Funkytown

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"Funkytown"
Single by Lipps Inc.
from the album Mouth to Mouth
B-side"All Night Dancing"
ReleasedMarch 11, 1980
Recorded1979
GenreDisco,[1] synthpop, funk[2]
Length4:00 (single version)
7:50 (extended 12" version)
LabelCasablanca Records
Writer(s)Steven Greenberg
Producer(s)Steven Greenberg
Audio sample
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"Funkytown"
Single by Lipps Inc.
from the album Mouth to Mouth
B-side"All Night Dancing"
ReleasedMarch 11, 1980
Recorded1979
GenreDisco,[1] synthpop, funk[2]
Length4:00 (single version)
7:50 (extended 12" version)
LabelCasablanca Records
Writer(s)Steven Greenberg
Producer(s)Steven Greenberg
Audio sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
file info · help

"Funkytown" is a global 1980 disco hit, written by Steven Greenberg and performed by the band Lipps Inc. - with Cynthia Johnson as the lead singer. The Platinum-certified recording expresses the singer's pining for a metaphorical place that will "keep me movin', keep me groovin' with some energy".

It was written while the band lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota with dreams of moving to New York.[3] It entered the Billboard Hot 100 on March 29, 1980 and spent four weeks at #1, beginning May 31. It also hit #1 on the Dance chart in the spring of 1980.[4]

This infectious song holds a unique record - for hitting #1 in more countries (28 total) than any other before or since. It reached the top spot in the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, and Australia, among many others.[5] It also reached #2 in the United Kingdom,[6] Sweden, and on the US R&B chart. "Funkytown" is often considered to be one of the last massive hits of the Disco genre. Lipps Inc's version was that group's only US Top 40 hit.[4]

Track listings[edit]

7" Single

  1. Funkytown — 4:00
  2. All Night Dancing — 3:09

12" Single

  1. Funkytown — 7:51
  2. All Night Dancing — 3:09

Charts and certifications[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1980)Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7]1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8]1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5]1
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[9]1
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[10]1
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[11]1
France (SNEP)[12]1
Germany (Media Control AG)[13]1
Ireland (IRMA)[14]3
Israel Singles Chart[15]1
Italy (FIMI)[16]5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[17]1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[18]1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[19]1
Norway (VG-lista)[20]1
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[21]5
Spain (AFYVE)[15]1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[22]2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[23]1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6]2
US Billboard Hot 100[4]1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[4]1
US Billboard Hot R&B Singles[4]2
US Record World Singles[11]1

Sales and certifications[edit]

RegionCertificationSales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[24]2× Platinum300,000^
France (SNEP)[25]Gold690,000[26]
Germany (BVMI)[27]Gold250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[28]Silver250,000^
United States (RIAA)[29]Platinum2,000,000^
Total available sales:3,490,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

In popular culture[edit]

Controversies[edit]

In 1976, an amendment was made to the Copyright Act that permits authors to terminate grants of copyright assignments and licenses that were made on or after January 1, 1978. Under Section 203 of the Copyright Act, artists may reclaim ownership of a work's copyright no earlier than 35 years after the grant was executed. However, artists may give notice of their intent to terminate as early as 25 years after the grant had been executed.[36] In 2006, Steven Greenberg became the first American songwriter to file "notice of termination" under this act, in regard to Funkytown and the album it is a part of.[37][38][39][40][41] Because the song was released in 1980, the earliest that Greenberg would actually have the copyright returned to him is in the year 2015. So far, Casablanca's successor (Universal Music Group) has had little to say on the matter. Their stance legally has been that the song was a "work for hire" which are not protected under the copyright amendment, with Greenberg playing the role of the employee. As the first major hit to be reviewed for termination, many artists across the country are eagerly awaiting the outcome.

Preceded by
"And the Beat Goes On" / "Can You Do the Boogie" / "Out the Box" by The Whispers
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (with "All Night Dancing")
March 8, 1980 – March 15, 1980
Succeeded by
"High on Your Love" / "Hot Hot (Give It All You Got)" by Debbie Jacobs
Preceded by
"High on Your Love" / "Hot Hot (Give It All You Got)" by Debbie Jacobs
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (with "All Night Dancing")
March 29, 1980 – April 5, 1980
Succeeded by
"Stomp!" by The Brothers Johnson
Preceded by
"Call Me" by Blondie
US Billboard Hot 100 number one single
May 31, 1980 – June 21, 1980
Succeeded by
"Coming Up" by Paul McCartney
Preceded by
"Sun of Jamaica" by Goombay Dance Band
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
May 31, 1980 – June 14, 1980
Succeeded by
"Cara Mia" by Jay and the Americans
Preceded by
"Der Nippel" by Mike Krüger
Swiss number-one single
June 15, 1980 – August 2, 1980
Succeeded by
"Xanadu" by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra
Preceded by
"What's Another Year" by Johnny Logan
Belgian Singles Chart number one single
June 21, 1980 – June 27, 1980
Succeeded by
"Cara Mia" by Jay and the Americans
Preceded by
"Der Nippel" by Mike Krüger
German Singles Chart
June 27, 1980 – August 29, 1980
Succeeded by
"Xanadu" by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra
Preceded by
"Stomp!" by The Brothers Johnson
New Zealand Singles Chart
July 11, 1980
Succeeded by
"The Loco-Motion" by Ritz
Preceded by
"Coming Up" by Paul McCartney
Canadian Singles Chart
July 12, 1980 – July 19, 1980
Succeeded by
"Little Jeannie" by Elton John
Preceded by
"Aloha ʻOe" by Goombay Dance Band
Austrian number-one single
August 1, 1980 – September 15, 1980
Succeeded by
"Xanadu" by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra
Preceded by
"Can't Stop the Music" by Village People
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
August 4, 1980 – August 11, 1980
Succeeded by
"Moskau" by Dschinghis Khan
Preceded by
"Xanadu" by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra
Norwegian VG-lista number-one single
August 22, 1980 – August 27, 1980
Succeeded by
"Forelska i lærer'n"" by The Kids

Pseudo Echo version[edit]

"Funkytown"
Single by Pseudo Echo
from the album Love an Adventure
B-side"Lies Are Nothing"
ReleasedDecember 15, 1986
Format7" vinyl
Recorded1985
GenreDance-rock,[42] new wave[43]
Length4:53 (album version)
3:40 (single version)
6:36 (Dance Mix)
LabelRCA Records
Writer(s)Steven Greenberg
Producer(s)Brian Canham
Pseudo Echo singles chronology
"Try"
(1986)
"Funkytown"
(1986)
"Fooled Again"
(1988)

In 1986, "Funkytown" was covered by Australian band Pseudo Echo, who gave the song a different sound, less of early 1980s electronica and more of a late 1980s rock-infused dance sound, including a guitar solo in the middle. Pseudo Echo's version spent 7 weeks at number 1 in Australia (Lipps Inc.'s was at number 1 for only 2 weeks in Australia), and was also a number 6 US hit in July of the following year, and in August a number 1 hit in Canada. Despite Pseudo Echo's rock-like arrangement, on the 12" single issue of this version, the song is labelled as "Funkytown (Dance Mix)". Mirroring Lipps Inc's experience, Pseudo Echo's version was that group's only US Top 40 hit. This version by "Funky Town" by Pseudo Echo was played in the 1987 sequel comedy film Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.

Music video[edit]

The music video is a very basic, low-budget video that features the band with their instruments on a lighted, smoke-filled set "performing" the song to a backing track.[44]

Track listings[edit]

7" Single

  1. "Funkytown" — 3:40
  2. "Lies Are Nothing" — 3:58

Charts[edit]

Chart (1986-1987)Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7]1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[45]13
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[46]40
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[47]30
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[48]1
France (SNEP)[49]97
Germany (Media Control AG)[50]16
Ireland (IRMA)[51]12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[52]1
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[53]8
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[54]2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[55]9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[56]11
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[57]8
US Billboard Hot 100[58]6
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[58]4
Preceded by
"You're the Voice" by John Farnham
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
December 22, 1986 – February 2, 1987 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles
Preceded by
"Word Up!" by Cameo
New Zealand Singles Chart
March 6, 1987 – April 16, 1987 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House
Preceded by
"Alone" by Heart
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
August 8, 1987 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Heart and Soul" by T'Pau

Other cover versions[edit]

In 1980, it was covered by the Spanish group Parchís. This cover is possibly the first cover of the song. It was recorded as a result of the song's popularity as the main song of the Vuelta a España that year. The cover is completely in Spanish with the exception of the name "Funkytown".

The same year, Swedish group Flamingokvintetten covered the same song for their album Flamingokvintetten 11. Like the Parchís cover, the only English word in the song is "Funkytown".

In 1981, it was included by SNK in their licensed game Fantasy, released by Rock-Ola.

In 1984, the British post-punk band The 012 covered it at about double the original speed on rock instruments, under the title "Funkytown People", on their album Let's Get Professional. The performance is sloppy, with blurry, atonal guitar playing, and singer/guitarist Kif Kif Le Batter (real name Keith Dobson) throws in lots of asides putting the song down. After The 012 split up, Dobson formed World Domination Enterprises, and re-recorded the song under its proper title for their 1988 album Let's Play Domination. This performance is noticeably tighter than The 012's and the lyrics are played straight this time (although Dobson interprets "with some energy" as "It's Saturday"), but the guitar style remains the same. A "Let's Go Mix" of the song is included on World Dom's 1989 split remix/live album Love from Lead City.

In 1992, Danish singer/DJ Master Fatman covered it on his debut album, Hail Hail.

In 1995, it was covered by Tejano singer Selena during her last televised concert. The song was later included on the Selena film soundtrack album.

In 2005, Robyn Hitchcock covered it on Obliteration Pie, an album released in Japan.

In 2007, it was covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks in the live-action/CGI film adaptation (this same version can also be heard in the video game based on the 2009 sequel). Their version peaked at number 86. It was also used in the video game Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 by Ubisoft for the music rhythm games.

The same year, French singer Lorie sampled the music of "Funkytown" for a remixed version of her hit single "Je Vais Vite"; it became "Je Vais Funky". A video was also made to promote the mix.

In 2009, Swedish group Alcazar released a cover of "Funkytown", included on their album Disco Defenders.

In 2010, the song was included in the video game Just Dance 2 as a cover version exclusive to the Best Buy Special Edition. It was also later included on Just Dance: Summer Party.

In 2011, Colombian singer Fanny Lú used the main synth riff and part of the vocal melody from "Funkytown" in the song "Te Amo, Te Amo" on her album Felicidad y Perpetua. In the same year, a sample of the song's verse was used in the lyrics of Super Junior members Donghae and Eunhyuk's second duo song, "Oppa, Oppa".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steve Huey. "Lipps, Inc. biography at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 26, 2013.  "one of disco's most monumental singles, the number one smash "Funkytown."" "one of disco's all-time classics"
  2. ^ "Funkytown - Lipps Inc.". Pandora Internet Radio. Retrieved May 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ Andrea Swensson (September 22, 2011). "50 cool facts about the Minnesota music scene". Blogs.citypages.com. City Pages, LLC. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Lipps Inc. awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Australia n°1 Hits - 80's". Worldcharts.co.uk. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "Funkytown - LIPPS INC.". VRT (in Dutch). Top30-2.radio2.be. Retrieved July 28, 2013.  Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1
  10. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 22, No. 16, July 12, 1980". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Steve Hawtin et al. "Song title 277 - Funkytown". Tsort.info. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Toutes les Chansons N° 1 des Années 80". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). InfoDisc.fr. June 2, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Lipps Inc - Funkytown". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved May 31, 2013.  Only one result when searching "Lipps Inc."
  15. ^ a b Danyel Smith, ed. (1980). Billboard 12 July 1980. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1980". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
    30. Funkytown - Lipps Inc [#5]
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Lipps, Inc. - Funkytown search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  19. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  20. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown". VG-lista. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  21. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (L)". Rock.co.za. John Samson. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown". Singles Top 60. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  23. ^ "Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  24. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Lipps Inc – Funkytown". Music Canada. Retrieved April 1, 2012. 
  25. ^ "French single certifications – Lipps Inc – Funkytown" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved April 1, 2012.  Select LIPPS INC and click OK
  26. ^ "Les Singles en Or". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). InfoDisc.fr. Retrieved April 1, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Lipps Inc.; 'Funkytown')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  28. ^ "British single certifications – Lipps Inc – Funky Town". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 1, 2012.  Enter Funky Town in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Lipps Inc – Funkytown". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 1, 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  30. ^ National Post (February 11, 2006). "Only in this spectacle can Iran get funky". CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc. Canada.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA Track Listing". IGN Music. August 14, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  32. ^ Heather Phares. "Shrek 2 review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Towelie (Season 5, Episode 8) - Full Episode Player - South Park Studios". South Park Studios. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Malcolm: Season 1, Episode 13 - Rollerskates (30 Apr. 2000)". Internet Movie Database. MetaControl. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Skins 2 - Various Artists". Lastfm.fr (in French). Last.fm Ltd. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code - Circular 92 - Chapter 2". U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright.gov. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  37. ^ Chris Roberts. "'Funkytown' Songwriter Leads Copyright Fight against Music Industry". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  38. ^ Ted Johnson (2011). "Funky Future For Copyright Act Proviso". Daily Variety. 
  39. ^ David Menconi. "30 Years After Disco Fame, "Funkytown" Could Become Copyright Milestone". SXSWorld. Etypeservices.com. Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  40. ^ Dan Emerson. "Law: 'Funkytown' goes to court". Minnesota Business. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  41. ^ Esme Murphy (December 7, 2011). "Talk About It: ‘Funkytown’ Composer Battles Music Biz". CBS Minnesota. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  42. ^ Michael Sutton. "Love an Adventure review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 26, 2013.  "The cover of Lipps Inc.'s disco classic "Funkytown" was their only U.S. hit from Love an Adventure, and it was sadly misrepresentative of the album's stylish, hook-loaded dance rock."
  43. ^ "Digital Audio and Compact Disc Review, Volume 4, N° 1 to 6". WGE Pub. 1987. p. 57.  "Can you sing along to Lipps Inc.'s 1980 disco hit "Funkytown" and keep a straight face? Pseudo Echo can, which leads one to wonder how anyone can take this Australian quartet seriously, even with the success of their second American release, Love An Adventure. Like Wang Chung, Mr. Mister, and The Outfield, Pseudo Echo is spearheading the "corporate new-wave" movement"
  44. ^ Pseudo Echo - Funkytown. 
  45. ^ "Pseudo Echo – Funky Town – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  46. ^ "Ultratop.be – Pseudo Echo – Funky Town" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  47. ^ "Funkytown - PSEUDO ECHO". VRT (in Dutch). Top30-2.radio2.be. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 46, No. 19, August 15, 1987". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  49. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). InfoDisc.fr. July 28, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Pseudo Echo"
  50. ^ "Pseudo Echo - Funky Town". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  51. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved May 31, 2013.  Only one result when searching "Pseudo Echo"
  52. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Pseudo Echo – Funky Town". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  53. ^ "FUNKY TOWN - Pseudo Echo". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. LP3.polskieradio.pl. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  54. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (P)". Rock.co.za. John Samson. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  55. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Pseudo Echo – Funky Town". Singles Top 60. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  56. ^ "Pseudo Echo – Funky Town – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  57. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  58. ^ a b "Pseudo Echo awards at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]