Fancy Dancer

Song Review by

By 1976 the Commodores were coming on strong as skilled and playful funk players who also had an affinity for ballads. "Fancy Dancer" is no ballad, however. This song is from Hot on the Tracks, an album that had the band clicking on all burners, doing great post-Sly & the Family Stone funk like "Come Inside," "Can't Let You Tease Me," and this. With a hot woman as its muse, "Fancy Dancer" has a sound and arrangement that's the aural equivalent of the woman gyrating on the dancefloor. This track, like most of their pre-1981 funkier tracks, seemed to embody a randy nature, different than the Bar-Keys but just as potent in a relaxed and adventurous way. Lionel Richie seems to have a ball here. Richie was the sage of "Sweet Love" and "Just to Close to You"'s "lonely man"; "Fancy Dancer" had him putting his problems on hold as he sang, "Do it baby! Well..." While Richie's vocal is great here, his fellow Commodores' contagious and steady playing propels the track. This was released as a single in November of 1976 and hit the R&B charts at number nine. Whether it's heard on a compilation or Hot on the Tracks, "Fancy Dancer"'s powers are captivating and fun listening.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Hot on the Tracks 1976 Motown 4:24
Greatest Hits 1978 Motown 3:40
The Commodores Anthology 1983 Motown 4:28
14 Greatest Hits 1983 Motown / Uni 4:25
Anthology [1995] 1983 Motown 4:26
Funkology, Vol. 2: Behind the Groove 1995
Various Artists
Motown 6:33
The Ultimate Collection 1997 Motown 4:23
The Universal Masters Collection 1999 Spectrum Music 4:24
DJ Masters: Funk Classics 2000
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 3:40
The Collection 2002 Motown 4:27
Colour Collection 2006 Motown 4:24
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2007 Sound Barrier 3:43
Gold 2008 Motown 4:28
The Definitive Collection 2009 Motown 4:23
No Image Navarre