Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now

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"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"
Side A of the US 12-inch single
Single by McFadden & Whitehead
from the album McFadden & Whitehead
B-side"I Got the Love"
ReleasedApril 1979
Recorded1978
StudioSigma Sound Studios (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Genre
Length7:02 (album version)
3:38 (single edit)
10:45 (12" version)
LabelPhiladelphia International
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Jerry Cohen
  • Gene McFadden
  • John Whitehead
McFadden & Whitehead singles chronology
"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now"
(1979)
"I've Been Pushed Aside"
(1979)
Audio
"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" on YouTube

"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" is a 1979 disco song performed by American R&B duo McFadden & Whitehead, from their debut album McFadden & Whitehead. They wrote and produced the song along with keyboard player Jerry Cohen.[1]

Background[edit]

"Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" is about succeeding despite having faced previous disadvantages ("so many things that held us down"). It was widely interpreted to be about the experience of the African American community, and after attaining popularity, became referred to as "the new black national anthem"[2] (the original being the 1900 song "Lift Every Voice and Sing").

Kelefa Sanneh noted the song was, "an exuberant number often interpreted as an expression of Black pride", but also that the authors of the song were in a dispute over royalties with their record label Philadelphia International. Whitehead said, "If anything, the song was a declaration of our independence from Gamble."[3]

Production[edit]

Despite being seen as social commentary, in an interview conducted by Philadelphia video producer Bob Lott, Whitehead and McFadden revealed that the song was actually about their frustration with Philadelphia International owners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who for many years preferred that they remain as house songwriters and not performers. Gamble has confirmed that upon first hearing "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now", he tried unsuccessfully to convince McFadden and Whitehead to give the song to the O'Jays, as he felt it was better to write and produce for the prominent recording artists of the day than to try to compete with them as on-stage performers.[4]

This song features a female chorus in the repeated refrain. Electronic beeping feedback sounds are heard towards the ending of the longer version of the song.

Samples[edit]

The song was sampled by Big Daddy Kane on his song of the same name from his 1989 album It's a Big Daddy Thing.

The bassline of the track was used in Ma quale idea by Italian artist Pino D'Angiò;[5] that track was subsequently sampled in Madison Avenue's 1999 hit "Don't Call Me Baby".[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Released as the lead single from the album, the song spent a week at number one on the R&B singles chart. It also proved to be a successful crossover hit, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.[7] The single also made it to number 10 on the disco charts,[8] and reached number 5 in the UK. It eventually went double platinum, selling over 2 million copies.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now by McFadden & Whitehead Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  2. ^ A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul, John A. Jackson, 2004, page 228
  3. ^ Kelefa Sanneh (2021). Major Labels. Canongate. p. 106. ISBN 9781838855932.
  4. ^ "John Whitehead". Celebrity Crime Files. August 2013. TV One.
  5. ^ Vacalebre, Federico (15 November 2020). "Pino D'Angiò dopo i tumori: «Jazz, donne e altre storie»". Il Mattino. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  6. ^ Copsey, Rob (12 November 2019). "Madison Avenue's Don't Call Me Baby has been remixed for its 20th anniversary". The Official Charts. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 390.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 172.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "officialcharts.com". Official Charts. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  13. ^ "Top 100 1979-07-28". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2015-08-06.
  14. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  15. ^ "Chart Archive – 1970s Singles". everyHit.com. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1979/Top 100 Songs of 1979". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1979". Cashbox Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2016-04-12.