By Brian Ives
Over the years, Chic has become the Susan Lucci of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; they’ve been nominated 11 times, more than any other artist. For a long time, it just seemed that a “rockist” bias prevented them from receiving the honor. But in 2013, Donna Summer was inducted, the first full-on disco artist to get the nod. And still, Chic — one of the definitive bands of the 1970s — has still been passed over. Will 2017 be the year that they get inducted? We’ll know in a few days, when the new inductees are announced on Tuesday morning, December 20 (and we’ll have the names of the inductees, so check this space!).
In the meantime, some of the DJs on staff here at WCBS-FM (a Radio.com station) have sounded off about why the legendary dance band deserve their spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“They created a new style of music,” Joe Causi said. “But Chic was more than a disco group.” Still, it’s disco that they’re most well known for. “Good Times” has been sampled umpteen times – you can hear it in Grandmaster Flash’s “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel,” Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” Blondie’s “Rapture” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” It’s noteworthy that three of those four artists are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and the mentioned songs are greatest hits for all three of them. Besides that, Causi says, “They can also claim some ownership of the roller skating craze.”
“Broadway” Bill Lee notes, “Besides their own hits, Chic wrote, produced and performed hits for others in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s,” including Sister Sledge and Diana Ross. “They are a top tier team of artists who always included pop, dance, and innovation in all of their material.”
Dan Taylor adds that their influence stretched far beyond the ’70s, with artists including David Bowie and Madonna reaching out to Chic leader Nile Rodgers to produce their albums. “He stretched music’s boundaries, molding, mixing and forever finding new ways to reinvent his craft. He’s proven it with artists like Duran Duran and Daft Punk plus so many more. Nile Rodgers knows to keep that beat real. And it’s really time he and his band Chic find their place next to those he’s helped thru the years in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
“Few bands from the late ’70s have as much DIRECT influence on today’s music as Chic'” says Dave Stewart. “After Chic’s initial success, co-founder Nile Rodgers became ‘the’ guy to work with. He produced blockbuster hit albums including Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin,’ David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance,’ and Duran Duran’s ‘Notorious.’ More recently, Nile has collaborated with contemporary artists including Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, and Pharrell Williams.”
“Chic’s other co-founder, Bernard Edwards, was also incredibly influential on the future of music. The Sugarhill Gang credits Bernard’s bass line from the song ‘Good Times’ for their hit ‘Rapper’s Delight.’ It was also the inspiration for Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’ If Bernard had not died in 1996, he would likely be as influential on today’s music as Nile is.”
Obviously the consensus around here is that Chic is long overdue for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. What do YOU think? Sound off in the comments below.