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Essential Listening: Nile Rodgers

Essential Listening: Nile Rodgers

There aren’t any superlatives that can fully justify the profound influence Nile Rodgers has had on the music industry. Over the past four decades the New York born artist has brought a truly innovative approach to making music, working with a fantastically diverse range of artists from Madonna to Avicii. As well as forging a reputation as one of the most talented and well-respected producers he also happens to be one of Chic’s co-founders. During his time with the band, which many regard as a cornerstone of hip hop music, he crafted records, like “Le Freak” and “Good Times” which consistently offered a fresh and vibrant take on popular music.

Alongside his scintillating performances on stage and in the studio Rodgers also continued to boost his profile by scoring soundtracks for a whole host of well-known films, including Beverly Hills Cop III and Rush Hour 2. Such is his standing, people from all over the world clamber for tickets when he takes to lecture halls or makes an appearance at music industry conferences.

When you take a look at the number of artists he has worked with it is quite astounding to see just how many hit records he has helped to mould. Despite that we decided to give it our best attempt and pick out five iconic tracks.

Le Freak

This record was and always will be one of the finest records made by Chic. The warm and joyful melody is a perfect accompaniment for the beautiful vocal and is a great example of Rodgers’ ability to craft a sumptuous blend of different styles, this time combining disco and funk. If ever you are looking for that disco record which never ages and always causes one big groove on a dancefloor then press play on this song.

Upside Down

Another name that benefited from the wizardry Rodgers seemed to perform whenever he took to a studio was American singer Diana Ross, when he provided his input for this record back in 1980. Listening to the warming vocal talents of Ross it is instantly clear why they offered a serene accompaniment for Rodgers’ trademark disco melodies. Wondering what is the quickest way to provoke a mass elation of joy throughout a room? Turn this one up loud and see what happens.

Get Lucky

Being an artist who has garnered incredible appeal from some of the biggest names in electronic music it was only a matter of time before his talents were enlisted by dance heavyweights Daft Punk. Working with such innovators always promised to produce a spectacular result and track didn’t disappoint, offering a serene and uplifting disco song, which subsequently earned Rodgers two Grammy awards. If you are wondering why Rodgers is still regarded as one of the most talented musicians then be sure to listen to this song.

He’s the Greatest Dancer

Rodgers worked his musical magic for a whole host of other major artists, including Sister Sledge, helping to craft this sumptuous number back in 1979. Right through this record it is strikingly obvious just how Rodgers has put his stamp on the record, with that iconic disco sound present right throughout the song. Looking through Rodgers’ production credits this tune will always stand out because of how easy it was to spot the simple yet beautifully organic sound which the New York artist became known for.

Good Times

This track might be nearly forty years old but it still provokes goose bumps galore when you hear the blissful soul. The record, which became Chic’s second number-one single, has garnered such a monumental appreciation, becoming one of the most sampled tunes in history. This is just another masterpiece from Chic, delivering an aural delight for disco lovers and offering the definition of a timeless anthem.

Nile Rodgers and Chic headline this year's Wilderness Festival, taking place between Thursday 2nd August and Sunday 5th August in Cornbury Park, Charlbury. 

Sister Sledge head up both Cardiff's Depot in the Castle on Saturday 2nd June as well as the huge Southport Weekender the following Saturday 9th June. The disco divas then headline this year's El Dorado Festival between Friday 29th June and Monday 2nd July, before heading out to Manchester's Victoria Warehouse for Disco Classical on Friday 13th July

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Essential Listening: Nile Rodgers

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