There’s no need to guess what today’s song is: it’s “Good Times” by Chic.
“Good Times” marks an unofficial line of demarcation in music history. It was the last great disco song to hit #1 on the pop charts (if you use most folks’ definition; there were certainly danceable songs that were #1 later in 1979, notably Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” But I guess that wasn’t considered a pure “disco” song.). It was also the #1 song at the time of the now-infamous “Disco Demolition Night” that was held at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Its famous bassline was famously ripped off to form the backbone of “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang, the first rap song to become a national hit. It was also the basis for a clever rewrite (though some have called it an outright ripoff as well) by Queen for “Another One Bites The Dust.” According to the website Whosampled.com, “Good Times” has been sampled in some form in 175 songs.
“Good Times,” along with many of Chic’s great hits, was the brainchild of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, one of the great production teams and musical pairings of the late 1970’s. Rodgers and Edwards would go on to produce hits for Diana Ross (“Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out”) and Sister Sledge (“He’s The Greatest Dancer,” “We Are Family”) to name a couple acts. Their sound also inspired many groups after them, most famously the group Change, who modeled their sound after Chic.
As good as the songs were, the pair were also great musicians. Paired with the outstanding drummer Tony Thompson, the sound on Chic’s hits was as instantly recognizable as any name production team over the course of the last thirty years. Rodgers’ guitar and Edwards’ bass formed a one-two punch that most bands were unable to match. Hearing the guitar line in Daft Punk’s recent smash hit “Get Lucky,” I instantly knew who was playing. That same Nile Rodgers guitar line, or something similar to it, has been a staple of dance music for a long time, and powered many of Chic’s best hits. Edwards was certainly among the front line of bassists of the era; while he may not have been as greatly celebrated as Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson, his bass lines and solos were greatly appreciated by fans.
Please enjoy one of the most influential songs ever, and as always, thanks for listening and reading.