Now, be honest, when you think disco, numerous acts and artists, tunes and grooves spring to mind, don’t they, without really having to try all that hard or put in too much effort. In fact, it’s almost TOO easy! And, surely, this also has to be the case when considering the definition of ‘an absolute class act’. And, by that, we mean the all-conquering, all-powerful dance floor legends that are…Chic. Without the musicality and genius of Nile Rodgers, and his amazingly talented peers, we wouldn’t have such disco classics as “Le Freak”, “Good Times”, “I Want Your Love” or “Everybody Dance”! Imagine that! A world WITHOUT any of those epic grooves…simply unimaginable!
Yes, Chic were a real force to be reckoned with in the late 70s when they were at the height of their success however, founding members Nile Rodgers (guitar) and Bernard Edwards (bass), had actually met way back in 1970 when they were session musicians in New York City, and didn’t actually create our beloved Chic until quite a few years later in 1976! With drummer Tony Thompson joining in 1977, the trio performed cover versions initially and, in order to become a ‘proper band’, it became clear that a vocalist was needed. After Norma Jean Wright joined the group, work began in earnest on debut album Chic which was created by developing the demo tapes used originally to secure a recording contract with Atlantic Records.
“Everybody Dance” was actually the first song ever recorded under the name of Chic and became a hit, along with “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)”. To enhance the Chic sound for live performances and to ensure that the group’s recording studio sound was recreated accurately, vocalist Luci Martin joined the band, eventually becoming a lead singer, as did Alfa Anderson, who was originally a backing singer for the band along with Luther Vandross (!), but who replaced Norma Jean Wright who had to end her association with the group due to contractual issues.
After that, the Chic legacy simply grew and grew with the group scoring a string of international hits with their instantly recognisable sound and production, and perfectly written songs which were crafted in such a way that they filled dance floors around the world and came to epitomise the sound of disco for a generation!
Chic’s follow-up album C’est Chic contained the iconic "Le Freak" and the lead single from their third offering Risque gave us one of the most influential tracks of the era, "Good Times", which has been sampled by or given inspiration to numerous artists including Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, Queen, Blondie, Captain Sensible & Daft Punk!
Unfortunately, the disco backlash at the end of the decade and into the early 80s, saw Chic disband in 1983 however, as we are all aware Chic, now Nile Rodgers & Chic, reformed and have been releasing new albums and touring for many years. Sadly, whilst some former members of the group are no longer with us, and the line-up has seen many changes over the years, Nile Rodgers & Chic are still doing what they do best, creating joy on the dance floor. And for that, we thank them from the bottom of our hearts!
Discography: The Early Years (1977-1979)
“Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” (UK No.6 & USA No. 6*)
“Everybody Dance” (UK No.9 & USA No.38)
“Le Freak” (UK No.7 & USA No.1)
“I Want Your Love” (UK No.4 & USA No.7)
“Good Times” (UK No.5 & USA No.1)
“My Forbidden Lover" (UK No.15 & USA No.43)
“My Feet Keep Dancing” (UK No.21)
Chic (1978) (USA No.27)
C’est Chic (1978/1979) (UK No.2 & USA No.4)
Risque (1979) (UK No.29 & USA No.5)
The Best Of Chic (1979) (UK No.30)
*UK Chart Position (OCC Official Chart Company) & USA Chart Position (Billboard)