Lady Marmalade

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"Lady Marmalade"
Single by Labelle
from the album Nightbirds
B-side"It Took a Long Time" (US)
"Space Children" (Europe)
ReleasedAugust 3, 1974
Format7" single
Recorded1974
GenreSoul, disco, funk
Length3:56
LabelEpic
50048
Writer(s)Bob Crewe, Kenny Nolan
Producer(s)Allen Toussaint, Vicki Wickham
CertificationGold (RIAA)
Labelle singles chronology
"Going on a Holiday"
(1973)
"Lady Marmalade"
(1974)
"What Can I Do for You"
(1974)
 
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"Lady Marmalade"
Single by Labelle
from the album Nightbirds
B-side"It Took a Long Time" (US)
"Space Children" (Europe)
ReleasedAugust 3, 1974
Format7" single
Recorded1974
GenreSoul, disco, funk
Length3:56
LabelEpic
50048
Writer(s)Bob Crewe, Kenny Nolan
Producer(s)Allen Toussaint, Vicki Wickham
CertificationGold (RIAA)
Labelle singles chronology
"Going on a Holiday"
(1973)
"Lady Marmalade"
(1974)
"What Can I Do for You"
(1974)

"Lady Marmalade" is a song by the group Labelle. It was written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, and produced by Allen Toussaint and Vicki Wickham. It was released on August 3, 1974 as the first single from the album Nightbirds. The song was inspired by Crewe's first-hand observations of New Orleans. After it was first recorded by Nolan's group Eleventh Hour in 1974, on Eleventh Hour's Greatest Hits LP, Labelle's producer Allen Toussaint decided to record it for Nightbirds. The song is famous for its sexually suggestive chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?", which translates into English as "Do you want to sleep with me (tonight)?"

The song held the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week, and topped the Canadian RPM national singles chart on the same date. Labelle's version of "Lady Marmalade" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003.[1] and was ranked number 479 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song has had many cover versions over the years. In 1998, all female group All Saints released a cover of the song that peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart. The 2001 version by singers Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink, produced by Missy Elliott with instrumental help from producer Rockwilder, was released for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack. It was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US for 5 weeks and won Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink a Grammy Award. In the United Kingdom, the song has been sung on several talent shows, including The X Factor by Leona Lewis, and on Eurovision: Your Country Needs You by Jade Ewen.

History[edit]

Patti LaBelle sang lead vocals on "Lady Marmalade" with backing vocals being contributed by band mates Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash. The song's chorus, "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?", appeared previously in the play A Streetcar Named Desire, uttered by the promiscuous Blanche DuBois.

"Lady Marmalade" was a number-one hit for one week on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States during the early spring of 1975, and charted at number one for one week on the Billboard Top Soul Singles chart.[2] Along with the track, "What Can I Do for You?", "Lady Marmalade" peaked at number seven on the disco/dance charts.[3] The single also charted at number seventeen in the United Kingdom. "Lady Marmalade" replaced another Crewe/Nolan composition, Frankie Valli's "My Eyes Adored You", as the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, a feat that made Crewe and Nolan the third songwriting team in Billboard history (after Lennon–McCartney and Holland-Dozier-Holland) to replace themselves at number-one.[4] Also in 1975, Nanette Workman recorded a French version that became very popular in Canada (Quebec).

The song was first covered by Nanette Workman[5] in the same year, and then later on by Sheila E. on her 1991 album Sex Cymbal in a jazz-oriented rendition, with horns as the centerpiece. In 1995, disco cover band Boogie Knights covered "Lady Marmalade", fronted by singer Jeff Scott Soto. In 1999, the song was covered by the techno act Lords of Acid as a bonus track on their remix album Expand Your Head. More recently, the track was featured in the TV series Angel, performed by actor Andy Hallett, and was released on the soundtrack in 2005. The Labelle version appears in several films, including The Long Kiss Goodnight, Dick, and Jacob's Ladder. Improbably, the lyrics of "Lady Marmalade" were sung to the tune of the "Toreador Song" from Carmen by Tim Brooke-Taylor on the radio comedy and panel game show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue as part of a round called "One Song to the Tune of Another". It was featured on the video game Karaoke Revolution Volume 2 as a version performed with Patti LaBelle.

Track listing[edit]

US 7" single
  1. "Lady Marmalade" – 3:14
  2. "It Took a Long Time" – 4:04
Europe 7" single
  1. "Lady Marmalade" – 3:14
  2. "Space Children" – 3:04

Charts[edit]

Chart (1974/1975)Peak
position
Austrian Singles Chart17
Canadian RPM Top Singles Chart1
Dutch Singles Chart2
Italian Single Chart5
New Zealand RIANZ Chart21
UK Singles Chart17
U.S. Billboard Hot 1001
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play7
Preceded by
"My Eyes Adored You" by Frankie Valli
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
March 29, 1975
Succeeded by
"Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton
Preceded by
"I Belong To You" by Love Unlimited
US Billboard Hot Soul number-one single
February 22, 1975
Succeeded by
"Shame Shame Shame" by Shirley & Company
Preceded by
"Have You Never Been Mellow" by Olivia Newton-John
Canadian RPM number-one single
March 29, 1975
Succeeded by
"No No Song" by Ringo Starr

Sabrina cover[edit]

"Voulez-Vous Coucher avec Moi? (Lady Marmalade)"
Single by Sabrina
from the album Sabrina
B-side"Megamix"
Released1987
FormatCD maxi, 7" single, 12" single
Recorded1987
GenreSoul, Italo disco, funk
Length3:56
LabelBaby Records
Writer(s)Bob Crewe, Kenny Nolan
Sabrina singles chronology
"Sexy Girl"
(1986)
"Lady Marmalade"
(1987)
"Boys (Summertime Love)"
(1987)

"Lady Marmalade" was covered by Italian pop star Sabrina. It was released in 1987 as the album's second single by Baby Records. In some countries, including France and the Netherlands, the song was known as "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi? (Lady Marmalade)" and was released in 1988.

Track listings[edit]

7" maxi[6]
  1. "Lady Marmalade" – 3:55
  2. "Boys, Hot Girl, Sexy Girl" (7" megamix) – 4:10
12" maxi[7]
  1. "Lady Marmalade" (12" remix) – 5:57
  2. "Boys, Hot Girl, Sexy Girl" (12" megamix) – 6:04
CD maxi[8]
  1. "Lady Marmalade" (12" remix) – 6:08
  2. "Boys, Hot Girl, Sexy Girl" (megamix) – 6:04
  3. "Lady Marmalade" – 3:55

Charts[edit]

Chart (1988)Peak
position
France (SNEP)[9]41
Netherlands (Mega Top 100)[9]40

All Saints cover[edit]

"Lady Marmalade"
Single by All Saints
from the album All Saints
B-side"No More Lies", "Get Bizzy"
ReleasedJanuary 27, 1998
FormatCD single
Recorded1997
GenreDance-pop, disco, R&B
Length4:04
LabelLondon
Producer(s)Johnny Douglas, Timbaland
All Saints singles chronology
"Never Ever"
(1997)
"Under the Bridge"/"Lady Marmalade"
(1998)
"Bootie Call"
(1998)
Audio sample
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Background and release[edit]

In 1998, English girl group All Saints covered "Lady Marmalade" as part of the double A-sided single "Under the Bridge" / "Lady Marmalade". The third single from their self-titled debut album, it contained the "Marmalade" cover and a cover of "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers; it reached number one on the official UK Top 40, becoming their second number-one hit. In Europe, only the "Lady Marmalade" single was released. A total of 424,799 singles have been sold in the UK, with proceeds from the single going to breast cancer charities. The All Saints version contains different lyrics for its verses; the only lyrics retained from the original composition are the chorus. A version remixed by Timbaland appeared on the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack.

Music video[edit]

British actress Kathryn Allerston appears in the music video.

Track listings[edit]

  1. "Lady Marmalade" ('98 mix) – 4:02
  2. "Lady Marmalade" (Mark's Miami Madness mix) – 7:55
  3. "Lady Marmalade" (Sharp South Park vocal remix) – 8:09
  4. "Lady Marmalade" (Henry & Hayne's La Jam mix) – 6:47
  1. "Under the Bridge" – 5:03
  2. "Lady Marmalade" – 4:04
  3. "No More Lies" – 4:08
  4. "Lady Marmalade" (Henry & Haynes La Jam mix) – 9:23
  5. "Under the Bridge" (promo video) – 5:00
  1. "Lady Marmalade" (Mark!'s Miami Madness mix) – 7:56
  2. "Lady Marmalade" (Sharp South Park vocal remix) – 8:10
  3. "Under the Bridge" (Ignorance remix featuring Jean Paul e.s.q) – 4:55
  4. "Get Bizzy" – 3:45

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998)Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart3
French Singles Chart28
Swiss Singles Chart45
UK Singles Chart1
Preceded by
"All That I Need" by Boyzone
"Turn Back Time" by Aqua
UK Singles Chart number-one single
May 3, 1998
May 17, 1998
Succeeded by
"Turn Back Time" by Aqua
"Feel It" by The Tamperer featuring Maya

Moulin Rouge! cover[edit]

"Lady Marmalade"
Single by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink
from the album Moulin Rouge! Soundtrack
ReleasedMarch 27, 2001
Format12" maxi single
RecordedJanuary 2001
GenreR&B, hip hop soul
Length4:24
LabelInterscope
Producer(s)Rockwilder, Missy Elliott
Christina Aguilera chronology
"Falsas esperanzas
(2001)
"Lady Marmalade"
(2001)
"Dirrty"
(2002)
Lil' Kim chronology
"How Many Licks?"
(2000)
"Lady Marmalade"
(2001)
"In the Air Tonite"
(2001)
Mýa chronology
"Free"
(2001)
"Lady Marmalade"
(2001)
"My Love Is Like...Wo"
(2003)
Pink chronology
"You Make Me Sick"
(2000)
"Lady Marmalade"
(2001)
"Get the Party Started"
(2001)
Music video
"Lady Marmalade" on YouTube

Background and release[edit]

In 2001, "Lady Marmalade" was featured as part of a medley in the film Moulin Rouge!. For the film's soundtrack album, Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink recorded a cover version; it was released as the soundtrack's first single in spring 2001. Produced by Missy Elliott and writing partner Rockwilder, it features an intro and outro from Elliott. A lyric was changed from the original version, with the song's setting being transferred from New Orleans to the Paris nightclub Moulin Rouge. The song became a number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for the second time, reaching number one in its eighth week and spending five weeks at the top of the chart.[10] It was the third song in Billboard chart history (after Aaliyah's 2000 single "Try Again" and Shaggy's 2001 single "Angel") to hit number one without being released in a major commercially available single format. "Lady Marmalade" was Aguilera's fourth US number-one single and first-time number-ones for Kim, Pink, and Mýa in the US. For Aguilera, the song would be her last number one until 2011's "Moves Like Jagger" collaboration with Maroon 5. It would be Pink's only number-one hit until 2008, when her single "So What" reached the top. It remained in the top forty for seventeen weeks in the US, and topped the charts in fifteen different countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia. "Lady Marmalade" is the best-selling single for Lil' Kim and Mýa. The song was included on non-US versions of Aguilera's first greatest hits album, Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits. As of December 2001, the song had sold 5.2 million copies worldwide.[11]

Critical response[edit]

Allmusic's Brand Kohlenstein praised the song by highlighting it, adding that the ladies "teamed up for a surefire hit with their naughtier version of Patti Labelle's "Lady Marmalade.""[12] Slant Magazine editor praised the collaboration, too: "the track is simply an accolade to the performers' various distinctive styles, with Lil' Kim trashing it up and Aguilera caterwauling her way through the second half of the song."[13]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Paul Hunter, features all four performers in lingerie (rapper Missy Elliott makes a couple of small appearances) and was filmed at the end of March 2001 on sets (Los Angeles) built to resemble the actual Moulin Rouge night club around the turn of the century (1890–1910). The video won the MTV Video Music Award for "Best Video of the Year" and "Best Video from a Film"; it was also nominated for "Best Dance Video", "Best Pop Video", "Best Choreography" (Tina Landon), and "Best Art Direction". The song won a 2002 Grammy Award in the category of "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals". It ranks at number 30 on MuchMusic's 100 Best Videos.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2001)Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[14]1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[15]3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[16]2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[17]3
Brazil (Brazil Top 20 Singles)[18]1
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan)[19]17
Denmark (Tracklisten)[20]2
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[21]2
France (SNEP)[22]12
Germany (Media Control AG)[23]1
Greece (IFPI)[24]1
Italy (FIMI)[25]6
Ireland (IRMA)[26]1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[27]2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[28]1
Norway (VG-lista)[29]1
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[30]1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[31]1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[32]1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[33]1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[34]1
US Billboard Hot 100[35]1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[36]1
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[37]3
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[38]43
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[39]25

Certifications[edit]

Country (Provider)Certifications
Australia (ARIA)2× Platinum[40]
Austria (IFPI)Gold[41]
Belgium (IFPI)Platinum[42]
France (SNEP)Silver[43]
Greece (IFPI)Gold[44]
Italy (FIMI)Platinum[45]
Netherlands (NVPI)Platinum[46]
New Zealand (RIANZ)Platinum[47]
Norway (IFPI)Platinum[48]
Sweden (IFPI)Platinum[49]
Switzerland (IFPI)Gold[50]
United Kingdom (BPI)Gold[51]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2001)Rank
Australia[52]13
Austria[53]11
France[54]51
Ireland[55]10
Netherlands[56]10
New Zealand[57]20
Switzerland[58]4
UK[59]14
US[60]24
Preceded by
"Me, Myself and I" by Scandal'us
Australian ARIA Singles Chart
number-one single

May 20, 2001 - June 3, 2001
Succeeded by
"Angel" by Shaggy & Rayvon
Preceded by
"All for You" by Janet Jackson
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
June 2, 2001 - June 30, 2001
Succeeded by
"U Remind Me" by Usher
Preceded by
"Walking Away" by Craig David
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart number-one single
June 10, 2001 - June 24, 2001
Succeeded by
"What Took You So Long?" by Emma Bunton
Preceded by
"Angel" by Shaggy featuring Rayvon
UK Singles Chart number-one single
June 17, 2001 - June 30, 2001
Succeeded by
"The Way to Your Love" by Hear'Say

Other covers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grammy Hall of Fame
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 337. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 150. 
  4. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003, 5th ed.). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. New York: Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6
  5. ^ Pacha – PAC 4420 Canada 1975
  6. ^ Discogs.com
  7. ^ Discogs.com
  8. ^ Discogs.com
  9. ^ a b "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir ? (Lady Marmalade)", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved April 22, 2009)
  10. ^ "Chart Watch Extra: Four-Way Collabos". Yahoo!. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Lady Marmalade sales". Christina-a.com. Archived from the original on 2002-02-04. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Moulin Rouge [Original Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic
  13. ^ Moulin Rouge: Original Soundtrack | Music Review | Slant Magazine
  14. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  15. ^ "Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  18. ^ "Brazil Top 20 @ Top40-Charts.com - Songs & Videos from 49 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 30 Countries". Top40-charts.com. 2001-07-07. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  19. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p357293/charts-awards/billboard-singles
  20. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade". Tracklisten.
  21. ^ "Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk: Lady Marmalade" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  22. ^ "Lescharts.com – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade" (in French). Les classement single.
  23. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  24. ^ Archived February 22, 2002 at the Wayback Machine(February 22, 2001). Retrieved on September 7, 2011.
  25. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade". Top Digital Download.
  26. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  28. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade". Top 40 Singles.
  29. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade". VG-lista.
  30. ^ Romanian Top 100 Singles Airplay Chart - Top of the Year 2001 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 9, 2002)
  31. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade" Canciones Top 50.
  32. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade". Singles Top 60.
  33. ^ "Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil' Kim, P!nk – Lady Marmalade – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  34. ^ "30, 2001/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  35. ^ "Christina Aguilera Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Christina Aguilera.
  36. ^ "Christina Aguilera Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Christina Aguilera.
  37. ^ "Christina Aguilera Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Christina Aguilera.
  38. ^ "Christina Aguilera Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Christina Aguilera.
  39. ^ "Christina Aguilera Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Christina Aguilera.
  40. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2001| Singles". ARIA. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  41. ^ IFPI Austria certifications "Gold & Platin". IFPI. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  42. ^ "Therma 4". Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  43. ^ "Certifications Singles Argent - année 2002". disqueenfrance.com. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  44. ^ Top 50 Singles chart - February 22, 2001 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 22, 2002)
  45. ^ Christina Aguilera - Chart History (2002)
  46. ^ "Christina Aguilera/Mya/Lil'Kim/Pink - Lady Marmelade". NVPI. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  47. ^ NZ RIANZ
  48. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje". IFPI. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  49. ^ "Guld & Platina". IFPI. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  50. ^ "Certifications". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  51. ^ "Certified Awards Search". BPI. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  52. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2001". ARIA. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  53. ^ Steffen Hung (2001-12-23). "Jahreshitparade 2001". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  54. ^ "Disque en France". Disque en France. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  55. ^ ">> IRMA << Irish Charts - Best of 2001 >>". Irma.ie. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  56. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch charts portal". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  57. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Rianz.org.nz. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  58. ^ Steffen Hung. "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2001". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  59. ^ "ChartsPlusYE2001". Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  60. ^ Billboard Top 100 - 2001. "Billboard Top 100 - 2001 - Longbored Surfer - Charts". Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 

External links[edit]