Bad luck was what a lot of people kept having during the recession-racked '70s as they waited in long lines at gas stations, felt the crunch of the energy crisis, and suffered through permanent "temporary" layoffs. For those unfamiliar with those times, check out the reruns of the early episodes of the CBS-TV sitcom Good Times. After co-writing with Leon Huff the million-selling "Back Stabbers" for the O'Jays, the songwriting team of Gene McFadden and John Whitehead were assigned to work with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, another act signed to Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records. Reflecting on the timbre of the times, Whitehead improvised some lyrics as co-writer/pianist Victor Carstarphen played a chord progression. Featuring the Instant Funk rhythm section, "Bad Luck" was a bold, brassy piece of energetic Philly soul that has some show-stopping accents and a huge disco hit. Lead singer Teddy Pendergrass, who became an ordained minister at age ten, puts his sermonizing skills to good use during the closing minutes of the track. From the group's gold number one R&B LP To Be True, "Bad Luck" hit number four R&B/number 15 pop in spring 1975.