Le Freak

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"Le Freak"
Single by Chic
from the album C'est Chic
B-side "You Can Get By"
"Savoir Faire"
Released July 10, 1978
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded January 1978
Genre Disco[1]
Length 5:23
Label Atlantic (3519)
Writer(s) Bernard Edwards
Nile Rodgers
Producer(s) Bernard Edwards
Nile Rodgers
Chic singles chronology
"Everybody Dance"
(1977)
"Le Freak"
(1978)
"I Want Your Love"
(1978)
Chic's "Le Freak" from C'est Chic

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"Le Freak" is a song by the band Chic. It was the band's third single and first Billboard Hot 100 and soul music number-one song.[2][3] Along with the tracks, "I Want Your Love" and "Chic Cheer", "Le Freak" scored number one on the disco charts for seven weeks.[4]

The single has the distinction of being the best selling record ever for Atlantic Records company, and the best-selling single ever for Warner Music Group until it was displaced in 1990 (by Madonna's song "Vogue").[citation needed]

The single achieved sales of seven million[5] and also scored number seven in the UK singles chart.

The song was ranked number 19 on Billboard magazine's top 100 songs of the first 50 years of the "Hot 100" chart.

Lyrics[edit]

Part of the lyrics mention "Stompin' at the Savoy", which is an actual song composed by Edgar Sampson. They also invite the listener to "Come on down to the 54", which is a reference to a popular nightclub at that time.

History[edit]

This song commemorates Studio 54 for its notoriously long customer waiting lines, exclusive clientele, and discourteous doormen. According to guitarist Nile Rodgers, the song was devised during New Year's Eve of 1977, as a result of his and bassist Bernard Edwards' being refused entrance to Studio 54, where they had been invited by Grace Jones, due to her failure to notify the nightclub's staff. He said the lyrics of the refrain were originally "Fuck off!" rather than "Freak out!"[6]

"Le Freak" was the first song to score the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 three separate times. This record remained until 2008, when "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis became the second track to score number one three times. Later that same year rap artist T.I. tied this record twice with both "Whatever You Like" which he recorded by himself and "Live Your Life" which he recorded with Rihanna.

In 1987, an acid house-styled re-mix was issued under the title "Jack Le Freak". It reached #18 in the United Kingdom, becoming Chic's last top 40 hit to date in that country.

The song is featured in the home edition of Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2. It is also featured in the game Just Dance for the Wii. The song is featured in Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail! during the fashion show portion of the game. It was performed on the television program Glee on the episode "Showmance", much to the characters' chagrin. The song was featured in a series of early 2000s commercials for the Ford Motor Company with the alternate lyrics "Break out!"

Most recently, "Le Freak" was covered by the electronica band Millionaires for the MTV movie Turn the Beat Around. The song can be heard in the 2010 film Diary of a Wimpy Kid in the Mother Son Sweetheart Dance scene. This song was featured in Toy Story 3 while Ken is modeling clothes for Barbie. The song can be heard in the trailer for Freaky Friday. The bass line from the song was used by American industrial rock group My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult for their track, "Waiting for Mommie" on the Confessions of a Knife... album that was released in 1990 by Wax Trax Records.

The song was also used on one TV ad in a series of TV ads for the all-new, eleventh-generation Toyota Corolla in the United States, shown with a first-generation Corolla, then a seventh-generation Corolla, and finally, the new Corolla. The song was used with the 1970s Corolla.

Track listings[edit]

Atlantic 7" 3519, September 21, 1978
  • A. "Le Freak" (7" Edit) – 3:30
  • B. "Savoir Faire" – 4:57
Atlantic promo 12" DSKO 131, 1978 / Atlantic 12" DK 4700, 1978
  • A. "Le Freak" – 5:23
  • B. "Savoir Faire" – 4:57
Atlantic 12" DK 4620, 1978 / Atlantic Oldies promo 12" DSKO 178, 1979
  • A. "Le Freak" – 5:23
  • B. "You Can Get By" – 5:36

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"MacArthur Park" by Donna Summer
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (with "I Want Your Love" and "Chic Cheer")
November 25, 1978 – January 6, 1979
Succeeded by
"Contact" by Edwin Starr
Preceded by
"I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan
Billboard's Hot R&B Songs number-one single
December 2, 1978 – December 30, 1978
Succeeded by
"Got to Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn
Preceded by
"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" by Barbra Sreisand and Neil Diamond
"Too Much Heaven" by The Bee Gees
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
December 9, 1978
December 23, 1978 – December 30, 1978
January 20, 1979 – February 3, 1979
Succeeded by
"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
"Too Much Heaven" by The Bee Gees
"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? by Rod Stewart
Preceded by
"Too Much Heaven" by The Bee Gees
RIANZ New Zealand Singles Chart number-one single
January 28, 1979 – February 18, 1979
Succeeded by
"Y.M.C.A." by The Village People

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heather Phares. "Disco Fever, Vol. 2 [SPG] on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 6 July 2013.  "disco hits like Chic's "Le Freak,""
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 116. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Chic > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved November 28, 2009 (2009-11-28). 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 56. 
  5. ^ Haden-Guest, Anthony (February 24, 1986). New York Magazine: "Jewel of a Nile", p. 49. New York Magazine. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ "CLASSIC TRACKS: Chic – 'Le Freak'". Sound On Sound Magazine. 2005. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Chic – Le Freak – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chic – Le Freak" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  9. ^ "Le Freak in Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Le Freak in Canadian Disco Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Le Freak in Canadian Top 15 12inch Chart (with Macho man)". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Le Freak in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Le Freak in French Chart". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. Retrieved 16 June 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Chic"
  14. ^ "Chic – Le Freak". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment.
  15. ^ a b "irishcharts.ie search results". Retrieved November 28, 2009. 
  16. ^ "HPI – Settimana del 20/01/79". Retrieved November 28, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Chic search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Chic – Le Freak" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  19. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Chic – Le Freak". Top 40 Singles.
  20. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Chic – Le Freak". VG-lista.
  21. ^ John Samson. "Le Freak in South African Chart". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Chic – Le Freak". Singles Top 60.
  23. ^ "Chic – Le Freak – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  24. ^ a b "Chic". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – Chic – Le Freak" (in French). Les classement single.
  26. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Chic – Le Freak". Music Canada. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  27. ^ "French single certifications – Chic – Le Freak" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  Select CHIC and click OK
  28. ^ "Les Singles en Or :" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  29. ^ "British single certifications – Chic – Le Freak". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  Enter Le Freak in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  30. ^ "American single certifications – Chic – Le Freak". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  31. ^ Perrone, Pierre (27 April 1996). "Obituary: Bernard Edwards". The Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 

External links[edit]