Chic – Risque (1979)

AllMusic Review: Chic was very much in its prime when it recorded its third album, Risqué, which contained hits that ranged from “My Feet Keep Dancing” and “My Forbidden Lover” to the influential “Good Times.” That feel-good manifesto is one of the first songs that comes to mind when one thinks of the disco era and the Jimmy Carter years, but Chic’s popularity certainly wasn’t limited to the disco crowd. The fact that “Good Times” became the foundation for both the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” tells you a lot — it underscores the fact that Chic was influencing everyone from early rappers to art rockers. A group that many rock critics were so quick to dismiss was having an impact in many different areas. From hip-hoppers to new wavers in London and Manchester, Risqué was considered primary listening. And Risqué is impressive not only because of its up-tempo cuts, but also because of slow material that includes the lush “A Warm Summer Night” and the dramatic ballad “Will You Cry (When You Hear This Song).” Risqué is definitely among Chic’s essential albums. — Alex Henderson

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Good Times” 8:08
2. “A Warm Summer Night” 6:10
3. “My Feet Keep Dancing” 6:38
Side two
No. Title Length
4. “My Forbidden Lover” 4:39
5. “Can’t Stand to Love You” 2:56
6. “Will You Cry (When You Hear This Song)” 4:06
7. “What About Me?” 4:09

 

Schill Score: 8/10

 

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Chic – C’est Chic (1977)

AllMusic Review: Released in 1977, just as disco began to peak, C’est Chic and its pair of dancefloor anthems, “Le Freak” and “I Want Your Love,” put Chic at the top of that dizzying peak. The right album at the right time, C’est Chic is essentially a rehash of Chic, the group’s so-so self-titled debut from a year earlier. That first album also boasted a pair of floor-filling anthems, “Dance Dance Dance” and “Everybody Dance,” and, like C’est Chic, it filled itself out with a mix of disco and ballads. So, essentially, C’est Chic does everything its predecessor did, except it does so masterfully: each side similarly gets its timeless floor-filler (“Le Freak,” “I Want Your Love”), quiet storm come-down (“Savoir Faire,” “At Last I Am Free”), feel-good album track (“Happy Man,” “Sometimes You Win”), and moody album capper (“Chic Cheer,” “[Funny] Bone”). Producers Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers were quite a savvy pair and knew that disco was as much a formula as anything. As evidenced here, they definitely had their fingers on the pulse of the moment, and used their perceptive touch to craft one of the few truly great disco albums. In fact, you could even argue that C’est Chic very well may be the definitive disco album. After all, countless artists scored dancefloor hits, but few could deliver an album this solid, and nearly as few could deliver one this epochal as well. C’est Chic embodies everything wonderful and excessive about disco at its pixilated peak. It’s anything but subtle with its at-the-disco dancefloor mania and after-the-disco bedroom balladry, and Edwards and Rodgers are anything but whimsical with their disco-ballad-disco album sequencing and pseudo-jet-set Euro poshness. Chic would follow C’est Chic with “Good Times,” the group’s crowning achievement, but never again would Edwards and Rodgers assemble an album as perfectly calculated as C’est Chic. — Jason Birchmeier

Track Listing

Side one
  1. “Chic Cheer” – 4:42
  2. “Le Freak” – 5:27
  3. “Savoir Faire” – 5:01
  4. “Happy Man” – 4:17
Side two
  1. “I Want Your Love” – 6:55
  2. “At Last I Am Free” – 7:08
  3. “Sometimes You Win” – 4:26
  4. “(Funny) Bone” – 3:41

 

Schill Score: 9/10

 

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