Rock Your Baby

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"Rock Your Baby"
Rock Your Baby.jpg
Single by George McCrae
from the album Rock Your Baby
B-side"Rock Your Baby (Part 2)"
ReleasedJune 1974
Format7-inch single
Recorded1973
GenreDisco, Memphis soul
Length3:14 (7" version)
6:24 (album version)
LabelTK Records, Jay Boy (UK)[1]
Songwriter(s)Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch
Producer(s)Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch

"Rock Your Baby" is the debut single by George McCrae. Written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC and the Sunshine Band, "Rock Your Baby" was one of the landmark recordings of early disco music. A massive international hit, the song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States, spending two weeks at the top in July 1974, number one on the R&B singles chart,[2] and repeating the feat on the UK Singles Chart, spending three weeks at the top of the chart in July 1974.[3][4] Having sold 11 million copies, it is one of the fewer than 40 all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide.[5][6]

The backing track for the record was recorded in 45 minutes as a demo and featured guitarist Jerome Smith of KC and the Sunshine Band, with Casey on keyboards and Finch on bass and drums.[7] It was also one of the first records to use a drum machine,[8] an early Roland rhythm machine.[9] The track was not originally intended for McCrae but he happened to be in the studio, added a vocal and the resulting combination of infectious rhythm and falsetto vocals made it a hit. Music critic Robert Christgau has described the song as "irresistibly Memphis-cum-disco-with-a-hook".[10]

The chord progression of John Lennon's number one single "Whatever Gets You thru the Night", released a few months later, bears a great resemblance to the one found in "Rock Your Baby". Lennon later admitted to using the song as an inspiration.[11] ABBA's Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus have also cited the song as an inspiration for the backing track of their 1976 smash hit "Dancing Queen". The song was covered by indie rock band The House of Love for the 1992 compilation album Ruby Trax[12] and in the same year by British dance group KWS, whose cover of 'Rock Your Baby' reached number eight in the UK charts that year.

Chart performance[edit]

Answer song[edit]

George's wife, Gwen McCrae, recorded an answer song to "Rock Your Baby", released just less than a year later. "Rockin' Chair" reached number nine on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in mid-1975. "Rockin' Chair' also reached number one R&B. George provided backing vocals on the song.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rock Your Baby". 45cat.com. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 389.
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 303. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ a b "George McCrae - UK Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  5. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2, illustrated ed.). Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 0-214-20480-4.
  6. ^ Moore-Gilbert, Bart (March 11, 2002). The Arts in the 1970s: Cultural Closure. Routledge. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  7. ^ Jim Melanson, Sara Lane, "Weird Mix Jells For No.1 Single", Billboard, August 10, 1974, p.20
  8. ^ Martin Russ (2012), Sound Synthesis and Sampling, page 83, CRC Press
  9. ^ Mike Collins (2014), In the Box Music Production: Advanced Tools and Techniques for Pro Tools, page 320, CRC Press
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 7, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  11. ^ John Lennon: Listen to This Book - John Blaney - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  12. ^ Carlson, Dean. "Ruby Trax: The NME's Roaring 40". AllMusic. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  13. ^ "George McCrae - Austrian chart". austriancharts.at. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  14. ^ "George McCrae - Belgian Chart". ultratop.be. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  15. ^ "George McCrae - Dutch chart". dutchcharts.nl. February 8, 2015.
  16. ^ "George McCrae - German Chart". officialcharts.de. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Rock Your Baby". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  18. ^ "George McCrae - New Zealand Chart". charts.org.nz. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  19. ^ "George McCrae - Norwegian chart". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  20. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (M)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  21. ^ "George McCrae - Swedish chart". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  22. ^ "George McCrae - Swiss chart". hitparade.ch. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  23. ^ "George McCrae - US Hot 100". billboard.com. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  24. ^ "George McCrae | Awards". AllMusic. October 19, 1944. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  25. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 158.
  26. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, July 20, 1974
  27. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc)|format= requires |url= (help). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  28. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (July 13, 2017). "Image : RPM Weekly".
  29. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1974" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  30. ^ Swiss Year-End Charts, 1974
  31. ^ "Top Selling Singles for 1974". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 20. January 4, 1975.
  32. ^ "Top Pop Singles" Billboard December 28, 1974: Talent in Action-8
  33. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 28, 1974