Artist – Album: Chic – C’est Chic
Released: 11th August 1978
Sounds Like: Disco’s shimmering, expertly assembled peak
“If you’re a fan of Chic, consider yourself unique”
So goes the opening lines of ‘Chic Cheer’, the self-aggrandizing first track on Chic’s sophomore effort, C’est Chic. Whilst the sentiment didn’t quite ring true when it was released – disco was still the height of fashion in 1978 and Chic scored a couple of huge hits with ‘Le Freak’ and ‘I Want Your Love’ – it wouldn’t take long for punk to rear its ugly, self-pierced head and purge all remnants of the spangled jump suits era. Amidst all those snarling, sneering anarchists, those who hung on to the cult of the Chic Organisation Ltd must have felt pretty lonely. But everything in music is cyclical (which is why I’m keeping hold of my keytar, shoulder pads and flock of seagulls wig in expectant readiness), and Chic is now chic again. Nile Rodgers had a starring role in the Daft Punk’s anthem of the summer ‘Get Lucky’, and the group produced possibly the standout set of a wonderfully celebratory Glastonbury.
As a result, more and more people are dipping into the group’s back catalogue and, whilst the newly released greatest hits Up All Night may be the easiest way in, you could do worse than banging on this classic album. Whilst everyone knows the hits, the album tracks are hardly filler. ‘At Last I Am Free’ is a quiet ballad, a reminiscence of a Black Panther rally disguised as a love song. ‘Happy Man’ and ‘Sometimes You Win’ are exultant, whilst the instrumental ‘Savoir Faire’ has an elegant cool.
Rodgers and Bernard Edwards seem to have struck upon all encompassing formula for creating joyous, groovy perfection, and they’ve calculatingly utilised it to huge success for both themselves and for other artists (Diana Ross, David Bowie and Modjo to name just a wildly diverse three). To call this album their crowning glory is difficult as they’ve had so many highlights (and follow up album Risque is arguably even better), but it is still irresistible.
Albumaday... rating: 8/10
1. Chic Cheer – 4:42
2. Le Freak – 5:23
3. Savoir Faire – 5:01
4. Happy Man – 4:17
5. I Want Your Love – 6:45
6. At Last I Am Free – 7:08
7. Sometimes You Win – 4:26
8. (Funny) Bone – 3:41
Listen to ‘I Want Your Love’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeFqVtFCJEk