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C'est CHIC

Atlantic 11/8/1978

CD 7567-81552-2

Billboard: Pop#4, Black#1

Alfa Anderson
Bernard Edwards
Diva Gray
Luci Martin
David Lasley
Luther Vandross
Bass: Bernard Edwards
Guitar: Nile Rodgers
Drums: Tony Thompson
Clavinet, acoustic piano & electric piano: Robert Sabino, Andy Schwartz
Fender Rhodes: Raymond Jones
Percussion: Sammy Figueroa
Tubular Bells: Jose Rossy
Concert Master: Gene Orloff
The Chic Strings: Marianne Carroll, Cheryl Hong, Karen Milne
Trumpet: Jon Faddis, Ellen Seeling
Sax: Alex Foster, Jean Fineberg
Trombone: Barry Rodgers
All songs recorded and mixed at Power Station N.Y.C
Engineers: Bob Clearmountain, Burt Szerlip, Jeff Hendrickson, Ray Willard
1. Chic Cheer
2. Le Freak (Pop#1 (5 weeks), Black#1, Disco#1)
3. Savoir Faire
4. Happy Man
5. I want your love (Pop#7, Black#5)
6. At last I am free
7. Sometimes you win
8. (Funny) Bone
All song samples in Real Audio
P O C A T'S ... R E V I E W
I've really never had any relationship to this album. As I've stated in my history section the single "Le Freak" off the album was my first contact with Chic's-music. Even though It's not my favorite today, it still pulled me into the fold with ferocious force. On the dancefloor it calls out it's "Aaaaaaaah freak out!" with hypnotic monotony, and then your hooked.....-caught forever. Sometimes the music of Nile and Nard has this unconditional quality, you either surrender to the grooves and let them flow right through your body, or just stay mundane and don't appreciate the greatness of it all. "Le Freak" is an archetype song for the dancefloor, that's it's greatness, it will live there not anywhere else-the ultimate in musical evolution. Next comes "I Want Your Love," a masterpiece, and it has been sampled and covered inumerable times..proof of it's greatness! Here Nile'n Nard have used the same type of hook as on "Everybody Dance," the simple chords of tubular bells pulls you in instantly and that theme is then echoed in piano, strings and horns. The constant and ferocious (oops!) guitarrhythms and bass play (copied in last years hit "Superstar" with Navigators) makes a constant and hypnotic backdrop to the magical chant. All this makes it another anthem of the late '70s (Chic's fourth on just two albums!). "Savoir Faire," in the same tradition as "São Paulo" from the first album, is if possible even better than the latter. It's like floating on velvet clouds - this one takes you to dreamland. "Happy Man's" lush intro strings is later used with greater emphasis on the Sister Sledge song "How to Love" off the "Love Somebody Today" album. Otherwise this is the weakest track of the album. "At Last I'm Free" starts Chic's great tradition of wonderful sad ballads with a bridge to die for (I Loved You More, One And Only One, Take My Love and Sister Sledge' Easier To Love). Even though I think the peak is at "I Loved You More," these ballads follow the same formula without being copies of each other, they are each individuals and with such class all of them that ranking seems superfluous. This song has been excellently covered by british avant-garde singer Robert Wyatt. "Chic Cheer" and "(Funny) Bone" are songs in the same tradition as "Dance, Dance, Dance...././." but with even more monotenous and funky drive. Actually they seem like Nile & Nard just sitting in the studio jamming, then recording it, polishing it, adding a couple of strings and whatever - then releasing it. But I guess with their reputation of meticulous production something like that would never happen, that is until "Live at Budokan." The only thing is the words spoken at the end of "Bone: -'The whole world's a circus. Don't you be the clown!'" Is there a story to those words of bitterness-one wonders? The last song "Sometimes You Win" is a standard uptempo Chic song nothing more or less. Two hits and two classics not bad- another must have for your collection, but what else did you expect me to say ;-)


By Soeren from Denmark (rated 5 stars of 5) 030415
CHIC's second album was a musical departure. Gone were any short-comings of the two first albums ("CHIC" and the Norma Jean album), and what remained was an album guaranteeing 100% listening pleasure. Heralded by one of the disco era's most infectuous singles ever, "Le Freak" of course, the LP was far from an album of sound-alike anthems, yes it did have other songs driven by a disco beat, but there were more than just that. "Chic Cheer" opening with live applause is a surprisingly minimalistic, almost jazzy groove, very very classy. And then ... let the party begin ... in retrospect it is incredible to learn that the people at Atlantic had first turned thumbs down upon hearing "Le Freak", the track simply bursts with an extraordinary energy: The tight drums, Nile's sparkling rhythm guitar, and the razorsharp strings, this has virtually hit written all over it, it's a little masterpiece! "Savoir Faire" ("Know How") slows down the pace - it's a wonderful instrumental groove with a stunning jazzy guitar solo, going on for 5 minutes and not getting boring one single second. As on the first album, Bernard gets to sing the closing track of side 1, this time the disco-track "Happy Man" which once again showcases Nile on a solo but Bernard does a great walking bass on the outro. Whereas the success of "Le Freak" may have had more to do with the incredibly tight arrangement than with the actual song itself, "I Want Your Love" is both a great, haunting melody and a beautiful, symphonic arrangement. One of CHIC's greatest titles, it deservedly reached the Top 5 at both sides of the Atlantic. If you thought "I Want Your Love" was melancholy set to music, the next song, the gospel-flavoured, "At Last I Am Free" was even sadder. Lasting a whole 7 minutes at a somnambulist pace, they got away with it, again thanks to excellent musicianship. There was no third single released off "C'est Chic", but if one song had deserved the chance, it was the Bee Gees influenced "Sometimes You Win" which again proved to be above the mediocre disco cut with a cleverly arranged jazzy horns feature. "(Funny) Bone" closes the album with an equally great groove and swirling strings. And remember - the whole world's a circus, don't you be the clown! Ciao! 5 stars to CHIC's greatest album ever.