Feel the Force: The Real Thing’s Disco Hit Dominated Radio Luxembourg and Pulsed in ‘The Bitch’

‘Can You Feel the Force?’ by The Real Thing stands as a hallmark of the late 1970s disco era. Released in 1979, this track cemented the band’s status in the music world, particularly within the United Kingdom, where it became a massive hit.

"Can You Feel the Force?" marked a significant evolution in their musical style, embracing the burgeoning disco movement that was sweeping across the globe. 
“Can You Feel the Force?” marked a significant evolution in their musical style, embracing the burgeoning disco movement that was sweeping across the globe.

Known for its infectious rhythm, powerful vocals, and compelling lyrics, the song not only dominated the airwaves but also became a cultural touchstone, featuring prominently on Radio Luxembourg and in the Joan Collins movie “The Bitch,” set in the glamorous and gritty streets of London.

The Real Thing, a British soul group formed in 1970, originally gained fame with hits like “You to Me Are Everything” and “Can’t Get By Without You.”

A big move forward in style for the Band

However, “Can You Feel the Force?” marked a significant evolution in their musical style, embracing the burgeoning disco movement that was sweeping across the globe. 

The song was written by band members Chris Amoo and Eddie Amoo, who infused it with a sense of urgency and a pulsating energy that resonated with the dance floors of the time.

The production of “Can You Feel the Force?” was a meticulous process, aimed at creating a sound that would captivate audiences and stand the test of time. The track begins with a hypnotic bassline, soon joined by a dynamic orchestration of strings and brass that builds to a crescendo. 

Driving beat the song a worldwide Anthem

The driving beat, characteristic of disco music, is complemented by the Amoo brothers’ soulful vocals, which soar over the instrumental arrangement. The lyrics, urging listeners to “feel the force,” create an almost spiritual experience, inviting everyone to succumb to the rhythm and let the music take control.

Radio Luxembourg, a powerhouse in the European radio landscape during the 1970s, played a crucial role in propelling “Can You Feel the Force?” to success. The station’s extensive reach and influence meant that the song was heard by millions of listeners, many of whom were captivated by its infectious groove and compelling message. 

As one of the station’s most played tracks, it not only boosted the band’s profile but also helped solidify the song’s place in the disco canon.

Part of the Soundtrack to the cult movie ‘The Bitch’ with Joan Collins

Adding to its cultural impact, “Can You Feel the Force?” was featured in the 1979 film “The Bitch,” starring Joan Collins. The movie, based on the novel by Jackie Collins, is set in the vibrant nightlife of London and follows the story of a nightclub owner navigating personal and professional challenges. 

The inclusion of The Real Thing’s hit song in the film’s soundtrack underscored the era’s pulsating energy and the city’s dynamic club scene.

The song’s presence in the film not only enhanced its popularity but also connected it to the broader cultural landscape of the time.

The song’s success can also be attributed to its broader themes of empowerment and unity. Disco music, with its roots in African American, Latino, and gay communities, was a form of expression and liberation.

Captured the uplifting spirit that was just taking off

“Can You Feel the Force?” captured this spirit perfectly, with its call to feel the collective power of the music and the moment. The Real Thing, being one of the few successful black British bands of the time, embodied this message, breaking racial barriers and achieving mainstream success.

The Real Thing’s ability to blend soul, funk, and disco elements in “Can You Feel the Force?” showcased their versatility and talent. The track’s arrangement, characterised by lush production and tight musicianship, exemplified the high standards of disco production. 

The song’s legacy is evident in its continued popularity and its influence on later musical genres, including house and electronic dance music.

A beloved classic and Powerplay on Capitol fm

In the years following its release, “Can You Feel the Force?” has remained a beloved classic, often featured in nostalgic retrospectives of the disco era. The song’s enduring appeal lies in its ability to evoke the joyous and carefree spirit of the late 1970s, a time when music provided an escape and a sense of community.

The Real Thing’s contribution to this era, particularly through this iconic track, is a testament to their talent and the timeless quality of their music.

In summary, “Can You Feel the Force?” by The Real Thing is more than just a disco hit; it is a cultural artefact that captures the essence of an era. Its success on Radio Luxembourg, its feature in “The Bitch,” and its ongoing legacy are testaments to the song’s powerful impact.

The Real Thing, through this track, delivered a message of unity and joy that continues to resonate with listeners today, proving that the force of their music is indeed timeless.