CHIC: Introduction and Picks

I decided to put these pages together in 1997 when I heard of Bernard Edwards' untimely death and went looking for info on the subject on the Net. I found no CHIC site at the time, and few references except from the many Duran Duran fans aware of Duran Duran's openly-expressed musical debt to CHIC.

CHIC were

An Update, and Thanks

I've had these pages up since 1997, it's been 20 or so dog/Internet years. And 20 years on, CHIC still have a lot of fans, many of them musicians, all over the world.. A huge thanks to all the people who have responded with pointers and updates, keep 'em coming.

And I'm sticking to the zero-design, <NOFRAMES>, zero-Java applet, JavaScript-free, raw HTML just as Tim Berners-Lee intended (until I get a flat-bed scanner for the album covers :-)

A CHIC Biography

There's an excellent Web page summarizing their history, complete with album covers and sound samples at "Disco Inferno", at  It's not as comprehensive a discography as these pages, but otherwise it's great.


It's the end of the 70's, beginning of the '80s. Atlantic Records was dominant. They had Led Zeppelin on blues rock, Yes on progressive rock, and lucked into CHIC for black music.


12-inch vinyl LP ("Long Play") 4x2: 2 fast, 1 slow, 1 fast, flip it over, and repeat. Some songs came out as 7-inch 45's and 12-inch disco singles.

People have made fun of the brevity of 70-80's vinyl, but Chic were par for the course. I remember Doobie Brothers records clocking in at only 17-18 minutes a side.  Meanwhile Yes (another Atlantic supergroup) were putting 2, 1, or even a quarter of a "song" on a side and calling it art.

With no MTV or 'net to speak of, all you had to go on was the album cover and liner (if any). Whether or not CHIC and the artists they worked with put as much thought into album design as fans read into those two or four square feet is irrelevant, it's all we had to peer at, and it was the starting point for the imagery served up by the music. While you were stunned by the amount of music on "C'est Chic" thinking "Who are these guys?!", you looked at the spacious interior with relaxed dudes in cool threads lying about. You listened to Sister Sledge talking of love, you saw their soft sweaters and girlish bonding.

Make Money Fast!

$$$$ Contact me if you have the rare CHIC production jobs, such as the legendary sessions with Johnny Mathis and Kim Carnes and others that barely escaped the studio. Also the 12-inch extended versions of the songs I highlight in these pages (NOTE: I have many early 12-inches), and the Fonzi Thornton solo album.

Discography and Reviews

Top Picks

Bernard Edwards, Bass

"Everybody Dance" CHIC, C'Est Chic, and most of the greatest hits compilations
Melody and rhythm and speed.
"Now that You're Gone" Diana Ross, Diana
Unique "bone" tone, that's not on the CHIC mix
"Have Fun Again" Dina Ross, Diana (the CHIC mix on the Deluxe Edition)
An impeccable rhythm instrument and a fine solo all at once.
"Burn Hard" CHIC, Take it Off
Popping, powerful, dominant groove.
"Believer" CHIC, Believer
Elastic, supple, sharp, propulsive -- the antithesis of plodding bass.

Nile Rodgers, Guitar

"Savoir Faire" CHIC, C'Est Chic
Total mastery calling-card instrumental.
"Thinking of You" Sister Sledge, Got to Love Somebody Today
Inspired scintillating riffing.
"My Old Piano" Diana Ross, Diana
nylon strung jazz.
"Real People" CHIC, Real People
Screaming lead and jangling chords in an urbane setting.

Tony Thompson, Drums

"Coming Out" Diana Ross, Diana
Space and power

Percussion (Roy Figueroa)

"Thinking of You" Sister Sledge, We are Family
Wonderful congas.
"Spacer" Sheila & B. Devotion, King of the World
A shaker and bass drive the groove forever.
"I Want Your Love" CHIC, C'Est Chic
Tubular bells triumphant.

Keyboards (Andy Schwartz, Raymond Jones, RobSabino)

"Spacer" Sheila & B. Devotion, King of the World
A superb high piano line with ringing octaves.

The CHIC Strings (Karen Milne, Cheryl Hong, and Marianne Carroll; Gene Orloff concertmaster)

"(Opening Instrumental)" CHIC, Real People
Symphonic lush sound.
"You Fooled Around" Sister Sledge , Got to Love Somebody Today 
pizzicato strings played with real force and style in a unique arrangement
"Tenderness" Diana Ross, Diana (the CHIC mix on the Deluxe Edition)
sparkling, lush, rich, gorgeous.

(Real people dragging horsehair over strings mounted on resonant varnished wood made those sounds. Kids, synthesized string sounds aren't the same!)

Nile Rodgers 1980's new wave production pinnacle

"The Reflex" Duran Duran, Arena
Others produced it (Rick Sadkin, Ian Little, & Duran Duran), but I like to think Nile nailed that richly overflowing, energetic, live-meets-keyboards sound for all time when he mixed this seminal 1984 track.


Please consider mentioning that you found the link at (although I pledge this site will remain commercial-free, until someone gives me money.)


I continue to update these pages as I find time and learn more. Contact me (skierpage at if you have any updates. Again, thanks to everyone who has contributed. A labor of love from true fans. doesn't need no AOL Time Warner behemoth to commercialize popular culture down our throats.

"Remember, the whole world's a circus... Don't you be the clown.  CIAO!" (Funny Bone, C'Est Chic)
"I want to live my life with some Real People" (Real People, Real People)

S Page, last updated November, 2004