John Murray on a true music legend behind so many massive hits
Meeting Nile Rodgers at the 2012 Edinburgh Book Festival made me realise how many hits he was responsible for. Apart from his own creation with Bernard Edwards, forming Chic, they brought pop to disco and, with a series of extended mixes, kept themselves on DJ sets for years. Take their Good Times, for one. Here was a funky beat, a happy bass line and a dance hit to influence and impress the likes of Sugarhill Gang, who used the sample for Rapper’s Delight, Queen, who borrowed same for their Another One Bites The Dust and Blondie, who wrote Rapture round it. Good Times has been sampled 125 times since and Nile still gets the royalty. Having conquered a cancer scare, he formed a new Chic to tour this year and this culminated in a seminal performance at Glastonbury. By this time, he was riding high, as it was his collaboration with Daft Punk to produce the first dance anthem of 2013 in Get Lucky which topped the chart for a month. His medley of collaborations at Glastonbury included Lady (Modjo), Like A Virgin (Madonna), Notorious (Duran Duran), Let’s Dance (David Bowie) and Rapper’s Delight of course. This rare recording now forms part of Nile Rodgers’ The Chic Organisation Up All Night (Rhino), now available as a double CD Disco Edition. The selection has the full 12” version of Everybody Dance from Chic plus the extended Why from Carly Simon, Spacer from Sheila B Devotion and Like A Virgin from Madonna. The greatest from Chic like Le Freak, I Want Your Love and Everybody Dance, and Good Times, are peppered with the associations like He’s The Greatest Dancer, Frankie and We Are Family from Sister Sledge. I Love My Lady from Johnny Mathis. The 8 minute Good Times would sell it to me as I still have the vinyl but the extended versions and additional tracks like a Chic Mini Mix and the 14 minute live medley make this the present I bought myself.