Friday, May 26, 2017

10 essential Chic productions…

10 essential Chic productions / Chic – Good Times (Atlantic)
1979 happened to be a key year in the history of both Disco and Chic. The latter releasing the quintessential ‘Good Times’ from their ‘Risqué’ album. A track which influenced so many artists. Beginning with Sugarhill Gang who added their raps while partly using its instrumental part. But also Vaughan Mason And Crew who sort of gave it an extrapolation on ‘Bounce, Skate, Roll’. Not to mention UK former Punk guitarist Raymond Ian Burns aka Captain Sensible on ‘Wot!’ 3 years after…
10 essential Chic productions / Sister Sledge – Lost In Music (Cotillion)
It probably won’t be an offense stating that Sister Sledge got their hour of glory when teaming up with Chic. And most likely on the first of the 2 albums which the latter produced for them. In other words, ‘We Are Family’. A strong collection which spanned its title cut, but also ‘He’s The Greatest Dancer’ and ‘Thinking Of You’. And last but not least, ‘Lost In Music’. A track which, to me, stands among the most balanced grooves Chic ever produced along with their own ‘Happy Man’…
10 essential Chic productions / Diana Ross – Upside Down (Motown)
On the heels of ‘The Boss’ album which Ashford & Simpson produced for her in 1979, Diana Ross teamed up with Chic the year after. This resulting in the release of her ‘Diana’ album. The singer affirming her position in the Disco/Club scene with the memorable ‘Upside Down’. But also ‘I’m Coming Out’ and ‘My Old Piano’ to a lesser extend…
10 essential Chic productions / Sheila B. Devotion – Spacer (Carrère)
By 1979, a French Pop starlette who’d already explored Disco although in a much cheesy way decided to work with Chic. Her name: Sheila. The result gave birth to one of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards‘s most famous productions. Its title: ‘Spacer’. Rodgers renewing the experience while jamming with his guitar along with French singer Claude Nougaro in 1987 on ‘Nougayork’.
10 essential Chic productions / Carly Simon – Why (Mirage)
Seeing Soft Rock/Folk singer Carly Simon along with Chic happened to be quite of a surprise to many. It marked such a change referring to the usual guitar-based hits of the lady’s past such as ‘You’re So Vain’ for instance. That meeting happened back in 1982 with the lazy and bittersweet ‘Why’ from the ‘Soup For One’ OST. And even though the film flopped, it most likely brought Simon back in the charts in Europe. Hip-Hop group A Tribe Called Quest sampling its instrumental part for a remix of their classic ‘Bonita Applebum’ in 1993.
10 essential Chic productions / Norma Jean Wright – Saturday (Bearsville)
Elyria, OH native Norma Jean Wright toured for a short period with The Spinners before joining Chic back in 1977. She contributed to their first album as a singer that same year before launching her solo career in 1978. Despite an obvious talent, she only released one album (titled ‘Norma Jean’). But what a collection, featuring gems such as ‘Sorcerer’, ‘Havin’ A Party’ and the aforementioned. The latter eventually receiving the remixing treatment courtesy of Dimitri from Paris 32 years after! Strangely enough, Wright got taken from recording back as a member of Chic for contractual reasons…
10 essential Chic productions / Mick Jagger – Half A Loaf (Columbia)
The presence of Mick Jagger here is nothing of a surprise. The Rolling Stones‘ lead singer has explored so many directions as well at the end. Did he partner with Nile Rodgers on a will to respond to David Bowie‘s ‘Let’s Dance’? This wouldn’t be surprising neither, as a matter of fact. And although he didn’t get the same following, the blowing ‘Half A Loaf’ pretty much deserved a mention in this selection. Don’t you think?
10 essential Chic productions / Fonzi Thornton – Beverley (RCA)
Closing this selection with the exception to the rule. As a matter of fact, neither Nile Rodgers nor Bernard Edwards produced it. But long time Chic backing singer Fonzi Thornton, who eventually hired them as musicians. No need saying how ‘Beverley’ has something of a Chic family sound affair. Quite strange as well to see that, despite such an obvious talent, Thornton only released two albums at the end. Delivering underrated gems such as ‘The Leader’, ‘(Uh-Oh) There Goes My Heart’ and ‘A Natural (Yesiree)’…

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Good Times: C’est Chic!

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