Funkytown

Last updated

"Funkytown"
Funkytown by Lipps Inc US single side A.png
Side A of the US single
Single by Lipps Inc.
from the album Mouth to Mouth
B-side "All Night Dancing"
ReleasedMarch 1980 [1]
Genre
Length4:00 (7" single version)
7:50 (album/12" single version)
Label Casablanca
Songwriter(s) Steven Greenberg
Producer(s) Steven Greenberg
Lipps Inc. singles chronology
"Rock It"
(1979)
"Funkytown"
(1980)
"Designer Music"
(1980)
Music video
"Funkytown" (TopPop, 1982) on YouTube

"Funkytown" is a song by American disco act Lipps Inc., released in 1980 as the second single from their debut album, Mouth to Mouth (1979). It was very successful on the charts all over the world, reaching the top spot in the United States, West Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia, among many others. [4] [5] [6]

Contents

Background and composition

Written by musician, composer, and record producer Steven Greenberg and sung by Cynthia Johnson, the song expresses the singer's pining for a metaphorical place that will "keep me movin', keep me groovin' with some energy". Greenberg wrote the song while the band was living in Minneapolis with dreams of moving to New York. [7] "Funkytown" is written in the key of C major. [8]

Music videos

At least two music videos exist for "Funkytown". In one, a black singer miming Johnson's vocals and some women dance in a pub. In another video, Debbie Jenner , who served as the face of Lipps Inc. in the Netherlands and West Germany, dances while miming Johnson's vocals. [9] Johnson says on her website that she "was never asked to perform a video of 'Funkytown.'" [10]

Chart performance

"Funkytown" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 on March 29, 1980, and spent four weeks at number one, from May 31 to June 21, 1980. It also hit the number one spot on the disco chart in 1980. [6] It also reached no. 2 in the United Kingdom, [11] and Sweden, as well as on the US soul chart. [12] The song was Lipps Inc's only American Top 40 hit. [6]

Impact and legacy

VH1 ranked the song at number 37 on their list of the 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 1980s in 2009. [13]

Time Out listed the song number 44 in their list of The 100 best party songs in 2018, adding:

(…) 'Funkytown' expresses a simple, repetitive yearning for the pulse of a bigger city, goosed by a killer ten-note synth riff. 'Gotta make a move to a town that's right for me,' sings Cynthia Johnson in a robotic, vocoderized voice (a precursor to the Auto-Tune sound) before busting out an unmodified, soulful wail, pleading for a trip to the party destination of her dreams. Released in 1980, 'Funkytown' came late to the disco party, but gave it a jolt of electricity. [14]

ThoughtCo placed the song at number 7 in their list of "25 Best Dance Pop Songs of All Time" in 2018. [15]

Track listings

  1. "Funkytown" – 4:00
  2. "All Night Dancing" – 3:10
  1. "Funkytown" – 7:50
  2. "All Night Dancing" – 8:20

Charts

Certifications and sales

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) [46] Platinum100,000^
Canada (Music Canada) [47] 2× Platinum300,000^
France (SNEP) [48] Gold500,000*
Germany (BVMI) [49] Gold500,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [50] Silver250,000^
United States (RIAA) [51] Platinum3,000,000 [52]
Summaries
Worldwide8,000,000 [52]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Pseudo Echo version

"Funkytown"
Funkytown Pseudo Echo.jpg
Single by Pseudo Echo
from the album Love an Adventure
B-side "Lies Are Nothing"
ReleasedNovember 17, 1986 [53]
Genre
Length
  • 4:53 (Australian single/video version)
  • 3:40 (international single edit)
  • 6:36 (Dance Mix/Australian album version)
Label RCA
Songwriter(s) Steven Greenberg
Producer(s) Brian Canham
Pseudo Echo singles chronology
"Try"
(1986)
"Funkytown"
(1986)
"Take On the World"
(1987)
Music video
"Funkytown" on YouTube

In 1986, "Funkytown" was covered by Australian band Pseudo Echo as a rock song, which included a guitar solo in the middle. Pseudo Echo's version reached no. 6 on the US Hot 100 chart and spent seven weeks at no. 1 in Australia. Mirroring Lipps Inc's experience, Pseudo Echo's version was that group's only US Top 40 hit.

Track listings

7" single (EMI 1883)

  1. "Funkytown" – 3:40
  2. "Lies Are Nothing" – 3:58

12" / Maxi (ED 237) / (RCA 5217–7)

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (1986–1987)Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report) [16] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) [56] 13
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) [57] 40
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [58] 1
Ireland (IRMA) [21] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) [59] 1
South Africa (Springbok Radio) [60] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) [61] 9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) [62] 11
UK Singles (OCC) [63] 8
US Billboard Hot 100 [64] 6
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play [64] 4
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales [64] 1
US Cash Box [65] 12
West Germany (Official German Charts) [66] 16

Year-end charts

Chart (1986)Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report) [35] 93
Chart (1987)Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report) [35] 19
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [67] 17
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) [68] 1
US Billboard Hot 100 [69] 99
US Top Dance Sales 12-inch Singles [70] 37
Chart (1988)Rank
South Africa (Springbok Radio) [71] 18

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada) [72] Gold50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ) [73] Gold10,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also

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