Brick House (song)
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|Single by Commodores|
|from the album Commodores|
|Released||August 26, 1977|
|Format||7", 12", vinyl, 45 rpm|
Creation and recording
In 1977, the Commodores were in the studio recording when there was a problem with the equipment. While the tapes were being repaired and replaced, the group took a break. Ronald LaPread, the group's bass player, began jamming. Bit by bit the rest of the band joined in until they came up with the now famous track and bass line. Upon returning, James Carmichael, the Commodores producer heard and recognized that this could be a song worth recording. He asked everyone to see if they could use the riff to come up with a song. That night while he slept, William King's wife, Shirley Hanna-King, wrote.
The following day, William played "Brick House" for the Commodores, allowing them to think he had written it. They loved it and decided that drummer Walter "Clyde" Orange had the funky voice to sing lead vocals (contrary to popular belief, Lionel Richie did not sing lead). "Brick House" went on the new album and sold millions of copies around the world.
It took several years before the Commodores discovered that it was actually Shirley Hanna-King who had written and coined the term "Brick House". Although not originally credited, the Commodores have publicly acknowledged Hanna-King as writer.
Shirley Hanna-King modified the expression "built like a brick shithouse" for the song
In 1995, Mayte released "House of Brick", a rap version of "Brick House", on Paisley Park Records. The track appears on her debut album Child of the Sun. The song features The New Power Generation, and Mayte's then-husband, Prince. That same year, Dread Zeppelin covered this song as "Brick House (of the Holy!)" on their album No Quarter Pounder.
"Brick House" was also covered in 2003 by Rob Zombie on the House of 1000 Corpses Soundtrack and released as a promo single. The song can also be found on Zombie's Past, Present & Future album. In the song, Zombie collaborates with Lionel Richie (who did not sing on the original version) and Trina on vocals.
In popular culture
"Brick House" was featured in the 1999 film, Muppets from Space.
In the sitcom Dinosaurs, Roy Hess sings the song in the episode "Georgie Must Die"
On an episode of Living Single, the women all sing "Brick House" in unison while preparing to go out to a nightclub.