Car Wash

Album: Car Wash (1976)
Charted: 9 1
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  • Lyrics
  • Norman Whitfield, who wrote many Motown classics, was commissioned to write songs for the soundtrack of the movie Car Wash. He was having a meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken (it wasn't called KFC back then) while watching a basketball game, when inspiration struck. He wrote the lyrics on the bag containing the chicken. The song fit very well in the movie, which was about a rather funky car wash.
  • The soundtrack album went gold and this song won the 1976 Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture.
  • The hand claps at the beginning have been sampled many times by a variety of hip-hop and R&B artists.
  • In 2004 a cover version by Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott, was released as the single for the Shark Tales soundtrack. It reached the Top 5 in the UK but only #63 in the States.
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Comments: 5

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 18, 1977, film clips from the movie 'Car Wash' were aired on the NBC-TV late-night musical variety program, 'The Midnight Special', at the time the movie was playing in theaters across the U.S.A., it had it's world premier in New York City on October 15th, 1976...
    And at the time Rose Royce's "Car Wash" was at #7 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, three weeks earlier it had peak at #1 {for 1 week} and it spent twenty-three weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #1 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    And north of the border it once again peaked at #1, it reached the top spot {for 1 week} on the Canadian RPM Singles chart on February 12th, 1977...
    The album 'Car Wash: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack'peaked at #2 on Billboard's Top Soul Albums chart...
    Between 1976 and 1978 the Los Angeles-based soul group had six records on the Top 100 chart, two made the Top 10, besides "Car Wash", their other Top 10 record was "I Wanna Get Next To You", it peaked at #10 {for 2 weeks} on May 1st, 1977.
  • Chicken Joe from Cairns, AustraliaNorman Whitfield was a regular customer at the Sunset Car Wash on Sunset Blvd, Hollywood. His inspiration for the song "Car Wash" actually came from watching the entertaining cleaning crews as they detailed his red Corvette. This Motown classic was used in the movie of the same name, and went on to become a hit song for 70s R&B band Rose Royce.
  • Mike from Chicago, IlOne of the best bass lines ever - Lequeint 'Duke' Jobe is firing on all cylinders, and its a shame that the great bass line in this song is never given its due.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song. I would love to get the Shark Tales movie.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesA remix version also returned the song to the uk Top 30 in 1988. Rose Royce's other classic hits from 1976 to 1979 include "Wishing On A Star" (twice reissued in the UK in 1989 and 1997), "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (later covered by both Jimmy Nail (1985) and, more recently, Madonna in 1996) and "Is It Love You're After?" (later sampled by S-Express on their 1988 dance hit "Theme From S-Express")
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