The history of the song "Le Freak", which became the biggest success in the history of Atlantic Records

Heath was born under strange circumstances in the apartment of bassist Bernard Edwards. It happened after the plans of Edwards and guitarist Nile Rodgers were destroyed by the doorman of the Studio 54 club.

All about the hit "Le Freak" by the group "Chic"

"Le Freak" - this is the name of the hit single of the group Chicreleased in 1978. Track topped Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot R&B Singles and became a big breakthrough for both the disco-funk band and for Atlantic Records: it was the most commercially successful single in the history of the label!

But at first, the producers did not see anything outstanding in him. Actually, it was the same with the cult «Bohemian Rhapsody», but we all know what it led to as a result "Queen.". As for Le Freak, it was their first US number one for Chic! Subsequently, the composition was included in the list of "100 best songs of the last 55 years of the Hot 100 chart" according to the magazine. Billboard.


Group "Chic"
Group "Chic"

Heath was born under strange circumstances in the bassist's apartment Bernard Edwards. This happened after the plans of Edwards and the guitarist Nile Rogers were destroyed by the doorman of the club Studio 54. That night they were invited by a charming Grace Jones in order to meet and discuss some working nuances with a possible prospect of cooperation. However, they were not on the guest list, and therefore the enthusiastic musicians were denied entry. And this despite the fact that their song "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" used to play Studio 54 a lot!

Group "Chic"
Group "Chic"

It was the eve of a new 1977 of the year. Studio 54 was an incredibly popular nightclub in New York, where the real cream of society hung out: producers and composers, rockers and jazzmen, models and actresses - in a word, all the bohemia of those years. Model, actress and singer Grace Jones planned to work with Edwards and Rogers, and therefore invited the guys to the club. However, when they arrived, they were in for a very unpleasant disappointment: they were not on the guest list. Alas, they failed to convince the porter that they were invited. Moreover, they were not believed that they were from the Chic group! Dressing up and going nowhere on New Year's Eve is a real disaster. Edwards and Rogers left and soon had a jam session during which she was born "Le Freak".

Meaning, lyrics

Group "Chic"
Group "Chic"

Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers were not only the leaders of "Chic", but also talented authors. They were also producers and worked on songs "Sister Sledge" and Diana Ross! Edwards, for example, produced Joe Cocker and Robert Palmer, while Rogers collaborated with Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Madonna. Unfortunately, in 1996 Edwards died of pneumonia.

"Le Freak" was written as an answer to the porter. The song was originally called "F-k Off" but Edwards later decided to rename it. In general, the text of the composition is addressed to "Studio 54": its bohemian clientele, long lines and impolite doormen. It also contains a reference to the song Edgar Sampson 1933 "Stompin' at the Savoy". When "Le Freak" became a hit, Edwards and Rogers had no more trouble getting in.

Graduation and Success

Cover of "C'est Chic" (1978) by Chic
Album cover of C'est Chic (1978) by Chic

The single was released in 1978 year and quickly gained success: first place in Billboard Hot 100, constant rotation on the radio, multi-million copies. Subsequently, a music video was even filmed, which today scored more than 9.6 million views on YouTube.

But the most interesting thing in this whole story is that initially the record company did not want to release this hit. Here's what he said Rogers after years:

“When we performed this song, the reaction was zero. The staff left the conference room and Edwards and I were left alone. Everyone was outside and I felt like they didn't know how to tell us this was a terrible track! They obviously didn't like it, no one. They were hoping we had something more worthwhile for the single."

Interesting Facts

  • Until 2008 "Le Freak" remained the first and only song to top the Billboard Hot 100 three times in a row!
  • The single remains the most commercially successful in the history of the Atlantic Records label: its worldwide circulation has long crossed the mark of 13 million copies, two of which were sold in America.
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included the track in its top "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" ("500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll"). In addition, he was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.
Grace Jones
Grace Jones
  • Regarding Grace Jones, then the musicians from Chic did not work with her. It wasn't until 1986 that Rogers produced her record.
  • "C'est Chic" - this is the name of the album, which included this hit. Translated from French, the phrase means "It's gorgeous".
  • This song is back UK top 20 as a remix in 1987 called "Jack le Freak".

  • In an interview, Nile Rodgers once stated that "Le Freak" was "an homage to the song Chubby Checker "Peppermint Twist".

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