The biggest international hit of 2013, Get Lucky, is credited to “Daft Punk feat. Pharrell”, but it’s the rhythm guitarist with the dreads you see in the music video who really makes the song. If those scratchy rhythmic leads sound familiar it’s not just because they’re derivative of classic 70s disco and 80s dance music, it’s because it’s the same man playing them. Quite how Nile Rodgers (Chic) doesn’t have equal billing on this record I don’t know.
But that’s OK, he is a modest man – who judging from his Facebook and Twitter posts – is incredibly humbled to be having this kind of success so late in his career. It is even more special for Rodgers because in recent years he has been battling cancer (as documented on his excellent, honest blog Walking On Planet C).
If the name Nile Rodgers doesn’t ring a bell, how about a quick look at the tip of the iceberg of some of the songs he’s written, both for his own band Chic and for other artists: We Are Family, He’s The Greatest Dancer / Getting’ Jiggy With It, Le Freak, Good Times / Rapper’s Delight, Upside Down, I’m Coming Out / Mo Money Mo Problems etc. The “/” indicates a song later sampled and let’s also not forget his production work for the likes of Madonna (Like A Virgin), Duran Duran (The Reflex) and David Bowie (Let’s Dance).
|Daft Punk, Pharrell & Nile Rodgers in the Get Lucky video.|
The man is a genius and I can’t think of a more distinctive, influential rhythm guitarist in music history. His style is so unique that as a massive fan of both his and Paul Simon’s, I stumbled across the little known Simon song Think Too Much (a) from 1983 and on one listen, knew the guitarist was Rodgers. Both Get Lucky and Think Too Much (a) are below: