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Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas

Album: Kung Fu Fighting And Other Great Love SongsReleased: 1976Charted:
1
1
  • Douglas was a session singer for Pye records when he wrote this. He got the idea for the song when he saw 2 kids in London doing some Kung Fu moves.
  • In 1974 the Asian producer Biddu asked Douglas to record a song he wrote with Larry Weiss called "I Want To Give You My Everything," and Douglas convinced him to use "Kung Fu Fighting" as the B-side. They recorded "Kung Fu" in 10 minutes, figuring it was just a B-side, but the record label loved it and made it the A-side. After a slow start, it began selling and Biddu became the first Asian to produce a UK #1 hit. It went on to sell 10 million copies worldwide. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2)
  • Biddu (From the Metro newspaper August 6, 2004): "Kung Fu Fighting was not meant to be a hit. Carl Douglas recorded something for an A-side of a single and every session was three hours long. We spent two hours on the first song and then took a break and I said: 'Quick guys, we need to record the B-side in two takes.' Kung Fu Fighting was the B-side so I went over the top on the 'huhs' and the 'hahs' and the chopping sounds. It was a B-side: who was going to listen? I played the A-side to the guy at Pye Records, Robin Blanchflower, and he said: 'Can I listen to the rest of the reel?' When he heard it, he said: 'This should be the A-side.'"
  • Kung Fu movies were very popular at the time, and this capitalized on the craze. Bruce Lee was a big star.
  • Douglas is from Jamaica. He was the first Jamaican-born singer to have a #1 hit in the US.
  • Of course this was used in the 2008 kid's movie Kung Fu Panda, performed by Cee-Lo Green and Jack Black. The original Carl Douglas version was used in the movies City of God (2002), Wayne's World 2 (1994), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), Daddy Day Care (2003), and Bowfinger (1999).
  • In 1998 this returned to the UK charts peaking at #8 in a rendition by British dance act Bus Stop. Their version sampled Carl Douglas' original vocals. Bus Stop were production group Mark Hall and Graham Turner who later recorded as Flip & Fill. Daz Sampson, who later represented the UK in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, was also a member of the group.
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Comments: 33

Did you know that the original drummer was John Richardson, who later became famous as one of "The Rubettes" the drummer in "Sugar Baby Love". I know because he is my cousin.Anthony - Crawley, United Kingdom
My mate, Nick Payn who I grew up with is the Flutist on the original recording... He's also currently a member of Bill Wyman's Rhythmn Kings, plays baritone sax, flute, harmonica etc.Andy - Costa Blanca, Spain
I was in the eighth grade when this song came out. We had to get into groups in Phys Ed class and come up with our own original modern dance. We picked this song and karate type dance moves! Ahhhhhhhhh those were the daysLaura - El Paso, Tx
It was also used in 2001, at the end of "Shaolin Soccer."Edward - Henderson, Nv
If there ever was a song that brings back funny childhood memories, this is it. A drunken Bruce Willis sings this song in the movie Mortal Thoughts with Demi Moore and Glenn Headley. That scene is hilarious. "Everybody was king fu fighting....Ha!"Juan - El Paso, Tx
This song is fabulous. If you were around when the song was popular in the 70s, you break out in song any time someone mentions the title because everyone from then knows at least some of the words. "Whoa-ho-ho HO!" The words are matched perfectly to that memorable tune. It's just fun to listen to, funny that we all loved that song when it came out and funny to look back and think, well, this was a hit song then. A classic.Camille - Toronto, Oh
Here is an old school trick for you IF you have this on a 45 single=
play it at 33.3 speed, its a whole new fun song.
You'll love the background fight sounds! and it still works.
Bill - Pensacola, Fl
This is one addictive song if you hear it on the radio good luck getting it out of your head its on my ipod for a reason. This and man in motion are good opposing songs for a workout playlist (others to include: Against The Wind, Running On Empty).Adam - York, Pa
i think terry worked with biddu a lotPaul - London, United Kingdom
The base on that was played by Terry Revill, he was on a lot of the old hits in the late 60s and 70s. It was a great base line.Paul - London, United Kingdom
LOL im getting better at singing this song O.o ô.ôNathan - Warsaw, Ny
This song is sweet! I first heard it in Kung fu Panda in the theather. Then i was like OMG!!!! O.o So then i had to listen to this song again adn again and again XD I will never get sick of this song. I even sing it.(not good tho)Nathan - Warsaw, Ny
XD Omg the vid is with DBZ! Ha! I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH!! I'm obsessed with martial arts so I just love listening to this song before a fight! It gets me PUMPED!Kelsey - Rustburg, Va
This is an uplifting spirited tune and all of it is good and is CLASSIC pop.How can anyone dislike this great song.He or she who dislikes this must be a fat and lazy person who cant even get off his bed.John - Brisbane, United States
I despise this song. I usually post positive comments, but "Kung Fu Fighting" is so bad I have to express my disgust. If it were in my power, I would buy every copy of this song - every record, every tape, every copy of every movie that has used it on its soundtrack - and burn them in a great bonfire. I exaggerate, of course, but I truly cannot stand to hear this song and I change the radio station on the rare occassion they play it.Jay - Brooklyn, Ny
This is a fun song to be played at a wedding. All the geezers get up and dance like idiots.Lalah - Wasilla, Ak
Brett, I had seen an article in the newspaper where it had shown a 'Carl Douglas' as one of O.J.'s attorneys, and it did state that he WAS the same person who had recorded this song.Randy - Colerain Twp., Oh
the late great harry chapin was a fan of this song and commented on how pleased he was when 'cats in the cradle' had knocked kff off the us#1 spot he commented 2i always got a kick out of kung fu fighting,following it at #1 says a thing about variations in pop music".Jeff - Liverpool, England
So 70s bad, it's good!N - Staten Island, Ny
Hello There, for many years I wait to hear new material from Carl Douglas, I hear now that it soon come out by SMV.DE anyway my comment is that Yes, It is a One Hit Wonder, but what a wonderful hit. Lets hear some more soon. All The Best And Good Luck. Ruby from London, EnglandRuby - London, England
True that Nathan, true that.Jon - Oakridge, Or
I like this song, It makes me laugh. I tried to do the "DO dodo do" part on recorder, but it didn't work to well. Funny songJohnny - Los Angeles, Ca
This song was more or less a throwaway, as Carl Douglas has stated in interviews (listen to those backup singers making kung-fu noises!), but New York City nightclub DJ's picked up on it, and the rest is history. He also had a follow-up single called "Dance the Kung Fu," which didn't make the top 40.Clarke - Pittsburgh, Pa
It is crap, but what fantastic crap it is.Nathan - Defiance, Oh
David and Jake, the 1990s remake was by Bus Stop featuring Carl Douglas, and it made No.8 in the UK in 1998Dave - Cardiff, Wales
One of O.J. Simpson's attorneys in his murder trial was Carl Douglas. This of course would not be the Carl Douglas who sang Kung Fu Fighting. ; )Brett - Mendota, Il
@Seattle

This song was also recorded during the days of the TV show "Kung Fu" and they used the term "Chinaman" a lot, which is most likely where the word from the song came from.
Will - Aurora, Co
its crap!Marlow - Perth, Australia
Many radio stations on the West Coast pulled this song from their playlists after complaints from Chinese-Americans about the line "funky Chinamen from funky Chinatown". The term "Chinaman" is considered derogatory.R - Seattle, Wa
are you sure it was re-made David? i remember it being re-released in the ninetiesJake - Sydney, Australia
@ David Lindsay: covered by Mardi Grass BB in 2001 (Album called Zen Rodeo)Michael - Frankfurt, Germany
Who did a remake of this recently? (In the 90's some time)David Lindsay - Dunedin, New Zealand
Hey I noticed he mentions a few popular asian names. Except he did'nt mention Bruce Lee or Sonny Chiba. Whats up with that yo? This song gets stuck in my head once I hear it. Yaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh Whaaaaa Chaaaaaa.Josef - Corpus Christi, Tx