Party All The Time

Album: How Could It Be (1985)
Charted: 2
  • A hit song by Eddie Murphy? Yes, Beverly Hills Cop Eddie Murphy? Well, it was the middle of the '80s, and Eddie was just that hot. Eddie Murphy actually has had an extensive singing career, it's just not his biggest claim to fame. He had another Billboard Hot 100 hit single in 1989 with the cringe-inducing title "Put Your Mouth On Me," which reached #27. Besides two solo music albums, he's also done some of the songs in films he's appeared in, such as the Shrek franchise and 1988's Coming to America. He's also provided vocals in odd places like Saturday Night Live sketches ("Wookin' Pa Nub," anyone?), backing for The BusBoys, and hey, even appeared in Michael Jackson's video "Remember The Time."

    The first time Murphy was taken seriously for his music by the critical masses came when he starred in the 2006 movie Dreamgirls. Regarding his musical aspirations, he told Rolling Stone in 2011, "I never stopped recording music - I just stopped putting it out. Because when you see actors singing, it's like, 'Hey, don't come in here in my f--king music section, stay over there. Don't do your actor s--t over here."
  • "Party All the Time" now stands as a prime example of cheesy '80s music, all synthesizer-ed to death and repetitive. It's been ranked by both VH1 and AOL Radio on their "worst songs" lists. It's seen some remixes and covers in the late 2010s, as well as having gotten a nod in "Weird Al" Yankovic's Polka Party!
  • Understandably, Murphy had a hard time convincing people to take this song, and his music career, seriously. In 1982, he released a novelty song called "Boogie In Your Butt," and was known for his acting and comedy. His secret weapon was Rick James of "Super Freak" fame, who wrote, produced and arranged the song. James gave the song musical credibility, and he was featured in the video, which MTV put in heavy rotation. Murphy would promote the song by exclaiming, "How come every time I open my mouth I'm supposed to say something funny!"
  • Eddie Murphy made it safe for '80s acting stars to record songs on the side. In 1986, Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame hit #5 with "Heartbeat," and he charted again in 1988 on a duet with Barbra Streisand called "Till I Loved You." The Moonlighting star Bruce Willis got into the act in 1987 with a #5 charting cover of "Respect Yourself."
  • The lyrical content of this song is kind of unusual considering Murphy's swagger and stature. He sings about a girl who goes out all night and sleeps with other guys even though he's the one buying her flowers and diamond jewelry. Bobby Brown sang about a similar situation a few years later in "Don't Be Cruel," but at least he had the fortitude to remind the ungrateful damsel that "there's a lot of girls out there that won't say no." Murphy just rolls over, complaining, "I wish you'd bring some of your love home to me." You'd think he would give her the mack daddy vibe and let her know the deal.
  • The white guy who shows up in the control room in the video is Les Garland, who was one of the founders of MTV. His appearance was a peace offering by Rick James, who accused Garland of being a racist when the network refused to play the "Super Freak" video in 1981. Garland's side of the story was that the "Super Freak" video was low quality and too explicit, and that MTV played very few black videos because they tried to stick with a Rock format early on, and because very few videos were made by black artists, as record companies weren't funding them.
  • Murphy admitted to Billboard magazine in a 2013 interview that Rick James did everything on this song. "In the early days of 'Party All The Time' and some other tracks I did with people like Larry Blackmon, I would do whatever they said," he recalled. "Rick did all of 'Party All The Time' and other stuff we did together. I was supposed to fly in for one day, then a snowstorm hit and we got snowed in and stuck in Buffalo for two weeks. One of my best early memories is that time with Rick James. The whole way I record, I learned from Rick James. I learned how to produce music from hanging around Rick James."
  • This was nearly a #1 hit, stuck at #2 for three weeks behind "Say You, Say Me" by Lionel Richie. "Party All The Time" charted higher than any of Rick James' solo tracks. Despite his legend, he never got higher on the Hot 100 than #13 ("You And I," 1978). Even the group he put together from his backup singers - The Mary Jane Girls - outcharted him, reaching #7 with "In My House."


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