You Dropped A Bomb On Me

Album: Gap Band IV (1982)
Charted: 31
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Songfacts®:

  • The was written by Lonnie Simmons, Rudy Taylor and Charlie Wilson, who were the songwriting nucleus of the group. Charlie was the lead singer (his brothers Ronnie and Robert - who died in 2010 at age 53 - were the other core members), Simmons was their producer, and Taylor was their sound mixer and also contributed to the songwriting.

    "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" has had long-standing success as a soundtrack favorite, so it's been featured in the films Next Friday and Brooklyn Rules, on TV programs including Mr. Show and the 1984 Grammy awards broadcast, in commercials such as one for the network Animal Planet, and in video games including Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. To say nothing of its use in sporting events! In American football, a game-winning touchdown pass is often called a "long bomb," so it makes sense that "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" would make appropriate celebration music. Teams known to use the song at home games include the Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL), Florida Gators (college football) and New York Mets (baseball). It was often heard on the radio station 850 WEEI during The Dale and Holley Show as a phone effect.
  • This is a popular feel-good dance song, but it's actually quite heart-rending: The girl meant everything to the singer ("You were my pills, you were my thrills, you were my hope, you were my smoke"), but then she "turned me wrong." So the "bomb" is not a good thing - more likely a breakup that came out of nowhere and devastated the poor guy.
  • The Gap Band were originally known as the Greenwood, Archer and Pine Street Band in 1967, in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. They eventually settled on the shorter name, and as a band comprised of three brothers, were marketed as an R&B version of the Bee Gees.

    The Wilson brothers' hometown of Tulsa is also the site of the worst race massacres in United States history, which happened May 31, 1921. The flashpoint was at the Drexel Building at 319 South Main Street, when a young white girl claimed that a young black man had assaulted her in the elevator. Previous to this time, because it was one of the wealthiest black communities in America, the city was known as "the black Wall Street."
  • This wasn't the only "bomb" to fall in 1982: The go-go group Trouble Funk released their song "Drop The Bomb" that year.

Comments: 11

  • Frankie Conley from Lubbock TexasSo love this page, confirm a lot of things for me.
  • Ms Jay Crochet from Los AngelesI believe the song is about him having a sexual experience with a man. The rainbows which were already signified as lgbtq during the early 80s is one clue. Also in the video he does a most blatant hand gesture.
  • Tesa from Las VegasAm I the only one who understands this song is obviously about dope? “You turned me out, then you turned me on”

    Not convinced? “ Just like Adam and Eve
    Said you'd set me free
    You took me to the sky, I'd never been so high

    You were my pills, you were my thrills
    You were my hope baby, you were my smoke”

    Reading interviews, it’s a fact the members were involved in the drug and party scene, you write what you know, ya know?
  • Chuckb from TulsaBeing raised in and a part of Tulsa almost 40 years I am sympathetic to the tragedy North Tulsa suffered in 1921 that is reflected to this day in the demeanor of its residents, and maybe rightfully so. But to call this the "worst race massacre in US history" is an ignorant statement!!!
    Why does this country continue to minimize what was done to the Native Americans? African Americans claimed 400 years of slavery but you never hear anything about the 400 years of near genocide of the natives! (natives was also slaves). Not only was natives massacred by the hundreds at a time on multiple occasions, including women and children, their customs, traditions and way of life was also targeted! There was 60-100 million natives here whenever Europeans "DISCOVERED" America! By 1900 that number was 250,000!!! Literally MILLIONS OF NATIVES LOST and struggle still as a people!!! The poorest place in the country is the reservation of Pine Ridge in South Dakota! I dont believe this is accidental either since the Sioux fought the invasion fiercely over 50 years and one of the last to surrender their customs and way of life. Infamously killing General Custer and his entire unit when they was attacked. Still being punished for having courage
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenFair enough to bring up the Tulsa massacre (Several generations of my family lived in and around that city and my father grew up on Archer Street.), but don't act like this song was actually referencing it in any way, because it wasn't.
  • Court from DmvI read the supposed meaning and had to see the comments section because wtf. Then had the audacity to mention the Tulsa incident afterwards like if that was an unrelated coincidence.
  • Snoop from BirminghamAfter everything our people can't even get the humane, proper respect. Saddening
  • Khc from LouisianaI think you have the "meaning" of this song all wrong! I think it's a METAPHOR for the outrage with the system/white America ('the girl' and 'said you'd set me free'); the utter frustration in losing a thriving Greenwood community/economy ('you turned me out'); the anger from the massacre of Black Wall Street and surrounding neighborhoods ('the bomb' - because they WERE bombed). For you to print: "So the "bomb" is not a good thing - more likely a breakup that came out of nowhere and devastated the poor guy." is weak and insulting based on what really happened in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, OK, OVERNIGHT in 1921! In 1982, The GAP Band would have had to 'soften the message' (even though the bombers were left in!) in order to get promoted, so 'the girlfriend' theme would have been used. And, it got you!
  • Deeneesey64 from TexasPlease correct the information. It was not a riot. To say riot would mean there was a back and forth. Black people were living their lives and White people got jealous and BOMBED LITERALLY BOMBED the whole area. After which, the white population walked in and SHOT DEAD ANYONE still alive. Men, women and children. THAT is NOT a riot. [Sorted. -editor]
  • Elisa Speranza from New OrleansThe tragedy in Tulsa was a massacre, not a riot. That was the spin created to cover up a shameful chapter in Tulsa’s history. I respectfully request someone edit this description. Thanks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 18th, 1982 The Gap Band performed "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Four months earlier on August 8th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on September 19th it peaked at #31 (for an unbelievable 5 weeks) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #2 on the Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart...
    Was track six on the trio's 1982 album, 'Gap Band IV', and on June 27th, 1982 the LP reached #1 (for 9 weeks) on Billboard's R&B/Black Albums chart...
    Two other tracks from the LP also made the Top 100; "Early In The Morning" (#24) and "Outstanding" (#51).
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