You Sexy Thing
|"You Sexy Thing"|
|Single by Hot Chocolate|
|from the album Hot Chocolate|
|B-side||"Amazing Skin Song"|
3:32 (7" version)
|Label||RAK Records (UK)
Big Tree Records (Atlantic) (U.S.)
|Hot Chocolate singles chronology|
"You Sexy Thing" is a song recorded by the British group Hot Chocolate. It was written by Hot Chocolate's lead singer Errol Brown, and produced by Mickie Most. It reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart in 1975, and number 3 in the US Pop charts a year later. Billboard ranked it as the No. 22 song for 1976. The song went on to gain notability by being featured in films, such as 1997's The Full Monty.
The song was originally a 1975 B-side. Not yet convinced that the song could be a hit, producer Most put it on the flip-side of the Hot Chocolate single "Blue Night". The song was later remixed by Most, who re-released it as an A-side some months later on his RAK label. The song was a hit and ultimately became the group's best-known song. In the UK the song was poised for the no. 1 spot, but was beaten to it by "Bohemian Rhapsody," when on 29 November 1975 the Queen single leaped above it from no. 9.
A 1987 remix by Ben Liebrand hit number 10, in turn reinvigorating public interest in the band, and prompted the release of the compilation album The Very Best Of Hot Chocolate (featuring the Liebrand remix) which subsequently reached number 1 in the UK Album chart in February 1987. Ten years later, when it was featured in the film, The Full Monty in 1997, it went to number six in the chart. In one of the most memorable scenes in the film, the male lead, Gaz (played by Robert Carlyle) performs a "striptease" to the music of "You Sexy Thing." Another U.S. resurgence in 1999 can be credited to a Burger King television commercial in which the song played while the camera examined a Double Whopper. In addition, it is the only song to enter the UK Top Ten in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
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"You Sexy Thing" has a simple structure, with most of the song alternating between two major chords (F and Bb). It has a chorus-verse form. One of the song's most memorable aspects is its distinctive six note riff which is repeated intermittently throughout, played on a mildly overdriven electric guitar on a high treble setting and with noticeable vibrato. In addition to a traditional rock drum kit, the song uses hand drums, played in a style reminiscent of tabla. A number of violins accompany the rhythm section. Brown's vocals are sung in an energetic soul fashion, accentuated by the occasional high-pitched, Isley Brothers-style scream.
Two more covers were released at almost the same time as the 1997 re-issue of the Hot Chocolate original. Thus, for one week, the UK Singles Chart boasted three versions of the song. One cover was by the pop/dance act Clock, which reached number 11. The other version, by pop duo T-Shirt, featuring actress Chloé Treend and songwriter Miranda Cooper, went to number 63 in the UK, number 5 in New Zealand and sold platinum in Australia, where the single reached number 6 and stayed in the ARIA Charts for 32 weeks. Hot Chocolate lead singer Errol Brown appeared in the film clip. Both were re-workings with the original music and lyrics but with new added additional rap/vocal segments.
Bruce Springsteen has covered the song several times at his live performances, including during his final concert at Giants Stadium on 9 October 2009, during which he took a sign from a fan requesting the song and held it up for the audience to see as he performed it.
"You Sexy Thing" has also been heard in other films including 1990s films Reservoir Dogs, Heavyweights, Boogie Nights, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, and Bicentennial Man; 2000s films Dude, Where's My Car, Rat Race, About Schmidt, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist; and 2010s films Grown Ups, and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.
The song is later heard over the closing credits and is also included in the 2013 play version of The Full Monty.
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