a force of nature, a biblical tide that flooded everything around it, often for better and sometimes for worse. In retrospect that influence is incredibly obvious in records from the era from sources as disparate as The Grateful Dead and KISS (whose label Casablanca, of course, was positioned at the epicenter of disco’s chart invasion.)

In the early 2000s, the cyclical nature of the industry brought names like the Paradise Garage and David Mancuso back into the popular consciousness and films like Josell Ramos’ Maestro scratched the itch of young people for something deeper than what they’d been fed. Disco Not Disco, a compilation from a new-ish label Strut Records, shined a spotlight on disco’s proliferation by drawing on “the outer limits of leftfield disco championed by [Larry] Levan and Mancuso.” The compilation featured experimental recordings from Arthur Russell, Yoko Ono, Ian Dury, Don Cherry, Bill Laswell’s Material and more from unlikely sources in the “sonic melting pot of New York during the early ’80s, an era when punk had burnt itself out and disco had become commercial and saccharine.”

Those words are from the last reissue of Disco Not Disco, compiled by Dave Lee (then still known as Joey Negro) and Sean P. In honor of their 25th anniversary, Strut is reissuing Disco Not Disco, pressed on 3×12″ translucent yellow vinyl that honors of one of the truly iconic album covers of the era:

Disco Not Disco album cover

The tracklist for Disco Not Disco is probably one of the most memorized and well-known playlists of the last 25 years but here it is again:

A1. Yoko Ono: Walking on Thin Ice (1981 Re-Edit)
A2. Liquid Liquid: Cavern
B1. Loose Joints: Tell You (Today) (Vocal)
B2. Ian Dury & The Seven Seas Players: Spasticus Autisticus (Version)
C1. Material: Over and Over
C2. Was (Not Was): Wheel Me Out
D1. Dinosaur: Kiss Me Again (Original Edit)
D2. Don Cherry: I Walk
E1. Common Sense: Voices Inside My Head
E2. Nicky Siano: Move
F1. Indian Ocean: School Bell/Tree House

Disco Not Disco is the “first of several” special editions for Strut’s 25th annivesary; pre-orders are available now.