Dancin' Fool

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"Dancin' Fool"
Single by Frank Zappa
from the album Sheik Yerbouti
Released 1979
Format 7"
Recorded 1979
Length 6:15 (12" version)
Label CBS Records
Songwriter(s) Frank Zappa
Producer(s) Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa singles chronology
"Disco Boy"
"Dancin' Fool"
"Bobby Brown (Goes Down)"
"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 sometime around Halloween in 1975,[2] but was only part of the live set for three months; typically it was played alongside "Approximate", as the two songs displayed an odd contrast and Zappa embraced oddities. 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. Soon, it inspired crazy dance moves to mock disco dancers, and this was especially relevant, as disco was on its decline. "Dancin' Fool" charted at 45 on the U.S. charts, making it Zappa's 2nd highest charting 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]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

On October 21, 1978, Frank 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 and an attention hog. The entire cast, save John Belushi, tried to stay as far away as they could from him the entire night. The songs he performed as musical guest were "Dancin' Fool", "Meek", and "Rollo". His performance on SNL was possibly where "Dancin' Fool" first got media attention.[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


  1. ^ "Dancin' Fool" (Song Review by François Couture). Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-06-01
  2. ^ Billboard. Books.google.com. 2002-12-14. p. 33. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  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. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  7. ^ Lowe, Kelly Fisher (2007-01-01). The Words and Music of Frank Zappa. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0803260059. 
  8. ^ "Frank Zappa - Dancin' Fool". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  9. ^ "Frank Zappa - Dancin' Fool". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-03-24.