Party All The Time

Album: How Could It Be (1985)
Charted: 2

Songfacts®:

  • 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."

Comments: 3

  • Tnosugar from BelgradeDoes anyone know who the rest of the people in the video are?
  • F. Lawless (flawless) from Earth"Iris from Florida, Usa" thank you SO MUCH for writing this! It is a boon to get to read about those so gifted by GOD. Can't say it was used in the way the LORD would, LOL, but, WOW, that was VERY NICE to read. If it makes you feel any better, with regards to "old scandals" or "old headlines," I was around back then and before, and have NO IDEA what cases in which you refer. I have NO NEED to look them up online either! All I remember is Mr. James' immense talent, and his CLEAR HUMOR/KNOWLEDGE that he was there to ENTERTAIN and lift people out of their seats and cares for the moment. Unlike the entertainers of today, who come in and think that we, the public owe them anything save equal respect, privacy, and fairness (in hearsay from the media...i.e. "Do unto others as you would have for others do unto you," were YOUR face being blasted on television, computer, and smartphone screens with possibly spurious headlines...sole intent being to ruin you, humiliate you and to dim your [spot]light. The irony being those that write such headlines...again...I'm sure people will be dancing to Mr. James and his contemporaries--knowing their names, and rediscovering their hits as time continues. As for those who would to hurt and harm them (hypocrites, probably)...their names...their contributions to life (bringing others down)...I mean...which would YOU rather be known for: making people forget their cares in a healthful way (dancing rather than drinking or drugging or engaging in other potentially harmful behaviors--I've NEVER had to do ANY to enjoy Mr. James' hits as a child or as an adult!) and providing fun memories for people throughout their lives for generations OR being the guy or gal who made money BY sullying and shaming those whose only profession was to make other people...happy? One set of names has a tendency to outlast and surpass...the other...just gets replaced by yet another cog in the machine--no more talented or without qualms or cares than the next forgotten person who will replace that miserable "finger-pointer" in the future. Last time I checked, the LORD GOD appointed ONE Judge over man and His profession was that of a carpenter, a fisherman, a street preacher, a charity provider, a miracle maker, etc. Not one job did "that Fellow" have that sounded like "journalist" or "TV news smut-slinging 'news' reporter..." but I mean...I haven't read all of His book (The Holy Bible) so maybe He (the Lord Jesus Christ) holds those titles in the future....-->(sarcasm). Thanks for writing, again, NONE of the cool people on this planet--save God's Son and a handful of others have been referred to as "perfect" by GOD Himself--so--I wouldn't worry too much about what a bunch of IMPERFECT people think about another...imperfect...human being! -Much love to you, Iris from Florida, USA, and thanks again for your excellently written comment. It's a true treasure-chest find for those who see the gold in and the priceless jewel value in folk like Mr. James and SOOOO many countless other "human beings!"
  • Iris from Florida, UsaRick James was a very talented and intelligent man, one who was well-acquainted since birth with the reality of human pain and suffering. He developed into a prolific song-writer and a master of the musical rhythmic beat -- a transcendental, natural medicine for the soul in pain; a higher vibrational, healing force that makes people want to get up and keep on; to dance the dance of life, to continue onward with life. Rick knew what he needed to do to help his young friend, Eddie Murphy, achieve a 'hit' record. The #2 position for 3 weeks straight is nothing to scoff at. It was and still is particularly appealing to people who enjoy movement and dance. Rick was well aware that dancing and dance clubs were still extremely popular at the time. Rick also helped his Mary Jane Girls have hit songs which he wrote, arranged and produced for them as well, including "In My House." Rick also wrote, arranged and produced hit songs for other singers. Rick James albums have platinum and gold among them, including triple platinum. Rick James was a born musical genius, performer and showman. He and his equally marvelous Stone City Band gave exciting, unforgettable concerts, filled to capacity with fans who knew they'd be receiving much more than their ticket's monetary worth, just as with all of the albums and singles. There are even lesser known gems to be found and enjoyed in each of the albums. Rick could be very generous to others; that was just one of his endearing qualities and one that most people don't know was a major factor in what happened -- and didn't happen -- in those two, media-publicized and sensationalized legal cases of the early 1990s which resulted in much widespread, harmful, non-factual misinformation among the general public about Rick James as regards those two cases and which, sadly, still persists to this day. May Rick James have rest in peace and love.
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