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.
- a supergroup in every sense of the word,
- a phenomenally talented musical core,
- great producers of many of the best artists of the 80's,
- where 90's mega-producer Nile Rodgers got his start,
- standard-bearers for R&B excellence,
- the main victims of the "Disco sucks" backlash,
- an unfairly overlooked musical movement.
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>,
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 http://www.disco-disco.com/tributes/chic.html.
It's not as comprehensive a discography as these pages, but otherwise
It's the end of the 70's, beginning of the '80s. Atlantic Records was
They had Led Zeppelin on blues rock, Yes on progressive rock, and
into CHIC for black music.
12-inch vinyl LP ("Long Play") 4x2: 2 fast, 1 slow, 1 fast, flip it
and repeat. Some songs came out as 7-inch 45's and 12-inch disco
People have made fun of the brevity of 70-80's vinyl, but Chic
par for the course. I remember Doobie Brothers records clocking in at
17-18 minutes a side. Meanwhile Yes (another Atlantic
were putting 2, 1, or even a quarter of a "song" on a side and calling
With no MTV or 'net to speak of, all you had to go on was the
cover and liner (if any). Whether or not CHIC and the artists they
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
the starting point for the imagery served up by the music. While you
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!
$$$$ Contact me if you have the rare CHIC production
jobs, such as the legendary sessions with Johnny Mathis and Kim Carnes
and others that barely escaped the studio. Also the 12-inch extended
versions of the songs I highlight in these pages (NOTE: I have many
early 12-inches), and the Fonzi Thornton solo album.
Discography and Reviews
- CHIC Albums
- C'est CHIC -- the authoritative
statement, most of the hits
- Real People
- Take it Off
- Tongue in CHIC
- Chic Mystique (they reformed)
- Live at the Budokan (the Japanese tour after they
reformed, on which Bernard Edwards sadly passed away)
- Produced by Bernard
Edwards and Nile Rodgers for the CHIC Organization
- Norma Jean
- Fonzi Thornton
- Sister Sledge We are Family, Got to Love
- Diana Ross Diana
- Sheila and B. Devotion
King of the World
- Soup for One soundtrack (Harry
Prendergrass, Carly Simon, more)
- the legendary unreleased sessions with Johnny Mathis,
Kim Carnes, Aretha Franklin [I want! Pay $$$!]
- Nile Rodgers solo work
- Adventures in the Land of the Good Groove
- B-Movie Matinee
- Outloud [Got it,
thanks to eBay and nhathaway]
- Nile Rodgers' production
- Jeff Beck
- David Bowie
- Mick Jagger
- Sister Sledge
- Duran Duran
- David Lee Roth
- Sheena Easton
- more, more, more
- Nile Rodgers' soundtracks:
- Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
- Blue Chips (1994)
- Earth Girls Are Easy (1989)
- White Hot (1989) (additional music) ... aka Crack in
- Coming to America (1988)
- Alphabet City (1984) [I want! Pay $$$!]
- Bernard Edwards' solo
- Glad to Be Here
- Bernard Edwards' production
- and more, and more!
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
- "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
Nile Rodgers, Guitar
- "Savoir Faire" CHIC, C'Est Chic
Total mastery calling-card instrumental.
- "Thinking of You" Sister Sledge, Got to Love
- 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
"Spacer" Sheila & B. Devotion, King of
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
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
- "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
www.skierpage.com/chic/ (although I pledge this site will remain
commercial-free, until someone gives me money.)
- A great single-page tribute
to the guys, with album covers, interviews, and music snippets, at http://www.disco-disco.com/tributes/chic.html.
It's by the disco guy as part of the "Disco Inferno" site.
- A CHIC site less complete than this, but with some
pictures, at http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/goldie/122/chic/chiclink.html
has articles and interviews with various Chic members, and a
regularly-updated news section.
- A lovely site in French with scans of many of the records,
- "Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews have a page that
reviews a handful of Chic albums at http://www.warr.org/chic.html.
They're balanced and fair.
- If you're into CHIC for their disco heritage, there's a
Disco section in Yahoo Music: Genres.
- The Best of Fresh Aire Nile Rodgers interview, including
songs, used to be free on RealAudio, at http://whyy.org/freshair/,
but now whyy wants you to go to audible.com,
search for "Nile Rodgers", and buy it.
- If you're inspired to buy, there are lots of CD sellers on
the Web. For a while buy.com was cheapest, then in 1999 CDnow tended to
be cheaper than them or Amazon. For rarities, try GEMM (Global
Electronic Music Marketplace) or eBay.
- UBL has an OK list of links, and some kind of reward for
putting this link on my page; click it to go to their CHIC area.
- http://kittle.chem.pwf.cam.ac.uk:80/~pmh21/disco/c/ had
some stuff, but the user has moved.
used to have an appreciative review of "Real People", but it's another
I continue to update these pages as I find time and learn more. Contact
at earthlink.net) if you have any updates. Again, thanks to everyone
contributed. A labor of love from true fans. doesn't need no AOL Time
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
S Page, last
updated November, 2004