The Complete Disco Guide to...
Sister Sledge was one of the most popular disco/R&B groups during 1979.
They formed the group in Philadelphia in 1972 while teenagers and recorded
a number of moderately-successful songs during the 1970s, including the
1975 proto-disco song "Love Don't You Go Through No Changes On Me" (#92 Pop
U.S.) and the 1977 R&B song "Blockbuster Boy" (#61 R&B U.S.). But it was
when they got produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards that their
careers really soared. They are best remembered for their disco anthems
"We Are Family" and "He's the Greatest Dancer". They continued recording
into the 1980s and 1990s. Their CD "African Eyes" was released in February
1998. Their next release was the "Style" album of July 2003.
1975: Love Don't Go Through No Changes On Me
1977: Blockbuster Boy
1978: He's the Greatest Dancer, We are Family
1979: Lost in Music, Thinking of You, Got to Love Somebody
1980: Pretty Baby, Reach Your Peak
1981: All-American Girls
1982: My Guy
1983: BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby)
We Are Family (1979)
TRACKS: He's the Greatest Dancer
Lost in Music
Somebody Loves Me
Thinking of You
We are Family
Easier to Love
You're a Friend to Me
One More Time
The "We Are Family" album, released by Cotillon (Atlantic Records), was a
major success for Sister Sledge. The tracks have such high quality that
it's easy to see why. In addition to the four disco tracks ("He's the
Greatest Dancer", "Lost in Music", "We are Family", and "One More Time"),
there's an upbeat R&B love song ("Thinking of You"), a pro-peace message
song ("Easier to Love"), and two pleasant slow tracks. Joining the Sledge
sisters on vocals are Alfa Anderson, Diva Gray, David Lasley, Luther
Vandross, and Norma Jean Wright. Strings are contributed by Marianne
Carroll, Cheryl Hong, and Karen Milne. Other musicians include Bernard
Edwards (bass), Jon Faddis (trumpet), Jeanie Fineberg (saxophone),
Raymond Jones (electric piano and keyboards), Nile Rodgers (guitar), Tony
Thompson (drums), Barry Rogers (trombone), Robert Sabino (clavinet,
keyboards, and piano), Andy Schwartz (piano), Ellen Seeling (trumpet),
Alex Foster (wind, flute, and saxophone), and Sammy Figueroa
(percussion). Their performances are stellar and make this a solid,
The song "We Are Family" became the theme song for the world-champion
Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team in 1979, thanks to player Willie
Stargell. "We Are Family" reached #1 R&B and #2 Pop in the United States,
while "He's the Greatest Dancer" achieved #1 R&B and #9 Pop in the U.S.
In Britain, "He's the Greatest Dancer" reached #6 Pop and "We Are Family"
reached #8 Pop. "Thinking of You" was released as a single in the U.K. but
not in the U.S. "Lost in Music" was popular again in 1984.
In September 2001, 195 singers and musicians recorded a
new version of "We Are Family" under the direction of Nile Rodgers, and it
was released shortly thereafter to benefit charities.
Gwyneth Paltrow danced in an airplane to a comedic variation on
"We Are Family" ("We Are Royalty", with different lyrics) in the 2003 film
View from the Top".
Versions of "We Are Family" were used on numerous
American television commercials during the early 2000s.
The song "We Are Family" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in
"On Sister Sledge's We Are Family, Edwards and Rodgers lightly
embellish the same [Chic] sound with funky trimmings. Unlike Chic, who
recalls the Fifth Dimension vocally, the four Sledge sisters have real
soul power, which adds welcome emotional depth to such posed ennui as
'Lost in Music.' The title track, beautifully sung by Kathy Sledge, is a
near-perfect fusion of gospel fire and disco cool..."
Holden, Rolling Stone
Somebody Today (1980)
TRACKS: Got to Love Somebody
You Fooled Around
I'm a Good Girl
Reach Your Peak
How to Love
Let's Go on Vacation
The sisters' next album was also released by Cotillon (Atlantic Records).
The disco song on the album is "Got to Love Somebody".
The single "Got to Love Somebody" became a #6 R&B hit and a #64
Pop hit in the U.S. in 1980. In the U.K., "Got to Love Somebody" was
released on January 19, 1980 and debuted at #34 Pop. "Got to Love
Somebody" was released in the U.S. at the end of 1979. "Reach Your Peak"
got to #21 on the American R&B chart.
"You Fooled Around" is a beautiful violin-backed mid-tempo song verging
on disco. "Pretty Baby" is a good R&B number.
Bernard Edwards played bass, Nile Rodgers played guitar, Tony Thompson
played the drums, and Raymond Jones and Andy Schwartz played keyboards.
The horn section consisted of Domenico ("Meco") Monardo, Bob Milliken, and
The violinists were Valerie Heywood, Cheryl Hong, and Karen Milne.
The Sledge sisters were joined by the singers Alfa Anderson, Michelle
Cobbs, Luci Martin, and Fonzi Thornton.
TRACKS: All-American Girls
He's Just a Runaway
If You Really Want Me
Next Time You'll Know
Ooh, You Caught My Heart
Make a Move
Don't You Let Me Lose It
Music Makes Me Feel Good
I Don't Want to Say Goodbye
Sister Sledge's 1981 album was produced by Narada Michael Walden and
released by Cotillon (Atlantic Records). The disco single "All-American
Girls", released in January 1981, did reasonably well on American charts,
reaching #6 Disco, #3 R&B, and #79 Pop in early 1981. Meanwhile, in
Britain "All-American Girls" reached #41 Pop. "All-American Girls"
incorporates both violins and keyboards. The ballad "Next Time You'll
Know" reached #28 R&B in the U.S.
"If You Really Want Me" is a nice up-tempo song with strings and a funky
flavor and "Music Makes Me Feel Good" is another funk-dance number.
Sister Sledge Compilations:The
Best of Sister Sledge (1973-1985)
Very Best of Sister Sledge (1973-1993)
Soul: Classics of Sister Sledge
Sledge: The Essentials
Sledge: The Definitive Groove Collection
Rodgers presents The Chic Organization: Boxset Volume 1: Savoir
Faire - includes Sister Sledge's "He's the Greatest Dancer", "We
Are Family", "Lost in Music", "Thinking of You", "Got to Love Somebody",
and "Reach Your Peak". Previews
of all tracks, and you can order it here from Juno Records in the UK.
Covers of Sister Sledge Songs:"Somos Familia (We Are Family)" by Charanga 76 (1979) - Spanish version
"Good Times Medley (Funkercise)" a.k.a. "Funkercise (The Chic Medley)"
by Enigma (1981) includes partial covers of
the following Sister Sledge songs: "Lost in Music" (34 seconds), "He's the
Greatest Dancer" (79 seconds), and "We Are Family" (65 seconds)
"Groovin' on the Beat" medley by Stars on 45 includes a partial cover
of "He's the Greatest Dancer"
"Stars on Soul" medley by Stars on 45 includes a partial cover of
"Lost in Music"
"Dance Trance Medley" by Boys Town Gang (1984) includes a
partial cover of "We Are Family" at the end
"Easy Street" by Isabelle Antena (1986)
"Frankie" by James Last (1988)
"Thinking of You" by Maureen Walsh (1990)
"Lost in Music" by The Fall (1993)
"We Are Family" by Ebony Vibe Everlasting (1995) - gospel-pop version
"I'm Thinkin' of U" by 2 Brothers on the 4th Floor (1997) - house
version of "Thinking of You"
"We Are Family" by the Weather Girls (1998) - electro version
"We Are Family (Live)" by the Spice Girls (1998)
"Family Values (Live)" medley by Seattle Men's Chorus (1999) includes
as its third song a cover of "We Are Family" recorded live in concert on
"Thinking of You" by Swedish Soul and Funk Community Blacknuss
Allstars featuring Nai-Jee-Ria (2000)
"Thinking of You" by Curtis Lynch JNR featuring Kele Le Roc and
Red Hat (2000)
"We Are Family (Angel's Style)" by Nobody's Angel (2000) - combination
of dance-pop and rap
Are Family" by Nile Rodgers and Friends (2001)
"We Are Family" by Young American All Stars (2001)
"We Are Family (Live)" by Banda Rod Hanna (2002) - electro-disco version
"We Are Family" by Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers (2002) - dance-pop
"Lost in Music" by Wackside
featuring Sister Sledge (2002) - house remix
"Lost in Music" by Sheila Ferguson (2003)
"We Are Family" by Jump5 (2003) - pop version
"Thinking of You/Studio 150" by Paul Weller (2004)
"It's You" by Sin Plomo featuring Janet Taylor (2004) - disco-house
version of "Thinking of You" with partially different lyrics
"He's the Greatest Dancer" by Dannii
Minogue (2006) - disco-house version
"We Are Family" by We Are Family Club (WAFC) (2007)
"We Are Family" by Home Made Kazoku (2007)
"We Are Family" by Groovestylerz (2007)
Sister Sledge-Influenced Songs:"Disco Lover" by Frieda (1987) - electro-disco song that quotes the
line from "He's the Greatest Dancer" about "He wears the finest clothes...
Halston, Gucci, Fiorucci"
"The House That Cee Built/It's A Big Daddy Thing" by Big Daddy Kane
featuring Greg Nice and Smooth B. (1989) - samples "He's the Greatest
"Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" by Will Smith (1997) - rap song that samples
"He's the Greatest Dancer"
"Greatest Dancer" by Nick Holder (1997) - house song that samples
"He's the Greatest Dancer"
"I Feel For You vs. Lost in Music" by Bob Sinclair - house song that
samples "Lost in Music"
"Busta Rhymes vs. Sister Sledge" - house song that samples "Lost in
"We Are" by Sebastien Leger - house song that samples "All-American
"Disco Dancin'/The House of Disco" by DJ Tonka (1998) - samples "He's
the Greatest Dancer"
"I Want You (For Myself)" by Kings of Tomorrow (1998) - house song
that reworks "Thinking of You"
"You Get What Yo Give" by New Radicals (1999) - "updates" "Lost in
"Good Things" by Spacedust (1999) - dance song that samples "Thinking
"Makes Me Love You" by Eclipse (1999) - dance song that samples
"Thinking of You"
"Boogie Shell" by Le Knight Club (1999) - disco-house song that
samples "You Fooled Around"
"I Love to Love (Pasta Boys Main Mix)" by Jody Watley featuring Roy
Ayers (2000) - disco-house song that samples "Got to Love Somebody"
"Down, Down, Down" by Gamba Freaks (2000) - dance track that samples
"One More Time"
"I Wonder Why (He's the Greatest DJ)" by Tony Touch featuring Keisha
and Pam of Total (2000) - based on "He's the Greatest Dancer" but some of
the lyrics are different
"Sex Bomb" by Mousse T with Tom Jones (2000) - disco-house song that
samples "All-American Girls"
"Ghost Train" by Altered Beast (2000) - techno song that samples
"My Feeling" by Junior Jack (2000) - house song that samples "One More
"My Love" by Kluster (2001) - dance song that samples "You Fooled
"Never Knew Love (2002 Mix)" by Stella Browne (2002) - disco-house
song that samples the piano from "We Are Family"
"You Touch Me Baby" by Demon Ray (2002) - dance song that samples "Got
to Love Somebody"
"I Don't Know" by Soul Providers (2004) - house song that samples
"In Love Again" by Magic Touch - house song that samples "Thinking of
"End of Time" by the Bitch Hotel (2004) - house song whose electronica
background and rhythm guitar are influenced by "You Fooled Around"
"Sunshine On My Mind" by Major Boys (2004) - house song that samples
"Got to Love Somebody Today"
"Freak It" by Giampiero Ponte featuring Lisa Shine (2005) - house song
that samples "Got to Love Somebody"
HOW TO ORDER YOUR FAVORITE SISTER SLEDGE SONGS
Other Sister Sledge sites
Sister Sledge - Official
Armin Rahn International
Music Agency: Sister Sledge - in German
Warr.org's Reviews of Chic
Productions - includes Sister Sledge's disco albums
Reviews of Works Produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards -
includes Sister Sledge's disco albums
J. Dillard's Review of "Love Somebody Today"
MCM.net: Sister Sledge
Disco-Funk: Sister Sledge
Related artists and bandsChic
Norma Jean Wright
Sumthing Distribution: Nile Rodgers Musical Biography
Nile Rodgers and Chic's Musical Timelines
Narada Michael Walden
IndexDisco Savvy Homepage