In this halcyon Age of Obama, nobody likes to think of any debate (outside of Kathryn Stockett's The Help) could possibly break down along racial lines. Yet, many do concede that it is nearly impossible to avoid the topic of race when discussing the Roller Disco Era.
In Hollywood's attempt to prove it can even squeeze the black out of midnight, they drained the funk out of disco and the melanin out of roller skating and released Xanadu in 1980. There's a certain Wonder Bread wonder to the movie, which stars Michael Beck (from The Warriors), Olivia Newton-John, and (homeboy) Gene Kelly with music from legendary synth ... uhhhh ... well, you know, ELO (Electric Light Orchestra). Now, in all fairness, the movie did feature that poppin-and-locking brutha who went on to Breakin' fame. And I often imagine that the greatest black actor of the era not named Grand Bush, Stoney Jackson, was in the flick (but he wasn't).
And on the other side of this bloody schism is Vaughan Mason and Crew--the one-hit 1980 wonder with a funky-ass bass line. But damn, what a bass line.
It is time for you to decide: