It’s the 19th of September and that means a ton of things, many of which I’m not going to list but one of them being that it’s the 64th birthday of disco pioneer and guitar legend Nile Rodgers. With one of the most iconic and recognisable sounds in music history, Rodgers has managed to not only develop music in the 70’s the 80’s and even the 2000’s as his sound remains timeless and not only shot disco into the stratosphere when it originated but is without doubt responsible for its resurgence today. Happy birthday Nile Rodgers. Let’s take a look at some of his greatest hits…
Good Times (with Chic, from Risqué) 1979
An undisputed classic of the disco era and one of the biggest bands from the genre, Nile Rodgers original group, Chic. Still lighting up dance floors every time it’s played, the sound is timeless and never loses its power to start a party.
Get Lucky (with Daft Punk & Pharell Williams from Random Access Memories) 2013
The track that not only resparked disco, reintroduced Nile Rodgers into the mainstream music scene but also dominated the year 2013. If I think of that year, I think of ‘Get Lucky’ and the impression it left on the summer of that year. Commercial radio has a knack for overplaying and consequently killing a great song, but this one couldn’t lose its charm and remains loved today.
Let’s Dance (with David Bowie from Let’s Dance) 1982
Nobody reading will be a stranger to this classic by David Bowie, but did you know Nile Rodgers not only produced the track but the album of the same name too. Not only that but he played rhythm guitar on ‘Let’s Dance’ also and if you didn’t know, take another listen, it’s actually quite obvious.
Le Freak (with Chic from C’est Chic) 1978
Another Chic classic and one of the stand outs from their sophomore album. Just as ‘Good Times’ does, it remains timeless and is still synonymous with the disco genre and disco era. Not surprising as it optimizes everything disco stands for.
Lost In Music (with Sister Sledge from We Are Family) 1979
As producer of the American R&B vocal group Sister Sledge’s album ‘We Are Family’ Rodgers even took to writing this classic late 70’s track which just like the rest on this list remains a classic. There’s absolutely no contesting his moniker of “The Hitmaker”.
Overcome (with Laura Mvula from The Dreaming Room) 2016
Only last year, one of the most credible and naturally talented artists in the world, Laura Mvula joined forces with Nile Rodgers to release the subtly powerful ‘Overcome’ and you can clearly hear Rodgers signature guitar licks in the background. A subtle use of the legends musicianship but so expertly placed it brings life to this grand yet minimal sounding masterpiece.
Everybody Dance (with Chic from Chic) 1978
You have to end on another classic by Chic and this one sums it all up really. It’s no wonder Rodgers entered the esteemed Rock and roll hall of fame earlier this year when his career has shaped generations, become the soundtrack for decades and continues to astound and amaze even now.
Happy Birthday Nile Rodgers
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)