Essential Atlantic: Chic, CHIC

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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CHIC, CHIC 1977

There are few artists who've had as much of an impact on modern popular music as guitarist, songwriter and producer Nile Rodgers. Along with his longtime partner, songwriter and bassist Bernard Edwards, the pair created the band Chic, a "sophisto-funk" outfit inspired after Rodgers saw Roxy Music live for the first time.

Released on November 22, 1977, the group's self-titled debut Chic arrived with monster lead single, "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah), which flew up multiple charts to peak at #6 on the Hot 100 for the week of February 25, 1978. The tune featured an up and coming singer on background vocals: Luther Vandross. The #1 song in America that week: the Bee Gees with "Stayin' Alive."

The album's second single, "Everybody Dance," was another party classic, soaring to #1 on the Dance Club Play chart. While not the crossover hit of the magnitude of "Dance, Dance, Dance," the song did crash the top 40 to peak at #38 for the week of June 17, 1978. The #1 song in the country at the time: Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing."

Chic's debut wasn't all just dance-floor burners. The record also featured deep album cuts like "Sao Paulo," a stellar example of Rodger's "sophisto-funk" tag.

Chic got the band off to a rousing start, cruising to a peak position of #27 on the Billboard 200 for the week of March 4, 1978. The most popular album in the United States that week: the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever.