Car Wash (song)

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"Car Wash"
Single by Rose Royce
from the album Car Wash: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
B-side "Water"
Released 1976
Format
Genre Disco
Length 5:06
Label MCA
Writer(s) Norman Whitfield
Producer(s) Norman Whitfield
Rose Royce singles chronology
"Car Wash"
(1976)
"I Wanna Get Next to You"
(1977)

"Car Wash" is a hit disco song performed by Rose Royce and written and produced by Norman Whitfield. It was the group's debut single and one of the most notable successes of the disco era. Written and produced by the band's main producer Norman Whitfield, "Car Wash", the theme of the 1976 film Car Wash, was Rose Royce's most successful hit single and the lead single from their first album, the Car Wash soundtrack. Reaching number one in the United States on the Billboard pop and R&B charts, "Car Wash" also peaked at number three on the disco charts and reached number nine in the UK singles chart in February 1977. The song was later covered in 2004 by Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott, who released their version as the single for the Shark Tale soundtrack.

Background[edit]

Former Motown Records producer Norman Whitfield had been commissioned to record the soundtrack album for Car Wash by director Michael Schultz. Although Whitfield did not want to assume the project, he decided to do so, both for financial incentives as well as the chance to give Rose Royce, a disco/funk backing band that Whitfield signed to his own label in 1975, the exposure they needed to become mainstream. Unable to develop a theme song for the film, inspiration finally struck Whitfield while playing a game of basketball, and he allegedly wrote his first draft of "Car Wash" on a paper bag from a fried chicken eatery.

The resulting song set the mood and tone for the comedy film it was commissioned for. Rose Royce lead singer Rose Norwalt (Gwen Dickey), with brief assistance from guitarist Kenji Brown, describes a fun and easy-going car washing business, where everything is "always cool/and the boss don't mind sometimes if you act a fool."

The Car Wash soundtrack, a double album, was Rose Royce's debut album, and the title track was their debut single. "Car Wash" sold two million copies, and was a number one success on both the Billboard popular and R&B charts in the United States and a top ten success in the United Kingdom. The song held the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week, from January 23 to January 29, 1977, replacing "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder and replaced by "Torn Between Two Lovers" by Mary MacGregor. The Car Wash soundtrack album, entirely recorded by Rose Royce and Whitfield, spawned two more successful singles: "I Wanna Get Next to You" and "I'm Going Down" (later covered in 1994 by Mary J. Blige).

The Car Wash soundtrack won a 1977 Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album.[1]

In 1988 the song was re-released as a double A-side single with "Is It Love You're After?" in the United Kingdom, peaking at #20.

The original Rose Royce version of "Car Wash" is one of the most sampled songs in history, not for its main instrumentation, but for its introductory section. The song opens with a series of hand claps, which has been sampled in many hip hop and R&B songs from the 1980s onward.

Track listings[edit]

UK 7" vinyl[2]
  1. "Car Wash" – 5:06
  2. "Water" – 3:31
US 12" vinyl[3]
  1. "Car Wash" (Mustard Mix) – 6:45
  2. "Car Wash" (Mustard Dub) – 5:34

Charts[edit]

Charts (1976–77) Peak
position
Australian Kent Music Report 12
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 16
Belgian Wallonia (Ultratop)[5] 9
Canadian RPM Singles Chart 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 5
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 15
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 20
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[10] 15
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[11] 6
UK Singles Chart[12] 9[note 1]
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 1
US Hot Black Singles[14] 1
US Hot Dance/Disco[15] 3

Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott version[edit]

"Car Wash"
Single by Christina Aguilera featuring Missy Elliott
from the album Shark Tale
B-side "Can't Wait"
Released August 29, 2004 (2004-08-29)
Format
Recorded 2004
Length 3:50
Label DreamWorks
Writer(s)
  • Norman Whitfield
  • Missy Elliott
Producer(s)
  • Missy Elliott
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Ron Fair
  • T. Herzberg
  • C. Styles
  • Bang Out
  • Silence
Christina Aguilera chronology
"The Voice Within"
(2003)
"Car Wash"
(2004)
"Tilt Ya Head Back"
(2004)
Missy Elliott chronology
"1, 2 Step"
(2004)
"Car Wash"
(2004)
"Free Yourself"
(2005)

In 2004, pop singer Christina Aguilera featuring rapper-singer Missy Elliott recorded a cover version of "Car Wash", giving the disco song a more modern pop feel and adding rapped verses from Elliott. In an interview Aguilera said, "We had to change the key to be a little bit higher for my range. So we couldn't take the exact samples, but we brought in all these live instruments to recreate kind of this old, old classic, soulful feel and sound...."

"Car Wash" was the only single from the soundtrack to DreamWorks' computer animated film Shark Tale. Aguilera and Elliott's cover of "Car Wash" missed the U.S. Billboard Top 40, peaking at number sixty-three, while becoming a top five hit in the United Kingdom and became the 48th best selling single in the United Kingdom of 2004 with sales of over 100,000 copies. In this context, the "car wash" the song refers to would be the place where Oscar (the main protagonist, voiced by Will Smith) works, where large sea animals who behave like cars are washed in the same manner. The single has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Music video[edit]

The music video to Aguilera's version shows her and Elliott as animated fish similar to those in the film, combined with scenes of Aguilera and Elliott recording the song in a recording studio. The video also includes scenes of Shark Tale. The scenes of Aguilera and Elliott recording the song in the studio were shot by Rich Newey, while the scenes of Aguilera as a jellyfish and Elliott as a fish were edited by Peter Lonsdale and John Venzon, who also edited Shark Tale.

Track listings[edit]

CD single[16]
  1. "Car Wash" (Christina Aguilera featuring Missy Elliott) – 3:51
  2. "Can't Wait" (Avant) – 3:45
  3. "Digits" (fan 3) – 3:39
  4. "Car Wash" (music video)
Pocket maxi single[17]
  1. "Car Wash" – 3:51
  2. "Can't Wait" – 3:45
Digital download[18]
  1. "Car Wash (Shark Tale Mix)" – 3:49
  2. "Can't Wait" – 3:43
  3. "Digits" – 3:38

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United States August 29, 2004 Contemporary hit radio[19] DreamWorks
Rhythmic contemporary radio[20]
New Zealand October 6, 2004 Digital EP[21]
Germany October 18, 2004 CD single[16]
Pocket maxi single[17]
Digital download[22]
United Kingdom November 1, 2004 CD single[23]
Digital download[18] DreamWorks, Polydor
Canada November 19, 2004 CD single[24] DreamWorks, Universal Music

Charts and certifications[edit]

Other versions[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 1988, a re-released version of "Car Wash" released with the B-side "Is It Love You're After" charted at number 20 on the UK Singles Chart. In 1998, a re-released version of "Car Wash" featuring Gwen Dickey peaked at number 18 on the chart.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.grammy.com/nominees/search?page=36&artist=yo-yo%20ma&title=&year=All&genre=All
  2. ^ "Car Wash / Water [7" Vinyl]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Car Wash by Rose Royce". Amazon.com. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Rose Royce – Car Wash" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  5. ^ "Rose Royce – Car Wash" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rose Royce – Car Wash" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Musicline.de – Rose Royce Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song" (Enter the keyword "Car Wash" into the "Song title" parameter). Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Rose Royce – Car Wash". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rose Royce – Car Wash". Singles Top 60. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Rose Royce – Car Wash". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Rose Royce". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Rose Royce – Chart history: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 501. 
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 222. 
  16. ^ a b "Car Wash: Single" (in German). Amazon.de. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Car Wash (Pock It): Single" (in German). Amazon.de. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "Car Wash by Christina Aguilera featuring Missy Elliott". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  19. ^ "R&R :: Going For Adds :: CHR/Top 40". Radio & Records. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  20. ^ "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Rhythmic". Radio & Records. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Car Wash – EP". iTunes Store (NZ). Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Car Wash (International Version): Single" (in German). Amazon.de. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Car Wash by Christina Aguilera featuring Missy Elliott". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Car Wash (2 Mixes) (4 Tracks)". Amazon.ca. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  26. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  29. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash". Tracklisten. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  30. ^ "Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott: Car Wash" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  31. ^ "IFPI Greece Singles chart 18-25/12 2004". IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on December 29, 2004. 
  32. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  33. ^ "Chart Track: Week 46, 2004". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  34. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  35. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Christina Aguilera featuring Missy Elliott search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  36. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  37. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash". VG-lista. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  38. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash". Singles Top 60. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  39. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Christina Aguilera feat. Missy Elliott – Car Wash". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  40. ^ "Archive Chart: 2004-11-13" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  41. ^ "Christina Aguilera – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Christina Aguilera. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  42. ^ "Christina Aguilera – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Christina Aguilera. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2004". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Dutch charts portal" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2004" (in German). hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  46. ^ "UK Charts Plus: Year End 2004" (PDF). Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  47. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2005". hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  48. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Latest Gold / Platinum Singles". Radioscope.net.nz. Recorded Music NZ. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. 
  50. ^ "YouTube: The Brady Bunch Variety Hour in Oz". Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  51. ^ Nichelson, Ted (2009). Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour. ECW Press. pp. 158–159, 283. ISBN 9781550228885.