Supermodel (You Better Work)

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"Supermodel (You Better Work)"
Single by RuPaul
from the album Supermodel of the World
Released November 17, 1992
Format CD single
12" Vinyl
Genre House, dance-pop
Length 3:59 (album version)
Label Tommy Boy
Writer(s) RuPaul
Jimmy Harry
Larry Tee
Producer(s) Eric Kupper
RuPaul singles chronology
"I've Got That Feelin'"
(1992)
"Supermodel (You Better Work)"
(1993)
"Little Drummer Boy"
(1993)
Music video
"Supermodel (You Better Work)" on YouTube

"Supermodel 2006" on YouTube

"Supermodel (You Better Work)" is a 1992 song by the dance music singer and drag queen RuPaul. It was the third single (but first major label single) from his album Supermodel of the World. The single was an unexpected success during an era where grunge was at the height of its popularity.

The song was a dance club anthem that, though particularly popular with gay audiences, found mainstream success due in part to RuPaul's accessible "nice drag queen" image. The song consists of RuPaul giving advice to a young black supermodel, and briefly several other models, largely consisting of "sashay, shantay!", "work, turn to the left", "work, now turn to the right", and "you better work". The music video for the song, featuring RuPaul in various outfits prancing around town, became a staple on MTV. Singer Kurt Cobain of Nirvana cited the song as one of his favorites of 1993 and the two were photographed together at the MTV Video Music Awards that year.

"Supermodel" was a modest hit on the pop charts in both the US (#45) and the UK (#39). It also reached #2 on the US dance chart. This song is RuPaul's highest charting pop hit in the US to date. (Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio later ranked the song at #62 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, stating that "The joke's all on us poor, uptight suckers with just one type of clothes in our closets."[1])

The song features spoken word snippets by actress LaWanda Page, who went on to appear in several music videos by RuPaul.

The single is most commonly found on compact disc coupled with "House of Love", which would go on to become a single itself in some markets. Various 12" vinyl releases were also pressed, including a limited edition picture disc in the United Kingdom.

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, the song peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #45 and the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs at #2. It was not only a hit in the US, it reached #4 on the Canadian RPM Dance/Urban Singles and #39 on the UK Singles Chart.

Chart (1992–1993) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Charts 75
Canadian RPM Dance/Urban Singles 4
UK Singles Chart 39
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 45
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs 2

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Supermodel (You Better Work)" was directed by Randy Barbato. The music video premiered in 1993 on MTV and was an unexpected success on MTV channels, as grunge-rock (Nirvana) and gangsta rap were popular at the time. It tells the story of a little black girl (Rupaul) in the Brewster projects of Detroit, Michigan who got spotted by an "Ebony Fashion Fair" talent scout who grows up to become a successful model and is given the title Supermodel of the World. The song features LaWanda Page who has several lines in the song, but does not appear in the music video despite appearances in other RuPaul music videos. The music video is a tribute to Rupaul's early childhood and his career in the gay community and mainstream culture. The phrase "Supermodel You Better Work" was coined by Rupaul in the 90's.

Track listing[edit]

(varies from country to country; this reflects the United States CD single, which sold the most copies)

  1. Supermodel (You Better Work) (Ready to Wear Mix)
  2. Supermodel (You Better Work) (7" Mix)
  3. Supermodel (You Better Work) (Couture Mix)
  4. Supermodel (You Better Work) (La Wanda in Your Face)
  5. House of Love (7" Radio Version)
  6. House of Love (12" Version)
  7. House of Love (Dub)

Track listings (2006 version)[edit]

In 2006, RuPaul re-recorded the track with an 80's freestyle inspired backing track and released it as the leadoff single from his album ReWorked. This version reached #21 on the US dance chart.

US 9 Track Maxi-Single

  1. "SuperModel" (El Lay Toya Jam) 3:55
  2. "SuperModel" (Craig C. Havenhurst Vocal) 9:29
  3. "SuperModel" (There, U Just Got Rocked Mix) 4:08
  4. "My Love Sees No Color" (Electrolight Popular Mix) 4:02
  5. "SuperModel" (Clean El Lay Toya Jam) 3:55
  6. "SuperModel" (Craig C. Encino Edit) 3:54
  7. "My Love Sees No Color" (Electrolight Stockholm Mix) 4:38
  8. "SuperModel" (Craig C. Neverland Dub) 9:25
  9. "SuperModel" (Jackopella) 3:45

AUS CD #1

  1. "SuperModel" (El Lay Toya Jam) 3:55
  2. "SuperModel" (Craig C. Neverland Instrumental) 9:27
  3. "Coming Out Of Hiding" (Trance Gender Mix) 3:25
  4. "My Love Sees No Color" (Electrolight Stockholm Mix) 4:40

AUS CD #2

  1. SuperModel (Craig C. Encino Edit) 3:55
  2. My Love Sees No Color (Electrolight Popular Mix) 4:03
  3. My Love Sees No Color (Matheos' Dancin' Belly Mix) 4:25
  4. My Love Sees No Color (Electrolight Stockholm Edit) 4:05*
  5. My Love Sees No Color (Electrolight Popular Extended Club Mix) 10:21
  6. My Love Sees No Color (Electrolight Stockholm Extended Club Mix) 11:04[ Södros Hemsida
  7. Supermodel (El Lay Toya Acappella) 3:56
    • (Re)Mix is only a dub/edit

Compilation appearances[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by dance-pop singer Taylor Dayne on The Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack in 2003.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (September 11, 2010). "100 Worst Songs Ever -- Part Two of Five". AOL Radio. Retrieved December 21, 2010.