That's The Way (I Like It)

Album: KC and the Sunshine Band (1975)
Charted: 4 1

Songfacts®:

  • This was the second of an astounding five US #1 hits from KC & The Sunshine Band. Their first #1 was "Get Down Tonight," which gave them the template for songs like this. Like all their hits, this was written by their bass player/producer Rick Finch and frontman Harry Wayne Casey.

    In our interview with Richard Finch, he explained, "We were all happy, and you could tell. We transferred the excitement of that hit feeling from 'Get Down Tonight,' and trust me, then we were all like, 'Oh, my God, this is amazing! We've done it! Let's put the magic on something else.' And you could definitely hear the excitement and the magic from that first hit record with 'That's The Way I Like It,' because we were all pumped, and we were all stoked. If you listen to that record closely, you can hear everyone smiling while they're singing. Especially the background singers. It was a very, very magic moment. I mean, we're in Miami, Florida, and we're in a little independent label, and we're becoming successful? C'mon, man, this is not possible, this must be a dream!"
  • This song is one of the few in music history to reach #1 on the charts twice in the same month. First it was replaced at the #1 spot by "Fly Robin Fly" by Silver Convention, then replaced that song in turn, completing its three-week run.
  • This was originally recorded in a more risqué manner by KC & The Sunshine Band before lead singer Harry Wayne Casey toned down the "uh-huhs," making them sound like cries of jubilation. As for the "controversial" lyrics, Finch tells us: "We had to tone down the words a little bit, it used to be called 'What You Want.' And I was like, 'No, KC. That's not commercial enough, people aren't gonna figure out what you're saying.' Back then you had to watch what you say. Not like today. People come on the radio and cuss and say all kinds of s--t, but back then, you had to watch yo' mouth. You can be suggestive in a poetic way. It can mean whatever to whoever the listener is, and it doesn't really tie it down to any one thing or gender. So I figured that the more open you keep it, and unresolved, the more people you draw in."
  • Covers of this song include a 1976 hit by Madeline Bell and a 1984 cover by New Wave band Dead or Alive. Additionally, it's been sampled by rap artists Oaktown's 3.5.7 ("Get Loose"), Vanilla Ice ("The V.I.P. Posse 1 by 1"), 2 Live Crew ("Face Down, Ass Up"), and Luther Campbell (on his solo song "I Wanna Rock (Doo Doo Brown)").
  • A 1975 Time magazine article cited this song as an example of "sex rock," naming it, along with Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby" as part of a new wave of sexually suggestive songs that were all the rage, but drawing opposition from conservative groups.

    Opposition to "sex rock" was led by Jesse Jackson, who pressured industry leaders through his Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) group, but didn't get very far.
  • Commercials to use this song include an early 1980s TV spot for Cadbury Crunchie candy bars (replacing the 'uh huh uh huh' with crunch-crunch-crunch-crunch), a Crest toothpaste commercial and a Burger King ad, both in the 1990s.
  • Films including this song in the soundtrack include Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Happy Feet, Carlito's Way, Starsky & Hutch, From Justin To Kelly and Space Jam. Unfortunately for Finch, he signed a disastrous contract when he left the band which stripped him of all future payments for the songs he wrote with Casey, so he doesn't see any money from the many commercial uses of this song. At one point, his songwriter credit was removed from the record as well, and on the credits for Carlito's Way, he is not listed as one of the songs writers.
  • The song is so elemental to the essence of KC & The Sunshine Band, that Craig MacInnis titled his biography of H.W. Casey That's the Way I Like It.

Comments: 3

  • John from Nashville, TnHarry Wayne Casey kept his choruses simple so that consumers can sing the hook when asking for the record in a record store. Casey used to work in a record store where customers would actually do this while asking for a particular record.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaThis song rocks! & Wayne Brady's standup comedy performance of it is the best!

  • George from Baltimore, MdI hated disco when this song hit, and I still hate it!
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