Carl Douglas

Kung Fu Fighting

Song Review by

Timing is important in pop music in so many ways. It's crucial that a pop song reflects its time so that it's relatable. Timing played an important role on so many levels with Carl Douglas' career-making gold single "Kung Fu Fighting." In spring 1974, London-based producer Biddu was looking for a singer to record a song by "Rhinestone Cowboy" songwriter Larry Weiss. He remembered a singer that he'd worked with on the soundtrack of the Richard Roundtree movie Ecstasy. He thought that Jamaica-born singer Carl Douglas would be just right for "I Want to Give You My Everything." With the Weiss song recorded and pegged for the A-side, Biddu wondered what the B-side would be. He asked Douglas if he had any original songs. Out of the five songs the singer sang off the top of his head, the producer picked "Kung Fu Fighting." It was recorded with the karate chop-related "hoo"s and "haaas"s with the remaining studio time they had leftover. The kung fu movie craze driven in part by movie legend Bruce Lee and the ABC-TV series Kung Fu was at its peak, but still Biddu didn't think the song was another more than amusing B-side filler. When he submitted it to Pye Records, the label's A&R head excitedly chose "Kung Fu Fighting" as the A-side. After hitting number one in the U.K., the single was picked up by American label 20th Century Records. It began to take off in the disco clubs before crossing over to R&B- and disco-oriented radio stations. The million-selling "Kung Fu Fighting" went to number one R&B and parked at number one pop for two weeks in late 1974.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1974
Various Artists
Adam VIII
No Image 1975
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Out of Sight [1975] 1975
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 14 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 3:17
Sounds of the Seventies: 1974 1990
Various Artists
3:19
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
The Spirit of '76 1991
Original Soundtrack
Rhino 0:00
Dance Expolsion, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
Polydor 3:01
The Best of Carl Douglas: Kung Fu Fighting 1995 Hot Productions 3:15
The Best Disco in Town, Vol. 2 1995
Various Artists
Hippo / Hip-O 3:15
Greatest Hits of the 70's [Arcade] 1995
Various Artists
Arcade Music 3:00
Dumb and Dumber: Get Down, Get Dumb 1996
Various Artists
Kid Rhino / Rhino
Mega Hits: Disco Express, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
Priority Records
Dance Classics Gold [Alex] 1996
Various Artists
3:02
Top of the Pops [Prime Cuts] 1996
Various Artists
Prime Cuts 3:12
Out of Sight [1996] 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:15
Rock On: 1974 1996
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:15
Chart Toppers [Boxsets 1997] 1997
Various Artists
St. Clair / Deuce Boxed Sets 3:15
Rock On: 1970-1974 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 3:15
Memories Are Made of Hits, Vol. 2 [Sequel] 1997
Various Artists
Sequel 3:08
Old School Mega Mix, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 3:14
Beverly Hills Ninja 1997
Original Soundtrack
Capitol 3:14
Essential Hits Collection 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:09
Number Ones: Party On 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 3:15
Original Party Music 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:15
Pure Funk 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 3:13
Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:15
Fantastic 70's 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:11
No. 1 Classic Pop Album 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 3:14
The Very Very Best of Disco 1998
Various Artists
Repertoire 3:11
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 3:27
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 3:08
Dance Dance Dance: Dance Hits of the 60's, 70's, & 80's 1998
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:17
Rock On: From 1970 to 1979 1998
Various Artists
Madacy 3:18
Decades of Dance 60's 70's & 80's 1999
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group
Fetenkult Disco 70 1999
Various Artists
BMG International 3:16
40 Hits: 1970-1974 1999
Various Artists
Millennium Hits (Netherlands) 3:08
Kickboxing Mix 1999
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:01
Best Disco Album in the World...Ever!, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:03
One Hit Wonderful 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 2:56
I Love the Nightlife: Dance Hits of the 70s 2000
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:17
Disco Essentials [Delta] 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:18
Shake Your Booty: Funk and Disco Essentials 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:18
Dance in Canada, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
Hot Productions 3:17
Black Box [BMG International] 2000
Various Artists
BMG International 3:13
Summer in the City [St. Clair] 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:08
Chart Hits of the 70's: In the Summertime 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:13
The Non-Stop Party Album 2001
Various Artists
Music Club International Records 2:39
Totally Number 1 Hits of the 70's 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:10
Kung Fu Fighting [Delta] 2001 Delta Music Ltd. / Delta Distribution 3:18
One Hit Wonders: Hard Two Get Hits [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
One Hit 3:17
No Image 2001
Various Artists
GSC 3:16
Sounds of the Seventies [Castle] 2002
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 3:11
Hard to Find 45's on CD, Vol. 8: 70's Pop Classics 2002
Various Artists
Eric Records 3:16
Comprehensive School Classics 2002
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 3:16
70-Tals Klassiker 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
First Days of Disco 2002
Various Artists
Sanctuary 3:17
Sensational '70s [2002/Orange] 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:13
No Image 2002
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 3:10
Daddy Day Care 2003
Original Soundtrack
Columbia 3:17
Gone but Not Forgotten [2004 Import} 2004
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 3:12
Strictly Dub: Modern Dub Classics 2005
Various Artists
Sunswept Music 4:50
Disco Deluxe Disco Classics 2005
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:10
Children's Garden 2006
Various Artists
Lola's 4:18
Greatest Ever! Number 1's: The Definitive Collection 2006
Various Artists
Union Square Music 3:10
Greatest Ever! Party: The Definitive Collection 2006
Various Artists
Union Square Music 3:11
Epic Movie 2007
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 3:12
Greatest Ever! Seventies 2007
Various Artists
Union Square Music 3:10
Get Ready, Here Come the '70s 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:16
Baby Loves Disco 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music TV 3:16
Pure Disco [Universal] 2008
Various Artists
Universal Music Group 3:03
Sounds of the 70's Generation 2008
Various Artists
Destra 3:12
The Best of 1974: 20th Century Masters 2008
Various Artists
20th Century Masters
Essential Dance Hits [3CD/DVD] [Sony] 2009
Various Artists
Sony BMG 3:53
Gold Classic Hits Radio '70s 2009
Various Artists
Gold Classic Hits Radio / Universal Music 3:15
Greatest Ever! Bubblegum Pop: The Definitive Collection 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 3:11
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 3:15
One Hit Wonders [International Version]
Various Artists
Universal 3:17
One Hit Wonders [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal 3:19
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 3:17
Total Hits, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Universal 3:16