The Hustle (song)

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"The Hustle"
The Hustle - Van McCoy.jpg
Single by Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony
from the album Disco Baby[1]
B-side"Hey Girl, Come and Get It"
ReleasedApril 18, 1975
StudioMediasound (New York City)
LabelAvco Records
Songwriter(s)Van McCoy
Producer(s)Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore

"The Hustle" is a disco song by songwriter/arranger Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony. It went to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts during the summer of 1975.[2] It also peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian RPM charts, No. 9 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) and No. 3 in the UK.[3][4] It would eventually sell over one million copies.[4] The song won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance early in 1976 for songs recorded in 1975.


While in New York City to make an album, McCoy composed the song after his music partner, Charles Kipps, watched patrons do a dance known as "the Hustle" in the nightclub Adam's Apple. The sessions were done at New York's Mediasound studio with pianist McCoy, bassist Gordon Edwards, drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Richard Tee, guitarists Eric Gale and John Tropea, and orchestra leader Gene Orloff. Producer Hugo Peretti contracted multi-woodwind player Phil Bodner to play the piccolo lead melody.

During the summer of 1975, "The Hustle" became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts.[2] Billboard ranked it as the No. 21 song for 1975. It also peaked at No. 9 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) and No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart.[3][4]

According to producers Hugo & Luigi who owned the Avco record label that originally released "The Hustle", McCoy met with them shortly before his death in 1979 to discuss ideas for a new, longer version of the song, in order to appease Avco's UK and German affiliates who were clamoring for a 12" disco single release.[5] The new version, clocking in at just under 6-and-a-half minutes, was assembled posthumously as a remix, using parts of the original recording plus new parts, including drum, Syndrum, and a "little" Moog synthesizer.[5] It was credited to Van McCoy alone or with an unnamed orchestra, mixed by "The Mix Masters", identity unknown.[6]

Appearances in other media[edit]

The song has been featured in numerous movies and television shows including Vampires Suck, the Shark Tale short film Club Oscar, The Lorax, That '70s Show, American Dad!, and Futurama [7]

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[25] Gold 75,000^
Japan 500,000[26]
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[28] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Other versions[edit]

  • Italian rapper Talko made a rap cover of "The Hustle". It was released in 1983 on Babalu Records.[29]


  1. ^ "Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – Disco Baby". Retrieved 2013-09-17.
  2. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 388.
  3. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - One Hit Wonders (General: Music/Charts related)". Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  4. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 338. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ a b "Label preparing 12-inch 'Hustle'". Billboard. July 21, 1979. p. 86.
  6. ^ "The Hustle (Disco Mix) " at Discogs (list of releases)
  7. ^ "The Hustle: Across Media". July 2, 2018.
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - The Hustle". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  9. ^ "Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - The Hustle". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  10. ^ Lwin, Nanda (2000). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide. Music Data Canada.
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-27. Retrieved 2013-07-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Home - Offizielle Deutsche Charts". 2016-09-30. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Hustle". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - The Hustle". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  16. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (M)". Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 158.
  18. ^ "Top 100 1975-07-19". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  19. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  20. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada".
  21. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1975 | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". 1975-12-31. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  22. ^ "Britain's best selling records of '75" (JPG). Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1975/Top 100 Songs of 1975". Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1975". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2015-01-17.
  25. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Van McCoy – The Hustle". Music Canada. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  26. ^ "Big Resurgence Of Japan". Billboard. Vol. 88, no. 51. December 18, 1976. p. 18. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Van Mccoy – The Hustle". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  28. ^ "American single certifications – Van Mc Coy – The Hustle". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  29. ^ "Talko's The Hustle Rap on YouTube". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 2013-09-17.

External links[edit]