Afternoon Delight

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"Afternoon Delight"
Afternoon Delight by The Starland Vocal Band.jpg
Single by Starland Vocal Band
from the album Starland Vocal Band
ReleasedApril 1976
Format7-inch single
RecordedNovember 1975
GenreCountry pop, soft rock[1]
Songwriter(s)Bill Danoff
Producer(s)Milt Okun
Starland Vocal Band singles chronology
"Afternoon Delight"
"California Day"
"Afternoon Delight" on YouTube

"Afternoon Delight" is a hit song recorded by Starland Vocal Band, known for its close harmony and sexually suggestive wordplay. It was written by Bill Danoff, one of the members of the band.

"Afternoon Delight" charted well in New Zealand, peaking at number five. In Australia it was a number-six hit (Adelaide radio station 5KA was first to pick up the single, making it number one in South Australia). In the UK, it reached number 18 and was used as theme to a weekly show of the same title on London's Capital Radio, hosted by Duncan Johnson, and from 1980 on an afternoon show using the same title, broadcast every weekday at Mercia Sound in Coventry, presented by Stuart Linnell. It became a US number-one single on July 10, 1976[2] and earned a gold record. "Afternoon Delight" also reached number one in Canada.

Background and writing[edit]

The title came from the happy hour menu at Clyde's restaurant in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.,[2] where Bill Danoff was eating with fellow bandmember Margot Chapman, while his then-wife Taffy Danoff was undergoing surgery for cervical cancer.[3] Danoff enjoyed writing the song and downplayed the somewhat controversial lyrics:

"I didn't want to write an all-out sex song ... I just wanted to write something that was fun and hinted at sex."[2]

Cover versions[edit]

Concurrent with the Starland Vocal Band version, country singer Johnny Carver's cover went Top 10 on Billboard Hot Country Singles. In 1983, the Circle Jerks also covered it as one of the six covers on "Golden Shower of Hits (Jerks on 45)", which appears on their album Golden Shower of Hits. British experimental folk music band Current 93 used an industrial-style cover as an introduction to performances of their 2009 album. Claude François sang it in French as "Dimanche après-midi". The popular TV show Glee also covered it in their episode "Sexy", with Dianna Agron, Jayma Mays, Mark Salling, Lea Michele, and John Stamos singing.

Critical reaction[edit]

At the 19th Grammy Awards ceremony in 1977, "Afternoon Delight" received three nominations for recordings from 1976. It won the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement for Voices[4] and was also nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year.

In 2010 Billboard named "Afternoon Delight" the 20th sexiest song of all time.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

Johnny Carver version[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 9
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 16

In popular culture[edit]

Since the original song's release, many works have alluded to or even featured "Afternoon Delight" or its suggestive lyrics. Among them have been Cocktail ("Kokomo", sung by The Beach Boys), Glee (where it was mistaken as a song celebrating America's 1976 Bicentennial), Get a Life ("Chris Wins a Celebrity"), Good Will Hunting, PCU (forced listening as a form of torture), Boogie Nights, Lost, The Rules of Attraction, The Spirit of '76, Starsky & Hutch, ER ("No Strings Attached", sung by Abby), Arrested Development (as part of a plot point in the episode "Afternoon Delight"), The Simpsons ("The Fat and the Furriest"), Rules of Engagement, Sports Night, Complete Savages ("Teen Things I Hate About You"), Ugly Betty, Family Guy, Malcolm in the Middle, South Park ("Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy"), Murphy Brown, Entourage, Warehouse 13 (Season 2 Episode 8), Teenage Caveman and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

On the December 7, 2013, episode of Saturday Night Live, as part of the opening monologue, comedian and host Paul Rudd performed a portion of the song a cappella with boy band musical guest One Direction, Will Ferrell, David Koechner, and Steve Carell—in a fashion similar to the song in Anchorman—to promote Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

It appeared in a 2014 TV commercial for Taco Bell.

On July 4, 1976 it was featured as the theme song for CBS's all day Bicentennial coverage hosted by Dan Rather.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". Stereogum. SpinMedia. May 31, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Bronson, Fred (2003). "Afternoon Delight". The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits (5th ed.). Billboard Books. p. 438. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6.
  3. ^ "Grammy Winner Taffy Nivert Settles In Safety Harbor - Safety Harbor, FL Patch". 2013-02-08. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  4. ^ "The Grammys : Starland Vocal Band : Search". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  5. ^ "The 50 Sexiest Songs Of All Time Page 4". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  6. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1976-08-07. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1976-07-10. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  8. ^ " – Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  9. ^ " – Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight". Top 40 Singles.
  10. ^ "Starland Vocal Band: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ "Starland Vocal Band Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Starland Vocal Band Chart History (Easy Listening)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Starland Vocal Band Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  14. ^ Archived 2014-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Old-Charts". Old-Charts. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  18. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  19. ^ Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976
  20. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1976". Cashbox Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  21. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.

External links[edit]