The Hustle (song)

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"The Hustle"
Single by Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony
from the album Disco Baby[1]
Released April 18, 1975
Recorded 1973
Genre Disco
Length 4:10
Label Avco Records
Writer(s) Van McCoy
Producer(s) Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore
Certification Gold (RIAA)

"The Hustle" is a disco song by songwriter/arranger Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony. It went to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts during the summer of 1975.[2] It also peaked at number 9 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) and number 3 in the UK.[3] It would eventually sell over one million copies and is one of the most popular songs of the disco era. 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 Media Sound 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 piccolo player Philip Bodner to play the lead melody.

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

According to producers Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, 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]

Chart performance[edit]

Preceded by
"Listen to What the Man Said" by Paul McCartney & Wings
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
July 26, 1975 (one week)
Succeeded by
"One of These Nights" by Eagles
Preceded by
"Slippery When Wet" by The Commodores
Billboard's Hot Soul Singles number one single
July 12, 1975 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Fight the Power (Part 1)" by The Isley Brothers


Italian rapper Talko made a rap cover of The Hustle. It was released in 1983 under Babalu Records.[20][21]


  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 "?". 
  4. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1975
  5. ^ a b "Label preparing 12-inch 'Hustle'". Billboard: 86. July 21, 1979. 
  6. ^ "The Hustle (Disco Mix) " at Discogs (list of releases)
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Lwin, Nanda (2000). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide. Music Data Canada.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Select "Van McCoy" from the artist drop down menu
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992"
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Talko's The Hustle on Discogs". Retrieved 2013-09-17. 
  21. ^ "Talko's The Hustle Rap on YouTube". Retrieved 2013-09-17.