Funkytown

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"Funkytown"
LippsIncFunkytown7InchSingleCover.jpg
Single by Lipps Inc.
from the album Mouth to Mouth
B-side "All Night Dancing"
ReleasedMarch 1980 [1]
Genre
Length
  • 4:00 (Single Version)
  • 7:50 (12" Extended Version)
Label Casablanca
Songwriter(s) Steven Greenberg
Producer(s) Steven Greenberg
Lipps Inc. singles chronology
"Rock It"
(1979)
"Funkytown"
(1980)
"Designer Music"
(1980)
Audio sample
Music video
"Funkytown" (TopPop, 1982) on YouTube

"Funkytown" is a song by American disco act Lipps Inc. from their debut album Mouth to Mouth (1979). It was released as the album's second single in 1980.

Contents

"Funkytown" reached the top spot in the United States, West Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia, among many others. [4] [5] [6]

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". Steven 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, 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 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 U.S. soul chart. [12] The song was Lipps Inc's only American Top 40 hit. [6]

Impact and legacy

VH1 ranked the song at number 36 in 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

7" single

  1. "Funkytown" – 4:00
  2. "All Night Dancing" – 3:09

12" single

  1. "Funkytown" – 7:51
  2. "All Night Dancing" – 3:09

Charts and certifications

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 [51]
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) [54] 13
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) [55] 40
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [56] 1
Ireland (IRMA) [20] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) [57] 1
South Africa (Springbok Radio) [58] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) [59] 9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) [60] 11
UK Singles (OCC) [61] 8
US Billboard Hot 100 [62] 6
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play [62] 4
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales [62] 1
US Cash Box [63] 12
West Germany (Official German Charts) [64] 16

Year-end charts

Chart (1986)Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report) [33] 93
Chart (1987)Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report) [33] 19
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [65] 17
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) [66] 1
US Billboard Hot 100 [67] 99
US Top Dance Sales 12-inch Singles [68] 37
Chart (1988)Rank
South Africa (Springbok Radio) [69] 18

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada) [70] Gold50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ) [71] Gold10,000*

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

See also

Related Research Articles

Lipps Inc. American disco and funk group

Lipps Inc. was an American disco and funk group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The group was best known for the chart-topping 1980 worldwide hit single "Funkytown" which hit No. 1 in 28 countries and was certified as double-platinum in sales.

Pseudo Echo are an Australian new wave band that formed in 1982 by founding mainstay Brian Canham on vocals, guitar and keyboards. Other original members were Piero Gigliotti on bass keyboards and bass guitar, and Tony Lugton on keyboards. Later members included Anthony Argiro on drums, James Leigh on keyboards and his brother, Vince Leigh on drums. In the 1980s, Pseudo Echo had Australian top 20 hits with "Listening", "A Beat for You", "Don't Go", "Love an Adventure", "Living in a Dream" and their cover of "Funky Town", which peaked at No. 1 in 1986. In 1987, it reached No. 1 in Canada, No. 1 in New Zealand, No. 6 in the United States, and No. 8 in the United Kingdom.

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