Good Times
by Chic

Album: Risque (1979)
Charted: 5 1


  • This song, built around Bernard Edwards' distinctive bassline, is one of the most copied and sampled records ever. With two copies of the record, DJs could create a continuous loop of the instrumental groove, providing a perfect foundation for MCs to rap over.

    Rap was emerging at New York block parties, and when Sylvia Robinson assembled The Sugarhill Gang to put a rap song on record, it was "Good Times" that they used for the track, looping it in the studio just like DJs did at the block parties, and even incorporating the string hits from the song.

    The result was "Rapper's Delight," which was released later in 1979. It sold a bunch of 12" singles and made the US Top 40 and UK Top 10, becoming the first rap song to do so.

    Nile Rodgers of Chic knew that his song was a block party favorite, but he didn't hear "Rapper's Delight" until he was in a club and the DJ played it. He vigorously objected to the use of his song as the track for another, and threatened legal action. Rather than fight it, Sugarhill Records settled with Chic and awarded them full composer credit, so Edwards and Rodgers are listed as the only songwriters on "Rapper's Delight." With no lawsuit, there was no precedent set for sampling, and artists began incorporating tracks from other songs with impunity throughout the '80s. It was Gilbert O' Sullivan whose 1991 lawsuit against Biz Markie finally established the legal ruling that samples must be cleared.
  • The song is a joyful look back at the roller-disco decade in which after Nixon and Vietnam and the times of recession better days seemed to be ahead.
  • Another song heavily influenced by "Good Times" was "Another One Bites The Dust" by Queen. Bernard Edwards told the New Musical Express: "Well, that Queen record came about because that bass player spent some time hanging out with us at our studio. But that's OK. What isn't OK is that the press started saying that we had ripped them off! Can you believe that? 'Good Times' came out more than a year before, but it was inconceivable to these people that black musicians could possibly be innovative like that. It was just these dumb disco guys ripping off this rock 'n' roll song."
  • The lyric, "Our new state of mind" is often mistaken to be "Are you straight or bi?" >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mjn Seifer - England
  • In early 2011, this song was used in a commercial for the Hershey's Drops candy. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA
  • Nile Rodgers told Uncut magazine the story of the song: "I wrote 'Good Times' the morning we recorded it. Bernard was a little late to the studio, but I'd already written out the charts for everybody in the band. We were playing when Bernard walked in. He asked the engineers, 'what the hell is that?' The engineer said, ' I don't know, something Nile wrote this morning.' Whenever Bernard was late, he was like a puppy dog with his tail between his legs. Typically, what he and I do is we'd copy each other and then develop our parts after that."

    "We'd been trying for years to come up with this walking bassline, putting it over and over again on all sorts of songs but we could never get it right. But that day, I started screaming 'Walk!' over Tony's drums. Bernard said, 'What?' I was shouting 'Walk!' On that particular day, he walked."

    "Even though my guitar part was strong on the down beats, Bernard decided to push and go to bass before I get to the chord change. I'm not even there yet, so we get this amazing extra funky thing. I just told the engineer, 'Make it red!' We recorded it. That was it. One take, maybe two."

Comments: 3

  • Bill from Pensacola, FlYou are right Emma, this is a great roller skating song, and all it's
    children.....from Rappers Delight on...
  • Emma from Knoxville, TnThat was a good roller skating song, crossing may legs infront of me turning around on my skates, can't do that now I have the vinyl.
  • Doug from Oakland, CaGood Times signaled the end of the black civil rights movement from the Sixties and beckoned the Buppie materialism of the Eighties and beyond.
    "Lets put an end to the stress and strife
    I think I want to live the sporting life"

    Clams on the half shell and roller skates?I love this song musically but feel totally betrayed by the lyrics.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Evolution Of The Prince Symbol

Evolution Of The Prince SymbolSong Writing

The evolution of the symbol that was Prince's name from 1993-2000.

Hawksley Workman

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.

Guy Clark

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.

Songs Discussed in Movies

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.