Good times are on the way from the tight-knit musical unit that made everybody dance. On November 23, Atlantic Records and Rhino will celebrate the 40th anniversary of CHIC's chart-topping, record-breaking "Le Freak" with a new box set. The CHIC Organization 1977-1979 will arrive in 5-CD and 6-LP formats, bringing together new Nile Rodgers Signature Edition remasters of CHIC's first three albums plus Sister Sledge's CHIC-produced We Are Family and a bonus disc of period single edits and 12-inch mixes.
Both versions of the box include CHIC's first three albums - CHIC (1978), C'est Chic (1978) and Risqué (1978) - which have been newly remastered from the original master tapes by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios. As executive producer, Nile Rodgers oversaw the remastering process with the approval of his late creative partner Bernard Edwards' estate. Rodgers is currently Chief Creative Adviser at Abbey Road. The vinyl version was mastered at half-speed and pressed on 180-gram vinyl.
The vinyl set has an exclusive component: a replica of CHIC's first single: a 12-inch promo for "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" that Buddah Records released in 1977 prior to the band signing to Atlantic. Rodgers and Edwards have always felt the bass and bottom end on the Buddah release was superior to the subsequent Atlantic issue.
The bonus disc on both the CD and vinyl edition features ten 12-inch mixes and 7-inch edits of such floor-fillers as "Good Times," "Le Freak," "I Want Your Love," and "My Forbidden Lover." The CHIC Organization 1977-1979 also premieres a remastered edition of Sister Sledge's 1979 We Are Family, the very first album Rodgers and Edwards wrote and produced for an outside artist. (The duo had previously helmed Norma Jean from CHIC vocalist Norma Jean Wright.) The album's success would pave the way for CHIC collaborations with Diana Ross, David Bowie, Johnny Mathis, Debbie Harry, and others.
Nile Rodgers, who turns 66 years young today, is quoted in the press release: "My life has been everything I ever hoped it could be as a result of the incredible music Bernard and I made together. This has been recognized both critically and commercially as some of the finest of all time and that's everything we hoped for as two young musicians who knew no limits and who's partnership was effortless. Having the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records, one of the greatest labels of all time, what a dream! It was important to me that we make these the best sounding editions ever as a tribute to 'Nard. I'm quite certain that Miles Showell and I and the team at Abbey Road succeeded. Forty years later this all feels so fresh."
Both versions of the box set contain essays by authors Touré and Paul Morley, while the vinyl edition includes an additional, exclusive essay by music historian Ashley Kahn. Morley's essay is truncated in the CD box but offered at its full length in the LP box.
Nile Rodgers and CHIC's new album It's About Time, featuring collaborations with Lady Gaga, Elton John, Teddy Riley and Vic Mensa, is available on Virgin/EMI next Friday, September 28 in the U.K. and October 19 in the U.S., with a final album to follow in February. You can look for The CHIC Organization 1977-1979 on November 23 from Atlantic/Rhino! Full Amazon links should be active soon.
The CHIC Organization 1977-1979: Nile Rodgers' Signature Edition Remasters (Atlantic/Rhino, 2018)
CD/LP 1: CHIC (Atlantic SD-19153, 1977)
- Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)
- São Paulo
- You Can Get By
- Everybody Dance
- Est-ce que c'est Chic
- Falling In Love With You
- Strike Up The Band
CD/LP 2: C'est CHIC (Atlantic SD-19209, 1978)
- Chic Cheer
- Le Freak
- Savoir Faire
- Happy Man
- I Want Your Love
- At Last I Am Free
- Sometimes You Win
- (Funny) Bone
CD/LP 3: Sister Sledge, We Are Family (Cotillion SD-5209, 1979)
- He's The Greatest Dancer
- Lost In Music
- Somebody Loves Me
- Thinking Of You
- We Are Family
- Easier To Love
- You're a Friend To Me
- One More Time
CD/LP 4: Risque (Atlantic SD-16003, 1979)
- Good Times
- A Warm Summer Night
- My Feet Keep Dancing
- My Forbidden Lover
- Can't Stand To Love You
- Will You Cry (When You Hear This Song)
- What About Me
CD/LP 5: Original '77-'79 Remixes and Edits
- Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) (7" Edit) (single A-side - Atlantic 3435, 1977)
- Everybody Dance (12" Mix) (promo A-side - Atlantic DSKO 109, 1978)
- You Can Get By (7" Edit) (single B-side - Atlantic 3469, 1978)
- Everybody Dance (7" Edit) (single A-side - Atlantic 3469, 1978)
- Le Freak (7" Edit) (single A-side - Atlantic 3519, 1978)
- I Want Your Love (7" Edit) (single A-side - Atlantic 3557, 1978)
- Good Times (7" Edit) (single A-side - Atlantic 3584, 1979)
- My Forbidden Lover (7" Edit) (single A-side - Atlantic 3620, 1979)
- My Forbidden Lover (12" Mix) (promo A-side - Atlantic DKSO 207, 1979)
- My Feet Keep Dancing (7" Edit) (single A-side - Atlantic 3638, 1979)
12" Single (exclusive to vinyl box): Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) b/w São Paulo (Buddah Records DSC 121, 1977)