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
RecordedNovember 1975
GenreCountry pop, soft rock[1]
  • Windsong (US)
  • Windlands International (UK & Canada)
Songwriter(s)Bill Danoff[2]
Producer(s)Milt Okun
Starland Vocal Band singles chronology
"Afternoon Delight"
"California Day"
Music video
"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 band member Bill Danoff.

"Afternoon Delight" charted well in New Zealand, peaking at #5. In Australia it was a #6 hit (Adelaide radio station 5KA was first to pick up the single, making it #1 in South Australia). In the UK, it reached #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 #1 single on July 10, 1976[3] and earned a gold record. "Afternoon Delight" also reached #1 in Canada.

Background and writing[edit]

The title came from the happy hour menu at Clyde's restaurant in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.,[3] where Bill Danoff was eating with fellow bandmember Margot Chapman, while his then-wife Taffy Danoff was undergoing surgery for cervical cancer.[4] 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."[3]

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.

In the 2004 film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, the song is sung by the news crew in choir and referenced multiple times and came with a music video in the bonus disc.

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". In season two of the television series Arrested Development, the episode "Afternoon Delight" sees several characters singing the song at various points, often without knowledge of the song's subject matter.

The popular TV series Glee also covered it in their episode "Sexy", with Dianna Agron, Jayma Mays, Mark Salling, Lea Michele, and John Stamos singing.

It was also used in the film Politically Correct University (PCU) in which frat brothers from a rival fraternity set the stereo to play it over and over again on high volume and locking the doors thereby forcing the rival fraternity to have to listen to it over and over again.

It was briefly used as the intro song for the Australian 1980s Children's TV show Simon Townsend's wonderworld. It was replaced once the creator/producer of the show discovered that the song was about an afternoon sexual encounter.[5][6]

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[7] 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.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

Johnny Carver version[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". Stereogum. SpinMedia. May 31, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  2. ^ "". Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Grammy Winner Taffy Nivert Settles In Safety Harbor - Safety Harbor, FL Patch". 2013-02-08. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  5. ^ National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (2023-02-06). "simon-townsends-wonder-world-first-episode". National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
  6. ^ ""...and remember, the world really is wonderful!" | TV Tonight". Retrieved 2023-02-06.
  7. ^ "The Grammys : Starland Vocal Band : Search". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  8. ^ "The 50 Sexiest Songs Of All Time Page 4". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 291. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ a b "National Top 100 Singles for 1976". Kent Music Report. December 27, 1976. Retrieved January 15, 2022 – via Imgur.
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1976-08-07. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1976-07-10. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  13. ^ "Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  14. ^ "Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Starland Vocal Band: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "Starland Vocal Band Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Starland Vocal Band Chart History (Easy Listening)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Starland Vocal Band Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ Archived 2014-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart".
  22. ^ "Old-Charts". Old-Charts. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  24. ^ Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976
  25. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1976". Cashbox Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  26. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.

External links[edit]