Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Just Like Rogers and Astaire

Chic : Everybody Dance

Chic's three album run of great disco albums started with the self-titled debut, released on November 22, 1977. The best known track is the U.S.Top 10 hit "Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah)", which features an uncredited Luther Vandross singing back up, but I prefer "Everybody Dance" probably because of the scene below in The Last Days of Disco.

Chic's creative forces were songwriters Bernie Edwards ( bass) and Nile Rodgers (guitar).  At one point they had hoped their rock fusion group Big Apple Band would become the black version of Kiss. When that didn't pan out, they teamed up with a pair of female vocalists, Alfa Anderson and Norma Jean Wright, and tried their hands at disco.

The debut is a bit of a mixed bag, a playful effort at sounding sophisticated by quoting old sayings like "Yowsah", adding a big band sound to "Strike Up The Band" and french lyrics like "Est-ce Que C'est Chic". There's even some quiet storm numbers like "Sao Paolo". At the time critics weren't impressed. 

When Niles moved his funky guitar up in the mix, Chic would find their most successful sound with the 1978 follow up C'est Chic featuring the #1 smash "Le Freak" and "I Want Your Love".

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