I'll Be There
by Chic

Album: Single release only (2015)
Charted: 68
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The first new Chic song to be released for over two decades, Nile Rodgers unveiled the retro track during the vernal equinox on March 20, 2015 to signify the rebirth of the Chic Organization. "I said to myself, 'That's the day I want my record to come out," he said. "It's this great double-entendre to put out a record on the day when day and night are of equal length, but because of a total solar eclipse, it changes day into night for a bit."
  • The track was originally intended to be the first single released from the It's About Time album. However, the album changed over the following years and the song was left off the tracklisting.

    The project originated from a box of lost early 1980s Chic demos that Rodgers rediscovered back in 2010. He recalled to DJ magazine: "When I got the music back, I realized that there were a lot of songs that were unfinished, almost no outtakes, every [Chic] album that exists is a complete album. Two reels of tape and you're done, that's it, that's the album. And they're all like that."

    All of the music on this track was created by the original members of Chic.
  • This is a tribute to late Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards, who passed away in 1996. "The reason why is because, when I found my partner Bernard's [Edwards] body in the room, I said, 'Now I can be there for you in death the way you were there for me in life,' Rodgers explained to Digital Spy. "He always protected me because I was a jerk. I was a hippie with wacky hair, always wanting to get fired because I hated playing the music I was playing."
  • The video features supermodel Karlie Kloss and was directed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. The Dutch photographer duo have also worked with Lady Gaga ("Applause") and Rihanna ("FourFiveSeconds").

    Rodgers explained the clip's concept on Facebook: "'I'll Be There is a moving concept for me about decisions we make in life. We've tried to capture all the nuances in the full length video and still keep it fun. Karlie Kloss connects the past and present. She sees the original group (who plays this track) on Soul Train. She, visualizes the past looking at old school vinyl - then gets dressed and goes out to a current party to meet up with Stephen Galloway and the current Chic line-up happens to be playing live."
  • An instrumental version of the song was also released, featuring added kicks, snares and other percussive elements courtesy of New York City DJ duo The Martinez Brothers.
  • According to Rodgers, a key lyric in this song is, "I don't want to live in the past, but it's a nice place to visit. And if you come along, I'll be there."

    "When that lyric comes up in the song, it means so much to me," he said.
  • This was Chic's first #1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart since March 21, 1992, when "Chic Mystique" topped the list.

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