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.
Suggestion credit: 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.
Anthony from Crawley, United KingdomDid 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.
Andy from Costa Blanca, SpainMy 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.
Laura from El Paso, TxI 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 days
Edward from Henderson, NvIt was also used in 2001, at the end of "Shaolin Soccer."
Juan from El Paso, TxIf 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!"
Camille from Toronto, OhThis 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.
Bill from Pensacola, FlHere 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.
Adam from York, PaThis 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).
Paul from London, United Kingdomi think terry worked with biddu a lot
Paul from London, United KingdomThe 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.
Nathan from Warsaw, NyLOL im getting better at singing this song O.o ô.ô
Nathan from Warsaw, NyThis 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)
Kelsey from Rustburg, VaXD 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!
John from Brisbane, United StatesThis 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.
Jay from Brooklyn, NyI 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.
Lalah from Wasilla, AkThis is a fun song to be played at a wedding. All the geezers get up and dance like idiots.
Randy from Colerain Twp., OhBrett, 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.
Jeff from Liverpool, Englandthe 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".
N from Staten Island, NySo 70s bad, it's good!
Ruby from London, EnglandHello 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, England
Jon from Oakridge, OrTrue that Nathan, true that.
Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI 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 song
Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaThis 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.
Nathan from Defiance, OhIt is crap, but what fantastic crap it is.
Dave from Cardiff, WalesDavid and Jake, the 1990s remake was by Bus Stop featuring Carl Douglas, and it made No.8 in the UK in 1998
Brett from Mendota, IlOne 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. ; )
Will from Aurora, Co@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.
Marlow from Perth, Australiaits crap!
R from Seattle, WaMany 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.
Jake from Sydney, Australiaare you sure it was re-made David? i remember it being re-released in the nineties
Michael from Frankfurt, Germany@ David Lindsay: covered by Mardi Grass BB in 2001 (Album called Zen Rodeo)
David Lindsay from Dunedin, New ZealandWho did a remake of this recently? (In the 90's some time)
Josef from Corpus Christi, TxHey 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.