Super Freak

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"Super Freak"
Rick james-super freak s.jpg
French 7" cover art
Single by Rick James
from the album Street Songs
B-side"Super Freak (instrumental)"
Released1981
GenreFunk[1][2]
Length
  • 3:24 (album/7" version)
  • 7:05 (12" version)
LabelGordy
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Rick James
Rick James singles chronology
"Give It to Me Baby"
(1981)
"Super Freak"
(1981)
"Ghetto Life"
(1981)
Music video
"Super Freak" on YouTube
Audio sample
"Super Freak"

"Super Freak" is a 1981 single produced and performed by American singer Rick James. The song, co-written by James and Alonzo Miller, was first released on James' album Street Songs and became one of James' signature songs. "Freak" is a slang term for the sexually adventurous, as described in the song's lyrics, "She's a very kinky girl / The kind you don't take home to mother". Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song number 477 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[3] The song was nominated for the Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the 1982 Grammys.[4] MC Hammer's 1990 hit "U Can't Touch This" samples "Super Freak".

Recording[edit]

"Super Freak" was recorded with other tracks for the Street Songs album between December 1980 – January 1981 at the Record Plant, in Sausalito, California and Motown / Hitsville U.S.A. Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA. It features background vocals from James' Motown labelmates The Temptations—in which the [Bass player] was Greg "Big Money" Brown, Melvin Franklin—and Canadian singer Taborah Johnson. The tenor saxophone solo is by Stone City Band member Daniel LeMelle. James' improvised lyrics were later toned down by Los Angeles DJ Alonzo Miller, who received co-writing credit. James apparently was not particularly excited about the song, but reputedly wanted to have something on the album that "white folks could dance to." [5]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Beatfreakz version[edit]

"Superfreak"
BeatfreakzSuperfreak.jpg
Single by Beatfreakz
Released2006
Length3:25
LabelData[20]
Songwriter(s)
Beatfreakz singles chronology
"Somebody's Watching Me"
(2006)
"Superfreak"
(2006)
"Bring the Ghost"
(2007)

In 2006, Dutch group Beatfreakz covered the song as "Superfreak" and released it as a single. This cover reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart and number six in Finland and Hungary.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2006–2007) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[21] 5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Dance Flanders)[21] 8
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[22] 34
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[23] 6
France (SNEP)[24] 56
Hungary (Dance Top 40)[25] 6
Hungary (Single Top 40)[26] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[27] 20
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[28] 34
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[29] 26
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[30] 66
Scotland (OCC)[31] 6
UK Singles (OCC)[20] 7
UK Dance (OCC)[32] 5

Sampling[edit]

The predominant riff of the song was most popularly sampled in 1990 by MC Hammer in "U Can't Touch This".[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Super Freaky Bluegrass". Billboard. 119 (13): 48. March 31, 2007. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ "New Dance Central Songs Hit Tomorrow from Missy Elliott and Rick James". IGN. February 14, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (1-500)". Archived from the original on October 25, 2006.. Rolling Stone.
  4. ^ "Grammy Awards 1982". Awards and Shows. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  5. ^ Christian, Margena A. (February 2011). "I'm Rick M#!@$^ F@#!%! James!". Ebony. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Chart Positions Pre 1989 Part 4". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  7. ^ "Ultratop.be – Rick James – Super Freak" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  8. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0460." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Rick James - Super Freak" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rick James – Super Freak" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – Rick James – Super Freak". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "Street Songs – Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  13. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending OCTOBER 31, 1981". Cash Box. Archived from the original on May 11, 2012.
  14. ^ "Record World Singles" (PDF). Record World. October 24, 1981. p. 31. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1981" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  16. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1981" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  17. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1981" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Rick James – Super Freak". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  19. ^ "American single certifications – Rick James – Super Freak (Part 1)". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  20. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – RADIO – TOP 100 and insert 200645 into search. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  23. ^ "Beatfreakz: Superfreak" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  24. ^ "Lescharts.com – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  25. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Dance Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  26. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  27. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Superfreak". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  28. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 41, 2006" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  30. ^ "Issue nr: 48/2006 (04 Decembrie - 10 Decembrie 2006)" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. See last week peak position. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006.
  31. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  32. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  33. ^ "Rick James Mourned at Services in Buffalo, NY, and Los Angeles". Jet. Vol. 106 no. 9. August 30, 2004. p. 64. ISSN 0021-5996.

External links[edit]