Super Freak

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"Super Freak"
Rick james-super freak s.jpg
Single by Rick James
from the album Street Songs
Released1981
Format7" vinyl
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 a very promiscuous girl, 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 #477 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[3] Nine years later, MC Hammer's 1990 hit "U Can't Touch This" sampled it. The song was nominated for the Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the 1982 Grammys.[4]

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 States (RIAA)[18] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Beatfreakz version[edit]

On 2 October 2006, the Beatfreakz covered the song, as "Superfreak", and gained a no. 7 UK hit with it.

Chart (2006–2007) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[19] 5
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Dance Flanders)[19] 8
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[20] 6
France (SNEP)[21] 56
Ireland (IRMA)[22] 20
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[23] 34
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[24] 26
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[25] 66
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 7

Sampling[edit]

The riff of the song was most popularly sampled in 1990 by MC Hammer in "U Can't Touch This".[27]

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. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  20. ^ "Beatfreakz: Superfreak" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  21. ^ "Lescharts.com – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Superfreak". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  23. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Beatfreakz - Superfreak" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  27. ^ "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]