Nile Rodgers reminds Newmarket just how many classic songs he's recorded, written and produced
It was hit after hit at the July Course on Friday, August 10, and the crowd loved it.
Billed as ‘Nile Rodgers & Chic’, in honour of the legendary disco band he co-founded with the late Bernard Edwards in 1976, the white beret-wearing Nile Rodgers was backed by a great band, including outstanding vocalist Kimberly Davis.
A multiple Grammy Award-winning composer, producer and arranger, Rodgers was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, recognition of his amazing achievements.
No new song to kick off the proceedings here – the dreadlocked 65-year-old knew what people (in their droves) had come to hear and he didn’t disappoint.
Chic favourites Everybody Dance, Dance, Dance, Dance, and I Want Your Love followed in quick succession and certainly had my friends Sue and Lisa and me dancing.
“I have the best day job in the world,” announced the star, noting that he’s worked with some of the top names in music, from Diana Ross to Duran Duran. The next batch of tunes included covers of songs that he worked on by these two renowned artists: Ross’ I’m Coming Out and Upside Down and Duran Duran’s Notorious.
Three Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards-penned Sister Sledge songs – He’s the Greatest Dancer, We Are Family and Thinking of You – featured too as did, surprisingly, Madonna’s Like A Virgin – turns out Rodgers produced it back in 1984. He also, unbeknown to me, produced David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, and there was room for that one tonight too.
The artist, who has more than 200 production credits to his name, recalled being diagnosed with “aggressive cancer” a few years ago and, on being declared cancer-free, decided to “write and record more than I ever had before.”
He remembered receiving a telephone call from “two French guys” (Daft Punk) and collaborating with them and Pharrell Williams on Get Lucky – to my mind the greatest song he’s ever written. The band played it and, for me, it was the highlight of the evening.
Rodgers later got members of the audience up on stage to dance to the final song of the evening, Good Times.
It’s easy to forget just how many pop masterpieces Nile Rodgers has had a hand in creating and tonight we who were lucky enough to be at Newmarket were given an emphatic reminder.