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Album: Gap Band IVReleased: 1982Charted:
The was written by Lonnie Simmons, Rudy Taylor and Charlie Wilson, who were the songwriting nucleus of the group. Charlie was the lead singer (his brothers Ronnie and Robert - who died in 2010 at age 53 - were the other core members), Simmons was their producer, and Taylor was their sound mixer and also contributed to the songwriting
"You Dropped a Bomb on Me" has had long-standing success as a soundtrack favorite, so it's been featured in the films Next Friday and Brooklyn Rules, on TV programs including Mr. Show and the 1984 Grammy awards broadcast, in commercials such as one for the network Animal Planet, and in video games including Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. To say nothing of its use in sporting events! In American football, a game-winning touchdown pass is often called a "long bomb," so it makes sense that "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" would make appropriate celebration music. So it's played at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and the Oklahoma Bethany Broncos Football Stadium, as well as baseball events at Shea Stadium, McKethan Stadium, Reynolds Stadium, and Citizens Bank Park. This is also the song played on radio station 850 WEEI, during The Dale and Holley Show as a phone effect.
This is a popular feel-good dance song, but it's actually quite heartwrenching: the girl meant everything to the singer ("You were my pills, you were my thrills, you were my hope, you were my smoke"), but then she "Turned me wrong." So the "bomb" is not a good thing - more likely a breakup that came out of nowhere and devastated the poor guy.
The Gap Band were originally known as the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band in 1967, in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. They eventually settled on the shorter name, and as a band comprised of three brothers, were marketed as an R&B version of the Bee Gees.
The Wilson brothers' hometown of Tulsa is also the site of the worst race riot in United States history, which happened May 31, 1921. The riot had its flashpoint at the Drexel Building at 319 South Main Street, when a young white girl claimed that a young black man had assaulted her in the elevator. Previous to this time, because it was one of the wealthiest black communities in America, it was known as "the black Wall Street."