Wild Cherry

Play That Funky Music

Composed by Rob Parissi

Song Review by

Sometimes a vinyl single's B-side was just an afterthought, something to fill the second side. Though in some cases, the B-side can prove to be a career-making track like it was for Tyrone Davis' million-selling "Can I Change My Mind." For Pittsburgh rock band Wild Cherry, the B-side served both purposes. Their hard rock sound was being rejected by disco-loving patrons of the 2001 club that they performed at. After one show, lead singer Robert Parissi suggested to the band that they put out a cover record of the Commodores' "I Feel Sanctified" and that the B-side be an original song. Drummer Ron Beitle quipped that song should follow the advice of the patrons' shouts of "play that funky music, white boy" (a phrase that became a part of pop culture/comedic slang). Sensing an idea for a song, Parissi quickly scribbled down the phrase on a bar order pad. Cleveland recording engineer Ken Hammond suggested that the drums and bass for "Play That Funky Music" be mixed up front, something that rock music did rarely at that time with the one notable exception being David Bowie's "Fame." Carl Maduri and Mike Belkin, owners of Epic-distributed Sweet City Records, suggested that the B-side become the A-side. Written and produced by Robert Parissi, "Play That Funky Music" sold over two million copies, topped the R&B charts for two weeks and the pop charts for three weeks in fall 1976.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Wild Cherry 1976 Sony BMG
25 Jahre Popmusik: 1976 1988
Various Artists
CBS Records 4:58
Sounds of the Seventies: 1976 1989
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
No Image 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:55
No Image 1990
Original Soundtrack
Epic 4:55
Son of Super Bad 1991
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:12
In Yo' Face!: The History of Funk, Vol. 3 1993
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Phantom
Only Rock 'N Roll 1975-1979: 20 Pop Hits 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Priority
Old School, Vol. 4 1995
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:57
Party On 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:58
Billboard Top Hits: 1975-1979 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 3:18
Nightfever 1995
Various Artists
Global TV
Superfunk: The Funkiest Album in the World...Ever! 1995
Various Artists
Virgin
Club Epic, Vol. 4 1996
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:20
Overpowered by Funk 1996
Various Artists
Renaissance Records 3:12
Rock On 1976: Summer 1996
Various Artists
Madacy 4:59
Mega Hits, Vol. 3: Disco Heat 1996
Various Artists
Priority Records / Priority
Old School, Vols. 1-5 1996
Various Artists
Thump Records 5:00
25 Years of Number 1 Hits, Vol. 4 1996
Various Artists
Connoisseur
Sensational Seventies, Vol. 2 1996
Various Artists
Time Warner
DJ Disco Mix 1997
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 4:56
VH1 8-Track Flashback: The One-Hit Wonders 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
And They Danced the Night Away, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Debutante 3:12
Whole Lotta Rock: 1976-1977 1997
Various Artists
Eclipse Music Group 4:58
Rock 'N Roll Relix: 1970-1978 1997
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 4:57
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
Disco Super Hits 1998
Various Artists
Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 4:59
Original Party Music 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:16
Sports Rock & Jams, Vol. 3 1998
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 3:16
Millennium Party: Funk 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:16
Tales of the City 1998
Original Soundtrack
Polygram 3:09
Non Stop Dance! 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Funk Jam! 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
Greatest Sports Rock and Jams [Box] 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:16
Disco Dancin' 1998
Various Artists
Metacom 3:17
DJ Don's Party Mix: Dance Party 1999
Various Artists
Power Records (Fitness/Dance) 3:20
Disco Box 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:16
Disco Mania, Vol. 2 [Platinum 1999] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc Corp. / Platinum Disc 5:00
Instant Party Disc: Extra Strength 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:15
Best of the Best: 70's Pop & Rock, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Primary Colors 3:16
That '70s Show Presents That '70s Album: Jammin' 1999
Various Artists
Volcano Records 3:17
Millennium Party [Rhino Box] 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:16
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:11
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1976 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:15
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Rhino
Whatever It Takes [Original Soundtrack] 2000
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 4:58
Platinum R&B Party 2000
Various Artists
Sbme Special Mkts.
Keeping the Faith 2000
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 1:02
Ultimate Disco Mix 2000
Various Artists
Polygram 2:50
New Millennium Party 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:16
Play the Funk 2000 Epic 4:59
Disco Freakout 2001
Various Artists
WEA International 2:46
Sacramento Kings: Kings of the Court 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City 4:55
Jammin' Oldies 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:16
Suddenly '70s 2001
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 4:59
Disco Fever [Universal] 2001
Various Artists
MSI Music Distribution
Mega Disco Funk 2001
Various Artists
Wagram Records 2:55
One Hit Wonders: Hard Two Get Hits [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
One Hit 3:10
Roadblock 2001
Various Artists
Import 3:03
Party Explosion!!! 2001
Various Artists
Sony/Columbia 4:53
I Love Disco [EMI] 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:06
Solid Gold Funk 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:59
Super Hits 2002 Sony Music Distribution
No Image 2002
Various Artists
Medalist Entertainment 3:18
No Image 2002
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Soul Hits of the '70s [Sony Box Set] 2002
Various Artists
Immediate 5:02
E-FM 107.5 Dance Classic 2002
Various Artists
WSM
Top Hits of the Seventies: Chart Toppers 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 4:59
Seventies Complete 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Soul: Play That Funky Music 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 5:01
Greatest Songs of the 70's [Sony] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:59
Disco for Dummies 2003
Various Artists
Superb Records 4:58
50 Greatest Floor Fillers 2003
Various Artists
Avanti Records
The Very Best of 1970s 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:11
Gone but Not Forgotten [2004 Import} 2004
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 3:11
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed 2004
Original Soundtrack
Warner Bros. 3:16
Funk Explosion 2004
Various Artists
Koch 4:58
Oldies But Goodies: 13 of the Best 70's Funk 2004
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 5:01
Karaoke Party: More Retro 70s & 80s 2004
Karaoke
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:06
Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / Shout! Factory/My Music/TJL 3:10
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Barking Mad
Old School Soul Party 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory/TJL 4:57
Disco Floorfillers 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:11
The Best of Disco Fever 2005
Various Artists
Global TV 3:12
70s Music Explosion: 70s One-Hit Wonders 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
Ultimate Disco [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:13
Daddy Cool [Universal] 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 5:03
Barry Williams Presents: One-Hit Wonders of the 70s 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
And They Danced the Night Away: 72 Pure Disco Classics from the 70s & 80s 2006
Various Artists
Polygram 3:12
100 Biggest Hits from the 70's 2006
Various Artists
BMG
Old School, Vol. 4 2006
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:57
Dance Til You Drop, Vol. 3 2006
Various Artists
Sony BMG
Barry Williams Presents: 70s Music Explosion 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:17
All #1 Hits '70s 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:16
Big 70's Party 2006
Various Artists
EMI/Virgin TV
Party Starter: Funk Mix 2006
Various Artists
Compass Productions
Dance Hits Collection 2007
Various Artists
Flashback Records
Greatest Ever! Seventies 2007
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Disco Fever, Vol. 1-4 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:15
Vintage Grooves: Funk, Vol. 1 2007
Various Artists
Seamless 3:19
100 Hits: Disco 2007
Various Artists
100 Hits 3:11
Absolute Radio Hits 2007
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:09
Disco Music: The Definitive Collection 2007
Various Artists
Music Brokers 3:44
The Best of Funk [Somerset] 2007
Various Artists
Somerset Entertainment 5:01
100 Hits: Pop 2008
Various Artists
100 Hits / Crimson Productions / Demon 3:11
No Image 2008
Various Artists
sbc
Disco Inferno [Cloud 9] 2008
Various Artists
Various Tunes 3:03
Just for Dad 2008
Various Artists
Apace / Platinum Collection 5:00
The Ultimate Collection 100 Hits: Seventies 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music 3:10
Dance Classics Top 50 2008
Various Artists
Various Tunes 3:04
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Sony BMG 5:00
Top of the Pops: Seventies 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution
The Masters Series: Funk, Vol. 1 2009
Various Artists
Music On Vinyl
The Pop Years: 1976-1977 2009
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:10
The Collection: The Hits of 1976 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:01
Essential: Get The Party Started [Sony] 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music
The Best Year of My Life: 1976 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Commercial Canada 3:10
The  Pop Years: The 70s 2010
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:10
Disco Fever 2010
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:10
Jackie: The Party Album 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / EMI TV 3:10
Ministry of Sound Anthems: Disco 2010
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:11
No Image 2010
Various Artists
Sony BMG 5:01
Las 50 Grandes Canciones de Universal 92.1 FM Stereo 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:09
Loose Women: Girls' Night Out 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:03
Pure... 70s Dance Party 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:05
80s Groove, Vol. II 2011
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:10
Pure... Drive 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:04
We Love the Nightlife 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:15
We Love the Nightlife: Shake Your Booty 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:15
Pure... 70s 2013
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:48
100 Hits: 70s Chartbusters 2013
Various Artists
100 Hits 3:11
Party Starters 2013
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:01
Pure... American Anthems 2014
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:02
100 Hits: Funk 2014
Various Artists
100 Hits 3:11
F.C. De Kampioenen 2: Jubilee General 2015
Various Artists
CNR 3:11
No Image 2015
Various Artists
Legacy
'70s Summer Album 2016
Various Artists
Crimson 3:12
100 Hits: Party Anthems 2016
Various Artists
100 Hits / Demon Records / Edsel
100 Essential Tracks: Disco Hits
Various Artists
Sony Music
100 Hits: Disco [2015]
Various Artists
100 Hits
1976: A Time To Remember The Classic Years
Various Artists
Tabak 5:04
30 Stars: 70s
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:10
No Image
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 4:56
No Image
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 3:04
Complete Funk, Vol. 1
Various Artists
DMC
Dance Classics, Vol. 1 [Arcade]
Various Artists
Arcade Music
Disco Greats [Sony]
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:10
Downtown Funk
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 2:38
Funk the Disco
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound
No Image
Various Artists
Metacom 4:59
Game On: The Sound of Darts
Various Artists
Universal
Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion [DVD Audio]
Various Artists
Shout! Factory
Now That's What I Call '70s
Various Artists
Now
Old School Gold Box Set
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:57
Party Time
Various Artists
SPG
Party on: The Only Party Album You'll Ever Need
Various Artists
Sony BMG 3:11
Pop Goes the 70s
Various Artists
StarVista / Time/Life Music 3:17
Pure... Disco/Funk
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:03
The  Legacy of Funk [Sony Music]
Various Artists
Sony Music
The Old Grey Whistle Test: Soul
Various Artists
Rhino
The Ultimate Collection: 70s Schooldays
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection 3:10
Ultimate... 70s
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:10
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:12
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:12
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