Dancin' Fool

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"Dancin' Fool"
Single by Frank Zappa
from the album Sheik Yerbouti
Length6:15 (12" version)
LabelCBS Records
Songwriter(s)Frank Zappa
Producer(s)Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa singles chronology
"Disco Boy"
"Dancin' Fool"
"Bobby Brown (Goes Down)"

"Dancin' Fool" is a song by Frank Zappa from his 1979 album Sheik Yerbouti. It was the first of two singles released from the album, followed by the second single "Bobby Brown (Goes Down)." The song premiered on stage on the 30th of October 1977 (as can be heard on the Halloween '77 boxset released in 2017).[2]

"Dancin' Fool" peaked at #45 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on May 26, 1979. It was Zappa's 2nd highest charting U.S. single, behind his 1982 song, "Valley Girl". The song was nominated for the Grammy award for "Best Male Vocal", but did not win.[3] It was included on Zappa's best of compilation, Strictly Commercial.[4][5]


Much like Zoot Allures' closing track "Disco Boy", it mocks the disco culture of the 1970s, but unlike "Disco Boy", the song directly focuses on the dancing aspect of the culture. Specifically, the character Zappa is singing as cannot help but dance, despite how awful he is at it. He refers to his dancing as "social suicide" and says, "The beat goes on and I'm so wrong." He mentions as part of the reason for his bad dancing that, "One of my legs is shorter than the other," a reference to a severe injury Zappa sustained at the Rainbow Theatre in 1971.

Saturday Night Live[edit]

On October 21, 1978, Zappa was a guest host and musician for the popular skit show, Saturday Night Live. After the episode, he was banned from the show for "being difficult". Many in the cast, save Laraine Newman and John Belushi, were standoffish the entire night. The songs he performed as musical guest were "Dancin' Fool", "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing", and "Rollo". The SNL performance gave Zappa some of his most widespread media attention in the US.[6][7]

Track list[edit]

A."Dancin' Fool" - 3:45
B."Baby Snakes" - 2:02
U.S. 12" (MK-83)[9]
A."Dancin' Fool" - 6:15
B."Dancin' Fool" - 6:15

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 45


  1. ^ "Dancin' Fool" (Song Review by François Couture). Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-06-01
  2. ^ "Halloween 77 Box Set Celebrates the Historic Concert Run's 40th Anniversary - October 20". Zappa.com. 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  3. ^ "Frank Zappa Biography (1940-1993)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  4. ^ "Dancin' Fool Lyrics - Frank Zappa". Lyricsfreak.com. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  5. ^ "Dancin' Fool - Frank Zappa - Song Info | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  6. ^ TV.com. "Saturday Night Live: Frank Zappa". TV.com. Archived from the original on 2014-07-10. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  7. ^ Lowe, Kelly Fisher (2007-01-01). The Words and Music of Frank Zappa. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0803260054.
  8. ^ "Frank Zappa - Dancin' Fool". Discogs. 1979. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  9. ^ "Frank Zappa - Dancin' Fool". Discogs. 1979. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 939.