Hit Parade

These Are the Good Times Edition

How the sleek disco group Chic spawned hip-hop and new wave and shaped acts from Diana Ross to Duran Duran.


Episode Notes

How can you tell disco didn’t really die at the start of the 1980s? Because half of ’80s pop owed its sound to one of disco’s most seminal acts. Chic—cofounded by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards—would be legendary if all they’d done was record the’70s disco smashes “Le Freak,” “I Want Your Love” and “Good Times.” Indeed, the “Good Times” bassline spawned a slew of copycats, from “Rapper’s Delight” to “Another One Bites the Dust” to “Rapture.”

As if that wasn’t enough, over the next decade, the Chic masterminds became the secret sauce for a range of cutting-edge pop acts, producing and writing for everyone from Diana Ross and David Bowie to Madonna, Duran Duran and the B-52’s. Nile Rodgers even scored a hit in the 2010s with a pair of French robots who “got lucky” with another take on the Chic groove.

Podcast production by Asha Saluja.


About the Show

Chris Molanphy, a pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia, and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts, and shaped your memories forever.

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  • Chris Molanphy is a feature writer and critic who writes widely about music and the pop charts.