He's the Greatest Dancer

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"He's the Greatest Dancer"
Single by Sister Sledge
from the album We Are Family
B-side "Somebody Loves Me"
Released February 3, 1979
Format 7" vinyl single
Recorded 1978
Genre Disco
Length 6:16 (LP version)
Label Cotillion
  • Bernard Edwards
  • Nile Rodgers
Sister Sledge singles chronology
"I've Seen Better Days"
"He's the Greatest Dancer"
"We Are Family"

"He's the Greatest Dancer" is a song written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, and recorded by Sister Sledge for their successful album We Are Family (1979).

"He's the Greatest Dancer" was sampled by Will Smith in his 1997 number one hit single "Gettin' Jiggy wit It". In 2000, DJ Tony Touch recorded a version of the song, entitled "I Wonder Why? (He's the Greatest DJ)" with lyrics sung by Keisha Spivey and Pam Long of R&B girl group Total. The song was recorded and released by Dannii Minogue in 2007 and was an international Top 40 hit. The tune was also sampled by a Russian pop group Hi-Fi in their 1999 song "Pro Leto" (translated as "About Summer"). Robert Hood released a Techno track based on the Hook of this song on his label M-Plant. Nick Holder sampled the song on his 1997 album One Night in the Disco.

Lyrics and music[edit]

The lyrics were written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers and contains rhymes such as:

Nile Rodgers has speculated that this may have been the first occurrence of the later-widespread phenomenon of brands being mentioned in songs. [1]

The recording features Rodgers on guitar, Edwards on bass, Tony Thompson on percussion, Raymond Jones on backing keyboards, and orchestration by Gene Orloff's Chic Strings.[2]

Sister Sledge[edit]

Chic members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, who produced the We Are Family album for Sister Sledge, originally formulated all its songs with the group in mind envisioning the title cut as the lead single. When Atlantic Records wanted a more overtly disco song Edwards and Rodgers gave Sister Sledge "He's the Greatest Dancer" originally intended for Chic.

Nile Rodgers recalled Sister Sledge being "furious" at being asked to sing the lyric "My crème de la crème please take me home" - "to them that [line] made them seem like loose women" - and suggested a lyric adjustment to "My crème de la crème, please don't go home." Rodgers says he and Edwards refused to change the lyric "because we knew the world that we were writing about obviously more than [Sister Sledge] did because they had never even been in a disco...He ain't going to go home because [he is] the greatest dancer...he's gonna stay there longer than you".[2]

Nile Rodgers later described his and Edwards' approach with Sister Sledge as one of "sing this", and admitted to "misrepresenting" them because Rodgers and Edwards hadn't met Sister Sledge before the sessions.[1]

"He's the Greatest Dancer" was released as the lead single from We Are Family at the end of 1978 crossing over from the clubs - its 12" version was shared by the "We Are Family" and "Lost in Music" tracks" - to R&B radio giving Sister Sledge a number one hit on both Billboard's Dance and R&B charts in March 1979. "He's the Greatest Dancer" reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 in May; it might have risen higher but that same month Atlantic Records prompted by the overwhelming club response to "We Are Family" sent the last-named track to radio.

"He's the Greatest Dancer" was also a hit in Australia (#5), the Netherlands (#1) and the UK (#6).

Preceded by
"I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)" by Instant Funk
Billboard Hot Soul Singles number-one single
March 31, 1979
Succeeded by
"I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)" by Instant Funk
Preceded by
"I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)" by Instant Funk
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (with "We Are Family" and "Lost in Music")
March 24, 1979 - March 31, 1979
Succeeded by
"Dancer" / "Dance to Dance" by Gino Soccio

Dannii Minogue version[edit]

"He's the Greatest Dancer"
Single by Dannii Minogue
from the album Club Disco
Released December 2006 (2006-12) (UK)
April 14, 2007 (2007-04-14) (Australia)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2006
Genre Pop, dance
Length 3:05
Label All Around the World
Central Station
Writer(s) Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers
Producer(s) Lee Monteverde for LMC Productions
Dannii Minogue singles chronology
"I Can't Sleep at Night"
"He's the Greatest Dancer"
"Touch Me Like That"

"He's the Greatest Dancer" is a cover version of the Sister Sledge song performed by Australian singer Dannii Minogue. In November 2006, Minogue performed the song on BBC One's Children in Need telethon. Later that month a studio version of the song, remixed by Fugitive, appeared on the dance compilation Clubland 10. The track was recorded as the charity single for that year's Children In Need, but was dropped when Minogue pulled out of Strictly Come Dancing to work on rival TV show The X Factor. The single was replaced in favour of a cover of Downtown by former Spice Girl Emma Bunton. In December 2006, the track was released to dance clubs in the United Kingdom. It was commercially released in Australia by Central Station Records on April 14, 2007.

Chart performance[edit]

"He's the Greatest Dancer" reached number one on the UK Upfront Club Chart in December 2006 and became Minogue's eleventh club number one in the country.[3] The track also reached number one on the Commercial Pop Chart.[4]

In Australia, "He's the Greatest Dancer" entered the singles chart on April 29, 2007 at number thirty-seven, and remained on the chart for two weeks.[5] The track was more successful in Spain, where it reached number nine fourteen weeks after its debut.[6]

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "He's the Greatest Dancer".

Australian CD single
(CSRCD50532; Released April 14, 2007 (2007-04-14))

  1. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (LMC edit) - 3:05
  2. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (LMC extended) - 5:55
  3. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (Chris Lake remix) - 6:29
  4. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (Shapeshifters remix) - 5:41
  5. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (Kenny Hayes Dub Addiction remix) - 5:49
  6. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (Riffs & Rays mix) - 8:19
  7. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (Sebastien Leger Electro Vocal mix) - 8:51
  8. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (Fugitive Club mix) - 5:20

Official remixes[7]

  1. "He's the Greatest Dancer" (Sebastien Leger Electro Dub mix)


Chart (2007) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[5] 37
Spanish Singles Chart[6] 9
UK Upfront Club Chart 1


  1. ^ a b "Nile Rodgers interviewed by Peter Paphides". Twentyfirstcenturymusic.blogspot.com. November 10, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Peter Shapiro, Turn the Beat Around, p. 169 
  3. ^ "Number One...Again!". DanniiMusic.com. December 21, 2006. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  4. ^ ""He's the Greatest Dancer" Release Advertisement". Central Station Records. Retrieved February 16, 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Discography Dannii Minogue". Australian-Charts.com. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Spanish Top 20 Singles Chart". ProMusicAE.org. Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  7. ^ "He's the Greatest Dancer Remixes". DanniiMusic.com. Retrieved November 30, 2007.


External links[edit]