Celebrating 40 Years Of Chic's Le Freak

Celebrating 40 Years Of Chic's Le Freak

chic le freak
(Photo by Mike Prior/Redferns/Getty Images)

On September 21, 1978, Chic released "Le Freak", a chart-topping smash that sold more than seven million copies on its way to becoming the best-selling 7” single in the history of Atlantic Records. The song’s lasting influence was recognised by the U.S. Library of Congress earlier this year when "Le Freak" was added to the National Recording Registry. 

Not only has it achieved immense recognition by industry standards, but "Le Freak" has been filling dancefloors for four decades and remains a staple for DJ's in clubs and bars all over the world to this day. The delight and elation experienced by music fans and disco lovers when the opening bars of this song fills a room is a testament to its longevity and relevance. It is literally impossible not to dance to this song!

For the song’s 40th anniversary, Atlantic/Rhino salutes the creative forces behind it – guitarist and Songwriters Hall of Fame/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Nile Rodgers and bassist and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Bernard Edwards – with The Chic Organization 1977-1979. A 5-CD version and a 6-Disc Vinyl version of the collection will both be available on November 23 - preorder it here. 

chic organization

The sets both include Chic’s first three albums – Chic (1977), C’est Chic (1978) and Risqué (1978) – which have been newly remastered from the original Atlantic stereo tapes by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. As executive producer, Nile Rodgers personally oversaw the remastering process with the approval of Bernard Edwards’ estate.

Exclusive to the vinyl version is an exact reproduction of Chic’s first single, a 12” promo for "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" that Buddah Records released in 1977 prior to the band signing to Atlantic.  This was an especially important inclusion to Rodgers as he and Edwards always felt the bass and bottom end on this master was superior to the Atlantic issue. 

The collection also features 12” mixes and 7” edits of smash hits like "Good Times", which also happens to be one of the most-sampled songs in music history. The collection also features a newly remastered version of Sister Sledge’s 1979 breakthrough We Are Family; the first album Rodgers and Edwards wrote and produced for another artist.

To ensure exceptional sound quality, the 6-Disc vinyl version of The Chic Organization 1977-1979 was mastered at half-speed and pressed on 180-gram vinyl audio. 

Nile Rodgers said, “My life has been everything I ever hoped it could be as a result of the incredible music Bernard and I made together.  This has been recognized both critically and commercially as some of the finest of all time and that’s everything we hoped for as two young musicians who knew no limits and whose partnership was effortless.  Having the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records, one of the greatest labels of all time, what a dream!  It was important to me that we make these the best sounding editions ever as a tribute to ‘Nard.  I’m quite certain that Miles Showell and I and the team at Abbey Road succeeded.  Forty years later this all feels so fresh.”


chich disco legends

Both box sets contain newly written definitive essays by Toure and Paul Morley, while the vinyl edition includes an exclusive essay by musical historian Ashley Kahn and Paul Morley’s essay (which is an edited version on the CD set) is offered in its full length.

Said Paul Morley, “Chic were so good at what they did – combining lively, dramatic experimental tendencies and sumptuous melodies with a heightened understanding of how to produce intoxicating atmospheric music for those who come alive after dark – that they made music that sounded better than most in nightclubs, and then on audience grabbing hit radio.” 

Said Ashley Kahn, “Chic’s songs were about balance – of tension and release, of passion and precision, of raw urgency and structural intricacy. The yin and yang of Chic was not only what Rodgers brought but what Edwards did with it.”

Said Toure, “Thank you Chic for the music that will last forever and the endless hours of dancing you inspired and thank you especially for the love you gave to an audience that needed love.”

Read more: Record Shopping With Nile Rodgers

Rodgers and Edwards famously formed Chic in 1976 after Rodgers was inspired by seeing Roxy Music play live in London. A year later, the band signed with Atlantic Records where they helped define the pop and disco genres with unstoppable hits like "Le Freak", "Good Times", "I Want Your Love", "Everybody Dance", "My Feet Keep Dancing" and "My Forbidden Lover." 

After Chic’s initial success, Rodgers and Edwards began making music for other artists as The Chic Organization. One of their biggest successes was Sister Sledge’s third record, "We Are Family". Released in 1978, it remains a classic album thanks to hits like "He’s The Greatest Dancer", "Lost In Music", "Thinking Of You" and the title track.  Rodgers believes this is arguably the finest album he and Edwards wrote, produced and performed.

More recently, Nile Rodgers was elected Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and appointed as the first ever Chief Creative Advisor for the legendary Abbey Road Studios. His work in the Chic Organization and his productions for artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Madonna have sold over 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide while his innovative, trendsetting collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii, Sigala, Disclosure and Sam Smith reflect the vanguard of contemporary music.  

Nile Rodgers & Chic will be releasing their first new album in 26 years, It’s About Time, on September 28. 

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