When Chic's self-titled debut album came out in 1978, many rock critics gave it very negative reviews and failed to see just how rhythmically and harmonically exciting Chic's blend of funk, soul, and Euro-disco was. But one critic who often gave Chic favorable coverage was Don Waller, who hit the nail on the head when he exalted the band as "an uptown version of Booker T & the MG's." It was a most insightful analogy -- Chic's music was a lot sleeker than Booker T & the MG's raw, instrumental Memphis soul, but like Booker T., the Niles Rodgers/Bernard Edwards team turned out some of the most infectious and influential R&B party grooves of their era. Although not quite as strong as Chic's next two albums -- C'est Chic and Risqué -- would be, this highly enjoyable album put the group on the map commercially thanks to the infectious hits "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Everybody Dance." Some rock critics saw Chic as just another faceless disco production, but, in fact, the opposite is true -- with this album, Chic fashioned a very distinctive and recognizable sound that proved to be as influential in its era as Booker T & the MGs were in theirs. The sound that Chic established with this album was one that everyone from Queen and ABC to Sister Sledge, the Sugarhill Gang, and Madonna would benefit from.
by Alex Henderson