He's The Greatest Dancer

Album: We Are Family (1979)
Charted: 6 9
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Songfacts®:

  • This was written and produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, who were leaders of the disco band Chic. Sister Sledge had been at the record label for four years without a hit. They were thinking about leaving when Edwards and Rodgers took them on and produced their first album.
  • Perhaps inspired by John Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever, this song is about a disco Lothario who knocks 'em dead on the dance floor. Unusual at the time, there are some brand-name product mentions in the song, as we hear about the designers he's wearing: Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci.
  • This was the first big hit for Sister Sledge, a band made up of four sisters with the last name Sledge. "Mama Never Told Me" got to #20 in the UK in 1975; "Love Don't You Go Through No Changes On Me" hit #92 US the same year.
  • Edwards and Rodgers had proven themselves with their group Chic and were given the opportunity to produce any band on the label. They chose Sister Sledge because they were young and willing to go along with whatever they came up with.
  • Chic was originally supposed to record this, but when the record company didn't like "We Are Family," which Edwards and Rodgers first recorded with Sister Sledge, they had them record this instead of Chic. "We Are Family" was released as their second single and became their biggest hit.
  • The album was recorded at the same time as Chic's second album. The same musicians played on both.
  • Luther Vandross sang backup. He was a young singer at the record label still looking for his first hit.
  • Will Smith sampled this in 1998 on his hit "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It."

Comments: 5

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 24th 1979, Sister Sledge performed "He's the Greatest Dancer" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #29 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; seven weeks later on May 6th, 1979 it would peak at #9 {for 2 weeks} and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    On March 25th, 1979 it reached #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's R&B Singles chart; it was preceded and then succeeded at #1 by the same record, "I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)" by Instant Funk...
    Between 1974 and 1985 the Philadelphian family quartet had eight Top 100 records; with two making the Top 10, their other Top 10 record was "We Are Family" at #2* {for 2 weeks}, also in 1979...
    * The two weeks that "We Are Family" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer.
  • Ironbob from San Jose, CaSister Sledge's big break came on of all places, Chuck Barris' "Gong Show" and sang the song, "We Are Family".
  • Carl from Vancouver , Wathis was the song back in the days
  • John from Nashville, TnThis record along with the WE ARE FAMILY album was Sister Sledge's last chance. The Sisters gave themselves a deadline to have a hit by the end of the decade (1979). If that goal wasn't achieved, they were going to get out of the business to strictly concentrate on pursuing their college degrees.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlI remember when this song debuted on "American Bandstand" on the "Rate-A-Record" portion of the show - the first person liked it, but the second person said that no one would buy it, and that it wouldn't be a hit-
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