January 21, 2009

Bedtime Music: Chic - Le Freak

One of the more popular songs when I was a teenager was the 1978 hit, Le Freak by Chic. The song has an interesting history. Guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards were supposed to have a meeting at Studio 54; however, singer/actress Grace Jones forgot to leave word with management that Rodgers and Edwards were coming. As a result, the two were denied entry into the club. Upon returning home, Rodgers and Edwards began jamming together. Their anger at not being allowed into the club resulted in the beginning of a "protest song." As Rodgers later noted, "...we started singing, 'f*** off!' [Repeats the lick.] 'Aaaaahh, f*** off!'" Later that night, the "f*** off" became "freak off" and then "freak out." The rest, as they say, is history.

The song reached #1 on the
Billboard Hot 100 not once, but three times, and was the best selling record ever for the band's label, Atlantic Records. It was also the best selling single for Warner Music (Atlantic's parent corporation) for twelve years, until 1990 when Madonna released Vogue.

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