Good Times (Chic song)

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"Good Times"
Single by Chic
from the album Risqué
B-side "A Warm Summer Night"
Released 1979
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1979
Genre Disco
Length 3:39 (45 version)
Label Atlantic 3584
Writer(s) Bernard Edwards
Nile Rodgers
Producer(s) Bernard Edwards
Nile Rodgers
Chic singles chronology
"I Want Your Love"
(1978)
"Good Times"
(1979)
"My Forbidden Lover"
(1979)
Audio sample
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"Good Times" is a 1979 song composed by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. It was first recorded by their band, Chic, for their 1979 album, Risqué. In August of that year it became the band's second number one single on both the Billboard Hot 100 and soul singles chart.[1] Along with the tracks, "My Forbidden Lover", and "My Feet Keep Dancing", "Good Times" reached number three on the disco charts.[2] The song has become one of the most sampled tunes in music history, most notably in rap and hip-hop music. Billboard magazine named "Good Times" the number one R&B single for 1979.

The song is ranked #229 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics are largely based on Milton Ager's "Happy Days Are Here Again." It also contains lines based on lyrics featured in "About a Quarter to Nine" made famous by Al Jolson. Nile Rodgers has stated that these depression-era lyrics were used as a hidden way to comment on the then-current economic depression in the United States.[3]

Track listings[edit]

Atlantic 7" 3584, June 4, 1979
  • A. "Good Times" (7" Edit) - 3:24
  • B. "A Warm Summernight" - 6:08
Atlantic 12" DK 4801, 1979
  • A. "Good Times" - 8:13
  • B. "A Warm Summernight" - 6:08
Atlantic promo 12" DSKO 192, 1979
  • A. "Good Times" - 8:13
  • B. "Good Times" (7" Edit) - 3:24

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1979) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 26
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 3
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Singles 1
UK Singles Chart 5

Songs that sample "Good Times"[edit]

In late 1979 Debbie Harry suggested that Nile Rodgers join her and Chris Stein at a Hip hop event in a communal space taken over by young kids and teenagers with boom box stereos, who would play various pieces of music to which performers would break dance. The main piece of music they would use was the break section of "Good Times." A few weeks later, Blondie, The Clash, and Chic were playing a gig in New York at Bonds nightclub. When Chic started playing "Good Times," rapper Fab Five Freddy and members of the Sugarhill Gang jumped up on stage and started freestyling with the band. Rodgers allowed them to "do their improvisation thing like poets, much like I would playing guitar with Prince."

A few weeks later Rodgers was on the dance floor of New York club LaViticus and suddenly heard the DJ play a song which opened with Edwards bass line from "Good Times". Rodgers approached the DJ who said he was playing a record he had just bought that day in Harlem. The song turned out to be an early version of "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang, which Rogers noted also included a scratched version of the song's string section. Rodgers and Edwards threatened The Sugarhill Gang with legal action, which resulted in them being credited as co-writers on "Rappers Delight".[4]

In the USA "Rapper's Delight" did not achieve as much chart success as "Good Times" (peaking at #36 on the U.S. pop chart and #4 on the American R&B charts, compared to Chic's #1 peak on both charts) but it helped to popularize the bassline and the song, and it became one of the most sampled tracks (and hence one of the most distinctive basslines) in the history of recorded music.[5] Having agreed on a commercial structure for the use of their song in "Rappers Delight", Edwards and Rodgers agreed to later uses in other songs, subject to their strict criteria.

In recent concerts Nile Rodgers usually segues into his rendition of "Rapper's Delight" when Chic performs this song. The "Good Times"/"Rapper's Delight" medley is almost invariably played as the last song in the band's set.

Sampling and motifs[edit]

This is a list of songs that either use direct samples from "Good Times", or feature an original recording where the bassline or other motifs (particularly that of the instrumental break) are inspired by the song.

Covers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 116. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 56. 
  3. ^ EMP Museum, "Happy Days Are Here Again", EMP Oral History Videos, Category: Black History Month, Nile Rodgers interviewed June 25, 2002, Seattle, Washington
  4. ^ "The Story of Rapper's Delight by Nile Rodgers". RapProject.tv. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  5. ^ citation needed
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ "Seamus Haji V Mark Knight & Funkagenda - Good Times". Missspelt Music. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Bad Girls" by Donna Summer
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
August 18, 1979
Succeeded by
"My Sharona" by The Knack
Preceded by
"Bad Girls" by Donna Summer
Billboard's Hot Soul Singles number one single
July 28 - September 1, 1979
Succeeded by
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson