Ah, Chic. Kind of the best band ever, n'est pas? If you're reading this blog you probably know all about how influential they are, their post-Chic work with Bowie and Madonna, launching the careers of Sister Sledge and Luther Vandross, etc. Good stuff. If you are truly interested (and nerdy) check out Daryl Easlea's lengthily titled biography "Everybody Dance: Chic and the Politics of Dancing" for a great (only) overview of their lives and careers. Formulaic has been a charge leveled at Chic and disco in general since the start but for me Chic's formula - great production, catchy minimalism, interlocking guitar/bass grooves, suits- is really what makes them great and so successful. As imitation is the sincerest form of flattery its inevitable Chic's massive fame would spawn well, imitators and here are a few memorable ones:
Change - A Lover's Holiday This was a pretty big hit on both sides of the atlantic actually. Luther Vandross sings on some songs on this album (including Larry Levan favorite "Angel in My Pocket") but not actually on this one. I love the synths that come in on the outro and the super Chic-y group vocals.
Bazuka - (C'est) Le Rock This song was kind of the inspiration for this post. Could this be any more of a Chic ripoff please? I mean, its called "(C'est) Le Rock" for crying out loud! When I dj this song, I cut it in from the breakdown that's about three minutes in so ripping it yesterday I kind of heard it for the first time as well. Holds up pretty well, I think.
Charanga '76 - Good Times For me, the genera of the non-english version of a disco hit has gotten a bit tired but I need to include this as well. Charanga '76 starts with a more or less faithful cover of Chic's monster hit but quickly turns it into a latin space echo freakout... come to think of it, thats kind of what they do on all their songs!