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.
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.