HomeWorld NewsFrom disco to Bowie, Madonna and INXS plus Daft Punk: Five songs that shaped Chic icon Nile Rodgers
From disco to Bowie, Madonna and INXS plus Daft Punk: Five songs that shaped Chic icon Nile Rodgers
September 4, 2023
Disco legend Nile Rodgers and his band Chic return to Australia in October for capital city dates, including a show in Fremantle.
Best known for creating hits such as Le Freak, Everybody Dance, I Want Your Love and the much-sampled Good Times with his bass-playing Chic partner Bernie Edwards, Rodgers is also a prolific producer and influential guitarist.
Here are five more classics that have his Midas touch.
WE ARE FAMILY by Sister Sledge
The Sledge siblings from Philadelphia struggled until they combined with Rodgers and Edwards for breakthrough single, He’s the Greatest Dancer, in 1979 followed by this global smash and all-time party favourite. We Are Family was also the first song the duo penned for an act other than Chic.
LET’S DANCE by David Bowie
Despite being best known for working with Sister Sledge, Diana Ross and other acts from the then desperately uncool disco genre, David Bowie tapped Rodgers for his 1983 album Let’s Dance. While the record featured singles Modern Love and China Girl, the title track — accompanied with a video shot in the rural NSW town of Carinda — became Bowie’s biggest ever hit.
ORIGINAL SIN by INXS
Recorded in Rodgers’ Power Station studio in New York and featuring vocals from Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates), Original Sin was the lead single of INXS’ first No. 1 album, The Swing. The song was also the only track on the album Rodgers’ produced, but it displayed the international ambitions of Michael Hutchence, songwriting partner Andrew Farriss and the rest of the Aussie band.
LIKE A VIRGIN by Madonna
Rodgers’ golden run in the 80s continued when Madge heard Let’s Dance and demanded the studio wizard weave a little magic on her second album, which went on to become one of the highest selling of all-time. While it features signature song Material Girl and dance hit Dress You Up, the controversial Like a Virgin really established Madonna as an unstoppable cultural iconoclast.
GET LUCKY by Daft Punk
Despite records with the B-52s, Duran Duran and David Lee Roth, the decades dominated by grunge and alternative rock were fallow for Rodgers, who kept himself busy with Chic reunion tours, soundtrack and video game work, plus his excellent autobiography.
That was until French electronic duo Daft Punk collaborated with the legend on three tracks on 2013’s Random Access Memories. The album was huge but single Get Lucky, featuring acolyte Pharrell Williams, was a worldwide mega-smash and introduced a whole new generation to the disco-era genius.
Nile Rodgers and Chic play Fremantle Prison on October 27. Tickets go on sale September 7.