Saturday, August 18, 1979

Chic hit #1 with “Good Times”

Good Times


Writer(s): Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers (see lyrics here)

Released: June 4, 1979

First Charted: June 16, 1979

Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 2 HR, 3 RR, 26 AC, 16 RB, 5 UK, 2 CN, 48 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 0.2 UK, 5.2 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 36.60 video, 176.32 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Guitarist Nile Rodgers, bassist Bernard Edwards, and drummer Tony Thompson formed the Big Apple Band in 1972, renaming themselves Chic in 1977. They released their gold-selling self-titled debut that year and followed it with two top-5, platinum-selling albums before their popularity dipped as disco waned. However, those two albums each produced a #1 pop hit – “Le Freak” from 1978’s C’est Chic and “Good Times” from 1979’s Risqué. The latter was what Rodgers called “a Chic tribute to Kool & the Gang’s hit ‘Hollywood Swinging.’” MM

The song became the best-selling 45 RPM single in the history of Atlantic Records. WK Edwards’ distinctive bassline made it one of the most sampled and copied songs ever. SF Author Toby Creswell called it “the riff that kept on giving” TC and critic Dave Marsh said “Edwards was one of the half-dozen most inventive electric bassists ever.” DM

Queen’s 1980 chart-topping hit “Another One Bites the Dust” has been called a copy of “Good Times.” Edwards explained that John Deacon, Queen’s bassist, spent some time in the studio with them and he was O.K. with the band using Chic’s song as a template. What did frustrate him is that some people said Chic copied the song from Queen, even though Chic’s song came out a year earlier! FB

The Sugarhill Gang recreated the backing track of “Good Times” for their own 1979 single “Rapper’s Delight,” often hailed as the launch of the successful commercialization of rap music. Rodgers and Edwards threatened to sue, resulting in their names being added as co-writers. While Rodgers was initially upset with the song, he later called it “one of his favorite songs of all time.” WK

New York Rocker critic Barry Cooper said that “Good Times” had “broad appeal…[because] the lyrics were easy and catchy” and “the music: that bass line like a jungle drum, that handclap like a heartfelt lifeline, allowing everyone to pour out their troubles on the dance floor.” FB Lyrically, Rodgers said, “The country was in a recession…We wanted to emphasize the upbeat celebratory side.” MM He noted that “every lyric in the song was a throwback to depression-era songs,” TC specifically noting that he even ripped off lines from “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

Together or separately, Rodgers and Edwards had a hand in producing multiple #1’s for other artists in the 1970s and ‘80s including Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family,” Diana Ross’ “Upside Down,” David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Duran Duran’s “The Reflex,” and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”


Related Links:

First posted 10/8/2021; last updated 4/17/2024.

No comments:

Post a Comment