Dec 09

The FT Top 100 Tracks Of All Time #20: Chic – Good Times

FT/2 comments • 1,120 views

Chicgoodtimes What exactly are good times, according to Chic? The lyrics refer to jitterbugging being involved, but it’s hard to believe many people on the dancefloor actually jitterbug to it (past tense of jitterbug: jatterbug?). The jitterbug isn’t a hard dance but its hand-round-the-waist 50s style of partnered-up bopping is light years away from what disco invented: full-fledged, individualistic yet en masse booty shaking, preferably until way past a reasonable hour. This is the new state of mind that Chic is talking about. Don’t be a drag, participate. And then:

Clams on the half shell, and roller skates. Roller skates!

Possibly the greatest image ever conjured in song.

You can’t beatmatch “Good Times” because it’s played by a band rather than locked into a computerized timeline. This is infuriating for DJs but serves as a kind of protective bubble when played in a nightclub – the song basically gets played from beginning to end without too much funny business in between. If you’re attentive and know the song well, however, you can mix an acapella rap over the long instrumental breakdown (warning: most raps will be too slow!). It’s complicated though, due to the aforementioned BPM wibbling; far easier to just get a friend to rap over it instead.

Hmm I get the feeling someone’s done that already.

p.s. I have always loved the juxtaposition of Chic dressed up in heavy winter coats with the words “Warm Summer Night” emblazoned below them.. Hot, baby.


  1. 1
    koganbot on 1 Dec 2009 #

    Vaughan Mason and Crew did a variation on “Good Times” but added an even better bass line:

    Bounce Rock Skate Roll

    And then Trickeration did a rap to that:

    Rap Bounce Rockskate

  2. 2
    Martin Skidmore on 2 Dec 2009 #

    Obviously Bernard Edwards bassline has had as much attention as any ever, and rightly so, but I want to put in a word for the third musician in Chic (as a band and when producing for others), Tony Thompson. He’s one of my three favourite drummers ever, and Al Jackson and Keith Moon were both dead by the time of this record. He’s very powerful, and for me this single is as close as drumming gets to being overtly sexy.

    Sadly he made one of the worst artistic moves ever, after Chic stopped, joining Robert Palmer and some ex-Durans in Power Station. He was asked to be the drummer in Led Zep once, you know.

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