Saturday, November 15, 2008

First we shake, then we break..


Chic - Hangin' (1982, Atlantic)

While we're on the subject of Chic, I thought I might as well post the audio and video for "Hangin' " which I've always thought was one of the best singles from their latter period in the 1980's. Although I'd say "Take It Off" (1981, Atlantic) was Chic's best album of the 80's, I always thought this song and the "Tongue In Chic" (1982, Atlantic) album which it came from really showed them hitting their stride with their updated sound.. With a killer hook, horns centre stage and the cool, yet lively vocals from Bernard and the ladies; with Chic giving off just a little more 'street' and still maintaing their dance-appeal, this is definitely Chic at their funkiest. If I had my way, this would have been to the early 80's what "Le Freak" was to the late 70's.

Chic - Hangin' Uploaded by PaulJD2006
As far as the video goes, I never in a million years expected to find one, but one day while poking around on YouTube, there it was. Posted by the video's director himself, New York filmmaker and Emmy Award winning editor Paul Dougherty, the video is as much of a gem as the song is. With the Chic guys playing DJ, Luci and Alfa looking fly on the dancefloor, along with kids, club scenes, art groupies, and a little requisite pop-locking; it feels like a time capsule of New York and of Chic themselves in the early 80's. Director Paul Dougherty elaborates on the video in the directors notes from his YouTube page:
Though a little overwhelmed by this gig, I'm proud and lucky to have featured an early incarnation of hip-hop in this November 1982 production. I might add to this description but for now I'll just say that I met some of the players in the cast at New York's Fun Gallery. This scene was a hotbed of graffiti and hip-hop and because it was in the East Village, there was a lot a crossover, art meets the street, etc. There I met the guy I cast as the messenger, the legendary Kano and his young pal "On" aka On-ski (doing the ET dance in the tan outfit and ski hat). Also noteworthy is the disco setting which was the storied Roxy (roller-rink & disco) where c/o the nights that Kool Lady Blue organized there, white folks got some of their earliest exposure to hip-hop Chic was a pleasure to work with. I wish I could have hit one out of the park for them on this video but at least it's a fun time capsule that further ties them to the hip-hop sound they helped invent..
Whatever his reservations, as it is, this looks like one of the best visual documents of Chic's classic lineup out there, in one of the more overlooked phases of their career, no less. Aside from this video, Dougherty had directed or edited videos for the likes of Public Image Limited, Afrika Bambaataa, Whodini and The Beastie Boys, some of whch are listed on his YouTube playlists as well as his own website. Like Dougherty had alluded to at the end of his directors notes, this is one of those songs (and videos) in Chic's catalogue which perfectly situated them in between their disco heritage and the hip-hop movement which they, in part, had influenced. One of their underrated classics, in my opinion. In a little bit of side trivia: "Hangin'" was also covered in 1990 by the 'other guy' in Wham!, Andrew Ridgeley for his first and only solo album, "Son Of Albert" (1990, Epic), which I haven't heard, though I'm not expecting much. To add one more video treat before I finish off this post, evidently there was also a video for "Give Me The Lovin," one of the singles from their final album of the 80's (and witht heir classic lineup), Believer" (1983, Atlantic). Looking at this video, it seems obvious that the end was near, since Chic themselves aren't even in this one, having been stood-in for by a bunch of kids playing dress-up. One of the comments on YouTube suggests that the kids were a bit of a trend at the time, though given the waning status of the group, a fairly convenient one, it seems. Anyway, the quality is sort of shitty, but I still think it's kinda cute.
Chic- Give Me The Lovin' Uploaded by NickFRESHBoogie
PURCHASE: CHIC - REAL PEOPLE/TONGUE IN CHIC CD AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | DUSTY GROOVE | CD UNIVERSE CHIC - BELIEVER CD AMAZON.COM | AMAZON.CO.UK | CD UNIVERSE PREVIOUS RELATED ENTRIES: CHIC & JOHNNY MATHIS COLLABORATIONS TO FINALLY BE RELEASED? (TUESDAY NOVEMBER 11, 2008) UPCOMING SISTER SLEDGE REISSUES (FRIDAY AUGUST 10, 2007) BBC RADIO 2 - THE RECORD PRODUCERS: NILE RODGERS (SATURDAY JANUARY 6, 2007) UPCOMING REISSUES & RELEASES (CHIC AND MORE!): (DECEMBER 1, 2006 - JANUARY 22, 2007) (SATURDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2006) UPCOMING REISSUES & RELEASES (APRIL 25 - MAY 30) (FRIDAY APRIL 21, 2006) DISCO DELIVERY #2: NORMA JEAN WRIGHT - NORMA JEAN (1978, BEARSVILLE) (SATURDAY JANUARY 14, 2006) LINKS: CHIC TRIBUTE CHIC @ DISCOGS CHIC - REAL PEOPLE/TONGUE IN CHIC CD REVIEW @ DISCOMUSIC.COM ALL MUSIC GUIDE: CHIC - TONGUE IN CHIC (REVIEW) ALL MUSIC GUIDE: CHIC - BELIEVER (REVIEW) PAUL DOUGHERTY - TV NOOK PAUL DOUGHERTY ON YOUTUBE ROXY NYC @ WIKIPEDIA THE ROXY, NYC @ DISCOMUSIC.COM THE ROXY, NEW YORK @ HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT CATEGORIES: MINI DELIVERIES, VISUAL DISCO

10 comments:

john baptiste said...

killer track-love that intro riff and the video is just incredible.

great find!

Tommy said...

Hey John, thanks for the comment! Glad you love it as well!

Okebulani Woman said...

Love this album. I discovered it last year.

Tommy said...

Yeah, "Tongue In Chic" was a great album! Well, except maybe for that fake-live track "Chic (Everybody Say)." Come to think of it, not counting the early 90's "Best Of Chic" CD, I think it was one of the first actual Chic albums I ever got.

Enrique said...

Tommy! Missed you the past few months... SO glad you're posting again. XOX, your Filipino cousin in L.A.

VanceMan said...

BTW, if you REALLY want to hear that Andrew Ridgley album, it's at http://alcazarland.blogspot.com/2008/10/andrew-ridgeley-son-of-albert.html.

Tommy said...

Hey Enrique! Thanks for the comment! It's great to see you here again! :)

Vanceman, thanks for the link! I had seen the videos for the singles on YouTube, which had pretty much eliminated much of my curiosity. As I feared, his version of "Hangin'" isn't much better. That was like a bad Power Station imitation, to be honest. Anyway, thanks again for that link. At least I didn't have to pay for that! haha

colin said...

Didnt look at your blog for a while, im glad to see you're back!

always nice to read and hear stuff in here

Mesut said...

happy disco happy group

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