The Rubberband Man

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"The Rubberband Man"
The Rubberband Man.jpg
Single by the Spinners
from the album
Happiness Is Being with the Spinners
B-side"Now That We're Together"
ReleasedAugust 1976
Recorded1976
StudioSigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
GenreSoul, funk, Philly soul
Length3:33 (single edit)
7:22 (album version)
LabelAtlantic
Songwriter(s)Thom Bell
Linda Creed
Producer(s)Thom Bell
The Spinners singles chronology
"Wake Up Susan"
(1976)
"The Rubberband Man"
(1976)
"You're Throwing a Good Love Away"
(1977)

"The Rubberband Man" is a song recorded by the American vocal group the Spinners.

The song, written by producer Thom Bell and singer-songwriter Linda Creed, was about Bell's son, who was being teased by his classmates for being overweight. Intended to improve his son's self-image, the song eventually evolved from being about "The Fat Man" to "The Rubberband Man".[1]

The last major hit by the Spinners to feature Philippé Wynne on lead vocals, "The Rubberband Man" spent three weeks at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (blocked from the top spot by Rod Stewart's massive hit single "Tonight's the Night") and topped the U.S. R&B chart at the end of 1976.[2] It was also a top-20 hit in the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 16 in October 1976.[3]

The song was included in the Detroit Free Press's "Detroit's 100 Greatest Songs" list, ranking 70th.[4]

Arrangement and structure[edit]

Wynne alternates between singing the verse and interjecting verbal asides and improvises the eight bars linking the chorus with the bridge. The backing singers' retort of "do-do-do-do" recalls the distinctive chorus in Stephen Stills' song "Love the One You're With."[5]

Later uses[edit]

  • Performed by Lynda Carter in a 1980 episode of The Muppet Show, accompanied by a band of Rubberband Men Muppets.
  • The song also appears in the 1981 movie Stripes.
  • "The Rubberband Man" was used on the TV show Suits in the 2012 episode "Discovery".
  • The song enjoyed a surge in popularity in 2018 as a result of its use in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Avengers: Infinity War.
  • In the mid-to-late 2000s in a back-to-school advertising campaign for OfficeMax, the song was used as the theme for The Rubberband Man, a character played by actor Eddie Steeples, who would happily distribute school / office supplies to disappointed children or workers.[6] [7] At that time, Steeples was popular portraying the character of "Crab Man" on the television sitcom My Name Is Earl.

Personnel[edit]

  • Produced, arranged and conducted by Thom Bell

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Feldman, Christopher G. (2000). The Billboard Book of No. 2 Hits. Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-7695-4.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 545.
  3. ^ "The Detroit Spinners: The Rubberband Man". 45cat.com.
  4. ^ "Detroit's 100 Greatest Songs". Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "The Rubberband Man". AllMusic. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  6. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "officemax "rubberband man"". YouTube.
  7. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Rubberband Man Back-to-School - OfficeMax". YouTube.
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum – 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  9. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1976". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  10. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly – Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. July 17, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  12. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.

External links[edit]