"Funkytown" is a song by American disco/funk band Lipps Inc., released in 1980 as the second single from their 1979 debut album, Mouth to Mouth. It was successful globally, reaching top spots in places such as the United States, West Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia.[4][5][6]

"Funkytown"
Funkytown by Lipps Inc US single side A.png
Side A of the US single
Single by Lipps Inc.
from the album Mouth to Mouth
B-side"All Night Dancing"
ReleasedMarch 1980[1]
Genre
Length4:00 (7" single version)
7:50 (album/12" single version)
LabelCasablanca
Songwriter(s)Steven Greenberg
Producer(s)Steven Greenberg
Lipps Inc. singles chronology
"Rock It"
(1979)
"Funkytown"
(1980)
"Designer Music"
(1980)
Music video
"Funkytown" (TopPop, 1982) on YouTube

CompositionEdit

It was written by musician, composer, and record producer Steven Greenberg and sung by Cynthia Johnson. The lyrics pine for a metaphorical place that will "keep me movin', keep me groovin' with some energy", while the band members were dreaming of relocating from Minneapolis to New York City.[7] It is in the key of C major.[8]

Music videosEdit

"Funkytown" has at least two music videos. In one, a black singer mimes the vocals and some women dance in a pub. In another video, Debbie Jenner, who fronted the band in the Netherlands and West Germany, dances while miming the vocals.[9] Johnson says on her website that she "was never asked to perform a video of 'Funkytown'".[10]

Track listingsEdit

  • 7" single
  1. "Funkytown" – 4:00
  2. "All Night Dancing" – 3:10
  • 12" single
  1. "Funkytown" – 7:50
  2. "All Night Dancing" – 8:20

ReceptionEdit

CriticalEdit

In 1997, Canadian DJ John Acquaviva listed it with his top 10 tracks, saying, "It's always been one of my favourite songs. It's got an amazing bassline that sounds great on a good system and people love it. Some people in Germany I know are reissuing it."[11]

In 2009, VH1 ranked it at number 37 on its list of the 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 1980s.[12]

In 2018, Time Out listed it number 44 of "The 100 best party songs".

"Funkytown" expresses a simple, repetitive yearning for the pulse of a bigger city, goosed by a killer ten-note synth riff. "Gotta make a move to a town that's right for me", sings Cynthia Johnson in a robotic, vocoderized voice (a precursor to the Auto-Tune sound) before busting out an unmodified, soulful wail, pleading for a trip to the party destination of her dreams. Released in 1980, "Funkytown" came late to the disco party, but gave it a jolt of electricity.[13]

In 2018, ThoughtCo placed it seventh on its list of "25 Best Dance Pop Songs of All Time".[14]

ChartsEdit

"Funkytown" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 on March 29, 1980, and spent four weeks at number one, from May 31 to June 21, 1980. It hit the number one spot on the disco chart in 1980.[6] It reached no. 2 in the United Kingdom,[15] Sweden, and the US soul chart.[16] The song is Lipps Inc's only American Top 40 hit.[6]

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[47] Platinum 100,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[48] 2× Platinum 300,000^
France (SNEP)[49] Gold 500,000*
Germany (BVMI)[50] Gold 500,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[53] Platinum 3,000,000[52]
Summaries
Worldwide 8,000,000[52]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Pseudo Echo versionEdit

"Funkytown"
 
Single by Pseudo Echo
from the album Love an Adventure
B-side"Lies Are Nothing"
ReleasedNovember 17, 1986[54]
Genre
Length
  • 4:53 (Australian single/video version)
  • 3:40 (international single edit)
  • 6:36 (Dance Mix/Australian album version)
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)Steven Greenberg
Producer(s)Brian Canham
Pseudo Echo singles chronology
"Try"
(1986)
"Funkytown"
(1986)
"Take On the World"
(1987)
Music video
"Funkytown" on YouTube

In 1986, "Funkytown" was covered by Australian band Pseudo Echo in rock form, including a guitar solo in the middle. It reached no. 6 on the US Hot 100 chart and spent seven weeks at no. 1 in Australia. Like Lipps Inc, it is Pseudo Echo's only US Top 40 hit.

Track listingsEdit

7" single (EMI 1883)

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

12" / Maxi (ED 237) / (RCA 5217–7)

  • Side A: "Funky Town" (Dance Mix) – 6:32
  • Side B: "Funkytown" – 3:40
  • Side B: "Lies Are Nothing" – 3:58

ChartsEdit

WeeklyEdit

Chart (1986–1987) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[17] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[57] 13
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[58] 40
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[59] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[22] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[60] 1
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[61] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[62] 9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[63] 11
UK Singles (OCC)[64] 8
US Billboard Hot 100[65] 6
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[65] 4
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[65] 1
US Cash Box[66] 12
West Germany (Official German Charts)[67] 16

Year-endEdit

Chart (1986) Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report)[36] 93
Chart (1987) Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report)[36] 19
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[68] 17
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[69] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[70] 99
US Top Dance Sales 12-inch Singles[71] 37
Chart (1988) Rank
South Africa (Springbok Radio)[72] 18

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[73] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[74] Gold 10,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit